More is better - when it comes to extra fries, maybe. But your laundry detergent? Absolutely not. Chances we are already using more than what we need to anyway. Not only are we washing away the dirt down the drain but also our money.
Too much detergent is detrimental to your clothes and your washing machine alike. The excess gets washed away, in any case, and leaves its mark on your fabrics. You will start noticing a chalky residue on your clothes and they end up feeling sticky and uncomfortable to wear. As for your washer, it leads to excessive soap scum and an organic build-up known as a biofilm on the inner surface of your washing machine.
Biofilm is what you might have encountered while washing your water bottle after a few days of use. Bacteria from the environment and your mouth accumulate on the inner surface to create a slimy and smelly layer. That is precisely what forms inside your washing machine too leading to your clothes and towels carrying a weird stench.
Did you know warm water in itself can serve as a pretty good cleaner on its own, and some loads might not even require detergents! However, as much as we love things all-natural, this might not be suitable for a lot of clothes we wear. Some might require cold water, while sometimes some soils simply cannot be cleaned this way, they’re far too reluctant. So we do not endorse ditching your laundry detergent entirely.
Here is a bunch of thumb rules to keep in mind
- Use 2 teaspoons of liquid laundry detergent or 2 tablespoons of powder per normal load size, usually your detergent liquid bottle will come with a dosing cap to save the trouble of guessing. Follow those instructions.
And by normal sized we mean even & loosely spaced garments coming up to 3/4th of your machine. In case of a front-load, ensure there is enough space for your hand to be in, if not it’s time to take something out.
- In case of heavy soiling, you can up the number by half the earlier amount. So, for example, if you were using 2 teaspoons of liquid detergent, for extremely soiled clothes you now need 3 teaspoons when used on its own. With conditioner it becomes 2.5 teaspoons.
Additionally if your top load washer doesn’t have an assigned spot for detergents, it is advisable to put it directly in the drum first before you add your clothes.
These measurements are just general suggestions to follow, you can of course adjust this according to your need. The idea is to cut down on the amount of detergent you’re using, and if it is in excess your clothes will reflect it. Wet clothes that feel stiff is the first sign.
Furthermore, it is also advisable to switch to liquid detergents and do away with powders because of the number of advantages it has over powder. At the end of the day right detergent matters, and it all comes down to the machine you use and the result it gives. Powder detergents tend to have a bit of in-built bleach in them which can cause colours to fade out quickly. Liquid laundry detergents are not only more effective when it comes to dealing with greasy, grimy stains they also use less amount of water to do the same job. They are especially suited for fully automatic machines.
Liquid detergent works better for getting a deeper clean in untreated hard water. Its ingredients aren’t as reactive with the minerals and salts most commonly present in hard water, therefore making it more resistant to its effects.
The ingredients in most powder form detergents do not fully dissolve in the wash, which could create blockages in your septic system or clogs in the drain that can interfere with your washer’s ability to fully drain hence damaging your washing machine.
Happy cleaning !