Are You Using Too Much Detergent?
Suspicious that you've been using too much soap in your laundry? Follow these guidelines to get it right every time.
1. Choose the detergent that works with your machine.
Today, many detergents are formulated for both regular and high-efficiency machines, but some brands, lstill offer separate product lines. Pick the wrong one, and you may end up with too many suds in your clothes.
2. Make sure you're measuring.
The instructions on your detergent's packaging are accurate guidelines — it's when you ignore them that errors occur.
"Don't pour in your detergent without measuring," says Carolyn Forte, the director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products department in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. "Eyeballing the correct amount is more difficult than you think. You'll get it wrong."
If measuring into your detergent's cap is slowing you down, try detergent pods to get the job done quickly and correctly each time. Just remember to keep these candy look-alikes away from small children.
3. Think about how much you're washing (and how dirty your clothes are).
Your detergent's instructions ask if you're washing a "normal," "medium," or "large" load, but what do those words really mean?
"A medium-sized or 'average' load is about six to seven pounds, and will fill your machine about three-quarters of the way," says Forte. "If you're washing clothes with a lot of stains, use a little more detergent. Fill your cap to the next line."
If you have hard water, you'll also need a little more detergent.
4. Watch out for suds.
Too many suds (a sure sign of an over-zealous detergent-pourer) might shut down your high-efficiency machine, and can wear on the equipment over time. We said it before, but we'll say it again: Measuring is a must.
5. Check your clothes after you wash.
If you're still not sure about the amount of detergent you're using, the proof will be in your wet clothes. Too much soap will leave your garments stiff or covered with a sudsy residue.