Recently, a new survey has been published that ensures that consumers, on average and in general, use more detergent than recommended in their laundry. This is, unfortunately, a very widespread practice that we carry out out of ignorance or false myths (or simply due to carelessness or lack of interest) and that is very polluting for the environment, deteriorates the quality of our garments and also results in an unnecessary expense for our pockets.
Perhaps we have never stopped to think if we are also pouring, in each wash, the appropriate amount in our washing machines, but there are solutions to be sure that we do not waste. Wondering how much detergent to use to wash clothes ? In the following EcologiaVerde article we will explain it to you.
- Problems of an over-soaping
- Signs that we are using too much detergent
- How much detergent to use in the washing machine
- Always measure the amount of detergent
- Where to put the detergent in the washing machine
- Natural solutions
Problems of an over-soaping
This trend comes from the popular belief that the more soap we put in, the cleaner our clothes will be or the better they will smell. Today we dismantle this myth because it is totally false. What’s more, the most normal thing is that it causes the opposite effect. An excessive dose of detergent makes it difficult for the machine to rinse the clothes, which endangers our washing machine and probably leaves a greasy residue on our clothes that will make them smell bad and attract more dirt. It is important to understand how detergent works to be sure that our environmental behavior is correct and to obtain clean clothes free of bad odors.
In addition to the fact that your clothes may not come out clean if you have put an excess of detergent and that you will have to invest much more money per month in your laundry, there are additional problems. First, as always when we waste a product, we cause unnecessary and useless damage to the environment , in this case above all we are polluting the water , but we are also endangering the health of our washing machine. The excess soap residue that remains when we do this practice will often remain in the drawer and in other parts of your washing machine, so perhaps soon you will have to take out your savings and buy a new one, instead of taking care of this machine it can last for many years.
Signs that we are using too much detergent
“Most of our customers are surprised when we tell them that their machine has broken from using too much detergent, which is not a factory defect,” explains Krystle McConnel, a professional at an appliance repair shop, in an article. According to him, the problem is that the machine uses more water when it has to rinse so much soap and this causes it to end up breaking, in addition to the damage that remains of the residue.
Some clues that will tell you that you are going overboard with the detergent are:
- A strong smell when opening the washing machine.
- Clothes appear slightly greasy or feel stiff when ironed.
- You have noticed the appearance of small spots on the door of the drum.
- The detergent drawer is usually always dirty after each wash, there are remains.
How much detergent to use in the washing machine
There is no correct dose. It depends on the detergent, the washing machine, the manufacturer, the age of the machine, and so on. But in addition, it also depends on the hardness of the water in the area where you live and the degree of dirtiness of the clothes you are washing. But it will not be difficult for you to calculate it.
The law requires manufacturers to indicate on their package the recommended dose of product that you should use. It will be easy to measure it because most detergents come with a meter that indicates the milliliters (in the case of liquid detergent). You will only have to add a little more if you are washing extremely dirty clothes (with mud, grass stains, wine …), so we recommend you separate dirty clothes from those that only need a short wash cycle . The first step to getting it right is knowing what type of water is in your area. You will need to use slightly more if the water is hard because soaps do not work as well if the water has a lot of natural minerals.
It also depends on the efficiency of your washing machine . Consult the instruction manual of the same and surely it can guide you on the type of detergent and the amount you should add. If it is an efficient washing machine, you will need much less.
“In general, under normal conditions, a dose of 50 milliliters of liquid detergent is enough for a 4.5 kg laundry,” explains the expert. “It is also important not to saturate the washing machine with clothes so that it does not break. Nor do empty cycles, but not put more weight than recommended,” he adds.
Always measure the amount of detergent
Despite the fact that, after decades doing laundry, we may think that we are experts, it is difficult to calculate the exact amount and “not overdo” if we do it by eye. It costs nothing to pour the amount of detergent into the cap or meter and, thus, make sure that we are not saturating our clothes with soap and spending unnecessarily.
The meter that comes with your soap, even if it includes the measurements, is usually up to 10 times larger than the amount we actually need. Many people, out of ignorance, fill it (poor clothes!) Or pour the liquid or detergent halfway, without bothering to read the manufacturer’s recommended instructions. According to the same study, more than half of people admit that they use detergent “by eye”. This is a common mistake, an oversight that contributes to deteriorating our planet.
If the clothes are not very dirty, select a pre-wash and extra rinse mode and a short cycle in your washing machine to save.
Think that the more detergent we use, the more materials, packaging and transportation we are needing. And, of course, your washing machine will have to suffer more and use more water. Something as simple as starting to use the correct amount of detergent for your laundry is helping to save the planet. And, in addition, with the savings, we can invest in other things that make us more excited to buy than washing machine detergent.
Where to put the detergent in the washing machine
It seems complete nonsense, but many times the washing machine can be damaged and the power of the detergent will not be as effective if we do not put it in its corresponding box. Some brands, especially powdered soap, allow you to put the detergent both in the box and directly with the clothes, inside a capsule. Although the models may vary, normally there are three, indicated like this with I and II:
- I : The first is usually used for pre-washing, we will only use it when we are going to wash extra dirty clothes.
- II : Normally, unless the instruction book of your washing machine says otherwise, here we will put the detergent in liquid. Remember to always measure!
- The third compartment is usually for fabric softeners, which we don’t need to always use. Like the detergent, do not add more than the appropriate amount. It is better to use nothing than too much.
We give you an ecological advice . Put your very dirty clothes the night before in a basin with warm water and a tablespoon of baking soda and vinegar. If it’s white, add a lemon wedge as well. Drain well before washing. This will mean that the next day, when you wash them in the machine, the stains will be less and you will be giving your washing machine an important break. You will not have to use more soap than recommended.
Now that you know how not to waste detergent, we can go one step further and start doing laundry with ecological detergent or totally natural and effective solutions. Some of the natural options for washing clothes are:
- Buy totally ecological detergent, avoiding chemicals.
- Prepare our own homemade detergent with a bar of Marseille soap, essential oil so that the clothes smell as we want and a glass of baking soda. In less than an hour we can prepare and use it for months. Economic and ecological solution! In this other AgroCorrn article we give you another ecological option; learn How to make homemade soap for the washing machine without oil .
- Replace the fabric softener with a little apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Vinegar is not only used to dress salads, but also has a high power to soften fabrics.
- Use natural soaps, the old ones.
- Avoid using bleach.
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