How Much Detergent to Use For Laundry

The laundry detergent market globally is expanding and is expected to reach over $150 billion in market value by 2027. You might say, it’s because more people want to clean their clothes. 

Another thing you might consider is the fact that more people spend excessively on detergent simply because they use it up rapidly in large amounts. 

Now, this is so for individuals who do not understand that too much laundry detergent doesn’t mean cleaner clothing.

In fact, lesser is even better. 

How Much Laundry Detergent Should I Use For My Laundry?

The amount of detergent one can use for laundry cycles depends on a number of factors. Factors like the size of the laundry load (which is probably the primary factor), the amount of dirt in the clothing, the concentration of the laundry detergent, and so on. 

To get an idea of the amount of laundry detergent to use, to can check the manual of your washer for an idea of the amount for the size of the laundry load.

Also, you can check the back of the laundry detergent bottle or pack in the case of its concentration. 

For HE washers

Maytag Bravos 4.8 Cubic Foot High Efficiency Washer

For HE washers, HE detergents are recommended for use. You should know that some laundry detergent measuring cups are quite different from what they’re supposed to be. Some covers actually carry 8-10 times more than what you need for laundry.

And so, for HE washers, you only need to use about 2 tablespoons for full load depending on the concentration power of the detergent, say 2X. 

For medium-sized laundry loads, you can use 1 tablespoon and about ½ tablespoon for small-sized laundry loads.

Although this will also depend on how dirty your laundry is. 

For detergent concentrations of 5-10X power, you only need to reduce the amount of detergent, say half or quarter of what it’s supposed to be for full load to small load. 

Remember low concentration means high power. 

For Regular Washers

Unlike HE washers, regular washers use a large volume of water for their laundry cycles. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll excessively use detergents for your laundry.

For laundry loads of average size, I usually recommend about 2 tablespoons or 30ml if you prefer the liquid type of detergent. 

You can use about 2½ to 3 tablespoons of detergent for full laundry loads since the washer performs rinse cycles with much water. For a small load, you can use 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent.

For effective cleaning, I’ll also advise that you presoak your laundry especially if your laundry is extremely dirty. 

What if I use Homemade Laundry Detergent?

If you love creating and personalizing your type of detergent and are quite confused about the amount to use for laundry, don’t be. 

Homemade laundry detergents are pretty much the same in terms of dosage although they tend to lean more on the HE detergent side. 

However, I’ll advise that you use 2 tablespoons for your average-sized laundry if you’ll use the homemade powdery laundry detergent. 

For its liquid and tablet counterparts, 30 to 45 ml of laundry detergent and 1 tablet per laundry cycle respectively should be used.

You should add the detergent to the washer before adding your laundry to the washer unless maybe your washer’s manual specifies differently.

Am I Using Too Much Detergent For My Laundry?

If you’re the type that uses laundry detergent without thinking about the dosage, you might be concerned.

It’s a good thing to be concerned about because overdosing your washer with detergents will have negative consequences for your laundry and the washing machine.

So, how can I tell whether I’m overdoing it with the detergent? Let’s see 

  • You’ll find streaks on your clothing

If you notice some white lines on your clothing after removing them from the washer, you know that there’s too much detergent in the washer. 

Especially for HE washers that use less water for laundry cycles, you’ll see that even when the washer performs rinse cycles, there’ll still be an excessive amount of detergent on your laundry.  

  • Washer smells

Much detergent residue in your washer can result in bad smells in your washer. You’ll find out that bacteria and mold thrive in damp and dark areas like the insides of your washer. 

Failure to use the appropriate amount of detergent for your laundry as specified by your washer results in nasty odors that will eventually rub off on your clothing and fill the laundry room. 

  • Sticky laundry

Probably the most visible sign you’ll come across. Too much detergent when doing the laundry leads to sticky clothing because the amount of water needed for proper rinse cycles isn’t enough.

If you discover that your clothing is sticky after washing, you can rewash it, only this time you’ll not use any laundry detergent. After that, you can set your washer to carry out the necessary rinse cycles.

Some washers have this extra rinse cycle feature. You can utilize it.  

  • Sticky Washer

You want to do your laundry or probably you’ve finished doing it and just take a look inside. Then you feel your washer’s edges and interior parts and discover that it feels sticky or slimy in some other part.

Your washer is suffering from a bad case of “laundry detergent overdose”. 

This would eventually cause serious issues for your washer if you don’t take the necessary steps to reduce the detergent usage. 

  • Faded laundry

Too much wash action from your washer due to the excessive foam from a large amount of laundry detergent causes this issue. 

Nobody wants their favorite dress or jacket looking like it time traveled from ancient times. To prevent this, you should stick with the correct doses of laundry detergent.

It’s great for your laundry, it’s great for your washer and it’s great for you too. 

What Happens If I Use Too Much Detergent? 

There a several consequences to excessively using laundry detergents both for your laundry and your washer and even for yourself.

Let’s examine some of these consequences.

  • Clogs in your washer

The excessive foam created from the laundry detergent leaves residues that accumulate over time and remains in the little spaces inside your washing machine. 

It can cause molds, mildew, and a lot of other microscopic creatures to make their home there. 

Much laundry detergents clog your washer and cause drainage issues for it. Some residue might even damage the water inlet valves.

  • It’ll cause skin irritations

After washing, because the detergent is too much for the washer to rinse away, the many chemicals used to manufacture these laundry detergents do not go away.

When you wear them, they stick to the skin and cause dermal issues. 

They can even cause respiratory issues because laundry detergents are basically surfactants and affect the way the lungs function. 

Yeah, it’s pretty bad for your health.

  • Expensive energy costs

When you use excessive detergent, you actually spend more because you’ll have to buy more detergents continuously to replace the finished ones. 

Also, your washer would need huge amounts of water and electricity to run an extra wash and rinse cycles to remove the detergent residue and foam on your laundry. 

It’s pretty much you that’ll bear the brunt. I’m not sure you’ll want that. 

Although I’ll prefer you use less detergent than more, you can also unknowingly use less amount of detergent. 

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