Choosing and Using the Right Laundry Detergent in Your Washing Machine

The laundry detergent you use has a major impact on the condition and cleanliness of your clothing and linens. There are a number of options, so it can seem really overwhelming to pick the best product. Learning some basics will ensure that you not only choose the best detergent, but that you are also using it to get the most out of your laundry time.

Sensitive Skin Detergents

Those with sensitive skin have to be mindful of the ingredients in their detergent or else they are at risk for skin irritation. Avoid any detergent that contains a fragrance and make sure to rinse clothing and linens twice to ensure all detergent residue is out. You also want to never pack the washer and avoid ingredients like lavender and citrus.

Do DIY Detergents Work?

For general washing, DIY detergents tend to be okay, but they rarely have stain-fighting power. The following is a common recipe used to create a DIY detergent:

  • Four pounds and 12 ounces of Borax
  • Four pounds of baking soda
  • Three Fels-Naptha soap bars
  • Four pounds of Oxy Clean
  • One box of super washing soda
  • Add some laundry softener crystals if you wanted a scented

High-Efficiency Detergents

High-efficiency detergents should be used when you are running a high-efficiency washer. This type of detergent ensures that your washing machine is able to properly rinse out the soap. Never buy a basic detergent for a high-efficiency washer because you will not get the same level of clean.

Less is More

When using laundry detergent, it is important to remember that less is more. Follow the instructions exactly to know how much to use. Never use more than the bottle states because this can actually harm your linens and clothes by clogging them with detergent residue. This can also tax your washer, so make sure to only use the amount indicated on the label.

Bright and Clean Laundry

There are bleach options to keep your clothing bright an clean, but you have to make sure that you are using the right bleach. For colored clothing, there are color safe bleaches that you can use. These are also referred to as oxygen bleaches and they remove stains and clean clothes without fading the color or making it spotty like regular bleach. For white clothes, regular bleach works to keep it bright and white.

Single Dose Laundry Pods

Single dose laundry pods work to make it easy to put the right amount of detergent into the water. These are pre-loaded and you simply toss one in when you are ready to do the laundry.

When you are using laundry pods, it is important that you never put them into a fully loaded washer. This can make it hard for the pods to completely dissolve due to not enough water getting to them. To ensure that the pods dissolve, you also have to ensure that you never use extremely cold water in your washer.

If you want a detergent that has a low-sudsing formula, the pods are ideal. This is a good idea when you want to make sure that detergent residue is not left on your clothes after a single rinse cycle so that they are fully soft and clean.

Use this information to ensure that you pick the right detergent, so that your clothes and linens are as clean as possible. Make sure that you are also using the right water temperature and washing machine options for the fabrics to increase the efficiency of your washing.

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