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Are You Using Too Much Laundry Detergent?

Being part of the Mr.  Appliance corporate staff doesn’t mean that I love to do laundry.  In fact I think of it as a necessary evil.  It has helped me make the chore less objectionable that I’ve gained some tips that make it a little easier and more effective.

I have to admit that I was one of those people guilty of using too much laundry detergent.  More is better, right? Well, no.  It turns out I’m not alone – using too much laundry detergent is one of the problems our technicians see most often.

Using too much laundry soap works your washing machine harder and doesn’t get your clothes cleaner.  In fact, using too much detergent can shorten the life of your washer and your clothes.

I was surprised to learn that the soap isn’t what cleans your clothes. According to franchise owner, Harry Grubbs in Houston (, the soap actually bonds with the hard particles in water (like calcium) to allow the water to better clean the clothes.  The soap holds those solid particles in suspension, which dissolves the dirt in the water.  I know, the concept is a little like physics, but Harry assures me that’s the way it works – and I believe him.

When you use too much soap, the water cannot properly dissolve the dirt and the soap stays in your clothes.  It also causes a residue buildup in your washing machine, which can become a breeding ground for mold. That may be what’s causing that smell you might be wondering about in your front-loading washing machine.

A good test to determine if you use too much soap would be to wash a load of clothes or towels as you normally do – if you see suds you are using too much.  Wash them again without adding detergent – if you still see suds, that’s what was left in the clothes after you washed them the first time. 

If you have soft water you need even less detergent than those with hard water.  It’s important to always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are using the correct amount.

One Response to “Are You Using Too Much Laundry Detergent?”

  1. Ivory Kurka says:

    This is great! An associate shared this with me this morning on Gmail. Impressive.

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