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Laundry Basics: How Much Laundry Detergent to Use

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
how much laundry detergent to use


Without a doubt, one of the hardest things about doing laundry is getting the amount of detergent just right.  In fact, you can be an experienced clothing washer and still get it wrong from time to time.  So, what is the right amount of laundry detergent to use?  As you’ll see, that really depends.

Signs You’re Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

Before we talk about how much detergent to use, let’s give you some ideas that may tell you that you’re using the wrong amount.  It’s very common for a person to use too much detergent, because they think that more detergent means cleaner clothes.  But, if the ratio of detergent to water is off, you’ll end up with clothes that feel stiff, tacky or sticky, since there just wasn’t enough water to wash away all of that excess soap.  Another giveaway is a washing machine that smells mildewy, or clothes that come out with rust-colored stains.

Signs You’re Not Using Enough Laundry Detergent

Alternatively, if you’re not using enough detergent, then you may notice that your clothes just aren’t coming out clean.  They still have signs of soiling, or they feel dirty, greasy, or gritty to the touch.

How Much is the Right Amount of Detergent?

Now, let’s figure out how much detergent you should be using, as this alone can determine how clean your clothes can get.

#1: It Depends on the Size of Your Load

Yes, the size of your load will obviously impactas how much detergent you should use.  Using what you normally use for a large load to wash a small load will result in lots of soap residue, for example, because a smaller load uses less water.  In this case, you’ll want to follow the instructions on the label of the detergent, which will give you a breakdown of how much to use according to each size that can be selected on your washing machine – small, medium or large loads.

#2: It Depends on the Type of Formula

Liquid detergent, powder detergent and detergent pods all require different quantities for any given load.  Liquid detergent requires the highest amount – usually two tablespoons, give or take, per load, or two teaspoons if you have a high-efficiency washing machine.  With many powder formulas, the recommended amount is about a quarter of a cup.  Then, you have detergent pods, which require that you just load a single pod into your washing machine for each load.

#3: It Depends on Your Washing Machine

To make things a little more complicated, if you have a high-efficiency washing machine, you need even less detergent, because these machines use less water while maximizing the cleaning abilities of just a small amount of detergent.  There are laundry detergents made specifically for high-efficiency washing machines.  Often, these machines use approximately half of what you’d normally put into your washing machine, but ultimately that can really vary.  Again, the best thing to do is look at the instructions on your detergent’s label, which will give you a more precise idea of how much detergent to use per each load size.

Not only that but washing machine user manuals come up with instructions regarding how much detergent to use in most cases, along with what kinds of detergents are safe for the washing machine.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with top-loading washing machines, you can get away with a little more detergent than necessary, since they use more water than front-loading washing machines.  In general, you’re more likely to run into issues caused by too much detergent if you have a front-loading washing machine.  Regardless of the type of machine you have, always measure out the right amount of detergent instead of eyeballing it.

#4: It Depends on Your Water

Finally, the type of water you have makes a difference.  If you happen to have soft water, you can use a bit less detergent than you normally would if you had hard water, because soft water has less minerals.  Generally, wish soft water, you can use 1 and a half tablespoons of detergent for a standard washing machine, or 1 and a half teaspoons of detergent for a high-efficiency washing machine.

Find the Perfect Detergent Amount for Any Load of Laundry

Ultimately, how much laundry detergent you should use depends on a number of factors, but the good news is that you’re not likely to damage your clothing by getting it wrong.  The best thing to do is stick to the manufacturer’s instructions, as each detergent formula is unique, and may come with its own directions.  Grab Green laundry detergents, such as our 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Powder, Delicate Laundry Detergent Pods, Bleach Alternative Pods, and Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods are meant for all kinds of washing machines.  These laundry detergent products are also compatible with both standard and high-efficiency washing machines.

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