The whole point of the process is getting our clothes clean and the element that does it for us (besides the water) is our detergent. Are you using the right one?
If you're like me, you try every new product on the market - partially for the fun of trying something new, and partially hoping to find something that just plain works better than what you're using now.
If you've recently purchased a new washer, chances are that you've made the switch from a top-loader to a front-loader. These new front loading machines get your clothes clean with a fraction of the water (although they do take significantly longer). These machines are in need of a detergent specifically marked
"HE", or "High Efficiency". These liquid detergents generally have fewer sudsing agents - and although they get your clothes just as clean, they just don't make as much foam because your laundry is washing for quite a long time and the suds would overtake the machine with regular soap.
If you're still using a top-loader, you have the option of just about any detergent on the market - including powdered detergents. Powdered detergents are best used in warm to hot water as they will dissolve best at that temperature. Likewise, liquids are best if you mainly use cold water.
No matter which brand, formula or form you detergent comes in, be aware that you probably are using way more detergent than you really need. For liquid detergents, unless you have a massive size washing machine (think commercial super large capacity), 1/4 cup is usually about all you need. In the case of laundry detergent, more is not necessarily better - your clothes will not be cleaner if you overload with detergent, in fact it will be harder to rinse them thoroughly when too much detergent is used and then you will end up with soapy residue on your clothes (although it may not be visible).
By using the right formula and amount of detergent, you will not only get your clothes cleaner and brighter, but you'll save money too! If you really want to save a bundle on laundry detergent, you can make your own like the 21-person Duggar family - HERE are ten different recipes for homemade laundry detergents (both powdered and liquid).
Using the right detergent for your clothes and washer is the key to getting the best results - are you using the right one?
Next Week: More tips, tricks & hints, this time for your laundry.