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A detergent quantity guide for home laundry: How much is too much?

A detergent quantity guide for home laundry: How much is too much?
A detergent quantity guide for home laundry: How much is too much?

Caring for your clothes well is essential for ensuring their longevity, and a vital part of this is how we wash them.

Following care labels can help determine when something is delicate and needs to a bit of extra care when washing – but how much detergent is the perfect amount?

The right amount of laundry detergent to use in each wash is dependent on many factors, such as the type of washing machine you’re using (front or top loader), the volume of clothing you're washing at one time (half load, full load), how dirty the items are that you are cleaning and the concentration of the detergent you are using. 

A detergent quantity guide for home laundry: How much is too much?

Here's how to assess whether you're using too much, or too little detergent.

Whites looking grey

If you use too much detergent, it can leave a residue on white items and create a build-up of limescale and soap scum which can cause whites to look grey. If this is happening to your clothing, reduce the amount of detergent you are using with each wash.

Darks/colours looking dull

The same can also apply for dark clothes if you use too much detergent, there can be a build-up of soap, and if the dosage is too strong it can also strip clothing of colour more quickly. Again, reduce the amount of detergent you are using. 

Stiff or scratchy clothes

If you use too little detergent, there won’t be enough active ingredients to block the hardness of the water, affecting the softness of the fibres, so your washed items may come out of the machine with a coarse feeling. In this case, increase the amount of detergent slightly and see if this improves the results of your washed items of clothing.

When you use too much detergent, it can leave traces of detergent residue left on clothes after washing, and can also result in stiff or scratchy clothes. Reduce the amount of detergent and see if this resolves the problem.

As well as the dose, it’s essential to ensure the washing machine isn’t overloaded with garments, as this can prevent items from moving around correctly in the water and detergent. An overloaded washing machine can also affect the machine’s ability to clean items thoroughly.

A final word of advice

Always wash whites with whites, as some colours can transfer over time and affect the brightness of lighter coloured items.

Mark Kampmann

Mark Kampmann

Having worked in the appliance industry for almost 30 years, Mark has seen many changes in Australian laundry habits over the years. One of the most recent innovations Mark has helped introduce to the local market is the Electrolux auto dosing washing machine. Too much or too little detergent can be harmful to your favourite garments, but the Electrolux AutoDose washer takes the guesswork out of the laundry and delivers the exact amount of detergent per load, making sure your favourites are protected each wash, and keeping them in a better condition for longer.


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