How to Choose the Right Laundry Detergent

We receive numerous questions from customers about the laundry detergent they are using or should be using.  They want to know if it really does matter what kind they purchase.

The simple answer- yes, it does matter which laundry detergent you buy. Finding the right laundry detergent requires a combination of choosing what works best on your clothes, with what your personal preferences are. If you have a high efficiency washer, then using a traditional detergent can cause excess suds.

Laundry detergent can remove dirt and stains from your clothing. It can also leave your laundry smelling great, looking brighter, clean away stains and keep clothing looking like new. There are a range of detergent types available- liquid, powder and detergent pods. Below are some helpful tips to help you choose the right detergent to efficiently clean your laundry in no time.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergent is especially effective on food, grease or oil soils. Since it’s fluid, it can double as a stain pretreat as well.  Choose liquid detergent if you do a lot of spot-treating or have a family that specializes in food spills. Depending on the setting of your water temperature, if you use cold wash settings most often liquid detergent is your best bet as powders do not always dissolve properly at lower temperatures.

Powder Detergent

For everyday loads, powder is a great choice. Powder detergent is ideal for general wash day loads and is effective in lifting out every day stains as well as ground-in dirt. If a majority of your family’s wash load consists of stains of the outdoor and every day variety, a powder detergent is an excellent choice.

Detergent Scents

Detergents come with all sorts of scents, so pick one you like—unless you have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, avoid laundry detergents with fragrance because fragrances are common skin allergens. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are loaded with fragrance and should be avoided as well. To remove all detergent residue from washed clothing- rinse your clothes twice and avoid packing the washer too full.

High-Efficiency Detergent for High-Efficiency Washers

It should go without saying, but if you have a high-efficiency washer you should use a high-efficiency (HE) detergent. HE options produce fewer suds and make it easier for HE machines to rinse out the soap. You can always buy HE detergent for any washer but do not buy standard detergent for an HE washer.

You Need Less Than You Think

Many people overuse their laundry detergent, but a small amount goes a long way. If you pack your washer full you run the risk of trapping detergent on your clothing. A little goes a long way.

In the end, you don’t have to make as many choices as looking at the store shelves leave you to feel. If you need a detergent for sensitive skin, buy one. If you need stain-lifting power, look for a winning one on that front. Regardless of what you pick, don’t overuse it and your laundry will come out nice and fresh.

A simple rule of thumb is to always remember to check your machine manual to see what is recommended.