Doing laundry is meant to be simple. However, some of the simplest of tasks actually have complicated issues to work out.
At Surf’s Up! Laundry & Dry Cleaning we advise that you use the recommended amount as stated on the label of your detergent.
How much laundry detergent do you need when using soft water?
You can use just enough to cover the bottom of the cap on a liquid detergent bottle or the bottom of a powder detergent scoop for a single load of laundry if you’re washing your clothes with soft water.
Would it surprise you to know that the recommended amount of detergent to use can be approximately 10 times the amount you actually need to do a load of laundry in soft water?
We have hard water in Kingston and at the laundromat, so customers cannot cut back too much on detergent.
You can view the Kingston water quality reports here.
Why is there such a big difference from the recommended amount?
Hard water means that there are mineral deposits in the water such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
These deposits can make it difficult for the detergent to work on removing stains and the normal dirt on dirty clothes.
Rather than make the distinction; detergent companies simply instruct you on what works no matter how hard or soft the water. It’s up to you to find the most appropriate amount of detergent that works best in your situation.
If you live in an area that provides soft water you’re probably using way more detergent than you need in your average load of laundry.
How much laundry detergent do I need when using a front loader machine at a coin laundry facility?
If you were using a high-efficiency washing machine (HE washing machine), such as what you would find in our Laundromat you can generally use less laundry detergent.
We advise customers to use the amount recommended for a regular load (equivalent to a single load top-load washer) when using a front-loading triple load washer.
Front-loaders use less water and therefore need less detergent than you think based on the large quantity of clothing washed. (it depends on the ratio of water to detergent to determine the correct amount to use).
For more laundry tips that can save you time and money read: Laundromat Tips: Make Coin Laundry Easy
Use “the general rule” for deciding how much detergent to use
It depends on the type of water and the type of washing machine you’re using that will determine the amount of detergent to use.
If your city area uses soft water the general rule is to try cutting back your detergent by 1/3 of what you’re currently using and see if you notice any difference.
Here is the Ontario report for Water Hardness Levels By City
People tend to use more detergent than they need because they still think more bubbles means better cleaning. Many good detergents are now manufactured to not foam/create bubbles (ex. HE branded detergents).
Cheaper detergents tend to foam more and give people the impression that they are working because they see bubbles. A cold water wash is good for your clothes, but you cannot ‘see’ the detergent working because cold water does not generate many bubbles.
The truth is you may be using more detergent than you need to use. Make your dollar stretch a little further by doing a little experimenting with what works best for you.
Interested in reading more articles? Read the answer to this question: Are laundromats safe to use during the Coronavirus quarantine?