Detergent Residue on Your Clothes?

When we talk to customers about a new washer and dryer, one of the biggest issues is adapting to the low water usage and energy saving features that these model offer.  Generations of families have washed clothes with the idea that more soap means cleaner laundry. Unfortunately, too much detergent makes our clothes dingy and can make our washing machines smelly.  Which then leads us to to buy special cleaners like Affresh and other similar products to clean out the insides of our high-tech washing machines!

At a recent Home Show, I helped a customer who was experiencing this very issue, and in fact, had detergent residue still visible on his jeans!  He and his wife had recently purchased a high-efficiency LG brand top load washer and were likely still using as much detergent as they did with their old traditional washer.  Those traditional washers used 40-45 gallons of water per wash cycle, while the new high-efficiency models use anywhere from 11-20 gallons per load.  That’s less than half of the water usage! They thought the problem was with the rinse cycle, but if you put too much detergent in initially, there is no way that the rinse cycles can get all of the extra detergent out.  The U.S. Department of Energy creates the standards that all Energy Star washing machines must comply with, and that means using as little water as possible to get the clothes clean.

Appliance manufacturers work with detergent companies to help consumers know how much detergent to use.  New high- efficiency (HE) detergent was developed for today’s front loading models to create less suds during a wash cycle.  The wash action in today’s machines creates much more agitation and regular detergent would cause suds to fill up the entire wash drum.

Today’s detergents are concentrated and we should be using less product per wash load than ever before.  “Before it didn’t matter as much,” says Mary Zeitler, consumer scientist for Whirlpool Corp.’s Institute of Fabric Science.  “But now you have to be much more precise in dosing.”  Unfortunately, the caps on the leading brand detergent bottles can be deceiving with hard to read fill lines, which leads to consumers filling past the recommended levels.  Is this possibly a ploy to get everyone to use more detergent and guarantee more frequent purchases?  Probably not, because detergent makers still have a high level of regard to wash performance, product quality and brand integrity.  Cap sizes remain large likely because of ergonomics in filling and pouring.  Which leads us to a great reason for a smaller, easy to use measuring cup, which comes with our Excelsior laundry detergent.

The Excelsior brand is a new, highly concentrated laundry detergent that only requires 1 tablespoon per load in a high-efficiency front load or top load machine. You may see concentrated formulas from leading brands that tout 2x, 3x or 5x, but the Excelsior brand features a 10x concentrate!  This makes measuring detergent easier for each load and eliminates one extra item off your grocery list each month.  One box of our Excelsior laundry detergent will last for 333 loads – which is about a 6 month supply for most American households.  This enzyme based, phosphate-free formula brightens whites and leaves your clothes feeling softer than ever – which makes you wonder how much residual detergent has been in your clothes over the last few years.

Regardless of whether you try the Excelsior detergent or continue using one of the leading brands, just be careful of how much detergent you add in each of your wash loads.  By following the recommended fill levels, your clothes will still get clean and they’ll feel softer & more comfortable with every wash – just like they were meant to be!

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One Response to Detergent Residue on Your Clothes?

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