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Why you shouldn’t use too much detergent to do your laundry!

  • May 5, 2022
  • HobyClean Customer Service

Detergents are an absolute necessity, especially in the laundry industry, however, there are several drawbacks to the production and use of chemical detergents, especially when used in excess. 

People often think that the dirtier clothes appear, the more detergent is needed, and this is not the case. In fact, while applying more detergent to make the clothes cleaner, one might end up doing the opposite, and these issues can have serious effects on the clothing and the user, and these include; Use of excess detergent leaves a residue on the clothing, which causes the soft, and silky material of clothing, to become very rough and stiff (abrasion), which makes it very uncomfortable to wear. 

Powdered Detergent

Secondly, the chemicals in the detergent and overall slimy nature of the detergents and soaps can cause malfunctions of a washing machine, if used excessively. Applying excess detergents such as bleach and detergents which often contain high amounts of a substance known as ‘Sodium Lauryl Sulfate’ acids, alkalis, or phosphates, and corrosive acids, including benzalkonium chloride, can cause the vibrant colors of clothes to fade or become dull and have white spots, over a long period of excess use. 

Presence of laundry residue in clothing, can trigger a condition called “dermatitis”, which results in itchy and irritated skin. Besides causing malfunctions, soapy suds from excess detergent can cling to the walls of your washing machine, which can lead to a bad smell over time, due to presence of bacteria, and excess suds may also block the washing machine’s drainage pipe. 

If clothes are washed by hand, then using too much detergent can cause issues to the user, such as; skin irritation, chemical burns, and rashes resulting from frequent skin irritation in the long run. The excess detergent causes a build-up of residue on your clothing, making them less bright and more prone to collecting dust and other foreign particles, and it is difficult to wash this residue out. 

Hand wash via hobyclean
Hand wash/dobby

The use of too much detergent can also be harmful to the environment; after washing, the water is usually poured out, and if it contains a lot of detergent, it can sink into soil and kill plants, as well as dissolve nutrients in the soil.

The use of excess detergent is not always the user’s fault, manufacturers usually recommend using much more laundry detergent than one actually needs. It is just to encourage customers to buy more detergent. Generally, it is better to use less than what it says on the packaging. 

While these problems may seem very serious, many of them are entirely reversible. In the case of too much detergent applied in a washer, you can simply apply the rinse cycle several times before the build-up of suds begins on the walls of the drum. 

Secondly, if your clothing has been subject to abrasion due to excess detergent, there are many ways to reverse this process, such as; using powders and chemicals manufactured specifically for that purpose, which can be found in several stores, or apply many of the alternative at home remedies. 

Instead of buying somewhat expensive powders and chemicals, you can use less costly, but equally effective solutions, such as a “white vinegar” and hot water soak. Conditions caused by skin irritation due to detergent residue are usually never permanent and can be easily treated and are also completely preventable, by; checking clothing thoroughly before wearing it, to ensure there are no suds or residue, reducing the amount of detergent applied, using the same amount of detergent consistently, even for clothes that appear to be dirtier and more stained, especially when using a washing machine.

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