If you find yourself asking whether you’re using too much, or too little, laundry powder in your washing machine, then you’re not alone. We’ve compiled some information on how much laundry powder you should use to help you get the best and most efficient cleaning results.
In order to get the most from your washing, it’s important to use the right amount of laundry detergent. Using too much laundry powder or liquid leads to poor rinsing and is also uneconomical, whereas not using enough can lead to poor cleaning results and potentially a build-up of dirt and debris in your machine.
How much laundry powder do I need to use?
The recommended dosage for a single regular load of washing is 110 millilitres (using the measurements of the cup provided) and an extra 100 millilitres can be added if your clothes are particularly stained. However, you should always check the specific instructions provided with your detergent.
A little effort on your part is required in order to get the dosage correct, but fortunately, most brands come with a guide and a scoop that spells out the recommended measurements for you. A standard dosing device (pictured) will be 110ml in size, which is the exact amount you will need for a single load of clothing.
You won’t need to use any less or more depending on the different types of clothes you’re washing – be it underwear or jeans to sheets and pillowcases. However, if you have a system that’s been proven to give you good results, then by all means continue to use it.
How to use washing powder in a machine
There are different ways to insert the correct amount of washing powder depending on the type of machine you have. You’ll often find that there are different types of washing powders for top-loader and front-loader washing machines.
How to use washing powder in a front-loader machine
Front-loader machines tend to use less water than front-loaders, and front-loader laundry powders contain anti-foaming ingredients as a result. Using top-loading detergents in a front-loader washing machine can cause foam to build up between the inner and outer drums, which then lead to the washer burning out.
To apply the laundry powder correctly in a front-loader, all you have to do is add the powder to the dispensing draw and start the machine. It will do the rest of the work for you.
How to use washing powder in a top-loader machine
To apply your laundry powder to a top-loader washing machine, you can add the detergent either to the machine bowl itself, or down the centre of the agitator for most standard machines. It is recommended by many providers such as OMO that you don’t add the power directly to the top of your clothes when using a top-loader.
Laundry powder or laundry detergent?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages; it really just depends on what you’re washing and the kind of results you want, as well as the characteristics of your washing machine.
When to use laundry powder
Powders are generally best for stain-removal and can do this better than liquid detergents in most cases. Powders tend to do better on fresher stains (and you should always be getting rid of stains ASAP!), but also do a job on tougher and older stains.
Powders aren’t as good as liquids when it comes to delicate washing and whites, but this is negated if you stick with the top performing laundry powders. The good thing about laundry powders is that they can be turned into a liquid through being dissolved in warm water, so it is a much more flexible option than liquid detergent.
When to use laundry liquids
Liquid detergent is not as good at treating stains, but it can be used as a pre-treader for stain-removal if your washing machine has a pre-wash function. Laundry liquids are much better at cleaning delicates and whites, and overall have less impact on the environment. Liquids are great if you have lightly dirty clothes without heavy stains, and they tend to leave less white-powdery marks on your clothes like some of the cheaper laundry powder brands so.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to both laundry powders and liquids, but both of them can do a good enough job if necessary. There isn’t much of an observable difference, and if you’re happy with your current brand, then you may as well just stick with it.
Substitutes for laundry powder
If you’re out of laundry powder and need to do an emergency wash, then there are some DIY alternatives you can use in a hurry:
- Rinse out the detergent/powder container: fill your almost empty powder container with warm water and empty it into the washer, as there is still probably enough material left in there to get one last wash done, as long as it isn’t a large load. You might not get brilliant results, but this should get the job done
- Baking soda: you can add ½ cups of borax or baking soda to any remaining scraps of detergent. These act as a detergent booster, and can do a decent job at cleaning your clothes if placed directly into the washer drum
Bleach: only to be used as a last-resort, ¼ cups of powdered oxygen-bleach applied directly to the water drum can adequately clean your clothes, but you shouldn’t rely on this method
What you should never use in a washing machine
If you’re tempted to take a few shortcuts in your washing, you should know that there are some household products that most definitely are not suitable substitutes for laundry powder…
- Dishwasher detergent: most of these products contain ingredients that irritate the skin and can bleach the colours of your clothes
- Soap, shampoo, body wash etc: these products contain heavy amounts of bubbles, which are difficult to remove in the rinse cycle and can damage the machine’s electronics
- Household cleaners: like dishwasher detergents, these products can irritate the skin and cause colour losses in fabrics
There you have it! Happy washing.