Did you know that there are times when using powder laundry detergent is more likely to get your clothes clean than using the liquid variety?
Mostly, powdered and liquid version of laundry soap are pretty similar, but they each have their own slight advantages and disadvantages for removing certain types of stains, or in other situations.
In my previous article about liquid laundry detergent I listed several situations in which you should at least consider using the liquid instead of the powdered version.
But I want to give a fair shake to dry laundry soap too. Therefore, this article is focused on when you should consider using a scoop instead of a cap full of detergent for cleaning your clothes.
There are a couple of instances when using a powdered soap may not be as good an idea for you.
These include the following:
This may seem surprising at first, but logically it makes a lot of sense. Once the soap is dissolved in the water it will work just as well as the liquid variety, but it is much more difficult to dissolve powder in cold water than into either warm or hot water.
If the soap doesn't actually dissolve all the way it will just clump on your clothes, without providing any cleaning power for the wash.
Of course, although it takes more time there is a way to ensure that you completely dissolve this laundry product even if you're using cold water, or have hard water, which I'll share below.
Similarly, if you've got hard water it is much more difficult to get powders to dissolve in it.
In fact, this is why I personally stopped using powdered laundry soap on a regular basis in my own home. I have extremely hard water and it meant I often found clumps of powder on my clothes -- undissolved detergent, which required me to rewash the whole load.
The other problem is the combination of hard water and powder detergents can cause a build up of residue on fabrics. That can make the fabric streaky, or stiff and harsh to the touch. It can also contribute, over time, to premature wearing out as a result of abrasion.
If you choose to use this version and you've got hard water, you may want to seriously consider adding a water softener, such as Calgon, to each laundry load.
As explained above, it is important to make sure the powder dissolves completely in the water before adding clothes. Otherwise you can get caked on laundry soap on everything, which can be a pain to remover (or which can actually even leave bleach stains in the worse cases).
If you notice that your detergent is having trouble dissolving in your water, or you keep getting caked on detergent on your clothing, you don't need to just throw out that soap. Instead, take the time to dissolve the soap in a cup of very hot water first, and then add the water and detergent mixture into the machine.
Just as with the liquid variety, make sure to add the soap before adding any clothing to the water. Detergent should NOT be sprinkled on top of the clothing.
Make a mark on the detergent scoop to make sure you use the right amount of detergent, but not more, when washing your clothes.
Please note that through the years manufacturers have been compacting their formulas, getting rid of fillers and other useless ingredients to save money on packaging.
Overall, this is a good thing, but if you're used to using a bigger scoop you'll need to pay attention so you don't use more than recommended, and waste your money and also make it harder to rinse all the detergent out of your clothes at the same time.
Have I missed any other tips and tricks I should mention when using this type of detergent? If so, please share your additional uses and ideas with me below, in the comments.
You can also check out the ultimate guide to liquid laundry detergent here.
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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