Why Using Too Much Laundry Detergent is Bad

July 25, 2022

In all the years doing your own laundry, you've probably experienced seeing a lot of starchy residues that make your clothes stiff and rough. Many people actually think that's what newly laundered clothes look and feel like. But the truth is, you're just using too much detergent on your clothes. In this guide, we try to answer the age-old question of how much laundry detergent you should use for a regular load of clothes.

There's Such a Thing as Using Too Much Detergent

One of the main reasons many people have problems with their washing machines is due to the amount of laundry detergent they use. When you add too much laundry soap, it can cause the machine to develop spots, leave residue behind and lead to many other problems. You'll also notice a lot of starchy residue in your washer and on your clothes.

These problems are caused by using too much laundry detergent. You may not be able to see or feel all of this residue, but it's there. Not only are you wasting money on detergent, but you're also washing away all the benefits of the detergent you do use.

The Truth About Laundry Detergents

All detergents are not created equal. Many less expensive brands have more water in them to compensate for the lower quality of ingredients. This can mean you have to use more to get the job done. Higher quality detergents will have a lot less water in them, which means they will produce a smaller amount of suds. But, that's not such a bad thing.

Choosing the right detergent is just one step to getting your clothes clean. How you use that detergent can also make a difference. If your clothes aren't coming clean and are covered in detergent film, you're probably using too much detergent.

How Much Detergent Should You Use?

Most manufacturers recommend using one to two tablespoons of detergent per load, depending on the size and type of load you're washing. That's a good place to start. If you have a small load, you may need less detergent. A large load might need a little more.

A general rule is that the amount of water will equal the amount of detergent. If you use more water, use more detergent. If you're using cold water, you might need a little more detergent.

If using more water and detergent doesn't help your clothes clean any better, you may want to try using less detergent.

More Soap Isn't Always the Answer

As mentioned, when it comes to washing clothes, not all detergents are created equal. When you choose the right kind of detergent, you'll notice that it cleans your clothes better, leaves less residue and creates fewer suds.

Most detergents are formulated to work best with just a tablespoon or two of soap to get your clothes clean. Remember to check the amount of water to detergent ratio. If you're using more water, use more detergent. It's as simple as that.


Using the right amount of laundry detergent can be the difference between getting your clothes clean and getting them dirty. Remember that too much detergent can leave residue in your machine and on your clothes. Look for a detergent that's right for you and your washing machine. With a little experimentation, you'll get your clothes clean and your washing machine running smoothly.

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