26 June, 2009

How Much Detergent?

I've thought about posting this for awhile and figured now's a good time lol. Besides, I was just talking to my mom about it the other day.

How much laundry detergent do you use in the wash?

I don't know if its just me... well, no obviously its not because my mom said she'd been doing the same thing (I prob learned it from her)... but I used to always use the recommended amout on the bottle - to whatever line on the cap. No questions asked. The only time I'd do differently was if I was running low.

And then I started to cloth diaper.

In learning how they work and what I'd need to do in washing them I learned (among other things lol) that soap residue is really bad on diapers. Makes sense in more than one way. Absorbancy is the obvious one... but also imagine that against sensative baby bums... Anyways, because of this they tell you to use less soap... only about a quarter (or less) of what it says to... and then you still need to do at least one extra rinse cycle because it will still not all come out.

This brought a couple questions to my mind. One being if diapers, which we all know have all sorts of lovely things on them, will get clean with so much less soap... Why can't our other clothes? And secondly... if that little soap doesn't rinse out in one wash with them, does all that soap we were putting in come out of our other clothes?

So I tested it. I put in my reg amount... and started a new rinse cycle afterwards. When I opened it up part way... Full of soap still. Two full wash cycles later... still full of soap. Turn on the hot water (we wash in cold mostly)... still full of soap. I'm not even kidding. The only time I've seen more soap was when it accidently fell and drained a bottle in there earlier this year lol.

That alone bothers me... because we have 2 people with sensative skin & excema (granted Kalila's is much less severe than Baba's) and a third (me obviously) with mildly sensative skin. We already use a good mild soap, but the thought of it staying on our clothes just doesn't sound right.

So I cut down the amount to the same as I use with diapers. And it works. We still have clean clothes... more so even since there's no soap left lol. I don't like doing extra rinses if I don't have to so I add a little white vinegar to the rinse cycle... It helps get rid of extra soap and is also a softener and kills germs so multipurpose addition there.

Add that to our buying detergent in bulk last year (was the only way to get this particular kind at the time... is now at HEB go figure) and not only have we not had to buy any in a long time.. but we won't need to either. Which is a big benefit to figuring this out... but I still feel kinda silly about using so much before. Please tell me I'm not the only one! j/k


Steph said...

I did use the recommended amount for a while ... but in college my skin got really dry and flakey, and then I was almost out of detergent and stopped using as much, and suddenly my skin cleared up! LOL ... So since then I've always used 1/4-1/2 the amt of detergent recommended.

I mentioned it to my mom, and apparently she never used the full amt of detergent for that reason. She didn't realize that she had never told me to cut the amount down. She said that esp w/ Midland's hard water, it makes it necessary to get all the soap out.

But recently I've been back to using all that's recommended, but just because I'm using a homemade detergent....
( I really like their detergent btw. :)

Mama Kalila said...

I need to check out that site... I've heard from several people that homemade detergent is easy and much better than store, but haven't tried it yet. I want too... but we still have about 4 bottles of detergent left. So its gonna be awhile lol.

Crista said...

I use either 1 oz for heavy, 1/2 oz for regular, or 2 oz for heavy, 1 oz for regular - can't remember which measurment & the laundry's in the basement! It's a very concentrated detergent with no fillers or any of the other junk that's bad for humans, clothes, & washers. (and just in case you're wondering, I linked to your blog from cafemom a while back and haven't stopped reading!)