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How to Choose a Laundry Detergent

Liquid, Powder or Single Dose Pack?

By Mary Marlowe Leverette

How to Choose a Laundry Detergent

Photo by MML

Mary Marlowe Leverette

Many people are as loyal to their laundry detergent as they are to their favorite cola. Some just buy what their mother used and others buy what’s on sale. With so many choices on the market, you’re sure to find one that you like and cleans your laundry.

Liquid or Powdered or Single Dose Pack?

General purpose detergents are available in liquid, powdered or single dose form. All clean clothes well. However, liquid detergents are very effecting on greasy, oily stains and can be easily used as a pretreater. Powdered detergents are usually less expensive to use per load. They are effective on clay and ground-in dirt. Single dose packs are the most expensive and may take two packs to handle really dirty clothes. Take a look at your family’s needs and that will help you make a decision.

Liquids, powders and single packs can be used in cold water; however, some powdered detergents do not dissolve well in lower temperatures. If this is a problem, use a higher wash temperature or dissolve the powder in a cup of hot water before adding it to the wash. Both liquid and powder types are available in concentrated or ultra forms. Be sure to read the labels to ensure that you are using the correct amount.

Single dose packs are pre-measured for an average size and soil load. If you do large loads of laundry or heavily soiled laundry, you may need both.

Combination products

A combination detergent does two jobs. Examples include a detergent plus fabric softener or color-safe bleach or bleach alternative. Some of these features enhance a detergent’s performance.

Specialty Detergents

Detergents that are designed for hand washing or machine washing delicate items are less harsh than regular detergents. Made for light soil and delicate fabrics, they are a good choice in the right situation.

Fragrance and dye free detergents are made for baby’s laundry and those with allergies or sensitive skin. Scented detergents smell great but may compete with your cologne or perfume – Apple Mango and Chanel No. 5 don’t always go together!

Specific questions? Just ask here.

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