What Type of Laundry Detergent is Best for Soft Water?
Laundry. It is inevitable, and for many, seems to be the chore that never ends. In fact, the average American household washes about 300 loads of laundry every year! To make life easier on your appliances, you’ve just had a new water softener installed. You want your laundry looking it’s best and for your clothes to stand the test of time, so what type of laundry detergent should you use?
How Does Laundry Detergent Work?
Laundry detergent was invented in 1914 by Otto Rohm. Since then, many advances have been made to ensure that your detergent is working hard to keep your clothes clean, bright, and lasting a long time. Detergents are specially formulated to remove dirt from your clothes. They work hand in hand with the temperature of the water and the spinning of the machine. Detergent is made up of surface-active agents, better known as surfactants, which lessen the surface tension of water. This allows the water to help break up dirt as the machine is spinning. Detergent molecules have a head and a tail. The head is not attracted to water, and attaches itself to dirt, grime, and oil. The tail is attracted to water and attaches itself to water molecules. As the washing machine spins, the detergent pulls the dirt, grime, and oil off your clothes, and it gets rinsed down the drain, leaving your clothes clean!
Types of Laundry Detergent
There are three main types of laundry detergent: powder, liquid, and pre-measured pods. Though powder isn’t as common, all these types will work well with soft water. The main thing to remember is to use the proper amount, especially if you are used to living with hard water. The minerals in hard water reduces the effectiveness of laundry detergent, so you need to use more in order to do a good job. After installing a water softener, using too much is a waste of soap and money and can actually create too many suds. While it may look funny when we see it on TV, too many suds can damage your washing machine. It also leaves your clothes dingy from all the soap that didn’t get rinsed out properly. When using detergent in soft water, there is also no need to add any softening agents such as fabric softener or borax. This will also help cut down on costs!
How Do I Choose?
Because pretty much all detergents will work well in soft water, it really comes down to preference when choosing one. Liquid and powdered detergents are formulated to target different kinds of stains. Powder detergent tends to be the most cost-effective and contain powerful cleaning agents that will tackle mud and grass stains, however, isn’t as easy to find in stores as others. Liquid laundry detergent is the most popular with many options on the shelf and are designed to cut stains from grease and oil. Pre-measured pods are the most convenient but have their own drawbacks. They can be more costly per load than powder or liquid soaps, and when washing larger loads, you’ll need to use more than one. Pods are also toxic and not recommended in households with children younger than 6 years old or individuals with dementia.
Save Even More Money
Washing your clothes with soft water saves even more money than simply using less soap. You will no longer need to use any softening agents, like borax and fabric softener. You’ll be able to use colder water to wash and get the same results. Your clothes will be cleaner and last longer!
If you’re concerned that your hard water is inhibiting your soap’s functionality and wrecking your clothes, contact us today. As an authorized WaterCare dealer, we can have one of our technicians come out and test your water to find the right solution for your specific needs. With our full line of advanced WaterCare softeners, we have the right solution for you!