Detergent Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Detergent

Detergents are cleaning compounds created with different types of cleaning in mind, and the best detergents are ones that satisfy particular needs. Some people are attracted to the detergent designs on bottles, while others are attracted to a specific scent or brand. Understanding what you need and what you like will help you figure out how to choose detergent.

>> Consider the type of cleaning you need to do

When learning how to choose a detergent, first determine the type of cleaning you need to do. Consider the types of things that must be cleaned and the kind of dirt that needs to be removed. Dirty, greasy, grimy work clothes require a heavy-duty detergent and possibly an additive. For heavy cleaning needs, you may need to pre-treat stains or spots. Regular or moderate dirt can be cleaned with a standard detergent, and special care or light dirt requires a delicate detergent or a dry detergent. As you better understand how to choose detergents, appropriate uses will become more apparent.

>> Consider allergies and sensitivities

Some people are allergic to fragrances or dyes that are in most regular detergents, and some people who can tolerate one kind of detergent might have an allergic reaction to others. Think about the people who will be using the items you clean with detergent. Consider unscented detergents or other more natural options that are made without fragrances or dyes.

>> Consider eco-friendly detergents

When you are learning how to choose detergent, notice the many eco-friendly detergents on the market. Many of these are also designed for people with allergies or sensitivities to certain compounds. Consider using eco-friendly or organic cleaning agents for infants' and children's clothes to avoid sensitivities or rashes on their delicate skin.

Many detergents contain a water softening element because hard water inhibits the action of the detergent so that it is not able to sufficiently clean laundry. Take the water softening element into consideration when you think about how to choose detergent.

>> Consider your washing machine

As you learn how to choose detergent, take into consideration the type of washing machine you use. Top loaders require different formulations of detergents than front-loading machines do.

A top-loading standard machine can use any type of detergent other than a high efficiency (HE) detergent. Front-loading washing machines require HE detergents; because HE detergent is not as foamy as regular detergent, a smaller amount is required to clean a load of laundry. Less soap to rinse makes for a more efficient wash.

>> Consider the different types of detergents

When learning how to choose the best detergent, take into consideration the many different detergent brands. Almost every brand of detergent comes in various forms, including powder, liquid, tablets and gel packs. Liquid detergent is the most popular form of detergent. Tablets and gel packs are gaining in popularity due to their ease of use, compact nature and less messy forms.

All detergent is designed to provide the same quality of cleanliness regardless of form. Choosing your cleaning detergents is mostly based upon personal preference, and includes factors such as how soiled your family's clothes are on average as well as the amount of laundry your family does. Detergent benefits vary by brand and type.

>> Consider detergent features

When choosing a detergent, consider detergent features such scent and concentration of its liquid form. Detergents come in many fragrances, such as lavender, fresh line and spring scented. The scent of the detergent you use is often one of the main considerations in how to choose detergent. Concentrated versions are available for all different types of detergents and are designed to clean better with less detergent.

Some detergent brands are formulated for specific types of clothes, while others are usable on any type. Select the brand or type that will work best for the majority of the clothing washed in your home. To determine which features work best for you, perform a detergent comparison with two or more brands.

>> Consider the quantity

When figuring out how much detergent to purchase, think about how many loads of clothes you wash per week and if you can afford to buy great value laundry detergents. Buy in large quantities only if you know that you will be happy with the type you choose, having used it before. If you are trying a new type of detergent, buy a small quantity the first time to make sure you are satisfied with it, and then consider buying a large quantity.

>> Consider laundry additives

When learning about household essentials and how to choose detergent, consider if you need a laundry booster of some sort for stubborn or heavy dirt. Do you have dingy whites that could be brightened with bleach? Could faded colors be brightened with an oxygenator or non-chlorine bleach? Laundry additives are a good idea for homes with hard water. They help preserve the integrity of the fabric while cleaning the clothes. Sometimes not using laundry additives causes your clothes to feel dirty even after they are washed. Add a laundry additive to your grocery supplies list and see if it improves the cleanliness of your clothes.

As you shop for detergent, take the tips discussed in this Guide into consideration in order to select the right brand and formula for your needs. Also keep in mind that certain brands have detergent advantages, including color-safe bleach, white brightening and all-fabric use.

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