Why More Detergent Isn't Better for Your Clothes

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010  |  Updated 2:43 AM CDT
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Too Much Detergent Can Ruin Clothes, Washer

NBCDFW.com

Many of us think that the more detergent, the cleaner the clothes. We're wrong.

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Too Much Detergent Can Ruin Clothes, Washer

Many of us think that the more detergent, the cleaner the clothes. We're wrong.
More Photos and Videos

When it comes to laundry, many of us think that the more detergent, the cleaner the clothes.

But appliance experts say it's not just wasteful -- it can ruin your washer and the clothes in it.

“In this situation, more is not better,” said Alex Liotta, a sales associate at a Dallas Best Buy.

A recent study by a detergent company found 53 percent of people don't use the recommended amount of soap.

Mark Latham, a Dallas father of four, is one of those who are guilty of overdosing on detergent.

"As a man, definitely just pour it in there, as much as you can," he said.

Liotta said more and more customers are buying high-efficiency washing machines. Because the machines use less water, they don't have the ability to break down excess detergent like more conventional models could.

“The excess will rest in the machine, and that's where you have mold and smell issues,” he said.

Besides a stench, there's also the risk of stains.

“If you use too much, maybe a certain area of shirt or pant will look a different color," he said.

Making laundry even more confusing, the latest generation of detergents are ultra-concentrated, which mean you need even less detergent per washload.

Liotta said the best advice is to, “Follow the cap, follow the tray.”

Several detergent-makers plan to introduce new measuring caps with bigger numbers and more defined measuring lines.

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