Saturday, November 14, 2009
Detergent - How Much Is Too Much?
We had to replace our dishwasher recently. The appliance repairman said the bottom of our 5-year-top-of-the-line dishwasher was full of suds. Apparently over time this can damage the motor. I had been using the dishwasher gel tablets that you just throw in. Because we have very soft water in our area, it was too much detergent. He suggested I only use 1 teaspooon of dry detergent in the wash bin and 1 teaspoon in the pre-rinse bin. My dishes have never been cleaner. (I store my dry cascade in a tupperware container and spoon out a teaspoon at a time. I found it easier than attempting to only pour 1 teaspooon!)
I also asked why my dishes were not drying well. He noticed I wasn't using rinse aid. This also is a must for newer dishwashers. (Use the amount it calls for if you want dry dishes.)
While I still had the repairman's ear, I asked about laundry. He said the same soft-water-rules apply. He advised me to cut it by about 4 times what the box recommends and see what happens. He also said the dry detergent seems to dissolve faster (who knew?) and may perform better. Again, my clothes were cleaner when I used "below-the-one-line" for my super large loads.
So the moral of the story is, call your local water municipality. If your water is soft, adjust the detergent down and save some money. If it is hard, you may need to use more detergent, but you won't have to wash everything twice. This also applies to shampoo, dish detergent, etc.