From the Fringe: The Laundry Detergent Conspiracy

Posted on Apr 19, 2024

Ezekiel Diet Note:  Laundry detergent, I know – who cares about laundry detergent? But I stumbled onto some information I thought was interesting.

I’ve been using a famous brand High Efficiency (HE) liquid detergent in every major retailer that claims it’s plant based, cleaner/healthier for several generations, I mean years without issue.  I tried an Aldi knock-off brand that caused a skin rash and I was back to the famous plant based expensive brand.

I probably don’t have to tell most people how fast laundry detergent is escalating in price. When I see a deal I buy several as a hedge against inflation.

I started suspecting my current brand changed the formula of their High Efficiency (HE) laundry detergent when I started getting a skin rash like the Aldi brand.  I also considered the possibility that I was using too much detergent and maybe it just wasn’t rinsing completely out, or as well. Or, because I always have several bottles on hand maybe it’s settling and needs to be shook up before use.

I think all three of the possible causes are at play, 1) using too much, 2) using short cycle washes that don’t rinse excess detergent, and 3) not shaking the bottle occasionally if it’s sat for a while.

Intuitively for years I would use a 1/4 or 1/3rd cap for small loads; half a cap for medium and almost full cap for full loads. I probably always reasoned more is better, but that’s not the case with detergent. I wondered if using the 1/4, 1/2 or full cap was too much.

For the first time in my life I got a magnifying glass and actually read the fine print instructions on the bottle. What I found interesting is the instructions were obfuscated and what I believe to be intentional misleading. The instructions said for small loads fill the cap to the first line; medium use the second line and for full or heavily soiled use the 3rd line. But there are no lines in the cap. Obviously the detergent seller has good reason for obfuscating how much product to use. Most people probably use way too much.

So I went online and started looking around for non-biased sources for how much HE liquid laundry detergent I should be using. Readers Digest in an article and the chart below says 2 teaspoons. I thought, no way. Then I considered a half a teaspoon of shampoo makes a lot of suds in the shower. So 2 teaspoons may be all you need.

If this is the case you could get 150 to 200 loads out of a HE laundry detergent size marked for 64 loads. I think I’ll transfer the laundry detergent to an empty dish soap squirt bottle and start using it more sparingly.


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