When Doing Laundry, Be Careful Not To Overdose

Our less-prone-to-hysterics sister publication Consumer Reports says some laundry detergent caps lead to overdosing when it comes to adding detergent to the wash. Why is this a problem? Aside from wasting money, leaving soap film on clothes, and increasing lint levels, it can actually damage high-efficiency washing machines.

The problem stems from the way the caps are designed, mostly:

“If the lines aren’t clear or are hard to see, it’s easy to overdose and use too much detergent,” says Pat Slaven, a program leader in our Technical department who conducted the detergent testing. “Plus, for all the products we tested, the line for a medium load-the most commonly done load-is less than a full cap, which makes it easier to use too much detergent.” The line for a maximum load is also typically less than a full cap.

I’ll admit, I overdose my clothes every single time I do laundry—there’s some irrational part of me that thinks more detergent=more cleanliness, which of course means God will be on my side and help me smite my enemies. You, however, should not be so vengeful in your laundry chores; take time to read the instructions carefully, and if the cap’s fill lines are hard to see, mark them with a Sharpie so you don’t have to think about it the next time you’re adding detergent. Your clothes and your washer will thank you, and I’ll have more God to myself for smiting power.

“Some laundry-detergent caps can lead to overdosing” [Consumer Reports]