What is the best detergent?
Powder detergent is easy to dose, though the disadvantage is that remains might stay behind in the detergent drawer. Make sure to rinse the drawer regularly with water and remove the remains with an old toothbrush. The cleaning performance depends on the brand, though tests suggest that powder detergent does perform better for white laundry. That's because powder detergent contains bleaching agents.
Fluid detergent is a concentrated form of detergent. You won't have to use as much for the same cleaning performance as you would with powder detergent, and the packaging is often smaller. You do run the risk of using too much detergent. Make sure to check the detergent packaging for the right dosage. On top of that, washing at low temperatures with liquid detergent may cause your washing machine to start smelling, because not all detergent remains are washed away.
Capsules work the same as liquid detergent. The difference is that a capsule is directly placed in the drum with the laundry rather than in the detergent drawer. The disadvantage of capsules is that the amount of detergent is determined beforehand. They're designed for a specific kind of dirt and load capacity. Make sure to read the packaging well.
Detergent for colors or detergent for whites
When do you use detergent for colors and when do you use detergent for whites? That fully depends on the kind of laundry you're going to clean. Detergent for whites is developed specifically for white laundry. As mentioned before, powder detergent for white laundry contains an optical bleaching agent, while liquid detergent doesn't. You don't want to use this in combination with colored laundry, as it will make the colors fade. A detergent for colors is designed to protect the colors of your clothes and doesn't contain bleaching agents. Detergent for colors is very versatile, and can be used for both your colored and white laundry.
Cleaning with vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile detergent. Cleaning vinegar also has various applications for cleaning laundry.
- Vinegar against pesky smells
Do your clothes smell like sweat, even after cleaning? Pour a cup of vinegar into the pre-wash slot in your detergent drawer. Run a normal cycle, including a pre-wash cycle. The high acidity of the vinegar will break down the pesky smells.
- Vinegar as a fabric softener
Does your laundry feel hard and tough after cleaning? Use fabric softener. If you don't want your clothes to have the smell that's often put in fabric softener, use vinegar as a fabric softener. Detergent remains and lime in the water lead to tough clothes. The descaling and cleansing function of vinegar ensures softer results.
- Pre-rinsing clothes in vinegar
Other than using vinegar while washing, you can also use it as a soaking agent. Vinegar keeps colors from fading or bleeding. You can do this by soaking your clothes overnight in a bucket with cold water and a splash of vinegar. You can also do this to restore colors for faded clothes. Rinse the clothes before running a cycle, or use a pre-wash cycle.
Where does the detergent go?
When doing laundry, you want to be sure you're putting the detergent in the right slot. A detergent drawer usually has 3 slots for detergent and fabric softener. Each slot has its own marking. These indicate whether the slot is meant for the main cycle, the pre-wash cycle, or for fabric softener.