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... just one tablespoon of detergent ? (cont'd)

12 years ago

I'm one of those people who feels that we are being too aggressive at underdosing laundry detergent to the point where soils are re-depositing onto our laundry and machines. Well, this past weekend I decided to shake things up a little. I washed a couple of large loads using only 2 TBSP of detergent.

So what happened? The laundry wasn't as clean, fabrics felt harsh even after using fabric softener, and most noticeable was an almost powdery residue stuck to the sides and bottom of my porthole glass. This residue had fabric fibers and hair embedded in it, and it would come off when rubbed with a wet finger. A load washed right after, using 4 TBSP, showed no evidence of this residue. The next load was washed with a 2 TBSP dose and the residue/powder came back. I was using Tide HE Total Care, which is a liquid. My machine is a Miele W4842, 4.0 cuft IEC capacity, and I have a whole house water softener using potassium instead of sodium.

I am satisfied after running the above "experiment" that underdosing does, in fact, leave stuff behind in your machine. Whether that "stuff" causes mold, mildew and smelly washer syndrome? I don't know - and I don't want to find out! I ran a clean machine cycle and all is well. However, it's not a big leap to imagine this residue building up wash after wash until you have a problem - especially if you wash in cold water or start to coat this residue with fabric softener.

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