Did you know that although most people buy and use just one type of detergent you should get better results using at least two different types, possibly even three, and if you want to use ecological detergent too maybe even four?
Before you write this article off as trying to get you to use more detergent – it’s not. There are no brand names mentioned and no affiliate links. This is about getting the most effective wash results and the best care for your laundry. It shouldn’t really cost more to use different detergents for different jobs anyway apart from the initial outlay of buying and stocking more than one type. You wouldn’t use any more, you’d just share the same amount between different types of wash load.
The main argument for using more than one type of detergent is that washing white and dark laundry are two different jobs, and ideally require specialist detergents.
For whites you need a detergent containing bleaching agents to keep them bright white. You also need this type of detergent for the essential maintenance washes designed to keep your washing machine in good health these days (causes of grease, slime, smells & black mould inside washing machines). However, detergent containing bleaching agents is not so good for dark laundry because it can fade the colours.
- If you only use a detergent that contains bleaching agents, your whites will be lovely and white, but your darks can fade in colour
- If you only use a detergent that doesn’t have bleaching agents your colours will keep their colour much longer but your whites will not remain as bright and white, and can start to look dingy
- Liquid detergent does not contain bleaching agents, neither does detergent designed to look after colours in your laundry such as Ariel colour powder
- Biological detergents should not be used on silks and woollens (see article link below)
- An ecologically friendly or 30 degree wash detergent could also be used occasionally for lightly soiled laundry. It’s early days for them yet and they aren’t so good for heavier soiling, or bedding and underwear etc. but whenever you are just washing something lightly soiled you could use it effectively
I hope to delve much deeper into laundry detergent subjects sometime soon. There’s a lot more to the subject than meets the eye. You may be interested in this thread in my washing machine forum – Which Do You Prefer Washing Liquid Or Washing Powder And Which Brands?
Related: If you have valuable silks to wash or lots of woollens you may need to stock another type of detergent too – Biological washing machine detergents can damage woollens & silks (cause holes)