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CleaningMatters logo sm November/December 2011

Helping Hands at the Holidays

Getting Everyone on Board with Proper Dosage

With family and friends descending for the holidays, the number of helping hands in your household will (hopefully!) increase. But as dishes and laundry pile up, you may need to give those helpers a bit of direction. Not everyone understands the importance of reading the cleaning-product labels and using the proper dosage, which means using the correct amount of product for the job at hand.

In particular, when it comes to dishwashing detergent and laundry products, many people tend to guess about how much product to use and don't give any thought to the consequences of using too much or too little. In the dishwasher, too little detergent means that the dishes, glassware and utensils don't come out clean, but instead, if your water is hard, with film and spots on them. Still-dirty items will need to be rewashed by hand or put back into the dishwasher for another cleaning cycle. Too much detergent can also leave a film over everything. Over time, if you consistently use too much detergent, it can damage the machine.

In the case of laundry, using too much detergent can make your clothes stiff and dingy. In addition, overdosing may require that consumers repeat the wash cycle. For consumers who are working to be more environmentally conscious, this can defeat the purpose and cause more water and energy to be used.

So, with extra hands on board, take time to be sure that everyone knows how to use your cleaning products for maximum results. The best way to do this is to encourage them to read and follow the product manufacturer's recommendations to determine how much product they should use, says Nancy Bock, Vice President of Consumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute ®. No one wants to waste product, energy or water, but sometimes they need someone to show them the way!

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