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Ultra Detergent Dynamics

Tips for getting optimum results from your concentrated detergent

"If a little bit is good, more is better." When it comes to laundry detergent, this is a myth that definitely needs to be put to rest!

Although concentrated laundry products have been around since the 1960s, the number of offerings has increased in recent years. In some cases, the term "concentrated" has been replaced by "ultra," which denotes both increased concentration and increased quality. Unfortunately, some consumers focus on the latter and forget about the former. Then they wonder why they aren't getting optimum cleaning results.

Nancy Bock, Vice President of Consumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), offers some insights into why the cleaning products industry is focusing on detergents and how you can get the best possible results on laundry day.

Good for the environment

Decreased impact on the environment is a driving force behind the development of concentrated detergents. Concentrated formulas mean:

  • Smaller containers. This means less plastic, which translates into less packaging to recycle or dispose of.
  • Less water. Manufacturers use less water in product formulation, which means reduced use of this precious natural resource.
  • More efficient transport. Smaller containers mean less fuel and lower shipping rates per item to bring these products to the marketplace. This helps control greenhouse gases and other emissions. At home, these benefits translate into a longer-lasting product that takes up less shelf space in the laundry room.

Good for your laundry
The proper dosage is key to getting optimum results. Many consumers use twice the recommended amount of concentrated detergent. Not only is this unnecessarily hard on your wallet, but it can create other problems, too.

  • Too much detergent can make your clothes stiff and dingy.
  • Detergent overdose can shorten the life of your washing machine.

So, how do you know how much detergent is enough? Just follow these two simple rules:
Rule 1: Read the product label and use the recommended amount.
Rule 2: Measure, don't pour.

Even those who think they are measuring detergent properly may be in for a surprise. Nancy Bock suggests this test:

  • Put two matching glasses side by side.
  • Take the dosage cap from your detergent and fill it with the amount you would normally use for one load of wash. Pour it into one of the glasses.
  • Now read the detergent manufacturer's dosage directions. Following these directions, carefully fill the dosage cap with the recommended amount for one load of wash. Pour it into the second glass.

How do the two glasses compare? If they are almost equal, good for you! If the first glass has significantly more detergent, let it be your wake-up call to change your detergent habits and improve your laundry results.