Woman in a gray sweatshirt dispensing Swash laundry detergent using the Precision Pour Cap into a Whirlpool washing machine

How Much Laundry Detergent Should I Use in My Washer?

Laundry is simpler and easier than ever, thanks to modern washers and detergents, but knowing how much laundry detergent to use is important to care for your clothes and your appliance. To avoid common laundry problems and get optimal results, your washer and your laundry detergent need to work together.

Laundry detergent is sold in several formats, such as liquid, gel packs and powder, and there are different kinds of washers, too: high-efficiency (HE), non-HE, front load and top load. Using too much laundry detergent (or the wrong type) can result in a laundry list of issues, including residue left on clothing, faded colors and even attracting more dirt. Using more detergent than necessary can encourage odor and residue buildup in your washing machine.

You can help avoid these troubles by using the right amount of the right detergent for every load of laundry. Swash® Laundry Detergent makes this easy with an ultra-concentrated formula and a Precision Pour Cap. Read on for tips and suggestions for perfecting your laundry routine.

Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Clean Laundry on pedestal with scent cues Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Clean Laundry on pedestal with scent cues

3 Signs You're Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

If you notice any of these signs from your washer or clean clothes, you may be using too much laundry detergent:

  1. Inside of the washing basin or washer drum feels slimy
  2. Washer smells musty
  3. White residue left on clothing

These signs may indicate that your washer is struggling to rinse away an overuse of detergent, which can leave behind residue in your washer or on your clothes. Using too much laundry detergent also means you'll have to buy more sooner, costing you more per load.

Of course, you also might be using too little laundry detergent, especially if you have a newer, bigger washer and do larger loads. Don’t worry, though, you can master the art of using the right amount of detergent by paying attention to detergent labels, load size and measurement, or by choosing a laundry detergent product that doses the right amount of detergent for your load.

 

A Detergent That’s Meant for HE Washers

High-efficiency, or HE, washers use significantly less water than non-HE machines, so they require a different concentration of detergent and a smaller dose. If you're unsure whether or not your washer is a high-efficiency model, look for the HE logo on the front of the machine. If the HE logo is present, always use laundry detergent that also has the same logo on the label.

Too much detergent, or a non-HE detergent, in your HE washer could create over-sudsing, excessive rinse cycles or possibly even a bubbly laundry room mess. Make sure you read the detergent bottle and use the proper formula for your machine.

Swash® Laundry Detergent is designed to work in both high-efficiency (HE) and non-HE washing machines. With an 8x concentrated formula, you'll use about a quarter of the amount of detergent you’d need with a traditional 2x concentration detergent. It may look like a small amount, but you’ll be amazed at how effective it is!

A woman dispensing Swash laundry detergent directly into a top loading washing machine using the Precision Pour Cap A woman dispensing Swash laundry detergent directly into a top loading washing machine using the Precision Pour Cap

The Right Amount of the Right Detergent

Eyeballing may work for how much sugar to add to your coffee, but it’s not a good choice for laundry detergent. Traditionally, the best way to determine the correct amount of liquid laundry detergent in any washer has been to use a measuring cup marked with lines that indicate the appropriate amount based on load size and soil level. If you're using one of these detergents, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle to get the best results.

Swash® Laundry Detergent makes measuring the right amount even easier. Now there’s no need for a measuring cup or trying to pour the correct amount of liquid into a bottle cap. The Precision Pour Cap dispenses the right amount of liquid laundry detergent with every squeeze. To use, simply turn the bottle upside down and squeeze firmly until the detergent stops.

When considering how much laundry detergent to use, also think about:

  • Size of the load. The bigger the load, the more detergent you will need.
  • Dirtiness of the laundry. More dirt typically means you need more detergent.
  • Hardness of your water. Hard water contains minerals that lessen the effectiveness of laundry detergent. If you have hard water, then you may need to increase the amount of detergent to effectively remove stains.
Woman carrying a basket of laundry infront of a Whirlpool® Washer and Dryer Woman carrying a basket of laundry infront of a Whirlpool® Washer and Dryer

Swash® Laundry Detergent Dosing Amounts

Medium or Regular Load: 1 squeeze
Squeeze the Swash® bottle once

Large Load: 2 squeezes
Squeeze the Swash® bottle twice

Using Laundry Detergent Packs for Easy Measuring

Since the right amount of laundry detergent makes such a difference for your clothes and your washing machine, it’s no wonder that people love the precision and convenience of pre-measured laundry detergent packs. When you're struggling with how much laundry detergent to use, these packs can make it easier.

A laundry detergent pack contains an individual dose of laundry detergent in a dissolvable packet. Detergent packs eliminate the need for measuring so you get the precise amount of detergent for your load, but they tend to be more expensive than liquid or powder. You also may need to use more than one pack per load if your clothes are especially dirty, you are doing an extra-large load or you have hard water.

How Much Laundry Detergent Powder to Use

Some people prefer a powder laundry detergent for economical everyday use. The same principles apply for precise measuring when you use a laundry detergent powder.

Most detergents come with a measuring scoop in the container, with marks indicating how much detergent to use. Refer to the directions on your detergent powder and remember to adjust for the size of your load, the hardness of your water and the soil level of the clothes.

Do not mix powder and liquid detergents in the same dispenser at the same time as this may clog the dispenser.

Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Nothing being squeezed Swash® Laundry Detergent Smells Like Nothing being squeezed

Read Your Washer Manual to Know How Much Laundry Detergent to Use

The best place to learn about how much laundry detergent to use is the manual that comes with your washing machine. If you can't find it, go to the manufacturer’s website and find the instructions online. Since where and how you insert detergent varies depending on the type of washer you use, it’s best to be informed.

New washers may also have a bulk detergent dispenser, allowing you to add a bottle of liquid laundry detergent at once and let your washing machine dispense the correct amount at the proper time in the wash cycle. You'll need to set the detergent concentration level on your washer to ensure it dispenses the right dose.

Always consult your appliance use & care guide to ensure the concentration setting is correct for Swash® Laundry Detergent or whichever brand you are using. Concentration levels of laundry detergent may be from 1x to up to 8x, so pay attention! Then, simply empty the bottle's contents into the bulk dispenser of your washer.

Swash® Laundry Detergent is 8x concentrated for a powerful clean using only a quarter of the amount of 2x concentrated liquids. One bottle of Swash® contains enough detergent for up to 83 regular loads of laundry.

Family in laundry room doing laundry Family in laundry room doing laundry

Taking Care of Your Washer

Using the right amount of the right detergent can save you time and effort, plus help clean and protect your belongings.

Remember, even when you use the right amount of laundry detergent, HE washing machines need regular maintenance cleaning to work their best. Use the “Clean Washer” cycle and affresh® washing machine cleaner tablets monthly to help remove odor-causing residues and grime daily loads can leave behind.*

All three Swash® Laundry Detergent scents on pedestals with scent cues All three Swash® Laundry Detergent scents on pedestals with scent cues

Swash® Makes Knowing How Much Laundry Detergent to Use Easy

Swash® Laundry Detergent is specially formulated to boost your washing machine’s ability to fight stains. The ultra-concentrated formula is engineered to work with all washing machines.

Since Swash® is 8x concentrated, you'll use less of it than traditional laundry detergents. In fact, one dose of Swash® contains four times the cleaning power of a traditional detergent. The Precision Pour Cap ensures that you use the correct amount of detergent you need to clean and protect your belongings -- no more and no less.

Swash® Laundry Detergent does not contain any ingredients that are harmful to a septic system and is available in the classic Pure Linen scent as well as a Free & Clear formula containing no dyes or perfumes. It’s not currently available in retail stores, but you can buy Swash® on Amazon.com for quick and easy delivery.

*affresh® brand products and the recommending brands' products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.