What Happens If You Use Too Much Laundry Detergent?

Laundry detergent is a staple in many homes. The right kind will help to brighten your clothes, kick out some of the stains, and help the clothes to last a long time. But what happens if you use too much laundry detergent?

Using too much laundry detergent can cause damage to your clothes and the washing machine. The suds can get deep into the machine, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow and the components of the washing machine to clog and cause leaks.

It is easy to use too much laundry detergent in your machine without realizing there is a problem. Learning how much laundry detergent is just enough, and how much is too much, can help you get the clean clothes you want.

How Much Laundry Detergent Should You Be Using?

When cleaning your clothes, you will need to use the right amount of laundry detergent to make sure your clothes are clean without causing damage to the machine. The type of laundry detergent you go with will help determine the amount you should use too. The chart below can help you determine how much to use.

  Standard Washer HE Washer
2 X Liquid Detergent 2 Tbsp. 2 tsp.
Soft water 1 ½ Tbsp. 1 ½ tsp.
Powder Detergent ¼ to 1/3 cup 2 Tbsp..
Premeasured Pack 1 pack 1 pack

Sticking to these amounts or less will help to protect your washing machine and can help it to last a lot longer.

Can Too Much Detergent Cause Your Washing Machine to Leak?

Using too much laundry detergent can cause the washer to leak over time. This has to be a consistent problem, enough that the detergent and the suds that come with it will start to clog up the washing machine. This is more commonly found in homes that have a water softening system in place. The drum and different components will need to be cleaned out to avoid the leaking in the future.

powder detergent

What Damages Can Too Much Detergent Do to Your Washing Machine?

Frequently using too much laundry detergent will cause damage to the washing machine. The detergent itself can start to deteriorate the parts and clogging is a major issues that will cause leaks. If too much detergent is used, the homeowner may need to clean out the whole machine or purchase new parts to keep the machine working well.

Does Too Much Laundry Detergent Cause Your Clothes to Smell?

Too much laundry detergent can cause your clothes to smell. When the laundry detergent is left behind in the machine, it can result in mold and mildew to grow in the machine. This mold and mildew will mix in with the water and get all over your clothes as they are getting cleaned in the process. If you frequently clean clothes in your washer and they come out smelling bad, this is a sign that too much detergent is being used and the washing machine needs cleaning.

What to Do If You Put Too Much Detergent in the Washer?

It is time to do some cleaning if there is too much detergent in your washing machine. Empty the machine out and then use a dry cloth to remove all of the bubbles and residue as you can. You may need to use more than one cloth to accomplish this.

With the machine clean, fill it up with water, adding two cups of distilled white vinegar in. let the washing machine run a full cycle. The vinegar will rinse out the detergent and break down the excessive amount of soap. If the vinegar smell is too much, run the washing machine a second time to clean it out.

How to Tell If You Used Too Much Detergent?

There are different signs that will show whether you are using too much laundry detergent or not. Some of these include:

1. The basin of the washer is slimy: Since the machine isn’t breaking down the detergent, it is accumulating on the side of the washer and making it slimy.

2. The machine has a foul odor: Too much detergent in the washing machine will create scum buildup and can allow mold and mildew to grow, which can smell bad.

3. The washer stops draining: The laundry detergent can start to clog up the washing machine, making it hard for water to drain out.

4. Dark spots on clothing: This is a sign that there is mildew and mold inside of the washing machine boot, caused by the laundry detergent being in the way.

When any of these problems are present when you wash your clothes or use the washing machine, it is time to limit how much detergent you use.

Does the Type of Laundry Machine Matter?

Equator 1.6 cu.ft. Compact Washer with Winterize in WhiteWhen using a front load washer, you will need a lot less detergent than you would for a top load. These front load machines are more energy efficient and use less water, which means you need less detergent for it to clog up the machine. The front-load washer will need about a fourth of the laundry detergent as the top-load washers.

Related Questions

Can Using Too Much Laundry Detergent Cause a Rash?

Too much laundry detergent can cause a condition known as contact dermatitis. This presents on the body as a red, itchy rash. It can spread along the body or just occur in one area.

Can Using Too Much Laundry Detergent Cause Mold?

When laundry detergent doesn’t drain out of the washing machine, it will start to build-up inside. This can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. A thorough washing of the machine can help clean this out.

Can Too Much Laundry Detergent Discolor My Clothes?

While the laundry detergent itself will not discolor the clothes, the amount that is left behind can cause some problems. The laundry detergent can turn to mold and mildew in the machine and when your clothes come in contact with it, this will cause a discoloration of the clothes.

Final Thoughts

Using too much detergent in your washing machine can cause a lot of damage to your clothes and to the washing machine. Knowing your machine and the exact amount of detergent to use can make the clothes look nice and bright, while keeping the washing machine in good shape.