Why You May Want To Rethink Using Powder Laundry Detergent

Washing clothes is a pretty straightforward process that anyone can learn, but there are many important things to consider before starting each cycle. The type of detergent you use is one of them; if you're on a budget or just prefer the lower-priced options, you may opt for the powder version, but over time, powder detergent can actually damage your washing machine.

Some powder detergents work better in machines than others, but many people opt to skip all types of powder laundry detergent. Powder soaps are meant to dissolve in water, but not every type does, or at least not fully. Any undissolved soap does nothing but leave wet, clumpy blobs in your washing machine, which can eventually affect its ability to function by blocking the pump.

The good news is there are ways to ensure that your powder laundry detergent does dissolve during the wash cycle if you don't mind making the extra effort. Or, you can simply use liquid detergent instead, as it offers more benefits.

How to prevent powder laundry detergent residue

If you still want to use powder detergent, there's a way to prevent the destructive buildup that can occur due to the undissolved bits. Store your powder detergent in a dry area, away from moisture, especially if it's contained in a cardboard box. A humid atmosphere can cause the soap to clump even before you open the box.

While you may be tempted to just throw in the soap clumps, there's no guarantee those clumps will dissolve during the wash. Consider transferring the soap into a hard plastic, air-tight container as soon as you bring it home from the store to prevent any moisture exposure. Another tip that may help prevent soap buildup in the washing machine (top load only) is to add the detergent, start the wash cycle, and let it run for a few minutes before adding your laundry. That way, you'll be able to see that the soap has dissolved.

Why liquid detergent is the better choice

Although liquid detergent costs more than powder, many consumers find the benefits of liquid worth the price difference. For one, most liquid detergents offer better stain-removing power than powder for everyday grease and oil stains. And perhaps one of the most obvious benefits is that you don't have to worry about liquid detergent clumping and ruining your washing machine the way powder can.

Another benefit of liquid detergent over powder is that it dissolves better in cold water than powder does. You may prefer to use cold water to protect and preserve your clothing or to save money or energy, so liquid detergent is a great choice for cold water. By the way, if you still opt to use powder laundry detergent, it's important to note that it works best in hot or warm water, as the higher temperatures aid in breaking down the soap.