More Laundry Soap Is Not Always Better

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Dear Home-Ec 101,
I have what is probably a stupid question, but I’d really love an answer. If I have a particularly dirty load of laundry (say, woke up to find the cat had puked on the bed), does it do any good to add extra laundry detergent? In other words, does more detergent=cleaner laundry?
Kickin’ The Cat

does more detergent equal cleaner laundry


WinkIvy says:

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Actually, no, more laundry detergent is not better, and your clothes will definitely not come cleaner if you add more.  There actually may be more residue left on your clothing after using more detergent than is recommended.  If you have something that is especially dirty and want to get it cleaner, pre-treat with a stain remover, and then wash it in a smaller load than usual, but using the same setting on the washer. (For example, if you usually wash on “large load”, then keep it on large, but wash a small load) The additional water flowing through your clothes should help in getting the item cleaner.

And why is it that cats always puke on the bed? Mine do too! Argh!

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7 thoughts on “More Laundry Soap Is Not Always Better”

  1. It’s all some kind of animal conspiracy. It’s the same with dogs. They pick the middle of the night on whatever spot of carpet hasn’t already been thrown up/peed/pooped on to hoark up whatever they weren’t supposed to have eaten a few hours ago.

  2. I’m going to add the smaller load technique to my stain-fighting repertoire!
    What I usually do is soak the load overnight and add some kind of oxygenating booster (like Oxyclean) with the detergent. Also, hanging laundry in the sun also sanitizes/deodorizes it.

  3. I’ve always been tempted to add more detergent for particularly heinous crud on things. I do wash few things in BIG load when that happens which probably also isn’t good for the machine. Ack pets.

  4. My dog always pukes on my carpet. He never pukes on tile or wood. I don’t know why. Even when he starts to heave I’ll move him to the kitchen and he runs back into the living room.

  5. @Margolis, Oxyclean soaking ruined lots of my clothes! Yes it removed or reduced stains but after 6 months or a year I noticed most of my stuff has little holes in it and is falling apart, which they did not over years of washing before. I thought, unlike chlorine bleach, which certainly weakens clothes, the peroxide bleach would not do the same. Well it does, maybe less than chlorine, but IMO find another way to deal with stains.


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