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How Much Detergent to Use in Washing Machine

When it comes to laundry, one of the most common questions is, how much detergent to use in a washing machine? In this short guide, we'll explore the appropriate amount of detergent to use in different types of washing machines.

We'll also discuss how to deal with detergent buildup and the signs that indicate whether you're using too much or too little detergent. After all, getting this right is crucial for effectively cleaning and maintaining the longevity of your washing machine.

Whether you're wondering “How are detergents made?” or “Is laundry detergent toxic?”, we're here to answer all your laundry-related questions.

What this article covers:

How Much Laundry Detergent to Use

Based on our observations, the amount of laundry detergent you need depends on several factors: the type of washing machine you have, the size of the load, water hardness, the level of soil on your clothes, and the detergent you're using.

Let's break down the specifics for each type of washing machine.

How Much Detergent To Use In Top Loader Washing Machines

For a standard top loader, using about 60 grams of detergent is typically sufficient. This amount ensures effective cleaning without leaving residue on your clothes or in the machine.

In top loader machines, the water level and load size are key factors in determining the right amount of detergent. For smaller loads or less soiled clothes, you can reduce the amount. However, for larger or heavily soiled loads, you might need to increase the detergent to ensure thorough cleaning.

Apart from the load size and soil level, water hardness can also influence detergent effectiveness. In areas with hard water, you might need a bit more detergent to combat the minerals in the water. 

how much laundry detergent to use

For an eco-friendly choice, consider our Activated Eco laundry detergent sheets. These sheets are perfectly pre-measured, making them ideal for top-loader washing machines.

How Much Detergent To Use In Front-Loader Washing Machines

Front-loader washing machines generally require less detergent compared to top loaders. A good rule of thumb is to use about 30 grams of detergent. This amount is effective for most laundry loads without causing excess suds or residue.

Front loaders are designed to be more efficient with water and detergent usage, needing less detergent for the same cleaning power.

When using a front loader, it's also essential to consider the type of detergent. If you're using our laundry sheets for smaller loads or less-soiled laundry, simply tear a sheet in half.

How Much Detergent To Use In High-Efficiency Washers

In high-efficiency (HE) washers, the amount of detergent needed is significantly less than in traditional washers. About 15 to 20 grams of detergent per load is generally sufficient.

Our laundry detergent sheets are ideal for HE washers. One sheet, which is about 15 grams, is perfect for an 8.5kg load.

How to Remove Detergent Buildup From Clothes

Detergent buildup on clothes can be a pesky problem, often leading to stiff fabrics and reduced effectiveness of the clothing's breathability. Fortunately, there are effective methods to tackle this issue and restore your clothes to their pristine state.

Preventative Measures

Prevention is key to avoiding detergent buildup. Use the correct amount of detergent, as previously discussed. Overloading the washer or using too much detergent can prevent clothes from rinsing properly, leading to buildup.

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If the hassle is too much, use our sheets. They dissolve completely and leave no residue, ensuring your clothes come out clean and free from buildup.

Vinegar Soak

One of the simplest and most effective ways to remove detergent buildup is by using a vinegar soak.

We suggest soaking the affected laundry in a mixture of vinegar and water in a deep sink or bathtub. First, mix 1 cup of vinegar with 3-4 liters of water, and then submerge your clothes in this solution.

Laundry Stripping

Laundry stripping is another popular method for removing detergent buildup. This involves filling a tub with hot water and adding a mixture of borax, washing soda, and laundry detergent in a 1:1:2 ratio.

The combination of these ingredients works to strip away not only detergent residue but also mineral buildup and body oils that regular washing might miss.

Signs You're Using an Excessive Amount of Detergent

Laundry day raises several questions, from “Does laundry detergent kill germs?” to “Does detergent expire?”. Among them is the question of how to tell whether you're using too much detergent. Here's how to tell so you can adjust your detergent usage.

Clothing Spots Or Dullness

Our findings show that one clear sign of using too much detergent is when your clothes come out of the wash with spots or have lost their brightness. This happens because the excess detergent is too hard to rinse out completely, affecting the appearance and feel of your clothes.

Excessive Suds

An overabundance of suds during the wash cycle is a telltale sign of too much detergent. High-efficiency washers, in particular, are designed to use less water, which means they can't handle excessive suds.

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This can lead to suds spilling out of the machine or clothes not being rinsed properly.

Residue In The Washing Machine

If you notice a buildup of soapy residue in your washing machine around the door seal or detergent drawer, it's likely a result of using too much detergent. This residue can lead to mold and mildew growth in the machine, causing odors and potentially affecting its performance.

Signs You're Using Too Little Laundry Detergent

While it's important to avoid using too much detergent, using too little can also lead to problems. Recognizing the signs of insufficient detergent usage can help you make the necessary adjustments.

If your clothes come out of the wash still feeling dirty or greasy, it's a strong indication that you're not using enough detergent. Insufficient detergent means that dirt, oils, and odors may not be fully removed during the wash cycle, leaving your clothes less than fresh.

Our research indicates that persistent stains and odors are telltale signs of using too little detergent. When there's not enough detergent to break down and lift away stains and odors, they can remain in the fabric, even after washing.


Knowing how much detergent to use in a washing machine is essential for both the cleanliness of your clothes and the longevity of your machine. Whether you have a top loader, front loader, or high-efficiency washer, the right amount of detergent varies.

Remember, factors like load size, soil level, and water hardness also play a role in determining the correct amount. For a hassle-free solution, our Activated Eco laundry detergent sheets offer a pre-measured alternative.

Peruse Activated Eco, and let's make laundry more eco-friendly together!

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