Too Much Soap?

I bookmarked this really interesting article in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, and it’s really changed my washing habits since then. Catherine’s been trying to convince me of this for a long time, but I just wasn’t buying it. Apparently, we use way too much soap in our dishwasher and washing machines. Since both appliances have progressed a lot since their initial introductions, it makes sense that they’re a lot more efficient these days, but our soap suggestions haven’t ever really changed. / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

So, it made me cut back, for sure. Are you oversoaping?

Here is Mr. Schmidt’s test to determine if you’re oversoaping. Take four to six clean bath towels, put them in your front-loading washing machine (one towel for a top loader). Don’t add any detergent or fabric softener. Switch to the hot water setting and medium wash and run it for about five minutes.

Check for soap suds. If you don’t see any suds right away, turn off the machine and see if there is any soapy residue. If you see suds or residue, it is soap coming out of your clothes from the last wash.

And because my mother is the queen of loading a dishwasher to maximize every square inch and clean every possible dish she can jam in, tips on loading a dishwasher correctly:

1. Load large items at the sides and back of the dishwasher so that they don’t block water and detergent from reaching other dishes.2. Place the dirtier side of the dishes toward the center of the machine for more exposure to spray.

3. Load silverware in the individual silverware slots most dishwashers now include. If you have an open basket, mix forks, spoons and knives to prevent them from sticking together.


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