Which Laundry Detergent Should You Use?

Walk down the laundry detergent aisle in your supermarket and you’re bound to get overwhelmed with all the choices on the shelves. Powder? Liquid? Pods? Are they all the same? Does it matter what kind you choose?

Powder vs. Liquid

Powder detergents are great for normal everyday loads and usually outperform liquids in overall stain removal. They’re also cheaper than liquids, so you’ll save money with them. Powder detergent is stable so you can buy it in bulk and not worry that it’s losing effectiveness over time. When using a powder detergent, it’s important to completely dissolve the powder in your machine’s washtub before adding your clothes so that no white streaks are deposited onto your laundry. Make sure you use a separate pre-treatment spray for difficult stains and always add a little more powder than recommended if you have hard water.

Liquid detergents are more convenient than powder since it’s already dissolved and you can apply extra liquid directly to stains as a pre-treatment. Most people prefer liquid detergent, and there are many more brand choices on the shelves with added fragrances, oxygen stain fighters and color-safe bleach. There are also special formulas for use in cold water if you’re trying to save on energy costs and sports formulas to attack smelly workout clothes. If your clothes tend to get oily stains or have food spills, liquid detergent is the best bet.

Pods

Relatively new to the market, detergent pods are small, pre-measured gel-encased packs that go directly into the washtub with your clothes. Pods have gotten mixed reviews for cleaning power, but are great for those who don’t want to be bothered with measuring and pouring detergent. That convenience comes with a price, however, as one pod can cost more than three times the amount per load you’d spend with traditional detergents. Additionally, heavily soiled loads require two pods, so keep that in mind if you’re budget conscious.

Special Concerns

No matter what laundry detergent you choose, always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Too much detergent leaves a gunky residue and redeposits soil, while too little detergent leaves your clothes gray and dingy. Always use the hottest water possible for your fabrics to enjoy optimal results.

If you request a certain laundry detergent, the professionals at Laundry Angels will accommodate you or will gladly choose the right detergent for your needs.

How Stain Removal Works

There’s more work than meets the eye when it comes to getting laundry clean. Throwing a load into the washer, adding detergent and pushing the start button will not always produce good results, especially when targeted stain removal is needed. Using a laundry service may be the right choice for you or your company to take the time and guesswork out of tackling tough stain removal problems and instead focus on enjoying crisp, clean clothes.

Proper stain removal requires the right tools and know-how. One over-hyped infomercial product can’t remove all laundry stains, despite how loudly the salesman shouts. Different stains require different removal techniques. Different fabrics require different cleaning products and water temperatures. Your laundry service will take all of the factors into consideration and use one or more of the following methods to destroy stains: dissolve, emulsify, or digest. Here’s how it works.

Dissolving the Stain

“Like dissolves like” This is a tried and true rule when it comes to stain removal. Using a solvent that is chemically similar to the stain will always yield best results. For a water-based stain like cola, a water-based solvent such as soapy water or club soda will do the job. For a greasy stain like motor oil, an alcohol-based solvent like mineral spirits is the answer. Water is the universal solvent. Although it can’t always remove stains on its own, it is usually quite effective and rarely, if ever, makes the stain worse.

Emulsifying the Stain

Soap and detergent are known as emulsifiers, or surfactants. They do their job by coating the stain and lifting it to the surface to be rinsed away. Emulsifiers are effective against oil and water-based stains. Their chemical make-up contains molecules that have a polar head that is attracted to water and a hydrocarbon tail that attaches to oil. These molecules work in tandem to attack the stain so it can be washed away.

Digesting the Stain

Enzymes are used to break apart protein stains. They digest fat and protein particles in clothing similar to how they digest food in the body. Some laundry detergents include enzymes. They can be added to the wash cycle separately as a “booster” or applied directly to the stain in liquid or stick form. Common protein stains include blood, dairy products, chocolate, body soils and mud.

How Often Should Your Clothes REALLY Be Washed?

All clothing is NOT created equal! You might have assumed that all articles of clothing need to be washed after each use. It may have even become a habit to throw all of your clothes in the hamper at the end of each day.

The truth of the matter is that each article of clothing is different, and should be washed after a certain amount of “wear”. You may be thinking to yourself, “what’s the big deal if I wash clothes more than I should?” So what if your clothing is cleaner than it should be, it’s better than the other way around, right? Not necessarily.

Over-washing can shorten the lifespan of your clothes greatly. Think of all the tossing and turning that each piece of clothing goes through after each wash: it’s a rough cycle that could wear them right out of commission. If you want to wear that old college tee to bed for years to come, follow this washing guide:

 

Dress Shirts/Polo Shirts/Tee Shirts

  • Every one to two wears.

Pants and Shorts

  • Every three to four wears.

Jeans

  • Greatly debated, but the most agreed upon length of time between washes is five to six wears. (Levi Strauss and Co. suggests washing every six months!)

Dresses

  • Every one to two wears.

Jackets and Blazers

  • Every five to six wears.

Coats

  • Every one to two months.

Pajamas

  • Every three to four wears.

Bras

  • Every three to four wears.

Underwear

  • Every wear.

Socks

  • Every wear.

 

The key is finding the happy medium between cleanliness and longevity. What better place to find this medium than at Laundry Angels? We will even come to you to pick up your laundry so you don’t have to find time to come to us. We are currently picking up clothes every Monday and will have your clothes back at your door, washed and folded, on Tuesday. Schedule your pickup, today!

Benefits of Using a Laundry Service

There are many benefits to working with a laundry service like Laundry Angels. The two major benefits that stand out the most are the time you save and the professional washing that your clothes experience.

More time in your schedule

Laundry can be an extremely time consuming process. If you have a washer and dryer at home, then you know that it takes longer than one would think. It’s not just a wash, dry, then fold process – it is much more than that. From separating all of the clothes to ensure no articles of clothing are washed incorrectly to folding and separating the clothes for each person in your home, it can turn into a day long process depending on how many loads of wash you need to do. If you have to go to a laundromat itself, then it does take a full day between the variables of working machines, which machines are not taken, how long the clothes need to wash and dry for, how long it takes you to get to the laundromat, etc.. Eliminate the time consuming laundry process by having Laundry Angels pick up your clothes, professionally wash, dry, and fold them, and then deliver the clean clothes directly to your home.

Professionally Cleaned

With a laundry service, you no longer have to worry about how to wash your clothes. Like most people, you probably don’t understand what those symbols mean on the tags of your clothes. These symbols indicate a wide range of washing methods from cold water only to hand wash only. Ensuring that you are washing your clothes correctly directly impacts how long your clothes will last. Allow professionals who understand these symbols and keep your clothes looking as great as when you first got them. In addition, if a stain sets in your clothes you could rely on professionals to take care of it for you and not frantically Google home remedies for stain removals.

Call Laundry Angels today to get a “load” off of your mind and have them take care of your laundry, every time.