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Detergent and hard water ---------------
One of things that affects cleaning process is water hardness.
When detergent is used in hard water it produces soap scum. Yes, same stuff that makes that ring inside your bathtub. The harder water, more soap scum.
Water hardness is a measure of its mineral content. So, more minerals, more soap scum. The more scum, less concentrated detergent.
Therefore, if your water is hard you need to compensate by using more detergent per load of laundry. Conversely, softer water less detergent is required to clean clothes. If you read detergent box it will usually indicate how much detergent is needed for different water hardness.
Unsure of your water hardness? Telephone your municipality or water provider and ask for water hardness level. It is quoted in grains. That is, 2-4 grains is soft, 4-6 grains is medium, and above 6-8 grains is hard water. If you don't know your water hardness, then experiment. Cut back on your detergent. If clothes still come out clean, cut back further.
Detergent quantity per load ----------------
Do not assume that amount of detergent suggested on box is correct for you.
The manufacturer is offering general guidelines based upon many variable factors. Load size, dirt content, detergent type, machine type, water hardness, or water temperature all effect amount required. Some experimentation is required to find how much detergent you should use per load.
Also, use a measuring cup to dispense your detergent. The plastic measuring cup that comes in detergent box is there for a reason.
Once perfect amount of detergent required is determined continue to use this same amount for every load. Simply use a marker to draw a line on measure so your amount per load will be consistent.
Remember, simply dumping out a quantity of detergent from box is a very bad idea. It is not only wasteful but will contribute to poor and irregular cleaning results.
New products --------------
In recent years front-loading washer has become common. They have attracted much attention because they use substantially less water and electricity. A front loader uses about 40% less water and 50% less electricity.
The clothes no longer are suspended in a large tub of water. Instead they roll inside a horizontal tub and only pass through water when at bottom of tub.
The clothes are constantly being picked up and then dropped into water. This tumbling action takes place of agitator used in a top load machine.
Along with introduction of front-loader has come a new generation of laundry detergent. It is called high-energy, or high-efficiency detergent. Generally referred to as HE detergent. This type of detergent produces very little suds.
A low sudsing detergent is necessary for a front loader washer. If suds were present theywould form a cushion at bottom of tub, between clothes and water. This would drastically reduce cleaning action of water.
Also, front-loader machines generally require less detergent per load of laundry. Some sources indicate this is because less water needs less detergent to obtain same water to detergent ratio. Other sources suggest it is because HE detergent is more concentrated, and so less is needed to produce same cleaning action.
Although more expensive detergent used by front-loaders can last a long time. For this reason it is often suggested it be stored in a warm, dry location. If exposed to moisture from air it can clump up. If this is then placed into a front-loaders dispenser it may not break down properly resulting in a poor wash.
The Future -----------------
What will future bring to field of laundry detergent and clothes cleaning?
Manufacturers have been hinting at a type of washing machine that requires no detergent. Some think it will take form of a microwave washer.
The dirt is radiated to point where it is virtually vaporized. Sounds like something out of Star Trek.
Others suggest washers may use electrically charged particles to do cleaning. The dirt would be given an electrical charge different from clothing. In this way dirt can then be drawn away from fabric and then disposed of into a filter.
At this point in time these things seem rather far-fetched and theoretical.
Of course same is always said until someone learns how to turn a crazy theory into a practical device.
For more information about detergent check out
http:// www.armandhammer.com http:// www.tide.com
Copyright 2004 Donald Grummett Donald Grummett is an appliance service manager in Ottawa, Canada. In the trade over 30 years as both a technician and business owner. For more information about appliances visit http://www.mgservices.ca