What factor determines our choice when buying washing powder? Personal experience, advice from friends, advertising? If the tool is proven, has long been positively proven, then there are no questions. When discussing how to choose a washing powder in 2022, experts advise first of all to take into account the safety and quality of the product.
The main criteria for choosing a washing powder
Laundry detergent is 100% chemical, so it is inherently anti-environmental. But modern man has become so adapted to the overwhelming influence of chemicals in everyday life that we are only puzzled by the question of which one is the least dangerous to health. Powders for washing machines must undergo a certification procedure, as evidenced by a special badge on the packaging. But the presence of a badge does not guarantee the impossibility of forgery. You need to be careful when choosing detergents in economy class stores, where prices are lower than the average market prices. Laundry detergent for automatic machines is often produced in polyethylene packages of various sizes. It is easy to package counterfeit products in such containers; it is difficult to identify a fake, so it is worth comparing the price and appearance of the powder in different stores and not acting according to the rule “mean pays twice”.
Safe for health automatic powder is not necessarily the best in quality. These two criteria are not related. The choice of powder for a washing machine is empirically made by the buyer himself, using several equally safe products in turn. The primary choice is influenced by advertising, aggressively invading people’s minds. In practice, a little-known powder often washes clothes better than the “hero” of an advertising plot. Buyers choose a product not only according to the main criteria — safety and quality, but also according to subjective ones: profitability, the aroma they like, etc.
Analysis of the powder composition
All washing powders are similar in composition. They contain:
- Surfactants. This is the basis of the detergent.
- Bleachers. Chlorine-containing bleach is harmful to health and destroys tissues, it is better to choose oxygen.
- Enzymes are bioadditives that break down organic contaminants. Active only at low water temperatures.
- Polymers are substances that prevent dirt particles from settling on washed linen.
- Perfumes. Scented linens.
- Defoamers. Prevent the formation of abundant foam, so as not to damage the mechanism of the washing machine.
- Softeners. Included in powders for delicate washing. Prevents deformation of products made of delicate fabrics.
Children’s clothes are washed with special powders, which do not contain bleach, enzymes and other chemical compounds dangerous for the delicate skin of a child. There are detergents for certain types of fabrics, colored and white linen, etc.
Laundry detergent laboratory testing
The quality of powder for washing machines is determined by careful selection and combination of its constituent substances. It is important for the consumer that the information on the packaging of the detergent is true. To make sure of this, manufacturers (less often, consumers) order testing in independent laboratories.
If two powders are tested, the control wash is carried out simultaneously on two identical machines. The same amount of detergent is measured, two pieces of fabric identical in composition, size, shape and degree of contamination are placed in the drum of automatic machines. Moreover, contaminated samples are produced in a special way at European enterprises, since their Russian counterparts are not recognized at the world level. For the purity of the experiment, contaminated samples are even placed in the drum of machines in the same way. The start time, end time and all washing processes, the amount and temperature of water, the energy spent — all these indicators are carefully recorded by special devices. At the end of washing, the samples are removed from the automatic machines and tested on optical equipment: the technique determines differences in the colors of the fabric that are invisible to the eye.
Powder: recommendations for selection
Detergents are selected according to the types of washing machines, types of fabrics and the characteristics of the dirt on them. Information about the appointment of the powder is contained on the package.
For automatic washing machines, powders with low foaming are used. The detergent packaging contains the word “automatic”, a round door or a picture of a front-loading washing machine. Sometimes the prefix «matic» is indicated next to the name. In no case should you use powders for hand washing — they will damage the machine.
The instructions for using the detergent tell in detail how much powder is calculated for one wash. If you pour too much detergent into the dispenser, a lot of foam will form, which is dangerous for automatic washing machines. When washing 2-3 items, use less powder.
The use of liquid detergent is limited to low temperatures.
If the washing program in cold water is started, the powder is used less than usual: at low temperatures it does not dissolve well, which means that a certain amount of the product will be wasted.
Experts advise thick fabric softener to be diluted with water so that it is consumed without residue during washing, without settling on the walls of the dispenser. Some powders are placed directly into the drum of the washing machine, and not in a special container. By following these recommendations, consumers will be able to successfully choose and use detergents economically, as well as extend the life of their household appliances.
See also — Rating of the best fabric softeners