Think Twice Before Using Laundry Detergent Pods

“I’m always going to use laundry soap … It’s soap that’s made [specifically] for laundry and then it’s grated or ground,” Richardson said. “It’s going to be the cleanest, most gentle [choice].”

But it can be difficult to find, so, if it’s not available, he recommends buying detergent made specifically for baby clothes, which is also going to be gentle. Just make sure you’re not using pods.

“I don’t care if [your laundry detergent] comes as powder or liquid, but I don’t like pods because I don’t like that you can’t control the amount,” he said. “You don’t need a pod’s worth of detergent … I think you only need about two tablespoons of detergent [for a load], so a bottle of laundry detergent might last you a year because you only need a couple of tablespoons for your clothes to come out clean.” 

Richardson advised that a little detergent goes a long way, like salt.

“When you’re cooking and the recipe says a half tablespoon of salt, and you put it in, it’s delicious,” he said. “But if you’re like, ‘I love salt,’ and you put in a whole cup, it’s ruined, it’s not better. So that’s how to think about detergent: a little bit is really good, because it does what it’s supposed to do. If you add a whole lot more, you actually ruin it.”

There’s a scientific reason for this. Laundry detergent is made up of surfactants, which are compounds that lift dirt and stains from clothes.


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