We’re giving away a 5-Piece Laguiole Knife Set! Enter to win today →

When it comes to cleaning our clothes, there is no limit to how much detergent we can use, right? Wrong!

Apparently, there is such a thing as too much detergent, and it can actually cause your clothes to come out even dirtier than when they went in.

Photo: Unsplash

According to Apartment Therapy, there are several makers of laundry detergent that have cautioned users to not put in more than the required amount per load.

Even Tide has stated that putting in too much detergent will cause an excessive build-up of bubbles which can have the opposite of the intended effect as these suds will create a barrier between the clothes. This means that the clothes will not be able to scrub against each other inside the washing machine and will, therefore, not get clean.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, these suds are meant to help collect dirt and grime from off your clothing. If there are too many suds in the wash, the bubbles will actually get stuck within your clothing, and will essentially trap dirt and grime within the fibers of the clothing. This then can become a breeding ground for bacteria once they’re taken out.

Photo: flickr/Dejan Krsmanovic

Many washing machines are designed to rinse out the detergent from our clothing, but if you’re noticing that your clothes are still a little sudsy afterwards, this could indicate that you’re putting in too much detergent. Plus, too much detergent can actually put a strain on your machine, itself, as it will make washing away the excess suds harder. Therefore, your machine’s pump and motor will have to work harder which can cause it to wear down that bit quicker.


The best way to avoid too much laundry detergent in your wash is to be very conscientious of the lines within the detergent cap itself. Don’t go over these fill lines regardless of how large or small your load happens to be. If you’re still finding your clothes coming out soapy then you may have to get your machine checked in order to make sure that it’s properly functioning.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes