As you know, and only because I do mention it from time to time, I get a lot of email. If I were to respond to each and every message, that is all I’d ever do, and still not get through the piles that replenish daily.
So, I use the subject line method of quick elimination to winnow the pile to something I can deal with. Negative subjects lines are the first to go—instant delete. Subsequent passes from there get my messages down to something manageable, with the most interesting and useful rising to the top of the pile.
Dear Mary: I love all of your washing machine tips, but can you guide us on using the correct amount of detergent? I know you say small amounts, but I hate to do a load with too little or too much. It feels like a guessing game. I tried googling this, but the information I found was not helpful.
You are such an expert on these things that I thought you might have some additional tips—if you can bear the thought of another post about laundry, that is! Hugs to you for such fantastic work. Your Anonymous Fan
Dear A.F.: Great question. And yes, flattery did get your letter to the top of the pile so good job on that!
Most of us use way too much laundry detergent, which can present all kinds of problems like skin irritation, grayish looking whites, and stiff scratchy clothes and linens.
Whatever amount of detergent you use, it must be completely rinsed away for the results to be beautifully clean, whiter-than-white, brighter-than-bright colors; soft clothes and linens.
Generally, (there are variables, which I’ll touch on shortly) if you have soft water use 1 tablespoon (1/16 cup) of HE (high-efficiency) detergent per wash load in a front-loading machine; for top-loading refer to your owner manual, or about 1/4 cup if you can’t find it. If you have hard water use 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup), which begs the question “How do I know if my water is hard or soft?”