Expert reveals why you shouldn’t fill up the cap with detergent and drop into laundry load

@jess_loves_2save/TikTok vladdeep/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Once we stopped we didn’t have an issue’: Expert reveals why you shouldn’t fill up the cap with detergent and drop into laundry load

'Most people use way too much detergent.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 1, 2024   Updated on Apr 1, 2024, 8:25 am CDT

Big Soap wants you to use more laundry detergent, but doing so can gunk up your machine and cause buildup which then leaves unsightly splotches on your clothing.

A mom and TikToker named Jessica (@jess_loves_2save) posted a PSA for folks who are experiencing liquid laundry detergent woes and shared how she was able to ultimately fix the problem. She shared her anecdote and eventual solution in a viral TikTok video, and it seems like there were several other people who’ve been through the laundry ringer as well.

The TLDR version: use two tablespoons of detergent, switch to powder, and perform several tub cleans to try and rid your machine of excess liquid laundry detergent buildup.

“Please tell me why my clothes are coming out of the wash/dryer with ‘oil’ looking stains,” a text overlay in the first part of the video reads, where user Sam (@sleeptalkingsam) complains about the pesky stains.

Jessica stitches her own clip to Sam’s and claims that these “oil” stains are directly linked to putting excessive amounts of laundry detergent in the washing machine dispenser area.

“My name is Jessica and I post laundry content and I have this exact same problem and this is exactly what was going on,” she begins the video. “So my son had moved, graduated from college, moved home, was in the process of starting his job, and gonna build a house within a few months so he was kind of back home with us for a little bit. He was constantly having the exact, same type of stains we thought it was oil from the machine because the clothes would go in with nothing on them. He’s just washing them cause he wore them, and they were coming out with more things than when they were going in.”

Naturally, this confused Jessica and her son, one’s clothes shouldn’t be dirtier after they were washed, right?

“We were like, ‘What is happening?'” she recalls. “Long story short, I was literally about to go buy a new machine and then I realized after watching him do laundry one night—because you never need more than two tablespoons of detergent. My son was doing like a cap full of Persil and then throwing the lid in there. So we had major buildup in our machine because he was using way too much liquid detergent.”

After repeatedly cleaning the washing machine to get rid of the soapy grime, Jessica says she changed her laundry method to avoid the issue.

“So I had to do several rounds of cleaning my machine and doing a tub clean, and then we switched to powder, because for whatever reason my machine just did not do well with liquid,” she says. “When we switched to powder and went to two tablespoons only—don’t listen to people that tell you you need more water, it is not about more water. If you have a machine with no agitator you don’t need more water that’s not the problem. Most people use way too much detergent.”

“When that detergent hits those clothes, it just gets set in there and it looks exactly like an oil stain,” she adds, noting that her issue was solved by learning to properly work with her washing machine. “Now I love my machine, it’s because I figured out how to use it, and we switched to powder and my machine does so much better with powder.”

One commenter, after seeing her video, still had questions about the “suggested” amount of detergent manufacturers place on their cups: “What about the lines on the cup? That’s too much?”

Another user on the app suggested that different liquid laundry products’ varying consistencies was the problem behind the strange stains that appeared on their clothing: “Ours was liquid softener once we stopped we didn’t have an issue.”

Someone else was just more concerned with how to get their clothes looking brand new and oil-stain-free again. “How do i get rid of these oil like stains though,” they wrote.

Other viewers were privy to the “two tablespoon” rule that Jessica referenced in her video, as well. “I hate the pods but I buy them because I husband refuses to follow to 2 tbsp rule,” one user wrote.

Even if you aren’t into conspiracy theories, you might start believing ones about “Big Soap” if you start to read other expert opinions online about the quantities of laundry detergent you need for your loads. Several resources have echoed Jessica’s recommendation about the two-tablespoon rule.

@jess_loves_2save #stitch with @Sleeptalkingsam #laundry #laundrytok #helpfromjessica #laundryday #laundryroom #help #information #answer #laundryhack ♬ original sound – J E S S I C A

Soap retailer Charlie’s Soap claims: “Many people don’t know it, but the measuring cups that come with your laundry detergent are often 10 times more than you actually need,” and in the same piece, highlights The New York Times which also “suggests you really only need two tablespoons of detergent for very large loads.”

And because Reddit has niche subs to discuss any and every topic, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s an online community dedicated to the communal nerding out over laundry. Folks over there have also supported this claim. “1 for very small loads, 2 for normal or large loads or just 1 pod (which is less than 2 tbsp) is all you ever need at most!” one user on the app penned.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Jessica via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Apr 1, 2024, 11:00 am CDT