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In the past, household soap was used to wash clothes. Then it was replaced by powder. Today, the choice of laundry detergents is so wide that you will find something for every type of dirt and fabric type. You just need to pay attention to a few criteria when buying laundry powder.

The type of detergent and the nature of the wash

Powders can be divided into two groups: for hand washing and machine washing. On each package there is a special marking indicating which of these two groups the detergent falls into.

The difference between the two groups is that hand washing powder lathers well due to the substances contained in it. Machine washing powder does not have this property.

Do not use hand washing powder in a washing machine – excess foam will not allow the clothes to fall to the bottom of the drum, which will not wash properly.

Composition of washing powders

In a good quality washing powder must be present surfactants, which protect fabrics from dirt re-deposition. Thanks to them, the clothes stay clean longer. Surfactants are also needed to moisten the fabric so that the active ingredients can penetrate it.

Washing powders also contain phosphates, which soften water and protect washing machine parts against lime deposits. However, phosphates should be used with caution as they may cause allergic reactions. Another ingredient that prevents the formation of scale on the internal parts of the washing machine and protects them from corrosion is chlorides.

In addition, polymers and enzymes should be found in the powder for washing color. The former prevent fabrics from staining and re-depositing dirt on clothes. The latter remove food stains, staining drinks and even blood stains.

A common ingredient in detergents are bleaching agents, usually added to white and color washing powders.

Photo Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Eco-friendly washing powder

All powders contain surfactants, which remove dirt from fabrics. However, some of them may cause serious damage to our body.

To avoid this, you can reach for eco-friendly laundry detergents that contain only biodegradable surfactants. The latter are obtained with the help of microorganisms – bacteria, yeast and fungi. Such powders also contain almost no phosphates added to soften the water.

Ecological washing agents are a perfect solution for allergy sufferers and people with sensitive skin. They should also be used for washing underwear. Natural detergents not only take care of our health, but also do not pollute the environment.

Washing powder vs. type and color of fabric

Powder with a high concentration of polymers, surfactants and enzymes will be suitable for washing coloured clothes. Such a powder effectively removes dirt, and at the same time protects the fabric against color loss.

For black washing, you can use an ordinary powder to color, but a much more effective solution will be a special liquid for black washing. Such agent has in its composition substances, which help to preserve the depth of the color and even restore it. This will make the fabric appear several tones darker after washing.

When washing white laundry, choose a special powder containing bleach. Wool and silk clothes require gentle hand washing.

Besides, there are universal powders available in stores, which can be used for any type of fabric.

Washing powder for babies

The skin of children, especially infants, is more sensitive than that of adults, so be very careful when buying powder for washing children’s clothes.

It is important that the baby laundry detergent does not contain phosphates, zeolites and that there are as few irritating ingredients as possible – soda, bleach and fragrances. If your baby’s skin reacts badly to a particular powder, pay attention to whether any of these ingredients are present.

Allergy-friendly washing powder

If you have an allergy to washing detergents, try a children’s washing powder, which contains a minimum of harmful substances. You can also try a concentrated detergent. Its liquid form is less likely to cause allergic reactions than dry powder.

To reduce the risk of allergies, rinse clothes thoroughly after each wash.

Photo Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

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Lilliana Ross

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