How Much Detergent Should You Use in a Top-loading Washer?

Last Updated on: 20th June 2023, 09:32 pm

Have you ever wondered how much detergent your top-loading washer uses? You might be curious if you’re new to washing clothes; we’re all beginners at some point. Well, keep reading this article because we might be able to answer this for you.

Detergents are the most important component of your washing process. Their quantity varies with their intense cleaning action and the type of washing machines. Each kind of washing machine uses different detergents, powders, or liquid soaps depending upon their suitability.

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The standard amount of detergent

For a top-loading washing machine, the standard amount of detergent should be one-half of the actual quantity recommended by the company. This increases the cleaning results of your laundry and also avoids overdosing.

For a 2X liquid laundry detergent, use 1/8 of a cup or 2 tablespoons. You can mark the cup using a marker for better measurement.

The amount of detergent used in a top-loading washing machine is also different in the case of different detergents, powders, and liquids.

 Standard WasherHE Washer
2X Liquid Detergent2 tbsp2 tbsp
Soft Water1 1/2 tbsp1 1/2 tbsp
Powder Detergent1/4 – 1/3 cup2 tbsp
Pre-measured pack1 pack1 pack
A&H Powder Laundry Alpine Clean
  • Activated Baking Soda To Help Eliminate Odors
  • Tough on Stains
  • Great Everyday Value
  • Leaves Laundry Smelling Fresh
  • Scent: Alpine Clean
GAIN Powder Laundry Detergent
  • Freshlock. 1 scoop. 2 weeks of freshness.
  • 6 weeks of freshness from wash until wear.
  • Regular and HE Washer compatible.
  • Like any household detergent, keep away from children.
Ariel Powder Laundry Detergent
  • Helps to removes tough stains in the first wash
  • Great clean at a great price
  • Economical and effective
  • Original Downy Scent

How much detergent should you use?

The amount of detergent you are going to use in your top-loading washing machine depends on the following factors :

  • Size of the load

Nowadays, new washing machines come with bigger drums which means a bigger load requires more amount of detergent in a top-loading washing machine.

  • Water Hardness

Water hardness varies in different parts of a country. To get the best results, more detergent must be used in hard water areas.

  • How dirty are the clothes

To remove highly resistant stains and dirt, you will always need more amount of detergent for effective cleaning.

What kind of detergent should you use?

You need to understand first what kind of detergent is right for you — packs, powder, or liquid detergent. It may also depend on the type of clothing you wear or seasonality. Let’s shed some light on the important factors that help you decide the right type of detergent to use:

  • Packs

Packs are the most convenient form of detergent that are small and pre-dosed laundry packets. You just have to add 2 or 3 of these packs in your single wash cycle depending upon your load of clothes.

  • Liquid

Liquid detergents are best for effective stain removal. They are used for oil stains, grease, or food and are especially best for spot treatment. You can use their bottle cap for the measurement of dosage for your wash cycle.

  • Powder

Powder detergents work best for everyday stains, dirt, and smell. But you should never forget to add the right dosage amount in your wash cycle to get effective cleaning results.

Gain 2X Ultra Gain Liquid Soothing Sensations Lavender Lilac Moment 48 Load, 100.0-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 4)
  • Lavender, lilac, and jasmine fragrances are combined.
  • Subtle fruity tones let the strong floral scents shine.
  • Bottle made from 25% or more recycled plastic.
  • Part of the Soothing Sensations collection
Orange House Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent and Hand Soap 3 Pack Set, Free & Clear
  • Made with 100% orange oil
  • Can wash away stains and odor
  • Food-grade orange oil is safe for the skin
  • The laundry detergent is chemical-free.
  • Dermatologically tested and USDA certified.
Tide Advance Power High Efficiency 150 Fl Oz, 150 fl. oz.
  • Whiter and brighter fabrics after one wash
  • Part of the Tide Plus Collection
  • Specially designed for HE washing machines
  • Item Form: Liquid
  • Scent: OXI
  • Unit Count: 150 Fl Oz

How to read and follow your detergent labels

The detergent companies persuade their customers to use more detergent for a wash cycle. But guess what? If you use less or half the amount of detergent than suggested on the label, you will get much better cleaning results.

This will also reduce your laundry cost in the long run. Sometimes, you can also reduce the amount of water and load size along with the detergent to get the most efficient washing.

Pre-measured detergent packets are also good for your laundry, especially for people who face difficulty in measuring the correct dosage of the detergent.

BLACK+DECKER Small Portable Washer
COMFEE’ 1.6 Cu.ft Portable Washing Machine
  • Easy to Use
  • Space saving
  • Extremely Energy Saving
  • Child Lock Functionality
  • Delay Start & Reloading
Panda 110V Electric Portable Compact Laundry Machine
  • Perfect for apartments and small houses
  • Good for drying baby's clothes and delicates
  • Multiple wash modes: Heavy, Soft, Normal, Rapid, and Soak
  • Transparent lid design
  • A compact design washing 

Comparison of detergent dosage for a top-loading and a high-efficiency washer

  • Top-Load Washer

In a regular top-loading washing machine, 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent or 4 tablespoons of powder are used. A top-loading washing machine usually uses more water rather than using more detergent as compared to a high-efficiency washer.

  • High-efficiency Washer

Generally, for a high-efficiency washer, two teaspoons of liquid detergent or two tablespoons of powdered detergent are used. In the case of soft water, this amount even reduces to 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent or one and a half tablespoons of powdered detergent. While in the case of super dirty clothes, you can either increase the detergent amount to 3 spoons or give your clothes a longer wash cycle or pre-soaking.

What’s the takeaway?

We’ve shared standard amounts that we’ve seen people use. However, these figures or quantities may not be 100% accurate.

You can always cross-check these numbers with other sources to get the best idea of how it’s done.

Use high-quality detergents as low-priced detergents often damage the clothes. Furthermore, keep your washing clean so that it could last longer.

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