This is on ongoing issue in our household: How much of the cap do you fill with liquid laundry detergent?

I swear the detergent makers mark those little lines (1 load, 2, 3) so faintly that NO ONE will ever fill to just the “1 load” line– don’t you think? We have a smallish front-loading machine, so I know we can get by with the minimum amount of detergent. I can’t totally prove this, but I strongly suspect that when they do laundry, my husband and oldest daughter fill the cap willy nilly. The more detergent, the better, right? The laundry will simply be cleaner, right?

Not so! And finally, someone else agrees with me. According to this post from WalletPop, using too much laundry detergent not only costs you extra money buying soap, it can also gum up your machine and prematurely age your clothes. I knew it!

There’s a suggestion from Seventh Generation laundry detergent company co-founder Jeffrey Hollender that in many cases you can actually get away using NO soap at all; that the water and washing machine agitation does wonders for removing light dirt. I’m nixing that in this household. Way too many underpants around here to consider taking that risk! How about you?

Off to mark the “1 load” line on our laundry cap with a marker pen!