The Ultimate Guide to Washing Powder
Here it is - the ultimate guide to washing powder for Australians! Many of our customers have asked these specific questions about washing powders and more, so we've done our very best to give you the best and clearest information to make it easy for you and clear up any issues.
If you happen to think of any important or helpful questions that are not included below, please let us know and we'll add it to the list.
What is the difference between washing powder and detergent?
The difference between washing powder and detergent comes down to what they are made of and what they do. They are both used to wash clothes, linen, towels and anything else you put in the machine.
Detergent comes in a liquid form and is made from active agents that generally include chemicals, whereas washing powder comes in powder form and can be made from a mixture of substances.
Washing powder can include active agents, similar to liquid detergents and can include harsh chemicals, toxins, fillers and additives too, depending on the brand.
Washing detergent is frequently packaged in a plastic bottle, which is often made from toxic materials but washing powder can be packaged in a box or bag that won’t include these and is more environmentally friendly.
The great thing about washing powder is it can easily be made free from harsh chemicals and can instead be made from enzymes, alkaline mineral salt and nonionic and anionic surfactants. These ingredients will still do an amazing job on your clothes but will be better for your overall health, your wallet, the environment and your laundry!
Is washing liquid or powder better?
We know there are loads of people that prefer liquid to powder and it’s usually for the same reason - 'residue marks'. It's totally understandable as I don’t think anyone wants to wash some clothes only to have to wash them again.
The majority of laundry powders out there contain bulking agents and fillers which do nothing for the powder except bulk them out to increase profits, not a very nice thing to do.
Our powders contain none of that, they’re a concentrated powder that dissolve completely in the wash and leave nothing behind but clean fabrics. Liquids contain bulking agents too but that’s usually water and synthetic fragrance, they also come in a plastic bottle which is not the greatest.
Hudstone powders are fragrance free, come in a compostable bag and won’t leave any marks on your fabrics. They’re different!
Using washing powder can also be more economical and save you money. You generally only need a tablespoon or a small scoop of washing powder per load of laundry, but when using liquid, you may need a large cap or more to get the same result.
If you use a concentrated washing powder, like our regular concentrated washing powder, it can be even more cost effective as you only need half a scoop per load!
The other reason we love powder over liquid is because it can be packaged in cardboard and is ultimately better for the environment, as this will break down over time and is recyclable. Liquid detergent must be packaged in plastic that won’t break down as easily and often ends up in landfill.
Some people believe that using liquid detergent on greasy stains can work better than powders. While this might be true in some instances, at Hudstone Home we teach you the best ways to get out nasty stains, using washing powders and pre-stain removers so you won’t need liquid detergent (that's just full of chemicals)!
Another reason why people like liquid is because powder residue can sometimes stay on your clothes after your washing, but again, it all comes down to how you use it and the amount you use.
Can you use washing powder in a dishwasher?
We don’t recommend using washing powder as an alternative to dishwashing tablets or soap because it can be a lot more concentrated and leave soap suds on your dishes. Doing this could also damage your dishwasher if it does not break down correctly.
We recommend using our best selling Australian made dishwashing powder. Its the best you can get.
Can you use dishwasher powder for laundry?
No, we would not recommend this either. Dishwashing powder or detergents contain much harsher ingredients than washing powder which could damage both your clothes and your washing machine.
It is best to always use laundry powder specifically for washing laundry. It's better to be safe than sorry.
How much powder to use in the washing machine?
It’s always best to read the label of your particular washing powder to know how much is needed. You also need to factor in how large the load of laundry is and if it’s heavily soiled.
As a general rule of thumb, you should use one scoop or one tablespoon of washing powder for a regular load. If your clothes, linen or towels are very dirty, add a scoop and a half extra to help remove the tough stains.
If you are using our concentrated washing powder, the good news is you only need one scoop for a top loader and half a scoop for a front loader. Less is truly more!
Most powders on the market are full of bulking agents and additives that make you think they more effective, when in fact they can do more harm than good.
How to get washing powder out of carpet
The best way to get washing powder out of your carpet is by vacuuming it! On most carpet types, a vacuum should be able to get rid of the fine granules. If that doesn’t work, add one cup of white vinegar to one gallon of water and soak a sponge in the solution. Then, sponge away at the washing powder on the carpet until it soaks up. To dry, put a towel over the wet patch and stamp on it to soak up the water and the powder.
If this doesn’t work, repeat the process, adding an extra 1/2 cup of vinegar to the solution.
How to stop washing powder staying on clothes
Streaks and powder residue on your laundry is a result of the washing powder not dissolving. This can often happen when too much washing powder has been used and it gets caught up in the folds of your clothes, towels or linen.
To prevent this, only use the recommended dose for your particular washing powder. If you find you still get streaks then, reduce it even more over the next few loads and see if that stops the problem.
Hot Tip: If you’re using our washing powders, you only need a small amount as they are concentrated, so you’ll get beautifully washed clothes without any leftover powder!
Another way to stop this from happening is to first dissolve the washing powder in a cup of hot water before pouring it into the machine. You can then let the washing machine fill up with cold water and wash as usual.
Is washing powder toxic?
If you’re using a regular, cheap or generic store bought washing powder, they often contain harsh chemicals and toxins such as formaldehyde (which is used to preserve dead people), phosphate, fragrances or bleach.
These types of toxins can be damaging to your skin, lungs and even your eyes. Many of these ingredients and the plastic bottles they are stored in are bad for the environment too.
This is one of the main reasons why we created our washing powder. We know there are ways to do your washing and get amazing results, without using these chemicals and harming the environment. Our washing detergents are chemical and toxin-free, contain no fragrances and come in environmentally friendly plastic free packaging!
What happens if you eat washing powder?
Eating washing powder can destroy your gastrointestinal tract, cause vomiting and diarrhoea and even burn your eyes and skin. I
f you were to consume a lot of washing powder, over a length of time, this can also cause kidney damage. If you ingest washing powder, see your doctor immediately to seek professional advice and treatment.
What is the best washing powder for sensitive skin?
The best washing powder for sensitive skin are types that don’t include harsh chemicals, toxins or fragrances. These can cause irritation and rashes on sensitive skin that can be itchy and painful. To avoid this, use a washing powder free from these chemicals! Our washing powder for sensitive skin contains no nasty additives perfumes, bulkers, fillers or oils.
Even if other members of your family don’t have sensitive skin, this washing powder is still great to use for the whole family, so you don’t need to buy two types of washing powder.
Our washing powder for sensitive skin is delicate yet powerful and will still make all of your laundry super clean and smell fresh!
What washing powder is best for babies?
Baby skin is naturally sensitive. It can react to regular washing detergent or powder, causing itchy spots or rashes. The best type to use is a powder without additives, bulkers or fillers, like our regular washing powder. This washing powder is great for the whole family and will do a great job of washing your laundry. If your baby does have extra sensitive skin, you can try our washing powder for sensitive skin which has all the same benefits as our regular powder but is also free from perfumes or oils.
If you want to learn more, check out our blog on the best washing powder for baby clothes.
Can I take washing powder on a plane?
Yes you can take washing powder on a plane. There are no specific airlines rules forbidding the taking of washing powder or detergent on a plane. When flying domestically within Australia, there is no limit of how much you can take as long as it is properly stored. When flying internationally from Australia, there is a 350ml limit on powders in one container. Fortunately, there is no limit on how many containers you can take up to this amount as long as they are separated into 350ml containers.
Does washing powder dissolve in water?
Yes washing powder will disolve in water. Some washing powders might take longer to dissolve in cold water, but they will still dissolve over time. If you’re finding that your washing powder isn’t dissolving in cold water, you can add the powder to hot water to dissolve it before the machine fills up, then fill the rest of the machine up with the cold water.
The good news is all of our washing powders dissolve easily in both cold and hot water and leave absolutely no marks.
How many washes in 1kg washing powder?
Generally you should be getting at least 30 washes per 1kg. Different types of washing powders will often have different dosages depending on their
Our washing powders come in different sizes and include 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10kg bags. Our 2kg washing powder will give you 80 washes for a top loader and 160 for a front loader and costs only $19.99. That’s 25 cents per load for a top loader or 12 centres per load for a front loader! This is because our washing powders are concentrated and come in an economical and environmentally friendly bag, so they offer much more bang for your buck than regular supermarket washing powders.
How to use washing powder in top loader
Firstly, make sure your washing powder is suitable for top loaders as some powders are only suitable for front loaders. Then, add your washing to the machine and scoop out the correct amount of washing powder that is recommended on the package label. Scatter it around the drum, straight onto the washing and turn the machine on!
Is washing powder acidic, alkaline or neutral?
Washing powder is generally alkaline as when the pH level of the water is dissolved, the pH level is above 7. When different chemicals are washed in water, the pH levels change and can become acidic, neutral or alkaline (basic).
Is washing powder an acid?
No, washing powder is not an acid. It is a mixture of surfactants with cleaning products and because the pH level is above 7, the property of washing powder is considered basic.
Where to put washing powder in front loader
Most front loaders will have a detergent, bleach and fabric softener draw to put washing powder. This is always the best spot to put your washing powder as it will distribute the powder evenly through the washing. This will also help it dissolve properly and not cause any marks. Make sure you put the washing powder in the first compartment so it is dispersed at the correct time in the wash cycle.
Where to put washing powder in top loader
If your top loader has a draw, pour the washing powder in the correct spot in the draw. Some machines will recommend you put it down the centre or simply scatter it around the drum, straight onto the clothes. Top loaders are generally quite easy to use, so whether you pour the powder in the drum, down the centre or in the tray, your clothes should still come out fresh and clean! Make sure you use the correct dose though, so your laundry doesn’t end up with streaks from the powder not dissolving.
Of course, it always depends on the type of machine you have. Generally, you should follow the instructions as per what your machine says.
Which tray, drawer or compartment do you put washing powder in?
The three compartments in washing machines do different things. The main/first section is for washing powder, the middle section is for fabric softener and the third section is for pre wash or pre soaker.
The washing machine will release the compartments in different sections of the washing cycle, so again, make sure to use the correct compartment for the relevant product.
Which washing powder smells the best?
Store bought washing powders can smell amazing and fresh but they can also be harsh on your skin and your laundry. It can also be bad for your respiratory system to be breathing in these fragrances when you sleep, especially if you have asthma!
At Hudstone Home, we don’t use any harsh perfumes, fragrances or oils. Our products are made this way so they are better for your skin, your lungs and the longevity of your clothes, towels and linen. Don’t worry, our washing powder will still make your washing smell amazing and fresh, without the nasties!
We found when some people switched over from regular washing powder to environmentally friendly washing powder, they missed that strong smell. That’s why we created essential oil drops that can be included in your laundry to make it smell beautiful and clean! We have four options available, Lemon Myrtle, Mandarin, Lavender and Eucalyptus. All you have to do is drop 1-3 drops into the washing, depending on the size of the load, and your laundry will come out smelling incredible. If you want to learn more about essential oils and washing, check out our blog, how to use essential oils to scent laundry.
What is in washing powder?
The main ingredients in regular washing powders include nonionic and anionic surfactants, water softener, alkaline, pH modifiers, catalytic enzymes, colourants and fragrances.
Our Hudstone Home regular washing powder contains only five ingredients and no nasties. We use alkaline mineral salt, nonionic and anionic surfactants, enzyme blend and optical brightener.
Our sensitive washing powder only has three ingredients, containing alkaline mineral salt, nonionic and anionic surfactant.
Is washing powder bad for the environment?
Regular washing powder uses phosphates to help get rid of dirt and stains in clothes. Unfortunately, the phosphates can cause excessive algae in drains and waterways when it is washed away. The packaging washing detergent comes in can also be bad for the environment if it is in plastic and doesn’t break down. That’s why at Hudstone Home we use natural ingredients, sold in environmentally friendly packaging so we don’t harm the planet!
Can washing powder make you itch?
Yes washing powder can make you itch depending on what is in it and on your skin concerns. If you notice your skin getting itchy after washing your clothes or bed sheets, simply trying a sensitive washing powder can stop the itch. Surfactants, fragrances and fillers are often the ingredients that irritate the skin. Some of these ingredients can cause contact dermatitis and these are often left out of sensitive washing powders.
Can you be allergic to washing powder?
Yes, it is possible to be allergic to washing powder. If you suddenly become itchy or notice your skin is irritated, you may be allergic to one or two of the ingredients. If you find you get itchy skin after switching to a washing powder, take note of the ingredients and try a different powder without those same ingredients.
To prevent further irritation, it’s best to wash all your clothes with a different, sensitive washing powder so you don’t have further skin reactions. If the itch is really bad, it may be best to wash all laundry twice and dry in the sun to make sure there were no leftover ingredients.
What is the best washing powder for eczema?
A sensitive washing powder like ours! Our sensitive washing powder only contains three ingredients and is free from fragrances, oils, fillers or bulkers. These type of ingredients are often what can cause eczema flare ups. Without these nasties, your skin has the best chance to be eczema free.
How to hand wash clothes with powder detergent?
The best way to hand wash clothes with powder detergent is to:
- First, dissolve the correct amount of powder in a bucket or sink with a small amount of warm water.
- Once the washing powder is completely dissolved, fill the sink or bucket with cold water.
- Then add your clothes and lightly scrub at any of the stains.
- Leave the clothes to soak for an hour. If they are very dirty, soak for two hours, occasionally stirring the clothes with a long pole or even a wooden spoon.
- Rinse the washing with cold water and ring out lightly and then hang them out to dry.
How to clean washing machine powder drawer
First, read the manual for your washing machine to ensure the washing powder drawer will fully come out of the machine. If it does, take it out appropriately so you don’t break it. If you notice the cavity where the powder drawer usually sits has a build up of soap scum, spray the cavity with distilled white vinegar and allow to soak for at least 15 minutes. Then, give it a big old scrub with a small brush or even a toothbrush. Repeat this process until all the scum is gone. If the soap scum build up is super tough to get out, leave the vinegar to soak longer.
Next, empty the leftover powder from the washing powder drawer. If you need to, scrape it out with a paper towel into a bin. Then, give it a scrub using hot water and dishwashing liquid or a mixture of half hot water and half vinegar. Leave the draw to air dry or dry it with a towel. Once the drawer and the drawer cavity are completely dry, reinsert it as instructed in the manual.
If your drawer does not come out, you can still do this process with it inside the machine. Clean the drawer in the same way and spray the outside of the drawer with the vinegar. Slide the drawer in and out to distribute the vinegar inside the cavity.
Does laundry powder kill germs?
Yes, laundry powder has disinfectant properties. Laundry powder works to kill germs in the same way that dishwashing liquid does. However, there is no special ‘germ-killing’ laundry powder. Any good sensitive washing powder will sanitize clothes just the same as regular powders do.
How long can you keep powder detergent?
It’s not recommended to keep powder detergent for longer than six months. Powder detergents often contain enzymes that are very sensitive to light, moisture and heat. After six months, the power may have dried out or the enzymes have become inactive so the washing powder isn't as effective. It’s best to use powder detergent within six months of purchase for the best results.
Where to buy bulk washing powder
Some stores will sell bulk washing powder but you can also buy in bulk with us! Our regular washing powder and sensitive washing powder both come in bulk sizes and the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. Our largest bulk package is 10 kgs and if you subscribe and get regular deliveries, you can save 5% off the price.