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How to Use and Store Laundry Detergent Packs Correctly

Packets up decal in laundry room
The average American household does 400 loads every year (but in my house I am SURE we do way more than that.) Since the beginning of automated washing machines,  powdered detergent (and then liquid detergent) have always been used to get clothes clean.

Then, in early 2012, concentrated liquid laundry packets came on the market and changed the way many of us do laundry.  Smaller, easier and more convenient, these little concentrated laundry detergent packets can pack quite the cleaning punch.  But are you getting the most out of your laundry packets?

There is actually a little learning curve when it comes to safely and effectively using this relatively new detergent technology and so today I want to share some best practices when it comes to using concentrated laundry packets. 

Thanks to the American Cleaning Institute for collaborating with me on this content.  

Advantages of Laundry Packets:

Laundry packets contain concentrated laundry detergent, so one packet per load is what you need most of the time. Packets typically contain a detergent in a water soluble film wrapper.  (Although you can now also find single use scent boosters, detergent boosters and stain removers as well.)   They deliver great cleaning power in a pre-measured, mess free, easy to use package.

Since they are highly concentrated, they are much smaller and lighter than the equivalent amount of liquid or powdered detergent. A typical liquid laundry bottle weighs 7 pounds, while a package of concentrated laundry packets only weighs 3.5 pounds for the same number of loads.

This concentrated size and lighter weight is a big advantage when it comes to storage and transportation.  People who need to transport their laundry and detergent long distances can really appreciate this weight and space savings. Apartment dwellers for example, whom might otherwise have to lug a hefty container to the local laundromat can instead carry a container less than half that size.
Laundry pod vs liquid detergent
Finally, concentrated laundry packets are also much faster to measure and use.  Consumer Reports estimates an average consumer can save as much as a full hour of time over the course of year vs. pouring and measuring liquid detergents and pretreats.  Consumers also tend to conserve detergent when using laundry packets.  There is less risk of spillage, over-pouring too.

Proper Storage and Care of Laundry Packets:

Liquid laundry packets can be harmful if swallowed or get in the eyes, so they should ALWAYS be stored high and out of reach of pets and children, preferably in a locked cabinet. NEVER store laundry packets on open shelves, on the floor, or on top of washers and dryers. Keeping laundry packets out of view of children reduces their temptation to interact with them and can greatly reduce the risk of accidental exposure.  ACI Packets Up Logo
I encourage you to order the American Cleaning Institute’s free PACKETS UP! cling decal that you see here for your laundry room as a reminder to keep laundry packets up high and out of reach. Request one for yourself and all your loved ones!

Packetsup decal for washerPackets should always be kept in their original containers with their labels intact.  The lids should be closed and secured when not in use.  Get in the habit of snapping the lid shut every time you take a packet out.

Avoid storing packets in areas of high humidity, which can cause them to stick to together or even break open. Packets should always be handled with dry hands. Never attempt to “rinse” off a packet.

NEVER allow children to handle packets, even if they are “helping” with laundry.  Packets should only be used by adults.

Do not reuse laundry packet containers and packaging for storage or crafting.

Do keep poison controls number on hand, and consider adding it to your cell phone.

You can also visit PacketsUp.com for more tips and other resources about laundry room safety.

How to Get The Best Results Out Of Concentrated Detergent Packets:

Because detergent packets are remeasured, making sure you use the correct amount is pretty straight forward.  The number of packets depends on the size of the load. A typical average load of laundry (7-12 pounds) requires only one packet.  High capacity washers and highly soiled laundry may require two packets. Adding excessive packets may not result in cleaner clothes, so always use the right number of packets to clean your clothes.  And, always read the label for important information.
Concentrated laundry packets are designed to dissolve in all water temperatures. Packets do need enough water and agitation to completely dissolve, therefore it is important that you are not overfilling your machine with too much laundry.

Adding detergent pods to botton of washer
You want to place your detergent packet(s) at bottom of washer, directly to the drum, and then add your clothes on top of it.  Don’t add packets on top of clothes since they are less likely to come in contact with enough water to completely dissolve them.   This can result in streaks and deposits on your clothes.

Avoid putting laundry packets into detergent dispensers, since you risk clogging the dispensers and flooding your machine.
Dont use pods in detergent dispenser
Do not cut, tear, or open packets; they are designed to dissolve in water.

If you are having a problem with your laundry packets not dissolving it could be because your water is too hard, too cold or your agitator is broken. It also could be because you have added too many clothes to your machine.

Save yourself some work and time washing those 400 loads of laundry every year, with the use of laundry packets!  Getting laundry clean with concentrated detergent packets quickly and easily as well as safely is not difficult if you use and store them properly.  Most consumers that run into problems with their laundry packets are not following the manufacturer's instructions or guidelines.  Making sure you store them high and out of view of children also is important if you want to have a safe and accident free laundry room.


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