The amount of laundry detergent required to wash a load of clothes depends on the size of the load, the type of detergent and the hardness of the water. Some detergents are concentrated forms, meaning the consumer uses far less per load than when using an unconcentrated type. Detergent manufacturers typically include a recommended usage amount on the detergent packaging for which the consumer refers to when estimating the necessary amount of determent to use per load. Generally, the consumer uses half the recommended amount of laundry detergent if washing in soft water.
While the consumer generally uses half the amount of recommended laundry detergent when washing in soft water, this is not an absolute conversion amount. The consumer may need to do a bit of experimenting to calculate how much detergent to use. Adding a little too much detergent creates too many suds while using too little produces inferior results.
Another factor to consider when estimating the necessary amount of laundry detergent is the softness level of the water. In some homes, the water might be naturally on the soft side and not treated. In this case, the consumer might use slightly less than the recommended amount yet not cut the portion in half. Some consumers treat their water by adding a salt, magnetizer or other type of water softening system to their homes, with each softening the water to varying degrees. The consumer needs to adjust the detergent amount according to the actual degree of his water's softness.
Not all consumers soften water by adding a softener system to their homes. Some opt to add a softening agent to the water of each laundry load. In this case, the consumer should refer to the softener manufacturer's recommendations when calculating detergent amounts.