The biggest problem I have seen lately is that folks want to fill the washing machine too full. A big load is clothes that only come up half way to the top of the tub and that needs to be loosely filled not packed. If you fill the washer too full you are just moving the dirt around. Sure some of the dirt is removed but most is just redistributed on to the clothes again. Water and soap are cheap when compared to the price you pay for clothes. But don't be to liberal with the detergent either because that just clogs up the fibers and can be a source of odor and allergies. Follow the directions on the label. Even then I find if I use a water softener like Borax I can actually cut down the amount of soap I use.