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Apologies but I can't find a more suitable stack exchange website to ask this question. I feel the technical answer is chemical in nature so I landed here.

For at least the past two years (and on-and-off longer than that) I've been putting a little bit of my washing powder into the prewash compartment, as well as the main compartment in my washing machine, and then doing a pre-wash before the main cycle.

A few days ago I noticed on the washing powder I had been using there is a red cross over "Wool/silk/prewash" - Implying that I should not prewash (at least not with this powder)

My clothes have seemed fine all this time (except there has been the odd occasion where I've been slightly paranoid that they are not being washed as well as they could be) but I wonder if I am damaging the clothes and/or the washing machine by doing this.

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    $\begingroup$ That "prewash" cycle is only meant for clothing which is really dirty. Otherwise its a waste of time, energy, water and detergent. Anyway, what type of washing powder are you using? Wool and silk (protein based textiles) are sensitive to some detergents. $\endgroup$ – Karl Oct 10 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ I may stop using it then. I am a little bit clean/tidy obsessive so I've used the prewash because it makes me feel like I am getting cleaner clothes out of it. I use the 'Bold Lavender & Camomile' biological powder (UK). I only mention wool and silk because the red cross is over the three "wool/silk/prewash" I don't wash anything wool or silk. $\endgroup$ – MrVimes Oct 10 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ That is just an ordinary washing powder. No idea why its "bio". The enzymes wont work during a short prewash cycle, and you have to wash out the perfume again in the second step. Otherwise, it think that "no prewash" sign is a nobrainer. $\endgroup$ – Karl Oct 10 at 21:36

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