Using only Dreft or Ivory Snow for washing clothes?

cearabDecember 2, 2008

OK, so this friend of mine who works for a high end towel company tells me I should only EVER wash my clothes, sheets, towels, etc with either Dreft or Irovy Snow. Only cold water, no fabric softener, no bleach (ever), and Shout as needed.

First of all, have you priced Dreft liquid detergent? It's super expensive, even at the wholesale clubs like Costco. I use All HP liquid and use cold water for everything except sheets and dish towels. My dog and cat are in bed every night, so I want to use hot water on the sheets, but no bleach. I use fabric softener, and hardly ever use dryer sheets. I use bleach and hot water on my dish towels and the white wash cloths I use for face masks, but wash my clothes and everything else in cold water. She's telling me this is all wrong. I'm not stupid, but I just don't think it's necessary to use Dreft or Ivory Snow for all my washing.

I wonder what everyone else does and what products you use.

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Did she tell you WHY she recommends using soap instead of detergent? When someone tells me I should be doing something different and give me a directive, I would ask what the reason is so I can analyze it and see if they are making any sense.

Since you ask; I use detergent for washing. I wash everything in warm as I think it rinses better. I never use fabric softener in the wash or in the dryer as I don't like the waxy chemical coating on my clothes. I remove synthetics from the dryer before they are entirely dry so they don't go all static-y. Sometimes I hang things to finish drying. If something has annoying static when I wear it I rub a little lotion on my hands and then rub the fabric. I occasionally use bleach or oxy for whites but not on a regular basis. I hardly own anything white except summer socks.

I would never wash my laundry in soap as I think that soap scum would build up on the washer parts and I don't think soap cleans as well.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 12:45AM
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That sounds like her OPINION, not some set in stone fact. And, FWIW, you know what they say about opinion's and rear end's...
My DP tells me I should be using nothing but All Free & Clear in the laundry and NOTHING else. Of course, he is a Dermatologist and that is what he suggests to his patients. Do I use All F&C? No. I tell him laundry is my domain and as long as his clothes are clean, whites are brilliantly white and colors aren't fading, he need not complain!


1 Like    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 4:35PM
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Well, my friend likes to be a bit of an expert on numerous things, so this is just one of them. And, when she droned on about the reason for only using Dreft and no fabric softener, there was a reason, but all I heard was bla bla bla bla bla bla bla! I use a detergent as I said.
This argument or discussion started when I mentioned that I had seen someone on this forum mention using dishwasher detergent for soaking and brightening up some clothing. I had some cotton flannel PJ's, few tea towels and other items that were looking dingy looking and mentioned to her that i was going to give it a try. That started the lecture when she got out her dishwasher detergent and started reading the ingredients and just could not understand why I would even try this. She told me it would be dangerous for my skin, and then went into the lecture about Dreft vs everything else.
I have to say I tried soaking my items in the dishwasher detergent and they did brighten up. Nothing was bleached out either. Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 8:19PM
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I agree, your friend is just parroting things she's heard and believes, whether supported by fact or not.

One caveat to the soaking in dishwasher detergent - it is perfectly safe, but it can spot-bleach some fabrics if applied undiluted. This applies mostly to the liquid dishwasher detergents. I have spotted shirts using them, but not with the powdered.

Add to the soak water first, and you're good to go.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 9:35PM
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I have a friend like that but she insists that one should only use Amway laundry products (or whatever they're calling that brand now) and she, like your friend, is of course completely right and there is no arguing with her. So I don't anymore. Her wrath at being disagreed with is too unpleasant.

We all have our pet ways of doing things. I think the one Dilly Dally voiced sounds the most reasonable. Except I always use bleach on my towels. But NEVER WITH AMMONIA. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 4:56PM
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I couldn't disagree more. "ALWAYS" makes me uncomfortable. Especially without some kind of laundry science to back it up.

Dreft and Ivory Snow are both detergents, not soap.

FYI - The temperature of COLD water is an important cleaning fact most people know little about. They just think they will personally "save the planet" by using cold water ONLY without any other general laundry science information to prove differently.

When the water temperature is below 60°F, there is hardly any cleaning, regardless of the detergent/soap. Wash water should be a minimum of 80°F. It takes a temperature of 80-85°F to activate laundry additives according to detergent manufacturers. Care labels define cold water as 80-85°F.

Information from the Department of Consumer Sciences, University of California, Davis, California...

"A cotton fabric was artifically soiled and laundered with two different types of detergents at two different wash temperatures. Samples laundered at 140°F were rated by subjective evaluations to be whiter, softer, and smoother than fabric laundered in unheated water. The type of detergent did not affect the softness or smoothness of the fabric...."

Products that contain enzymes have diminished effectiveness when used in cold water.

Using wash temperatures that are low can cause bacteria to remain on fabric at the end of the wash cycle, so it's advisable to disinfect diapers, towels, bed linen, and clothing with a chlorine bleach or disinfectant (pine oil and phenolic-type disinfectants) if you use cold water wash.

Use liquid detergent when using cold water since powders don't dissolve properly and can leave a powdery white residue on the load and in the machine. If the temperature of the cold water is too cold for your hands, the detergent will not activate and clean effectively.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 5:29PM
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Grainlady is correct. Ivory Snow Soap Flakes have been discontinued for decades. The detergent now made is still called Ivory Snow. Dreft never was a "soap". It was a detergent by design using compound molecules, one to pull dirt and grease from clothes and the other to suspend it to wash it away. And curiously it was the lack of performance in Dreft that led to the development of Tide according to the website I was reading. I found the history on it rather interesting, assuming it's accurate.

In fairness, many people use the terms detergent and soap interchangeably. I occasionally say laundry soap, knowing full well that it's detergent.

I learned the value of using higher temperatures in laundry. Comes out much cleaner and as said the enzymes don't work in frigid water. Unfortunately I don't have the option of a warm rinse on my washer. The sales lady who sold me the washer quoted that infamous "rag mag" that so many people worship as gospel, who claimed there's no difference in rinsing performance in warm or cold water. I've come to disagree with this premise but admit I haven't done any controlled tests to confirm. Mine is strictly anecdotal.. But then again, that birdcage liner magazine is so far off-base on so many things they have no credibility anymore anyway so I laugh when people quote it as such a reliable source.

There's all kinds of experts out there. That's why it's important to do your own research and scrutinize the claims to draw your own conclusions based on the credibility of the information and sources you find.

Common sense suggests to me that things like towels, washcloths, bed linens, diapers, etc, should all be washed in hottest water possible for the fabric and conditions for sanitation purposes.

FWIW, I don't use fabric softener anymore and now that I'm using a good detergent, I don't need the extra additives anymore either, at least nowhere near as often.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 7:48PM
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Dilly, Grainlady & Cynic,

Your comments make a lot of sense, especially about the cold water issue. I wonder if that is why people are experiencing "clean stinky laundry" in several other threads here.

My wash machine will either let me do hot wash/cold rinse, or warm wash/warm rinse. I have been selecting warm/warm though I'd prefer hot/hot or hot/warm (and have to say that I deeply resent being told by a machine what temperature combinations I'm allowed to use.)

Would you recommend for towels the warm/warm or the hot/cold?

I do use a bit of bleach every time I wash towels. Never have a smell problem and I have a top loader with agitator Oasis (high performance).

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:23PM
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Bigdoglover, I hate that too that washing machines do not let one choose both the wash and the rinse temperature. Mine has Hot>Cold, Warm>Warm, and Cold>Cold. I use the Warm>Warm setting for almost everything. All my towels are dark though. I don't like the fact that if one chooses to wash in Hot that you can't rinse in Warm. I can't see it being all that difficult to make a mashine with alternate setting to choose individually. If someone want to wash in Cold and rinse in Hot - Let 'em!

Grainlady/Cynic, thanks for the info on Ivory and Dreft. Ivory Flakes now being sold under the name of Ivory Snow and no longer being soap but being detergent is a good example of what I was speaking of in my other detergent thread. A person who was a regular user of Ivory may not have noticed the change in wording or just blew it off as a marketing device not realizing that it is an entirely new product and may have then used it incorrectly.

I never bought Ivory or looked at it in the stores. I swear I saw it a couple years ago at Restoration Hardware around xmas in vintage packaging. I know people use it to make fake "snow" for xmas decorating. Maybe they got a special order of it just to be sold exclusivly at Restoration Hardware at Holiday time? Maybe it was not real 'Ivory' and had tricky labeling to fool people, you know like, big lettering saying 'IVORY' and then teeny tiny lettered under it saying 'colored' soap flakes. Internet sources say it has not been made at all since 1993.

As far as Dreft.........I just looked it up and it sure is detergent. It looks like the doctor I had that told me to use it, LIED to me. I never bought it. As soon as I saw the high price tag and the tiny packaging, I skipped it, as the cost benefit ratio did not seem to be in my favor.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 2:30PM
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