LanoSoft - Great Detergent for Soft Water

sshrivastavaJanuary 30, 2011

Hello everyone,

I live in Arizona where our water hardness hovers around 20-30 grains which is considered extremely hard. Many households here utilize whole house ion exchange water softeners that substitute sodium or potassium ions for the calcium/magnesium in the water. This results in soft, conditioned water with 0 grains of hardness. However, water this soft poses a problem when it comes to laundering because you need to use far less product in order to avoid suds issues. The problem with lowering the dose is that you are also lowering the amount of cleaning products, thereby possibly sacrificing cleaning capability. Up to 50% of the ingredients in most off-the-shelf laundry detergents are used to soften water because they are designed to be used in all kinds of different water conditions. But why should I be using detergents where 50% of their ingredients are useless to me? And lowering the dosage of these detergents reduces suds but also deprives me of much needed cleaning power.

Enter LanoSoft. I found this product after doing some extensive searches online for a laundry product designed for soft/conditioned water. According to the manufacturer:

Lanosoft Laundry Powder is formulated from natural, renewable sources that are biodegradable and ecologically safe. The phosphate free formula is biodegradable in lakes and streams eliminating the suds and foaming problems in our waterways. The environmentally free formula of our concentrated soft water detergent will work in all temperatures and only requires two tablespoons per load.The MSDS sheet shows the same toxicity rating as Vaska, another popular, natural and well received product. LanoSoft powdered detergent is unscented and contains "natural soap" and sodium metasilicate (corrosion inhibitor for machine parts) according to the label on the box.

I have been using this now for a week on several loads. I am very impressed! The recommended dose for the powder is 2 TBSP plus "a little more" for high capacity machines. The suggested dose for the liquid is 1 oz. I have been using the powdered product with great success. I use 3 TBSP for a packed load in my 4.0 cuft machine and 2 TBSP for a medium load. No suds at all, the laundry comes out of the dryer super soft and fluffy, all stains are removed (including oily stains on dark cotton fabrics), and the only thing you smell is clean, fresh laundry.

If this great experience holds true for the longer term, this product will replace everything else that I've been using including (drum roll please) my beloved Persil. This product is everything that Charlie's Soap should have been. It addresses all of the shortcomings of CS - primarily cleaning power - with all the benefits of being a natural, gentle product that doesn't produce any suds with 100% conditioned soft water. LanoSoft contains only those products needed for cleaning and protecting your machine from corrosion, without any of the unnecessary water sofening agents that make up 50% of most commercially available detergents.

Is this the perfect product for those with soft water? My experience so far says YES, although it clearly won't work as well for people with even slightly hard water. Stay tuned!

OH... and I have no financial interest in promoting this product. I'm just so glad I finally found something that works well for me given my conditioned water situation that I want everyone else to know. For those of you who have very soft water and have had similar issues as myself with mainstream products, you should give this a try.

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Great news. Always looking for natural products that WORK! I used Vaska in my Miele for the first time and could not believe all the suds. I used less than the usual amount (just under one capful). My load was small so I guess I should have used even less.

I hope you continue to have good results with this product.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:01PM
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My research has revealed another laundry detergent product which contains natural soap and is formulated for soft water. I have not tried this particular product, so I can't really endorse it, however those of you with soft water having similar issues may want to give it a try and report back:

Seafoam Laundry Soap

LanoSoft and Seafoam both contain natural soap, not detergent. The difference is that natural soap contains all the glycerin it was originally born with, whereas detergents have removed all the glycerin (which fetches a higher price when sold on its own) and substituted less expensive chemicals. The big caveat here is that natural soap IS NOT good to use if you have hard water, as the glycerin will bind with the calcium carbonate to create a fatty precipitate that will stick to your tub. However, in very soft water conditions this is not an issue as there is no calcium or magnesium to bond with. The presence of glycerin also explains why the laundry is soft without need for fabric softener. The glycerin acts as an emollient for the fabric, conditioning it and allowing it to retain just enough moisture to have a natural softness.

I was hesitant to use a product that contains "natural soap", and advised against it previously because it can cause problems in hard water. But for those who have close to zero hardness or have whole house ion exchange softeners, the natural soap thoroughly cleans and allows the fabrics to retain a high degree of softness. My kitchen towels are so fluffy that I can barely fit them all into the drawer!

I find that Vaska suds a lot unless you use very little. Unfortunately, then it doesn't clean very well. So again we have the suds vs. clean tradeoff that is often a thorn in many people's sides.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:39PM
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I will check out the seafoam website, too. I'll look forward to reading more from you. I don't have an in-home water softener, but my water is still very soft.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 11:35AM
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S....stava - That's interesting what you say about the Lanosoft. When I got my water softener, like 14-15 years ago they gave us Lanosoft laundry, bath soap, DW det etc. I didn't stick w/any of them. At the time I was not impressed. I'm wondering if they've changed their formula. I can't remember why I wasn't impressed anymore, it's been too long ago. I'll have to check it out again. I'll look up the Seafoam too.

So far loving the Persil, so we will see. Can't find Vaska locally and if it suds that much I don't think I'll bother, since we already know the issues I can have w/suds.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Bigdogmom_pa: I never had a suds problem with my other washer - the Kenmore HE3. I think I didn't have enough laundry in the load I did in the Miele, but used the same amount of soap I used in a full sized washer with a full load of clothes.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 8:00PM
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