I'm abandoning Shaklee & Charlie's soaps

try_hardMay 9, 2009

I used Shaklee laundry detergent (powder) for nearly a year and then switched to Charlie's. I've been using their powder and their liquid versions for a few months. I'm not satisfied with the results from Shaklee or Charlie's. My whites are dull and dingy. My DH's lycra cycling bibs and my lycra running pants consistently come out of the washing machine with splotches of a white film on them. I guess I'm going to have to try a regular HE detergent like Tide and see if things improve.

I'm using a one year-old GE Harmony HE washer and dryer. I don't use bleach. I add liquid OxiClean to my white loads and also use it for a pre-soak cycle for my colored clothes from time to time.

I have read alot of posts here about how to get whites white and all that - I'm just feeling frustrated because I'm tired of experimenting with products that don't provide the results I hoped for. So I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.


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Don't feel bad not every detergent works for everyone, that's why there are so many out there. Before you give up on CS, try giving Taylor a call for advice and if that still doesn't work for you, move on to something else. I know what you're going through because I had the same problem of nothing working for me UNTIL I tried the CS, but it doesn't work for everyone. I know it's a pain to keep trying different products and nothing works, but you water plays a big part in the puzzle too. Hang in there you'll find the right products that suit your needs.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 12:15AM
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Do you have extremely hard water? If so, the water hardness may affect the performance of your detergent choices. Normally, more detergent is required to wash laundry in hard water, or the addition of packaged water softener products to both the wash and rinse cycles will help.

Detergents no longer contain phosphates, which were previously recommended for hard water. I occasionally add a small amount of Cascade Dishwasher Detergent (up to 1 T. - depending on the size of the load and how dirty the clothes are - to my F&P top loader), along with my detergent to add some phosphates and enzymes to get out grass stains, etc. I occasionally add it to whites to brighten them. Especially if I have been drying them on the clothes lines in the basement, rather than outside where the sun whitens them. Our water is very hard.

Water temperature is also a huge factor. I realize we're all supposed to use cold water for washing laundry to "save the planet", but the truth is, hot water is still an effective aid in cleaning clothes (hot water is defined as 120°-140°F in one source I have - warm as 85°-105°F). If you use water that is colder than 65°F, most detergents will NOT activate and clean effectively. Detergent manufacturers and care labels define "cold water" as 80-85°F.

A few weeks ago when I checked, our cold water was 62°F, so I knew it was too cold for using a cold water wash. And don't forget, water reaching the washing machine is much cooler than in the water heater (important to remember if you set your water heater on the cool side). Especially that first load if the water heater is a long distance from the washer and the pipes are in an unheated area.

Cold water washes generally require detergents designed to be used in cold water - normally liquids. Powders don't dissolve well in cold water, but you can dissolve it in some hot water before adding it to your washer to fix that problem. This would probably take care of the white film problem. Cold water washes often requires more detergent than warm water to get clothes clean.

So it's not always the problem of the detergent, but the detergent in combination with water hardness and water temperature.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:35AM
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Front load or top load, Tide has always beaten them all, both in professional tests and in my home.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:12AM
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My mom used Tide when I was growing up.
I used to use Tide.
Tide isn't what it used to be. It's got optical brighteners and no phosphates. I'm glad they didn't change it till after my kids were out of diapers or I definitely wouldn't have used cloth on them.
I'm working with Charlie's now and trying to get off the film and optical brighteners that Tide glued on to all of our clothes and towels and sheets. It's working, but it's slow going. Hopefully, it won't take toooo awful long. Sigh.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:10PM
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It is always tough when a brand changes its formula -- just ask the Coke folks how their New Coke launch turned out.

For years I uses SA8 and it did a very good job. Then in the mid-late 90s they dumped phosphates, but the new(er) replacement formula was still OK. Then sometime in the last year - year and a half (ish) they must have changed it ~again~because I started to notice that it stopped cleaning as well and I and my boys started getting skin rashes and breakouts.

So I switched over to Charlie's and the clothes started getting cleaner and all our skin issues cleared up in very short order.

We've recently started trying to eliminate paper towels from our kitchen and have switched over to "flour sack" cloths which get used pretty heavily, so I add some STPP to those (often greasy) loads on hot and they all come out good as new.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:16PM
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How much stpp do you use in a load? I'm thinking about trying it.

Better one load washed 1 time the right way, then to wash it 10 times (I am NOT kidding) with what passes for laundry detergent these days and it STILL isn't clean.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:07AM
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Ive always been a Tide fan, but I just can't understand why it has to be so much HIGHER priced than the rest. I have recently been trying other detergents, because of that reason. Im sorry, but 13.00 a jug or more, is outrageous.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:34AM
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$13 a jug -- how many loads is that supposed to do? Seems awful spendy!

I sprung from the "1280 Loads" bucket of Charlie's which, even without any discounts and assuming ~only~ 1000 loads per bucket is $0.14/load. Even if I used STPP on all loads as below and it cost the same, that would still be less than $0.30 a load, or just a couple of bucks a week at slightly more then 1 load a day. That I can handle.

Plagiarizing myself from the STPP thread here:

I go 1:1 - one scoop (tbsp) of Charlie's and one scoop of STTP. I read somewhere that STPP is 15% phosphorus by weight so assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that they weigh the same / similar per tbsp. that'd be... 7.5% phosphorus by weight, per washload(?) By comparison, my Cascade Complete dishwasher pacs are 8% by weight.

Feel free to correct my math if I'm off on the %s!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:51AM
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try hard, I would call Taylor at Charlie's Soap as other's have reccommended, he won't mind the call and is always eager to help out. I use Charlie's at home without any problems. At my cabin, where you can practically beat the water with a hammer, I have to involve myself in a bit of laundry voodoo. I have so much calcium in my water that my 60 year old cast iron drain pipes look like PVC inside!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:47PM
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