Detergent for hand washing delicates

sahmmy_gwJuly 20, 2014

I cannot find a good detergent that I can just use in my sink to hand wash pantyhose and delicate lingerie. (Please no responses telling me to put these items in my washing machine - I want to hand wash.) I've seen brief mention of Caldrea, Perwoll, and Mrs. Meyers, but no details. I also want one that isn't so strongly scented, or I'd even like unscented. Right now I use Woolite for my hand washables, but the scent is overpowering. Sometimes I've even just used my bar soap to wash items in the sink. What do you all use to handwash the fine delicates?

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I use a small amount of my non-scented powder washer detergent ... maybe 1/8 teaspoon. Swish it in the water to dissolve it.

My mom always used a couple drops of baby shampoo.

Ivory dishwashing detergent also works well and has little scent.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:11PM
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I used to use Woolite, but a number of years ago they changed to a much stronger scent. Like you, I am not fond of strong scents, so I now just use the same detergent I use in my washing machine, All Free and Clear, which is unscented.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:18PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Tide makes a liquid "Free and Clear" that is unscented, as does Seventh Generation and Method (should be available at Target).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:21PM
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Thanks. I use liquid Tide Free and Clear for my front-loader washing machine, and I like it a lot. It is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Which is why I didn't think it would be good for some hand washing - if a little amount of Tide can wash an entire load of laundry, what tiny amount would I use for a few pairs of pantyhose?

I am going to look at Seventh Generation. I really like their Free & Clear Dish Detergent which I keep in my kitchen sink soap dispenser. But it looks like their detergent is also 4x concentrated. I guess I could just use a tiny bit.

I came across Soakwash on Amazon where it gets good reviews. Has anyone here tried it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Soakwash on Amazon

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:41PM
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Ooh, I think I might have found one. It's by the manufacturer of "Forever New" detergents for fine lingerie. I once bought a bottle of Forever New at Macy's when they had it by the checkout counter in the bra department. I thought it worked great but disliked the super-sweet scent. On Amazon I just saw "Variance Liquid by Forever New". It should work the same as Forever New but it's unscented. I'm gonna try it. Has anyone here tried it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Variance Liquid by Forever New

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Sahmmy: "I cannot find a good detergent that I can just use in my sink to hand wash pantyhose and delicate lingerie."

The three top choices (in order) are:

  1. Eucalan

  2. Eucalan


  1. Eucalan.

(We tend to go for the first choice above.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Nothing else like it; others agree.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:03PM
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I have used Eucalan for my handknit sweaters, and personally, don't care for the scent of any of their products, although I still do use the lavender on occasion. It also has lanolin in it, and I personally am not sure I'd want to use it for my lingerie.

Woolite is not really that great for clothing.

My favorite thing to use these days is Ecos Laundry detergent. I like it a little better than Seventh Generation or Method. The scent is light and pleasant. I have a problem with scents and can't use about 95% of the detergents on the market. Same with any Febreeze products, or most household cleaning products.

Before Ecos, I was using Seventh Generation Free and Clear for handwashing of my delicates. The Ecos seems to leave the items a bit softer. Ecos is low sudsing, and rinses cleanly. I've been really happy with it. It doesn't have enzymes though (that I know of), so it's not great at removing stains, but for handwashing, it's great!

For any of the HE laundry detergents though, only a very small amount is needed- I maybe use a 1/2 tsp of Ecos in my bathroom sink in maybe 1/2-3/4 gallons of water.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 2:10AM
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Herring_maven - Eucalan looks great - I think I will buy it for handwashing the few cashmere sweaters I have, and other wool items. I am not sure the lanolin in Eucalan might be something I want for lingerie and pantyhose though. Thanks for the rec!

Gardenspuds - thanks for the rec for Ecos. I've seen it on the shelf at Whole Foods, but have never tried it. I will try it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Eucalan will be fine as long as you are not allergic to wool/lanolin, like I am.

I use Charlies Soap. No perfumes, no colors added, no OBAs, no enzymes, and rinses out very well.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Sahmmy, I use the Forever New Variance powder and I like it very much. I use it for lingerie as well as swimsuits and my daughter's sports "performance" fabrics. [As you may know, those polyester things hold on to stink!]

I use the powder with the delicate setting on my washer. If I were hand washing, I might opt for the liquid version.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:08AM
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