detergents with no OBAs that really clean

stbonnerJuly 14, 2012

I'm looking for a detergent that can really, really clean (my husband loves to tinker with things and gets super dirty), doesn't fade clothing, and - in a perfect world - has no pthalates, either. I know, I'm not asking for much:) Tide Free cleans great, but has OBAs, but doesn't have fragrance, which is a good thing. I may only be able to get 2 out of 3 things that I want in a "perfect" detergent, but would love to hear any suggestions.

I have used Persil Megaperls in the past and thought it worked great, but it does have fragrance, so I'm not sure about the pthalate thing there. I'm going to have a new grandbaby soon, and I'm sure I will be washing his/her clothes occasionally, so would love to find something that is really effective but doesn't have lots of nasty chemicals added. Ideas?

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@stbonner - the web site I'm linking below might be helpful to you. You can browse and see...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cloth Diaper Detergent Chart

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Cheer Powder. I bought a box specifically to wash darks because other detergents caused fading. I really really like it. Very light fragrance and cleans very well. Note that it is not made in HE version but it is very low sudsing and I use it in my front loader with no issues whatsoever. Others on this forum use it too in HE machines.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:20AM
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Thanks, y'all. It doesn't look like there is anything available in the natural type detergent that is going to clean the stuff I have to deal with. I have used the Cheer powder in the past but had forgotten about it, frankly. Izeve, what dosage are you using? When I used it before I used 2 tbs. but that was before it was reformulated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:45AM
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stbonner, I bought my box at Big Lots - it was old stock from before it was concentrated so I have the old formula. What I do is use a scoop that came with concentrated powder HE Tide w/bleach and follow the concentrated powder dosage instructions so I think it ends up being basically half of the recommended dose of Cheer. My machine is a 3.6 cu ft LG front loader, my water is city water that is fairly soft (1-2 gpg) and I get zero suds with it. Great washing results though! So I would say start with half of the recommended dosage and adjust as needed.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Just another thought - I also had good results with Green Works liquid detergent. It comes in Free & Clear variety and has no optical brighteners. I used the scented variety and got tired of the scent so I switched to Cheer when I finished the bottle but Green Works does wash well.

I also recently tried Seventh Generation 4x concentrated liquid and while it does not fade clothes, I don't think it cleans that well (I have to increase the dose significantly to get rid of smells, especially sweat).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:55AM
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I did previously try the Greenworks detergent, but it was awfully sudsy in my Bosch frontloader. I tried the Second Generation stuff too, and while it was pretty good it really wasn't up to the kind of dirty clothes my husband brings home from hunting, fishing, and working on his tractor. I think I'll give the Cheer another try. Thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:44AM
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There is always Charlies Soap - no OBAs, no perfumes or colorants, no enzymes, no oxy-bleach, but it cleans routine soil fairly well. Stains and other stuff needs to be pre-treated with Shout or similar product.

Biz (for enzymes) additive in the powder form is not as highly perfumed as the liquid. Might have OBAs, I do not know.

BioKleen's BacOut, which I have never tried, might be a good enzyme additive; I don't think it has any perfumes.

Ecover oxy bleach is fairly straightforward.

Oxy-Clean has an un-scented version and easier to find in some retail stores.

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Cheer powder does contain OBAs. I asked them myself on FB and got this response:

Cheer wrote: "Cheer Powder includes a brightener ingredient that gets whites and colors bright and clean! It also offers a color care benefit that will help leave your clothes brighter in just 1 wash. The HE is only available in the liquid."

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:45PM
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I have called and asked before and they told me the powder is the one with no brightener, but that has been a while. If you want the HE Cheer Powder, try Sams. I got mine there and the last time I was there they still had plenty. P&G told me they only did the HE Powder for "Club stores" as a trial and it was now discontinued.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Ugh, it so disappointing when you get all kinds of conflicting information from the manufacturers.... So now I don't know what to believe any more. I have done all kinds of (unscientific) research on Cheer Powder and thought it didn't have OBs. But now I found it does???

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:48PM
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You can do a google search to find the ingredient list of Proctor and Gamble detergents by using the name of the detergent plus the phrase "ingredients by function". Here is the list for the Cheer powder.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheer powder ingredients

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Ok, I am so embarrassed. I have no idea how that link ended up on there. So sorry!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheer link

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Not positive, but I don't think "optical brightener" and "brightener ingredient" are the same thing. I do not think Cheer powder has optical brighteners.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:51PM
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We use Charlie's Soap Laundry Detergent may be a good option for you--no optical brighteners, no fragrance, rinses clean, low suds, no pthalates and clothes come out soft without any fabric softener. My DH is a mechanic and his clothes get covered in motor oil, hydraulic oil, carbon dust, ... you name it. Charlie's works beautifully. Dawn dishwashing liquid works as a great pre-treater for greasy spots too. In our area, depending on where you buy it, 80 loads worth of detergent runs $9.99 to $13.99.

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's Soap

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:37AM
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The brightener listed in Cheer, Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate, IS and optical brightener. Stilbene is the clue that it is a fluorescing compound.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:23AM
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izeve, aliceinwonderland, that Cheer link is for the LIQUID Cheer only, which we already know has OBs.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Oh, you're correct. The powders do not list any brighteners.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Biokleen Premium has no OBAs, does have enzymes and works extremely well. It isn't as great as Persil but it is definately the best of the green detergents I've tried. It is very reasonably priced per load as well.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:57AM
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