Green laundry - CS - borax, washing soda, stains, help

SheeshareeIIJuly 11, 2011

I've finally realized doing laundry sometimes requires more than throwing your clothes in, adding soap, and walking away. : ( I've been using Charlie's Soap powder for at least three years now and am on 2nd bucket. We have well water and a water softener.

I've recently noticed our gym clothes especially are holding smells. They're fine until you start to sweat and then it's rather gross.

In the past, I'd have my white load but my colors and darks were thrown together and washed in cold water. Of course I have a towel load and some fun hand wash items.

I might not have been using enough soap for the large loads. I was only using the green scoop but perhaps I need more. Recently I've tried two scoops in addition to hot water but it's not helping with the smell.

So maybe better sorting, some hot water, and more soap are a start but I was thinking I needed something more so I bought some Borax and Washing Soda today at the store and now I'm not sure if I should use both with the Charlie's Soap?

I do use vinegar as fabric softener on occasion. I also hang clothes on the line at times but usually only whites. I did try hanging some of the funky smelling gym clothes out longer but so far I haven't beat the smell.

I'm also pretty terrible at getting stains out. In the past I wasn't looking for stains and the CS doesn't take them out. I've used the CS all purpose spray on blood and that came out fine but it doesn't seem to work on grease. I do have some Fels Naphtha soap and was reading that was good as a spot treatment. ?

My DH sweats and his dark brown hat the other day had lovely white sweat/salt marks all over it. It didn't come out in the wash and after reading online it appears I should've tried a toothbrush with vinegar.

We're not sensitive but just figured it would be better to use "green" products. Since we're not used to the fragrance anymore, if I borrow clothes from someone who uses it, the smell gags me after a while.

I find all the info. online overwhelming. I also thought the Borax and Washing Soda safe but then someone online said they read it's not. After some digging it seems it's much lesser of an evil but I was still like,"C'mon! Really?"

Suggestions, thoughts? I feel like I'm ruining our clothes and we're planning to start a family soon so I really need to get this laundry thing figured out. Thanks so much!

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First, do you allow those gym clothes to dry out completely, before you toss them in the dirty clothes pile? This is really important. If they are even slightly damp, they are going to ferment.

Second, washing sweaty clothing - even completely dried out ones - requires a slightly warmer temp than cold, at least lukewarm like 80 degrees F ... as warm as they can tolerate... in my opinion.

I washed all my DH's wicking polyester golf shirts in CS for the past couple of years, and they don't have any odors. It gets HOT and HUMID where we live, and he's out there sweating for four hours at a time. I always make sure they are completely dry before they go into the hamper (lik, the next day).

Now that I have a front-loader, I no longer use CS. It left a dusty white residue all over the drum the first and only time tried it. In my old top-loader, our whites got dingy over time, in spite of washing soda, borax and Calgon added in various combinations. I'm now using detergents with enzymes and they are cleaner than before. I doubt I'll ever go back to CS.

This same subject was discussed recently, at the link below, and you might find some helpful information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Funky smelling workout clothes

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:20PM
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Not sure how green it is or how it works (the reviews seem to be OK) but Tide has a formula for sports clothes. I saw it at the local grocery store so I'd imagine it's available just about everywhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Tide

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:57PM
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If you try that Tide w/Febreze Sport, be sure you open the bottle and give it a sniff before you buy. You're accustomed to CS with no perfumes, and the Febreze might put you in a coma. Febreze itself is nothing but heavy perfume.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:11AM
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@ sheesharee

Part of the problem is CS. After using it for a few weeks, I found that it didn't remove stains and my whites appeared to get dingy. If it can't remove stains and can't keep my whites white, then how can it possibly remove sweat odor and other sorts of things? Also, I was told by CS to increase the dosage to 2 TBS for a 4+ cuft machine in soft water - that's double the recommendation on the bag.

I look at it this way, if you have to add a bunch of things to the detergent to make it work, all the benefits of going "natural" go out the window and so do your costs. Bite the bullet and get yourself a mainstream detergent that you know cleans, like Tide HE, and get it in a "free and clear" version so you don't have to deal with scents. I also suggest you stop washing in cold water. Remember that when a fabric says to wash on "cold", that means 85 degrees. I don't recommend washing on cold ever, as most items marked for cold washing can easily be washed in warm, 105F water, and with better results.

Go with a better detergent and donate what you have left of the CS to a local animal shelter.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:17AM
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