Cheer Detergent Mystery?

livebetterJuly 30, 2011

So, based on the comments of some members, I went out and got a box of Cheer (non-HE) powder. You have to know this is completely against what I believe about using HE in my Miele.

I have to say ... so far ... I really like it a lot. It smells so mild and there were very few suds and it seemed to rinse clean.

Items smelled clean without smelling much - less than Tide and Persil - just a nice clean (almost soapy smell). I find the scent much milder than liquid Cheer HE (which to me is almosst "sweet" smelling).

Now, I know P&G made an HE version once (for what I'm not sure). When I look at the Cheer information compared to the Tide information - Cheer seems more like Tide HE than non-HE Tide.

For example;

Tide non-HE powder, 31 loads, 1.5 kg

Tide HE powder, 40 loads, 1.5 kg

Cheer non-HE powder, 40 loads, 1.5 kg (same as Tide HE)

When I compare the ingredient list on line, both the Cheer HE and the Cheer non-HE have the exact same ingredients in the same order.

Sodium Carbonate

Sodium Alluminosilicate

Alkyl Sulfate

Sodium Sulfate

Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate



Sodium Percarbonate


Polyethylene Glycol 4000

Sodium Polyacrylate




I guess I'll email P&G about it but it's a mystery to me. I will be VERY happy if Cheer powder is good to use in my FL machine because it seems to fill the void I've been searching to fill. Granted it's not green but I'm pleasantly surprised how mild the scent is for a conventional brand.

Any thoughts from other members?

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I think this case is similar to before P&G made Tide with Bleach powder he. Many of us used the regular non-he Tide with Bleach powder in our front loaders...and had no suds issues or rinsing problems. The non-he version even listed a suds inhibitor as one of the ingredients.

I am not using the concentrated he Tide with Bleach powder for my whites...and it is very, very good. The concentrated, new version is not full of fillers, and now the stainless wash drum in my W4842 is left shiny and polished looking after usage. Right now I have A LOT of Tide he liquids and he powders (and in Sept, I am getting a sh*t load of detergent from my family arriving from Germany), but I do want to try the Cheer powder. I also think it smells, clean, crisp and soft!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:20PM
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Meant to say...

I am now using the concentrated he Tide with Bleach powder for my whites....


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:21PM
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Hey Larsi, where ya' been?

Based on how you like "soapy" traditional smells - you might really like the Cheer. I'm totally surprised by it. It smells stronger in the box than when washed and dried. Another bonus for us ... no brighteners! The liquid contains brighteners but the powder does not.

Cheer does list a suds inhibitor too - silicone.

I'm afraid of messing up my Miele (or not washing my clothes properly) using it but I like it SO much better than Tide/Persil fragrance.

I'll see what P&G says but I'm guessing they'll tow the line and say they can't recommend it for a FL.

My parents are expecting company from Germany in Sept. They offered to bring me anything I want to try but I'm afraid all the scents will be too much for me.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Cheer liquid he has Optical Brighteners Livebetter?? OH NO! I just bought a HUGE bottle at Target a few days ago. I figured it has enzymes and a scent I like, and just assumed no OPs like the powder. Damn!!

I think most German products would be too strong for you (I LOVE them though). Ariel might make a sensitive version, but I have not tried it, nor asked for it to be brought to me from Germany.

If you can tolerate and actually like the smell of Cheer Powder, I cannot see how you do not like Persil Sensitive! It is so faint, much fainter than Cheer!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:20AM
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@livebetter - I am impressed that you found any form of powdered Cheer. All I've seen around here are the liquid formulas, and they are difficult to find as it is. If I see any non-HE powder, I'll have to give it a try.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:15AM
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@larsi, I do like Persil Sensitive. Problem is the megaperls version is a universal and the liquid is safe for colors but has brighteners. No sensitive color version with no brighteners. Even the Polish version I have for colors has brighteners.

My quest was for a powder detergent that works, doesn't smell strong, has a slight scent, no brighteners, some enzymes. Cheer seems to be it (although I won't rush to gush until I've used it some more).

Sorry, P&G told me by email that the only Cheer formula with no brighteners is the powder and that they do not make the powder for HE machines.

This is what has me puzzled ... the size and dosing of Cheer is exactly as Tide HE not Tide non-HE.

Anyway, I guess I'll have to email them.

They market their detergent (liquid included) as being good for colors. I believe both formulas contain an ingredient to neutralize chlorine in water to help colors from fading.

@cavimum, Cheer isn't available everywhere around here. Wal-Mart does not carry it for example. Costco had the liquid in a large bottle. I found the powder at Shopper's Drug Mart and I think a few grocery chains may have it.

With my luck, P&G will discontinue it ... sigh ...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:01AM
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@ livebetter

Instead of hunting for a detergent that will neutralize chlorine, why not neutralize the chlorine yourself with a common household ingredient and use the detergent of your choice? Most people don't know this, but VITAMIN C is a fantastic de-chlorinator. Depending on how much chlorine is in your tap water, 500 mg of VITAMIN C should be enough to treat a full load of laundry. Use plain ascorbic acid in powdered form if you can get it. No need for chemicals or obscure detergents!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:29PM
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@sshrivastava, great info.

I wasn't actually looked for a detergent to neutralize chlorine (Cheer just happens to do that).

I was primarily looking for a powder that works, doesn't smell strong, has a light scent and does not contain brighteners (and HE). HARD to find.

Cheer seems to be the only powder that fits the bill. Although not specifically HE which is my issue.

The Sears (Kenmore) color powder detergent here in Canada does not contain brighteners but I haven't tried it yet. Sears Canada told me Sears Canada detergent is not the same as Sears US detergent. As laws are different they are made differently ... interesting. They did confirm the Cdn color version does not contain brighteners.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:11PM
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A powdered detergent that works well and contains no OBAs... Bi-O-Kleen Premium Powder. It has a lightly citrus scent due to the grapefruit seed extract, but no scent at all once the wash is done. It contains oxygen bleach and enzymes. I have found that it's one of the few natural detergents that actually does a good job of cleaning. Suds are not an issue.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:22PM
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@sshrivastava, been there, tried that.

I like a little residual scent just not too much (I'm a tough customer).

I do think the BioKleen cleans well, just left me wanting for a little fragrance.

Also, not available in Canada so must order on line or buy when I'm over the border.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:27PM
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Just curious....why are you trying to avoid optical brighteners? Are they bad for machines or fabrics? Tis.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:48PM
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@illinigirl, a couple reasons.

First, brighteners are really just chemicals that stick to fabric and make them "appear" brighter/whiter. See the attached Seventh Generation video that explains pretty well the downsides of using them.

I also believe that dark color fading is related to their use. The way in which they reflect light can make dark colors like black appear more charcoal and faded.

Mostly, I don't think they are necessary and I'd rather they not be on my kids' clothes or things like sheets/towels that touch their skin.

Hope that helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Seventh Generation - Say No to the Glow

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:50PM
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ty. i did not know that! it does make a lot of sense though.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:53PM
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(May I pause for a really big chuckle here ...?)

Truly, I have been using regular Cheer powder in my Asko and Miele (all 220v) machines for well more than a decade.

Back in the day (c 2002-ish when I discovered this forum) I used to report using regular Cheer powder here and received almost universal condemnation ("it's guaranteed to ruin your machines, foster bio-flim, leave dirty clothes, mold outbreaks, scale on my heating elements, ground down bearings and water seals in the machine, etc.")

And you know what? NONE of those things happened, except that I got tired of being harshly chastised by all the "experts" here so I became quite cagey about what I did use. I generally described it as just a "plain-Jane, big brand, non-HE powder", and refused to be more specific than that.

Cheer is a great powdered detergent and I have nothing but praise for it. The only place I can reliably find it now is at Target, however.

I orginally choose it because it was low-sudsing, long before there was such a thing as HE formulations. Those of you who have signed on to FL bandwagon more recently know only about HE stuff. Prior to that you looked for the words "low-sudsing", if you wanted a good product for FLs. All those holdover, pre-European invasion FL machines needed low-sudsing for the same reasons we need it now. Cheer powder was one of the mainstays in those days.

That it also has enzymes and no OBAs and excellent rinsing qualities makes it just about perfect for me and my water chemistry and my wash habits.

It's also quite inexpensive, and I find that I can use much less than called for, but that may be mostly a function of my water chemistry, YMMV on that.

Anyhoo, welcome to the Cheer-powder fan club! I hope you will be as pleased as I have been. BTW, I have "cured" a couple of cases of stinky (bio-film/mold) machines simply by getting their owners to wash a couple of loads per week in hotter water, using Cheer powder almost exclusively, and generally less than a full dose at that.

My only worry is that if it gets too wildly popular some product manager at the factory will notice and think that it needs "improving" to furtherr increase sales and alter (ruin) the current formula to fancy it up.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 2:39AM
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"My only worry is that if it gets too wildly popular some product manager at the factory will notice and think that it needs "improving" to further increase sales and alter (ruin) the current formula to fancy it up."

Isn't that the truth!?! As soon as I find something wonderful, they either ruin "improve" it to where I can't use it, or it goes out of production.

I found powdered Cheer yesterday at the local Harris Teeter, in the more concentrated form that @livebetter mentioned. :-D Thru trial-and-error and a few phone calls to Miele Tech Consumer Support, I now use 1/4 the recommended dose because I was having horrible detergent residue/buildup problems at full dose no matter which brand, so this will last quite a long time.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:58AM
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I use to use the Cheer non HE powder. I had a box and it was wonderful and lasted me for forever. No allergies, clothes smelled and felt clean. The next one I bought suds really bad, so I figured they had changed it. Maybe I got a bad box. Now that it's concentrated, people are saying it works wonderful again. Going to try it again. If it works, it will definitely become a regular in my house. :)

I do not have to worry about servicing issues. I wrote to the manufacturer of my washer a while back and they actually said I could use regular detergent in my machine, just to use the minimum dose required to clean the clothes and to make sure I did regular maintenance to prevent build up in the machine. I personally still go for low sudsing, but it's nice to have that email from the manufacturer to fall back on. :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:21AM
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@happymomof2kids, what machine do you have?

I emailed P&G about this powder and why ingredients are the same as Cheer HE. No response yet - annoying.

I can tell you that this new concentrated Cheer is VERY low sudsing in my Miele W4842.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Well ... here is P&G's response and it's not what I wanted to hear. DRAG ... I REALLY like this powder detergent.

"Thank you for contacting Cheer.

Our HE and non-HE formulas are different and we don't recommend using a non-HE detergent in your HE washer.

Only the use of a HE detergent ensures the proper performance of your washer. Since HE washers use less water to clean, the water is dirtier. Our HE detergent has special dirt capturing ingredients to suspend dirt and dyes in the water, which helps keep them from re-depositing on your clean laundry.

Since we don't currently have a HE powder, I suggest either switching to Cheer HE liquid or trying Tide HE powder.

Thanks for writing."

I still think it's weird that their ingredients are the same?? or was that another P&G error ... sheesh ...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 8:33AM
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@livebetter - that makes absolutely no sense, since the PG site shows both HE and non-HE with the same ingredients. Argh...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Why would they not say for both if it is for both? They would gain more sales. They can't benefit from telling me this (can they)??

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 2:56PM
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