Thank you, sshrivastava

PatAugust 26, 2010

I have washed laundry with half the recommended amount of any detergent for about 20 years now, since a dear friend who just received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering told me something like when the detergent is forced to stretch by using half, it actually cleans better. I have always used Shout to help remove grease spots or stains. Then, on this Forum, sshrivastava has been espousing the use of the recommended amount of whatever detergent you are using, especially to suspend the dirt out of the laundry.

Well! The last 2 days I followed directions on "Tide With Bleach" powder (and "Arm & Hammer Clean Burst" powder with added Borax), double hot water washes, double warm water rinses, and I'm here to tell ya I have never smelled cleaner clothes (may even not switch to "Tide Free" powder) and every stain or spot is taken care of without Shout. Truly amazing for this old dog to learn this new trick.

Thank you, thank you, sshrivastava, and everyone else (suburbanmd and others whom I can't think of right now) who takes the time to share his/her knowledge on this Forum.


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patann, thanks so much! This is a perfect example of trying things out and doing what works for you. I couldn't imagine that it was possible to get clean clothes with the little amounts of detergent I read about, but I also don't believe detergent manufacturers would intentionally recommend we use 5x-6x as much as was really needed. That seems a little too evil even for a big corporation.

I've increased my detergent use since getting my Miele W4842, and clothes are cleaner, softer, and washing machine smells great! I've also gone back to using Downy Free & Sensitive because it was the only FS that properly dissolved and washed out of my dispenser drawer. Everything else, including natural products, left a fatty shortening-like goo over time.

I could never understand why folks needed to pre-treat stains with products like Shout and Charlie's. With a proper wash time and enough detergent, you should be able to get clean laundry without pre-treating.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 11:25AM
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Since I haven't followed the entire evolution of these discussions, I may have missed the point, but I believe the point of pre-treating and then cutting down on detergent and wash length was in an attempt to cut down on energy consumption and water usage, which, perhaps predictably, resulted in more manual labor and dirtier--at least, soapier, clothes.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:07PM
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Extending tumble time in a front load washer comes at a very minor cost in energy and resources. If you reduce detergent forcing you to pre-treat, you are replacing the saved detergent with the pre-treater. More products to buy and more packaging is required in order to use multiple products when you only need to use one. I like to throw my clothes in and have them come out clean and with a minimum of fuss. If I had to spray and pre-treat every stain on every garment I think I would go insane.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:59PM
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sshrivastava, if you ever get the chance (or the desire) - you should give the Shaklee fabric softener a try (it's a greener choice). I used to be a Downy Free user too.

It does not leave any residue in my dispenser (squeaky clean actually - I checked after a load last night). I've been using for almost two years and no build up.

I really like it (as do several people I know). The smell is wonderful - more like a "fresh" smell not a fake smell. The people I know who use it actually rave about how they love the scent.

Anyway, just an FYI for a fellow laundry addict ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Get Clean Fabric Softener

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:05AM
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I don't know how you do laundry without pretreating if you have kids. My boys play sports and the dirt (red clay actually) stains so badly that often, even pretreating with Shout doesn't take out the stains completely. My nine year old came home the other day with stains from the tacos he had at lunch all over his white polo. I treated it, and ended up having to wash it twice to get all the stains out. I have a basic GE FL without an internal heater and I use Tide/Gain/Cheer depending on the load with STPP. I posted a pic a year or so ago of my kids filthy uniforms. The grass and dirt stains are awful. I would love to be able to just toss their clothes in the laundry without pretreating.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 5:36PM
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I wash my medium colored laundry at 120°F and use oxy bleach in addition to my detergent. Dark colors get 105°F. I use a main wash time of at least 45 mins (not including rinse, spin, etc.) to give the clothes sufficient mechanical action. With the type of stains you describe, make sure you are using a detergent with enzymes. I don't know if the detergents you mention contain enzymes - I think Tide HE does, but don't know about the rest. Make sure you are using an HE detergent as well.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:05PM
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