Persil w/Electrolux Washer: Still need OxyClean?

eieio8October 9, 2010

Hi All: For a number of years now, I've been using Tide or similar in a top loading machine (very low end Maytag) and adding OxyClean powder (pre-mixed with warm water to dissolve the OxyClean first before pouring into my top loader) in order to wash all whites, i.e. white sheets and various only white clothing). The results are fine, no complaints.

I'm moving in about a month's time, and, in my new apartment, I've installed a new Electrolux washer and dryer. I read everything about it and decided to use Persil powder for my whites, and Persil Color Megaperls for my colors, and Perwoll for my pure black clothing or super dark navy clothing. I'm wondering if for the whites, I should consider adding OxyClean to my Persil powder? It's just not a "talked about topic" as Persil is very European-oriented and OxyClean is very American oriented, so I've not found many who would discuss whether OxyClean is still needed with whites when using Persil Powder.

Thanks in advance and hoping to hear some advice.

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Well, I'm curious what is "everything" you've read about Persil to cause you to switch (assuming you live in the US). Persil powder contains lots and lots of the two main ingredients found in OxiClean.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 1:00AM
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Thx for your reply. I found the ingredients for Persil via this other thread posting:

" * Posted by mysteryclock (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 14, 09 at 20:19

Here's a rundown of the Persil (German) ingredients and a link to the data sheet. Any Chemists / ChemE's reading this thread care to comment?

Under "Classified Substances"

(>= 7 - (>= 20%) Sodium carbonate
(>= 7-(>= 5-(>= 1 - Under "Labeling for Contents":

(5-15%) anionic surfactants, oxygen-based bleaching agent
((Further Ingredients) Perfumes, Benzyl salicylate, Linalool, Hexyl cinnamal, optical brighteners, Enzymes "

I found the following on OxiClean's site (i cannot find out more on my OxiClean's box):

"The OxiClean® formulation is actually a combination of ingredients, the chief ingredient being hydrogen peroxide. Another essential part of the formula is the surfactants, or detergents. Combined, these ingredients work together to do some amazing things..."

So, with all this information, what do y'all think please?

Thx in advance!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 9:44PM
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I found OxiClean MSDS somewhere. It's roughly half sodium carbonate (probably a bit more than half), roughly half sodium percarbonate, and a little bit of something else I didn't recognize. Probably a surfactant.

That's quite a range Persil gives for the sodium percarbonate, but you can think of Persil as being somewhere from a fourth to half OxiClean.

Oxi is great for organic colored stains like berries, coffee, etc., but surfactants are better for body oils and grease. For me, a normal white load has mostly body soils and maybe the occasional organic stain, so the Persil formulation should work well since it contains a bunch of surfactants and a bit of oxygen bleach. If I had a load with lots of organic stains, I might add a bit more oxygen bleach, crank up the heat, and give it time to soak.

But I don't understand why you wouldn't use Tide instead. Tide is an extremely similar formulation that you can buy practically anywhere for a fraction of the cost of the imported product. Tide cleans very well.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:04AM
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Tide stinks to high heaven and is terrible to rinse out. You can look at Tide as America's Persil. However, Persil performs much better than Tide HE which is why I use Persil. It also doesn't leave a horrible lingering scent like Tide HE and it is much better rinsing. Tide HE builds up in your clothes. Maybe that could be one reason why you are experiencing rough, stiff towels. Your choice of detergents is not the best in terms of rinsability and softness.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:29AM
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I agree with Ssrivastava 100%. I used to only use Tide he. It is so hard to rinse, does leave my clothes looking very dull & tired (build up?) and the smell is very strong. I happen to like a very strong smelling detergent and fabric softener, but Tide does not smell fresh and clean, it is just overly perfumated. Persil (and German Ariel) which I use, smell clean, fresh and like old-fashioned laundry detergent.

I can tell when I use Tide (powder) and especially the Liquid, that during the rinsing processes in my Miele, the rinse water is super sudsy. Whih my Persil or Ariel, the rinse waters are almost clear. I have tried and tried American detergents, and nothing works as well as German detergents. Das Beste oder Nichts :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:50AM
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It's hard to believe, since comparable formulas of Tide and Persil are extremely similar.

Objectively looking at the lists of ingredients, I refuse to believe that Persil cleans better than the equivalent formula of Tide until I see photos of an objective, scientific test comparing them.

I do NOT have Tide "building up" on my towels. They came out stiff and scratchy after ONE WASH in a new FL machine, not using Tide. Nothing "builds up" in one wash. I have used 4 different detergents, and if anything, the powdered Gain formula might rinse more easily than the various liquid formulas.

NOTHING "builds up" if it is rinsed out. I can wash fabrics with bar soap in hard water, yet they will dry nice and soft IF THE SOAP IS ALL RINSED OUT.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:45PM
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There are many better informed people on this list than I, but Persil has water softeners in its formula. Perhaps, if people have hard water, they may get a better rinse with Persil.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:25PM
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Kudos to you Andersons, you seem to have everything figured out. Would you mind posting specifics with regard to your claim that Tide and Persil are extremely similar? Since you objectively looked at the list of ingredients, I'm sure you wouldn't mind posting an ingredient-by-ingredient comparison and analysis. I look forward to reading it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Sshrivastava to Andersons....Oh snap!!! LOL

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 3:18PM
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It is easy to find both on the web.

Maybe I'll consider doing all that work when you post the objective results of your careful cleaning comparison of Persil and Tide where you eliminate all the other variables.

electroluxor, all mainstream detergents contain water softening ingredients. They are the dominant ingredients.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Andersons, you're the one who claimed that you were "Objectively looking at the lists of ingredients" and that "comparable formulas of Tide and Persil are extremely similar". You made the claim, and I'm challenging you to prove your generic claims right here, right now. You are referencing an ingredients comparison, so please by all means provide us with the list of ingredients and show us your expertise in this area.

For those of you have been members of this forum for a few years will remember that I posted an exhaustive comparison of Tide HE vs. Persil back in 2005-2006, including before/after photos of swatches washed in both detergents. Unfortunately the thread has fallen off of Garden Web. I took the time and effort to do it back then, and it certainly took much more time than the simple copy/paste it would take you to do a comparison of ingredients. That is, if you did in fact do it.

Andersons, we are all waiting for your illuminating analysis.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:19AM
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Indeed, OxyClean is not necessary when using Persil - the non-Color version. Oxy bleach is one of the key ingredients in Persil and, along with the booster ingredient TEAD, starts working at 104F. Although tests done by the German consumer magazine have repeatedly shown the maximum stain removal is obtained at 140F.

This magazine also tested oxy products not too long ago and concluded that a good universal detergent alone does a better job than most oxy additives we have here - and we have quite a few. We even have this Tide Stain Release stuff - only that it's labeled Ariel and comes in blue instead of orange.

Perwool is really intended for wool and silk - not for dark cotton fibres. It lacks enzymes, which would eat wool fibres but otherwise remove all sorts of stains. Your "pure black clothing or super dark navy clothing" is best washed with Persil Color. In fact, Persil Color just ranked as the best detergent for colored clothing in a test conducted by our consumer magazine. It washes well, removes stains well (but not in cold water) and keeps colors from transferring onto other items in the wash. Only Ariel Color & Style with Actilift (by P&G) did as well as Persil.

As far is formulations.. I don't know which one is better. I can see, though, that Tide HE powder only has one enzyme versus five in Persil Megaperls.

HTH, Alex

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:40PM
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sshrivastava, I don't see why I'm the only one on this discussion forum being challenged for proof. This is a discussion forum, not a peer-reviewed science journal. Unsubstantiated opinions and statements are the norm, including from you. No one else is being challenged to prove them. It's much more reasonable and appropriate for YOU to say WHY you disagree. Debate can be civil, fair, and enlightening.

If you made an objective comparison of detergents' cleaning in the past, I applaud that. But Persil reformulated its detergents in 2007/2008. Tide recently tweaked its formulations as well.

And as I've searched this forum researching various topics, I have read old posts where you say that Tide performed better than Persil, and later justify or explain why you switched to Persil anyway. Something like that IIRC.

Proving the ingredients are similar is not an easy copy-and-paste operation. First, the format in which the ingredients are published is not always easily copied and pasted, especially into the not-helpful technology used in this forum. Second, some chemicals have dozens of synonyms. It's not easy to recognize that they are the same just by the name. I had to do a lot of digging on those and would have to take the time to explain them. I will probably do so when I get around to it, but it's annoying to have someone demand that I do it now on a discussion forum.

In the meantime, you and every other reader are free to believe what I say, or not. It's easier to summarize, so that's what I'll do in the post below (if the forum lets me submit it).

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 4:32PM
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Comparing the powder formulas for washing whites, which are the best-cleaning detergents in any brand's lineup:

Tide HE Powder and Persil Bio are extremely similar. They use zeolites plus a polymer called sodium polyacrylate to remove water hardness. The polymer makes the zeolites work much better to rival the effectiveness of phosphates. They both contain a lot of sodium carbonate as another builder. They both contain sodium sulfate as a filler/structurant to make a flowing powder. They both contain sodium percarbonate, an oxygen bleach. Persil contains a bit more, but Tide contains a better activator which works at a lower temperature. Persil contains a soap; Tide does not. Persil then includes a small amount of phosphonate to prevent the soap ingredient from forming scum. They both include 2 or 3 surfactants. The names look different, but they are in the same class. Persil includes one which has a different feedstock (source of fat) but is then processed into the same type of molecule. (All companies are headed in this direction because of the increased cost of petroleum and goals of sustainability.) All main brands of detergent contain these same effective surfactants, but cheaper ones include less in the formulations. Both Persil and Tide contain optical brighteners. Tide contains a chelating salt to capture soils and heavy metals, whereas Persil includes citric acid as a chelator. Persil includes cellulose gum, which thickens the soil-filled water, whereas Tide uses a polymer to help prevent redepositing (the surfactants also do that). Both include silicone to decrease sudsing.

A slight difference is that Persil includes sodium chloride as a "filler." It appears that sodium chloride was necessary in the formula to counteract an affect of another ingredient. I think it was the soap. Then Persil includes a phosphonate to counteract the corrosive affect of the sodium chloride, which would otherwise damage metal washer parts over time. One other slight difference is that Persil includes amylase, so it may have a slight cleaning edge for starch-based stains in short and/or cool wash cycles. (But most tough stains are protein-based, and both brands include protease.)

Both include fragrance and cornstarch carrier. Persil includes additional ingredients related to fragrance: butylphenyl methylpropional (which has a floral/fresh smell) and citronellol. I am not sure why the plasticizer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is in Persil's formula, but it appears to enhance the fragrance as it smells in the package.

Tide lists a stabilizing polymer, whereas Persil does not. Persil lists a number of ingredients that are not included intentionally for cleaning, but react when mixed together.

Henkel's Persil Universal Powder is very similar to the formula described above, with 2 main differences that could affect cleaning. First, it uses several mild surfactants, ones found in shampoos and body washes. These do not clean as well as the standard laundry surfactants. (It does still contain a standard surfactant.) Second, it includes additional enzymes, lipase, mannanase, cellulase. So it appears to rely more on enzymes to break down grease, and less on surfactants. The lipase cuts a large oily stain into small droplets, and the weaker surfactant is then sufficient to pull those away from the fabric. I would not expect a significant difference in performance, but enzyme cleaning would be considered better for the environment, because enzymes can make the formula clean better at lower temperatures. There are a few other minor additions that I wouldn't expect any cleaning effect from and have redundant purpose to other ingredients. (Chances are the list of ingredients names all possible ingredients for a given function in the formula, and the actual formulas vary based on materials price fluctuations.)

It was a bit annoying to research the Unilever/Henkel products. They use different names for many of the chemicals. Once I found the commonly-used synonym, I was able to learn a lot more about the chemical. I think that U/H use different names to mask certain chemical names that sound negative; for example, phosphate/phosphonate, formaldehyde, and melamine. Also, the ingredient list has changed during the week or two since I started researching it! None of the changes would really affect performance, but it takes extra time for a non-chemist like me to look them up and find out what they are.

Gain HE Powder has the same formulation as Tide HE Powder, but a different scent which IMO is much nicer than Tide's.

The chemists are working hard even now to modify these formulas. In 2011, Tide is supposed to ship a concentrated powder product that can put equal cleaning power in less space, weight, and packaging. They've already introduced a similar product in Canada and of course the same concept, 2X ultra, in liquids.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 7:31PM
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That's awesome info, thanks.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 7:35PM
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Thank you for taking the time to enlighten me on what's in our detergents for the most part! WOW!
My hats off to you for sure! =)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:34PM
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andersons: i really like this! i'll re-read it to try to digest more fully of what you wrote. this is not a strength of mine - chemistry, but i want to re-read it tomorrow/over the weekend to try to get more out of your post. it's great information, and i'll do my best to get as much out of it as i can. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:44AM
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@andersons: This is great information! I wish Gardenweb would not drop older threads, but would instead archive them. It would be nice to go back and re-read my Persil vs. Tide HE test. As I recall, both Persil and Tide HE cleaned equally well in my tests. I ran the tests with just detergent and then also with liquid Calgon water softener. I did that to see how well each performed in hard and soft water. My water here in Arizona is about 20-30 grains, which is extremely hard. I concluded that both cleaned about the same. I can't tell you how many people hated on me after making that statement!

The issue I started having with Tide HE was that it was causing my partner to itch. I had an Asko at the time, which gave me a minimum of 5 rinses plus two additional, optional rinses. If a detergent is causing someone to itch after 5 rinses, that points towards something from the detergent being left behind in the fabric (residue) that is causing irritation. I also started to itch after a while.

My switch back to Persil has been somewhat recent - in the last 6-8 months. The reason for the switch? I wanted something that cleaned as well as Tide HE but did not cause skin issues. Persil appears to fit the bill. I've tried all sorts of other products, none of which cleaned as well as Tide and Persil. I came to the realization, at least in my situation, that I'll never find anything that cleans as well as Tide HE or Persil. While more expensive, Persil gives me everything I want without the irritation or lingering smell.

The only other product I've found that seems to clean as well as Tide/Persil is Bi-O-Kleen Premium powdered detergent. The first listed ingredient in that product is enzymes. However, the jury is still out on whether "natural" products are more prone to causing mold/mildew issues so I'm holding off on using that or any other "green" product until I can satisfy myself that it won't bring a funk to my wonderful new machine.

Andersons, I do apologize for getting snarky with you. I thought you were a troublemaker, but your recent posts have clearly proven that you are not.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:22AM
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Yes, thank you andersons for the detailed info!

I have a question for sshrivastava, who said:

"... the jury is still out on whether "natural" products are more prone to causing mold/mildew issues so I'm holding off on using that or any other "green" product until I can satisfy myself that it won't bring a funk to my wonderful new machine."

this is the first I'd heard that... could you tell us more about where that idea came from? (I'm a Bio-Kleen Premium Powder fan, too, and have a very new Miele FL that I want to keep in pristine condition)


    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Thanks for the information Andersons... That was wonderful information.

Regarding the Bio Kleen, I don't use it but one of my girlfriends is a Bio Kleen only person. She has a front loading machine and uses nothing but Bio Kleen powder. She swears by it and her machine remains pristine.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:21PM
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@cryptandrus: I don't know where I read it, specifically, but I think it was in one or more threads on GardenWeb. The hypothesis goes something like this... natural/green products are non-toxic and gentle, therefore when using these products the washer is not as uninviting to spores/microorganisms as it would be when using more "toxic" products. It's not a convincing argument for sure, but I'm playing it safe by alternating between products like Vaska, Bi-O-Kleen and Persil. I am extremely paranoid about my machine catching an odor.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 8:51PM
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I'm be concerned about the possible lack of "washer protection agents" in natural products.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:42PM
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@suburbanmd: I share the same concern. The washer protection agents I've typically seen are sodium silicate/metasilicate. Apparently this material not only has soil suspension qualities, but it also is a corrosion inhibitor protecting the metal parts of a washing machine or dishwasher from "alkaline attack". Sodium silicates are particularly important for washing china, as they also protect the overglaze on expensive china from alkaline attack. I haven't seen any green or natural products with these ingredients.

I have seen pictures of corroded spider assemblies, which I assume happen after years of use. Can that be caused by using detergents that lack these ingredients? Is it much ado about nothing? This is why I bounce back and forth. When I'm feeling particularly "green", I will go back to something like Vaska or BI-O-KLEEN, but the next wash is almost always with something stronger like Persil.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:39AM
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With all this fantastic knowledge on this thread, along with the extremely knowledgeable folks, i.e. andersons, et al, may i follow up with another question, please?


If i have a bunch of black T shirts, black Turtlenecks, and various sundry black/navy blue/very dark items, whether they be black cotton or black fleece, would using Persil Color Megaperls be "optimal"? Or, would it be better to use Perwoll liquid? ( i can't find Perwoll in any other form here in the US)

In the past, my machines are top loaders and very low end, so I simply bought Cheer for Dark Colors (non-HE, for top loaders), and it was all i could do.

Now, with the brand new Electrolux front loading washer/dryer, I can no longer use Cheer Dark colors nor can i find any other HE compatible non-expensive detergent! The only options appear to be Persil Color Megaperls or Perwoll.

I understand that Perwoll isn't specifically made for cotton or fleece (totally man-made fiber), but it IS specifically made for very dark or black colors!

I'm torn between using Persol Color Megaperls, Perwoll, or another HE-compatible option that I have not yet found.

May I ask the good folks here on this thread to kindly give me their "best" solution? Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 12:58AM
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You're all welcome for the info. I'm glad there are others who are laundry-obsessed enough to care. :) (It's too bad the forum technology is the worst on the web; it's a shame to lose great threads, no matter how old! And these popup ads are killing me!)

What to use for darks is a good question. I haven't researched Perwoll or Megapearls. But as Alex mentioned above, Perwoll is intended for wool and thus has no enzymes. Enzymes have a huge effect on cleaning. They break up a soil or stain into many tiny fragments, which the other ingredients can then easily oxidize (in the case of oxygen bleach) or pull off the fabric (surfactants, polymers). A tiny amount of enzymes can cut apart a lot of soils; the enzymes don't get "used up" or bound to a soil, so they are free to cut up more soils. They work in cool temperatures, and they work very fast. So, a formula without enzymes won't clean as well. So for your non-wool darks, for cleaning, the Megapearls is bound to be better.

I want to use something I can buy locally, and I'm not sure yet what I will use for darks. My darks are mostly cotton or synthetics, but we also wear wool socks. For everything but the socks, I may continue to use Kirkland Free & Clear, which cleans well and contains no OBs. Cheer might be better, because of the color-locking polymer it contains, but I doubt it would make any difference...if black bleeds a little onto black, or navy, it probably doesn't matter to me. My dark loads are uniformly DARK.

For the wool socks, the best-known US equivalent to enzyme-free Perwoll is Woolite (made by a UK company). I'm not super impressed with Woolite Dark HE. The socks just didn't smell fresh coming out of the wash. But like I said above, without enzymes, the formula is not going to clean as well. *shrug* What to do? I asked my husband, Do you want CLEAN socks or do you want SOFT socks? LOL.

I am also trying Biokleen All-temp Liquid for this purpose. It does not list any enzymes on the label; just surfactants, grapefruit seed something-or-other, and orange peel extract. (Now, Biokleen is NOT GOOD about providing ingredient lists, so I have not been able to do the kind of research I did on Tide and Persil. Very annoying.) The orange peel extract might be d-limonene, which is an extremely powerful solvent degreaser. Biokleen Liquid also contains "conditioners" -- whatever those are supposed to be. So I will wash the wool socks in Biokleen, probably Monday. I hope they can smell fresher than they did with the Woolite.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 2:27AM
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eieio8, if you do a search on this forum you will see that many people on here use Cheer powder (non HE) in their frontloaders. The most common dosage seems to be 2 tbs per load. For darks I use Cheer powder or Persil megapearls. For wool socks I use Vaska - cleans great and smells wonderful. Vaska has no enzymes. For whites I use either Tide with Oxiclean or Persil Universal megapearls.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 7:23AM
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@stbonner: Keep in mind that use of non-HE detergents is probably not a good idea in an HE top or front load machine. Using only 2 TBS of non-HE detergent will not supply your load with a sufficient amount of cleaning ingredients. Over time you may notice dingy or dull/greying clothes, strange odors, and possibly experience mold/mildew issues in your machine.

I know that many people are happily using non-HE detergents, but by doing so you are taking a risk and are going against every manufacturer's recommendations.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:00AM
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andersons, RE: ...these popup ads are killing me!

I know this is slightly off topic, and GardenWeb won't like this but...

I highly recommend Firefox web browser. There are thousands of free "add-ons" available, one of my favorites is called "Adblock Plus"

It does what the name implies, blocking all of that "junk."

It's super-easy to use, and customizable. (is that a word?)

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Firefox add-ons Adblock plus

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:30AM
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I found this website while doing some research yesterday. It again stresses the importance of using HE detergents and not regular detergents in your HE machine.

"The Role of Traditional Laundry Detergents
Detergents are star performers on laundry day. Their primary task is to remove soils and stains, but they do much more than that. Detergents are designed to freshen, remove odors, and brighten fabrics as they clean.

Another key detergent function is to hold soils, and any dyes from colored fabrics, suspended in the wash water. This keeps soils and dyes from being re-deposited back onto the cleaned laundry.

Traditional detergents are formulated to accomplish these tasks in high water volumes in traditional agitator washers.

Rising to the Challenge
It’s common sense, really: because of the low-water wash and rinse cycles in HE washers, HE detergents must work differently from traditional laundry detergents in order to be effective.

As a result of extensive research, HE detergents are formulated to be low-sudsing and quick-dispersing to get the best cleaning performance with HE washers.
• Excess suds can cause problems in HE washers by “cushioning” - or even preventing - the tumbling action. This can impact proper
• HE detergents are also formulated to hold soils and dyes in suspension in low water volumes, so they don’t re-deposit onto cleaned laundry."

I thought this was interesting ...

"LABEL ALERT! Some detergent manufacturers label their detergents “HE Compatible.” Many of these detergents are regular sudsing detergents that should not be used in your HE washer. Be sure to read detergent labels carefully!"

Here is a link that might be useful: The Cleaning Institute - HE Washers & Detergents

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:35AM
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Electrolux Washers and other front loading HE washers:

IF i choose to use OxiClean in addition to either Tide HE Powder or Persil Universal Powder, WHERE WOULD I ADD THE OxiClean Powder?

I see that I need to remove the liquid detergent small receptacle if i were using powder detergent, fine. I did in my first "test wash". But, typically with my previous top loaders, I pre-mix the OxiClean powder in a large ceramic cup with hot water, mix it around till it totally dissolves, and then i pour it into my wash! With a front loader, i cannot do this. Adding OxiClean Powder into the same detergent tray as the Tide HE or Persil Universal Powder won't always work IF THE WATER TEMPERATURE I select is cold. The OxiClean powder instructions say "mix in warm/hot water till all dissolves and then add to laundry"!

What am I to do please? Thx in advance.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 11:27PM
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Oxy boosters go in the same compartment as the (powdered) detergent. If you want to dissolve it first: just pause the washer after it filled some and add the solution via the dispenser drawer - that's no problem. But the question is: how good do these boosters work in cold water? Usually, oxy bleach works better the hotter the water. Chlorine bleach works in cold water.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 4:39AM
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Alex, aka whirlpool trainee (what will happen, incidentally, Alex, after you "graduate" from being a "trainee" at Whirlpool?) et al: ;)

well, this solution doesn't sound like it would work as OxiClean would really only dissolve in very hot water. I know this because even with hot water, it takes a good amount of stirring in my dedicated large mug before i add it to my top loading machine for the past 10 years.

hmm... would it work if i used the same method of pre-dissolving the OxiCleaning OUTSIDE the front loading Electrolux, then pouring it into the BOTTOM of the drum BEFORE I add the clothes? this way, the small amount of OxiClean will sink into the drum's holes, AND THEN I put in the clothes or white sheets.

This way, at least the concentrated "powder in hot water" large mug of OxiClean is at least not poured directly ONTO the clothing/sheets.

I seem to think this is more logical than just wishing that the cold water will dissolve the OxiClean from the same powder detergent tray as the Tide HE or Persil Universal Powder. Furthermore, I only have Tide HE Liquid, Persil Universal Powder, Persil Color Megaperls, and Perwoll (Liquid). I did my first ever "test wash" of my new Electrolux a week ago with Tide HE Liquid doing my dog's fleece blanket and towels, putting short white dog hair all over inside my brand new Electrolux washer AND dryer. ugh.

that's why i even wrote a separate thread on whether or not my dog's hair would "ruin" my brand new Electrolux's!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 8:10AM
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Then dissolve it in hot water and pour it down the drawer after the washer filled some. Adding it to the drum before the washer starts will result in, basically, pouring the solution down the (washer's) drain. The "sump", which is the area below the bottom of the drum, needs to be primed with some water. Otherwise, any small amount of liquid you pour into the drum will get lost.

However, you should give that Persil Universal a try. Coupled with a hot wash (although Hot on your washer is probably just 110F) it'll most likely do away with the need to add oxy.

I read about your dog hair incident - and even replied. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Thx, Alex, for your detailed and informative reply.

Well then, the logical question is: why don't these washer manufacturers come up with a solution for adding powder "additives"? Look, if they have a place for adding bleach, adding fabric softeners, why not a place for adding OxiClean or similar?

It would seem like not a big "stretch" for them to include a mini compartment in the "detergent drawer" for this purpose - which really is a multi-purpose compartment, right?

It boggles my mind that there is so much thinking going on in these modern day washing machines and they omit things like this for adding simple/basic additives like OxiClean, and for many machines, water heaters.

I wrote Electrolux re: water heater and this was their reply to me:

"Thank you for contacting Electrolux Major Appliances. Yes, our Electrolux Washers have a internal heater. Our Heater turns on for santize once water fill is complete. The heater maintains a set temperature of 152 degrees Fahrenheit. The Appliance has a Automatic Temperature Control

In order for the (ATC), to work properly a selection must be used for the heater to regulate normal water fill selections.


ATC Hot- Heater will turn on if the water temp gets below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATC Warm- Heater will turn on if the Water Temp Drops below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATC Cold- Heater will turn on if the Water Temp Drops Below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

We hope this information was helpful.
Thank you for your interest in Electrolux Major Appliances"

So, in summary, "Hot" in my washer is way hotter than 110F.

On the other hand, many items of clothing would not do well in such hot water. My dark colors, for instance, would not do well. My white sheets, however, would likely need at least warm water to get them clean and white, right? With my top loading bottom-of-the-line Maytag, i've used for years Tide/Cheer/All for whites, and add OxiClean after pre-dissolving it in a large mug with very hot water and stirring vigorously. (dark colors: i use Cheer for Dark Colors). Note: the bottom of the line Maytag i've used for years is a top loader. For my new apartment, i installed a new Electrolux front loader. I've never really owned a modern front loader before so this whole "High Efficiency" thing is brand new to me.

The detergent dispensing drawer is giving me some trouble already on day 1! darn it. you kind of have to carefully push the "open" silver button and sometimes, the detergent dispensing tray won't open, sometimes it will. Very annoying!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I was under the impression that some new machines do include a spot for oxygen bleach.

For example, from the Whirlpool Duet:

Oxi Dispense Option
The Oxi dispenser provides an alternative to bleach. An automatic dispenser distributes the Oxi additive at the appropriate time, sending oxygen through the load to brighten fabrics.

I have an older FL and put my oxygen bleach right in the detergent compartment. I use pure sodium percarbonate.

I stopped using cold water washes as my machine does not have an on board heater and cold is just too cold. I use either the warm or hot setting with cold rinses.

Newer Persil formulations develop their effectiveness at 20 °C (68 °F).

Lately, I use Persil Sensitive Powder for Colors (not Megaperls). I like this as it does not contain oxygen bleach or optical brighteners. When I use it for whites I add my own oxygen bleach right in the dispenser with the detergent. My whites are very white. This saves me from buying two different detergents and I like to avoid optical brighteners.

I will sometimes soak things in the sink with oxygen bleach before washing if they are in need of extra attention (like white socks).

I have never noticed an issue with it not dissolving (although I’m not sure how I would see that). My whites are definitely white and I find when I use the sodium percarbonate things seem fresher (it is supposed to remove odour as well).

I use some other detergents for different things (ie. Vaska Lavender for sheets/towels). I use Vaska on any load where I do not want enzymes (ie. I have wool mattress covers that need gentle washing). The lavender smell is wonderful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whirlpool Duet

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:03PM
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the problem i see is that even though there IS a pre-wash tray for additives, it says clearly that one SHOULD NOT MIX LIQUID WITH POWDER.

this has one big issue for me: for less important laundry, i won't use Persil Universal Powder or Persil Color Megaperls. I'd use Tide HE.

my first "trial wash" ever with my new Electrolux was doing my dog's fleece blanket and 2 towels. I used a new Tide HE Liquid (i've never owned a HE machine before this).

This said, my OxiClean is a powder.

This basically says that i cannot use my Tide HE Liquid with my OxiClean Powder!

More so, this also says that I'm unable to use Cold Wash! I use cold wash for many many things! All my winter modern synthetic fleece items, i.e. Patagonia fleece shirts, jackets, Arcteryx base layers, etc, stuff that I wear all winter long are done with cold wash as instructed. That said, i never use OxiClean with those as those are typically black or navy or some other more "winter", dark colors.

I use OxiClean Powder as an additive when I wash white sheets and similar items, when i typically use at least Warm Wash.

I suppose the summary is: ONLY use powder detergent with powder OxiClean, as per Electrolux's intructions (page 11 of their washer's instruction manual).

Then again, i've not yet opened my Persil Universal Powder or Persil Color Megaperls. It is possible that once I've used Persil's Universal Powder for my whites, that it is so effective that I'll never think about adding OxiClean.

The white sheets sales lady said to me: never ever let your white sheets get less than totally clean and white. Once "less white", they will never ever revert back to white. So, her advice is to use the hottest water and keep them as white as possible for as long as possible.

Ugh. so complicated.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:22PM
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There are liquid non-chlorine bleaches available. Ecover makes one, as does Seventh Generation.

Basically I think they're pretty much just liquid hydrogen peroxide (the stuff from the drugstore in the little brown bottle) + water.

You could try hydrogen peroxide, too, I would think. (It would be cheaper to try than buying a bottle of Ecover.) BUT you'd have to figure out how little to add to your laundry, as the stuff from the drugstore is more concentrated.

Maybe someone on this forum would know how to dilute it properly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecover non-chlorine liquid bleach

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 9:25AM
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I almost exclusively use Persil Color Gel or Ariel Color & Style Gel mit ActiLift. Both from Germany, and of course both made for front loading, Euro machines. Awesome Performance!

I know we should never use non-he detergent in a front loader, but there is one that I have great results with. Tide with Bleach Original Scent (powder). On the website it lists suds inhibitor and soil suspenders in the ingredients list, and says the Bleach is color safe and friendly. I use the green, plastic scoop provided, line 1 for medium and even large loads. I use warm (Miele 105F) for almost all my laundry. There are only a few suds bubbles on the glass...and stains, odors and stains are totally gone. I would say it cleans and smells almost as good as Persil, and of course is SO cheap. I do not like the Tide with Bleach Clean breeze scent. The Original Scent smells very German..clean, old fashioned. Also, on the Tide website, there are many reviews from people with front loaders, that have used this Tide Powder for years in he machines, with great long term results.

Also, EVERYTIME I try and use Tide he Powder, my stainless honeycomb drum in my Miele is left dull, and coated with a light powder (you can actually run your finger inside the drum, and see the powder film come off!). With the Tide with Bleach powder, my stainless drum looks shiny and clean after each load, and the machine and wash room smell so fresh and like old fashioned detergent! Try it!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:12AM
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I would contact Ecover (or Seventh Gen) directly and ask what the % of hydrogen peroxide is present in their liquid versions.

I have done my fair share of reading on oxygen bleach and would definitely pick pure sodium percarbonate as my first choice. Sodium percarbonate is a source of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide.

Liquid oxygen bleach releases oxygen which does the cleaning and bleaching leaving only water as the by-product. Hydrogen peroxide can be purchased in many dilutions. Many consumers use 3% hydrogen peroxide for general household purposes. Other popular dilutions are 30 and 35% food grade quality which doesn't contain chemical stabilizers as the 3% solution does. However these products have does shorter shelf life stabilities of only a few months. Also, care must be taken as they are extreme oxidizers and can be dangerous if not handled properly.

While the purchase price of hydrogen peroxide products are cheaper than the powdered versions you must consider that much of the product is water. Typically consumer products will be only 3-7% hydrogen peroxide (By law these products cannot contain over 8% hydrogen peroxide without special warning labels). On an oxygen equivalency basis the costs are similar to powdered products. While hydrogen peroxide solutions have the advantage over powdered products of being sold ready to use, powdered bleaches are easier to handle, have better storage stability and do not need any added chemicals to enhance stability.

Here is a link that might be useful: oxygen bleach

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:36AM
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Well, I'm having some of the same adjustment issues with my new FL because I also used liquid detergent and OxiClean powder together in my old TL, predissolved in the wash water before clothes were added. And I'm just not accustomed to using powdered detergents. Before my recent research, I had just assumed that liquids are better.

Oxygen bleach works "best" at higher temperatures, meaning it works much faster. But it will also work in cooler water if you give it LOTS of time to soak. I got that tip from Cooks Illustrated, when they tested stain removers. They said that if you don't want to pretreat, OxiClean will get out almost any stain, IF you give it 30 minutes, or ideally 60 minutes, to work. It works for up to 6 hours or so. So, I substituted time for temperature for fabrics I thought couldn't take the heat.

With a FL that lets you dispense either liquid or powder but not both, if you want the cleaning power of OxiClean, you should use a powdered detergent:
- Tide HE powder
- Gain HE powder
- Persil Universal Powder
(NOTE: there may be other brands similarly formulated, but I have only researched these so far.)

Think of these powdered detergents as already containing OxiClean --- PLUS other cleaning agents needed for dirty laundry. OxiClean contains:
- sodium carbonate (55-65%)
- sodium percarbonate (aka sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate or oxygen bleach) (30-40%)
- ethoxylated alcohol C12-16 (2-4%)

Sodium carbonate is sometimes called a "builder" because it "softens" mineral ions in hard water. It also buffers a solution to a high pH, which makes other cleaning agents like surfactants work more effectively. Most of the soils and stains in fabrics are acidic, and the high pH helps break them down.

Sodium percarbonate is oxygen bleach. It contains a molecule H2O2, which has an unstable, reactive oxygen molecule that's eager to break away and go off on its own, leaving H2O behind. The oxygen molecule oxidizes stains in fabrics.

(It's kind of interesting that this same process happens inside our bodies, where the reactive oxygen molecules are called free radicals. Strongly-colored plant-based foods, like berries, coffee, tea, curcumin, etc., contain antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals that otherwise wreak havoc on cells. It's the same reaction as in your laundry. With laundry, we think of the oxygen as getting rid of the berry stain, and in our bodies, we think of the berries as getting rid of the free radical oxygen molecules.)

Ethoxylated alcohol is a surfactant, which is needed to remove oils from items being cleaned, to make OxiClean an "all-purpose" cleaner and stain remover. OxiClean, however, does NOT contain enough surfactant to remove the oily body soils in a load of laundry.

The powdered detergents I discussed in my post above (Tide, Gain, Persil) contain those exact same ingredients, PLUS add more to make the formula better for cleaning laundry. Think of them as OxiClean PLUS:
- an oxygen bleach activator, to make the oxygen bleach work even if the wash temperature is not super hot
- more surfactants, because oily body soils are a main component of dirty laundry
- a hard-water builder system that's more effective than sodium carbonate
- a polymer or emulsifier to keep the soils away from the fabrics once they've been pulled off by the surfactants
- protease enzyme to break down protein-based stains like blood, grass, etc into small particles. The oxygen bleach can then break down those small particles much faster than it otherwise would.
- optical brightener. All white and light-to-medium colored fabrics contain these, and refreshing them in the laundry makes the fabrics LOOK dramatically brighter and cleaner.
- ingredients to stabilize the oxygen bleach so that it doesn't react with the moisture in the air while it's sitting on the shelf

Those ingredients are like a cleaning orchestra, where the ingredients are more effective together than they would be separately.

I do not think you will gain any cleaning power by adding liquid detergent. Everything you need for cleaning (mainly, the additional surfactants) is already in the powder detergent. And all the OxiClean ingredients are already in it too.

To make these powder detergents work their best, use hot wash temperatures OR longer soak times. (Or both, if you have horrific stains.)

The activator in Tide/Gain makes the oxygen bleach work better at lower wash temperature, 30-40 C (84-104 F). Above 40C/104F, the activator in Persil works equally well. So in general, Tide/Gain will clean better in American machines and for users who choose "warm" as the wash temperature to be more gentle to fabrics.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:14AM
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"So, in summary, "Hot" in my washer is way hotter than 110F."

Good to know. Hopefully, they knew what they were saying because I was referring to another thread about a Frigidaire front loader, which is essentially the same as Electrolux, that has 110F as Hot: The New Frigidaire: Home at Last! This is a very good thread, by the way. This one as well.

Wow, 75F is Warm? *rofl* Our washing machine does not even have a setting that low! The coolest setting is 85F, which is fine for wool, silk and probably everything else except ice cubes... I am sure all these "wash cold" tags are BS. In fact, I recently washed a fleece jacket in 140F water with Persil Universal because it got dingy from all those cool washes: came out bright and clean without any damage. If most items were as sensitive to warm water as the manufacturers want us to think... they'd shrink on our warm bodies as we wear them or as soon as we step into warm sunlight!

I never wash below 104F. Even darks, be it cotton or poly, don't suffer because the detergent takes care of that - I use powdered Ariel Color & Style with Actilift. A recent test executed by German CR showed that cold water - 68F - does nothing to remove bacteria. They also said that it's not a problem if you're healthy, but I'd still like my laundry to be at least reasonably germ-free. Besides, the test showed that even the best-performing detergents (which were Persi Color Megaperls and Ariel Color & Style with Actilift) don't remove stains well in 68F water.

With regards to mixing powder and liquid: no, you can't mix them because it would stick in the dispenser and never flush out. I'm still a little surprised American detergent manufacturers don't offer dosing devices like they do here. P&G even sells its cold-water detergent with a rather fancy one: See my video.

So much for now - gotta run.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Agreed about the warm and hot water. To me, "clean" laundry has a fresh smell from the absence of bacteria and acidic odor molecules. I get that same "fresh" smell (not a fragrance or perfume) from sanitizing sponges in the microwave, hanging things in the sun, effectively cleaning hard surfaces in the bathroom...and from borax, OxiClean, and hot water washing of laundry and other items.

Do not assume all "Hot" cycles use the same temperature. Mine does NOT. Check your manual to see if ALL cycles use that ATC "Hot" that achieves 120.

I don't even trust that the reps get everything right. I checked my cycle temps with a Super-fast Thermapen. LOL.

Some machines DO include a separate Oxi dispenser. I think the Bravos 850 and maybe the top-model Duet? I have the model below that which does not.

My impression is also that the liquid hydrogen peroxide bleaches don't work as well as the powdered. The fresh reaction of the powder in hot water is more powerful.

That's interesting about Tide HE powder versus regular. I've compared the ingredients; they are exactly the same. The HE has slightly different proportions. Looks like perhaps less surfactant in the HE. It almost looks like P&G formulates all its detergents to not screw up an HE machine, even if the consumer purchases the "wrong" one.

Whereas I don't see anything about, say, Woolite or Biokleen formulations that make them "HE-compatible."

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:13PM
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I cannot believe Sodium percarbonate is acceptably called "oxygen bleach", this is beyond hilarious.

Its the byproduct hydrogen peroxide which is the cleaning agent. Oxygen the gas does not clean nor is it sold in containers in "liquid" form.

I guess american marketing wins, next thing we will see will be megatron brand dishwasher tabs... because megatron is so evil and methodical at cleaning dishes in your new cybertron branded dishwasher.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:23PM
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"A recent test executed by German CR showed that cold water - 68F - does nothing to remove bacteria. They also said that it's not a problem if you're healthy, but I'd still like my laundry to be at least reasonably germ-free. "

@whirlpool trainee - I had to smile when I read that, because I agree with the information. However, I have a sister who washes *everything* in COLD water --- the COLD that comes out of the tap. Her ancient Frigi-more washer has no internal heater. The good news is that they must have built up a great immune system because they are never sick. LOL

" With regards to mixing powder and liquid: no, you can't mix them because it would stick in the dispenser and never flush out. "

I mix powder (Ecover oxy bleach) and liquid (detergent) on occasion in my Miele W4842 and never have residue. I put the liquid toward the back, the powder toward the front of the soap dispenser, and it is clean, no residue.
Perhaps this only happens because I have to use so little detergent in my washer.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:51AM
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jsmith said... I cannot believe Sodium percarbonate is acceptably called "oxygen bleach", this is beyond hilarious.
Its the byproduct hydrogen peroxide which is the cleaning agent. Oxygen the gas does not clean nor is it sold in containers in "liquid" form.

I guess american marketing wins, next thing we will see will be megatron brand dishwasher tabs... because megatron is so evil and methodical at cleaning dishes in your new cybertron branded dishwasher. Sorry to be so blunt, but this is a perfect example of what's wrong with the education system in our country. Since when is hydrogen peroxide not an oxygen bleach? The definition of a peroxide, my friend, is a compound with a single oxygen-to-oxygen bond. As such, it is absolutely an "oxygen" bleach.

You probably had no idea that gas compounds (oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen) can also be found in liquid and solid form? Oxygen is a free radical and absolutely will bleach stains from your fabrics. It certainly isn't the hydrogen that's doing that.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:01PM
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@sshrivastava: Well you can be all blunt as you like... fact is you don't understand that if there is an O bond or a covalent bond it does not mean its an "oxygen" bleach... bleach literally means "cleaner" Oxygen is NOT a cleaner... you cannot buy pure oxygen from stores and even if you did its not a "cleaner" nor "bleach".

I have full comprehension of gasses and various states. Oxygen is a radical yes but its not a cleaner just because it has unpaired electron doesn't mean its a cleaner... If your poor understanding of chemistry leads you to believe that any radical can "clean" by harvesting other compounds to complete the bond then sir you need to pick up a chemistry book and educate yourself and help the education system in america.

Just for your information peroxide is an unstable solution it is used in cleaners because some organic matter(s) that have weak bonds that get disrupted have something to bond to... turns out lots of molecules that are "dirt" have weak bonds and the hydrogen peroxide is a perfect compound to "attract" those molecules. It is only suitable for certain types of "dirt" and not all.
Also it is highly unstable hence other compounds are incorporated for it to be safe on shelf. An exothermic reaction can break down peroxide safely into a non volatile solution.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:58PM
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