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Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Posted by mariwen (My Page) on
Sat, May 22, 10 at 13:52

Hello !

My husband works from home, and my children home school. So, it is like constant weekend around the house. Clothes are dropped in the hampers all the time, and I do laundry each day.

I am allergic to regular brands of detergent and get rashes.

Coffee is dripped, or juice spills are common on a lot of white T shirts, which my males prefer to use.

I pre wash everything in cool water first, and I have tried using cool water soaks/pre-wash with diluted washing soda, I have tried using cool water with Dr. Bronners, etc. I am concerned about Charlies soap also. But I am trying that now. Some stains are removed, but others remain. I can not use a stain stick either as it creates rashes. I have used hydrogen peroxide in the wash water, and also got a rashes.
After prewash in cool water, I then launder in hot water.

Any ideas? How do Europeans wash whites ? Is it a temperature of hot water thing? I have heard that French women's washing machines produce very very hot water, and their whites come out cleaner. Thanks !


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

P.S. Also, other family members are allergic to detergents, etc.

Does Persil take out coffee stains, or juice stains ? Is that something I ought to try? I have tried Ariel, and Zote, and also got rashes.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I haven't found that Persil is that great on whites but on the Spuma Di Sciampagna softener thread I posted I found out about Spuma di Sciampagna Bianco Puro Extra White - and I understand that Whole Foods carries it! I'm going to buy some today.


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How an european washes whites

Hi Marywen,
you're right, here in Europe we're more into hot water :)
Grannies still are boilwash addicted, while mothers come from the 140F generation (early eighties, when new detergents allowed the use of hot water to save energy vs boiling water).

To give you a clue I wash white sheets @ 140F on the 70 minutes cottons cycle (cottons+shorth), use the same cycle/temp for colourfast loads (but with detergents for dark fabrics), while I run those dirtier white loads as table linens and kitchen towels on the 2 hour cycle @ 140F or @ 170. I rarely boilwash @ 200F and I rarely use liquid chlorine bleach, while I always use peroxide bleaches when washing whites, as I always use liquid detergents that don't contain any bleach.

In case some white fabrics are blends with some sinthetics I wash them (just half drum loads) on permapress @ 140F to avoid creasing.

As for allergies, have you checked how many rinses your washer does per cycle ? does your machine spin fast enough in between wash and rinses ? can you program your washer to run automatically some extra rinses with higher water level ?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi Hidroman, thanks for your post. Might I ask, how much hydrogen peroxide you might use in the wash? Perhaps I used too much. What kind of liquid detergent works good for you?

That is so very interesting to learn about how Europeans do laundry, some still boiling.

Is pre-washing something typically done in Europe with whites? or are the whites just washed straight away in hot water? Thanks !

Thanks Mielemaid for your suggestions. I checked Whole Foods website for the product you mentioned, and they don't seem to have it.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Im in the commercial laundry biz and we use 35% hydrogen peroxide in 170F water. I guess you can get your water that hot, but not sure you could get peroxide that strong in the general public. Although that hot of water isnt safe around kids.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Laundry Forum


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

My main detergent is Persil. The other Roma, sometimes Ariel.
I do hot 158 cycles and boil out most of the time all our whites and everything that can handle the temp.Even blacks and darks I wash in hot water. Persil does keep our whites white.
My bf has bad dermatitis and none of those above detergents bother him BUT I do several extra rinses or one fast wash cycle for extra rinse just to make sure there isn't any soap left. I use prewash for most loads, specialy our work clothes.
We never use bleach- I'm alergic to it.
Try Persil for sensitive skin, use hot water, extra rinse, you should be fine.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Have you considered a HOT wash and adding a healthy dose of sodium percarbonate to your regular detergent? Charlie's Soap will certainly not do anything to help whiten your clothes. Sodium percarbonate is natural and a very powerful bleaching agent in HOT water. If you have hard water, you may need to add a softening agent of some sort (Calgon, citric acid, TSP or STPP).


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

My Samsung fl doesn't seem to get all the soap out even with extra rinse. If I am concerned about soap residues, I open and close the door and run a short cold cold second washing. That does it for me. As I have posted elsewhere, and others confirm, modern machines are so concerned about government standards of water usage and especially hot that their computers are set up to use almost no water. How can they get the soap out?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi sshrivastava,.. I have tried Oxyclean, and we got rashes. Maybe it was the fillers ?I have read that Oxyclean, etc..are only 50-60 % Sodium percarbonate and rest fillers, but Ecover Non Chlorine Bleach is 100 % sodium percarbonate. I did try a very pure form of oxygen bleach once, and I got rashes. I could try Ecover and see what happens.

Yes, our water is very hard.

This is why I tried to use washing soda in hot water. Washing soda is a water softener as well, in combination with allowing protein stains to release. Reviewing ancient literature from the 20's, washing soda works best in a cool water soak , then spin out, then launder in hot water with soap flakes. In order to do this, washing soda is dissolved in very hot water in a pan on stove, and then the dissolved liquid is poured into a 2 quart jar, or so. Then some of this solution is added to a cool water soak in the washing machine. But, it did not take out coffee drips etc. And even in that day, they did make a bleach solution using washing soda and some other product.

I have also used borax to soften water.

I have also made my own laundry soap by the popular recipe going around, but this did not remove stains. So, I stopped making it.

Czechchick, are you able to get out coffee stains, juice stains, etc..with hot water and persil? This is my main problem, are stains that are hard to get out.

I wish there was just one product I could measure out and put in and it would just take out stains. Hope runs eternal tho, probably. :>)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I don't think anyone has found the miracle detergent that gets everything out. I've had good luck with Tide Free/Sensitive Skin as have several people I know, some with psoriasis and other sensitivities. Of course each person has their own sensitivities. Sometimes the weather and other exposures can make a difference so it really takes some trial and logging results with more than used Brand X with bleach today and person A had a rash. It's not always the detergent. Sometimes a combination of a body soap, deodorant or other residues whether or not combined with the detergent or other conditions can complicate things. Could need to rinse in the shower a little more too. Extra rinsing can make a big difference.

Borax is a good cleaner, dishwashing detergent with enzymes is a good booster. Dawn dish soap is a good pretreater. Oxy products work for some but most of the time the Sodium Percarbonate is cut with washing soda, which itself isn't all bad - often part of powder detergent makeup.

Hot water can help, hot temps can also set stains too. A profile wash is often recommended for a mixture of soiling.

Maybe use something like a Tide To Go on the stains? Haven't tried it yet but have heard a lot of good things about it. I used to have quite a regiment for laundering, but like I said, now the Tide Free just works well for my clothes and soiling.

Another point is to treat the stain immediately. Rinse that spill, or hit it with the Tide To Go. If it's that common they could carry one with them. Maybe give it a good hand scrubbing before laundering.

Or maybe they just plain need to get colored clothes or use a bib? ;)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi Cynic, now the bib idea has crossed my mind... lol, maybe appropriate for their behavior, but oh, ....I don't think they would comply. Its not like they do it maliciously. And if its not coffee, then its marinara sauce, or something. Maybe bibs could become high fashion items once they caught on...lol.

Yes, and on the subject of Borax, I have soaked whites in a soak of borax and cool water overnight, borax in warm water over night, etc...and it has not removed stains that I mention.

I have not tried BioClean powder with enzymes. I could try that. I see some on the laundry forum say that it gets out many stains that Tide did not get out.

I am allergic and others in my family, to Tide, so can't use that.

I have read on one site, that it is the agitation which removes the dirt. ( high official of Seventh Generation apparently stated this.) Some of those people on that blog, use just plain baking soda, and say it cleans good. I have not tried soaking coffee stains in baking soda so I don't know.

The coffee stains are not black coffee, they are mixed with half and half. So cool water then?

Tide to go, maybe. But usually we find rashes after some chemical use. But its an idea. Thanks !


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

No idea about what to use if you can't use the commercial brands like Tide, Persil, etc... (I'm willing to bet that if you're allergic to Tide, you'll be allergic to Persil, so if you try it definitely get the Sensitive formula). But specifically on tomato and carrot based stains -- like marinara sauce you mentioned -- wash and dry as usual and then lay it out in full sun. The stains magically disappear within a few hours -- UV rays.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

"modern machines are so concerned about government standards of water usage and especially hot that their computers are set up to use almost no water." -- Widespread misconception alert. Below is a copy of a posting I made on another thread. It happens to be about the Samsung WF419, but the practice isn't unique to Samsung.

First, a little background. Clothes washer efficiency is expressed in terms of Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and Water Factor (WF). Higher MEF is more energy-efficient, and lower WF is more water-efficient.

This page

Clothes Washers Key Product Criteria

defines MEF and WF, and says the Energy Star standards require MEF >= 1.8, and WF <= 7.5.

Do a "Quick Search" for model number WF419 on

Find ENERGY STAR Qualified Clothes Washers

to find that the Samsung WF419 has an MEF of 2.86 and a WF of 3.11.

So, the WF419 is way more efficient than required by Energy Star. Why? The answer is likely found on

Tax Incentives Assistance Project

where you can see that the WF419 exceeds the criteria for earning a $250/unit tax credit, with no annual cap.

So your washer, and many others, go way beyond the Energy Star requirements, in order to earn a very substantial tax credit. I don't know why they go beyond even the tax credit requirements.

So, while everyone thinks that appliance manufacturers have had standards forced on them by the government, and therefore forgives the manufacturers for performance compromises, the fact is that the manufacturers are getting money for selling compromised machines. Not being familiar with the economics of the industry, I don't know how much of that money improves their bottom line, and how much it reduces the price you pay.

I'm not opposed to conservation, and I'm not opposed to tax credit incentives. But if the facts are known only by one side of the transaction (the industry), then it isn't truly a "free-market incentive", and the consumer is at a disadvantage.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

This video shows coffee coming out with Vaska detergent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZEns2k2QEo&feature=related

And it apparently beat out Tide on official tests:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fkPKQiFF68

The video's make it look good. :) anyone tried it?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Biokleen Premium powder cleans better than Tide, has an extremely light citrus scent from the grapefruit seed extract, and it's natural. That may be the ticket for you. I don't normally recommend adding phosphates to your wash, but since you have very hard water adding STPP or TSP will help immeasurably. If you can't find that, Cascade dishwashing powder should work in a pinch.

You shouldn't have any problems with these products if you rinse sufficiently. A minimum of two, preferably three rinses.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Well, we don't have coffee or juice stains. But we have pets and I work in the restaurant and come home w/lots of marinara stains and grease stains. Persil does take them out. I prewash it in cold and wash in hottest possible water. My LG has stain button, I'm not sure if it just ads time but it works.My little euro washer handles the boil out cycles for whites.
Our water is very hard too so I use more detergent,which leads to even more rinsing but I don't care.
Cascade was my magic help in past, but now there is no phosphates in so I don't use it. Some other dish detergents still have them in, you have to read the box.
We use mostly cotton fabric, some poly blends so it is easy to boil them out to get the stains out. I have no idea if synthetics are harder to keep clean.
The only thing w/ rinsing and re rinsing, I'm wearing my washer out sooner I guess, but what can I do?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

You can see what a boil wash will do by taking 2 clean pillowcases and boil washing them. Look at the water after boiling. It'll be disgustingly dirty. And when your whites dry they'll be as white as can be.

We use FOCA detergent powder, available at WalMart. It's cheap but it's very good. Relatively low sudsing and rinses clean. For best results, let the load sit and soak for an hour or so in the middle of the wash cycle. It really whitens well!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I love FOCA too bud it produces lots of suds in my FL.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I'm going to get back to you about the Spuma Di Schiampagna bleach tomorrow which is like Oxy but better I think. I'm using Persil, I have a Miele, and I'm using the Spuma Di Schiampagna softener, the Spuma DiSchiampagna bleach (which is gentle and like Oxy) and 2 tblsps of Persil on the SANTIZE option of my Miele.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

For most people on the left side of the big pond, a "boil wash" (near-boiling temperature) isn't even an option, unless you get some help from your stove. Until recently, most American washing machines didn't include internal water heaters. Instead, they depended on an external hot water supply, usually from a hot water storage tank, for hot-water washes. The washer's temperature control was crude - a knob with positions for "cold", "warm", and "hot". "Hot" would open the water feed from the external hot water tank, which is normally set at 120F/50C, sometimes 140F/60C. The actual wash water temperature will be somewhat lower, since there is usually residual water in the pipes that has cooled down, and the tub itself is room temperature, and it cools down a bit during washing. Selecting "cold" would get you unheated tap water at whatever temperature it happens to be - which can fluctuate from near-freezing to quite warm depending on season. The "warm" setting simply opens both the hot and cold water valves. The hot water temperature is consistent - whatever your water heater is set at, but the cold-water inlet again varies by outside temperature, plus a variance in water pressure can cause something other than a 50/50% mix. A few higher-end washers might have "automatic temperature control" which used thermostats to better control "warm" or "cold" wash temperatures by manipulating the cold- and hot-water valve as it filled, but it couldn't do anything if the incoming water wasn't hot enough.

European washers have long utilized internal water heaters, often needing connection only to a cold water feed. The water would then be heated to anywhere from tepid to near-boiling temperatures, which was thermostatically controlled and thus much more accurate than the old American way. Another advantage to the European approach was that though hot water generally cleans better, certain stains will "set" if soaked in hot water before first being exposed to cooler water. In an old U.S. machine, this required a cold prewash, draining the water, and refilling with hot water. The European washers would fill with cold water and gradually heat it during washing.

Many newer washers sold in the U.S. have adopted European-style internal water heaters. However, most washers sold in the U.S. are hobbled by barely-adequate 120V/15A electric service, which limits the water heater to about 1000 watts, whereas 240V/15A European (and Asian) washers have 2000 or 2500 watt heaters. Thus, new American washers running on 120V take a very long time when set to high temperatures (usually labelled "sanitary", "whites" etc. - the appliance industry doesn't seem to think Americans can understand a simple temperature knob). Also, the maximum temperature is typically limited to somewhere from 140 to 170F, although at least one manufacturer makes 120V machines that allow near-boiling temperatures. There are a few 240V washers available in the U.S. (mostly from Bosch and Asko), but only in the smaller-sized machines (24" wide rather than 27"w)

For those who have experimented with extra-high temperatures, does heating to near-boiling temperatures noticeably improve performance compared to heating to 160F/70C?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

The 95C cycle is typically considered a waste of energy here in GER. 60C/140F is the highest most people will go.

White cotton kitchen towels and poly-fibre dishcloths. which are often coffee-stained emerge absolutely clean from a 140F wash in Ariel (P&G) powder.

Our consumer magazine recently tested detergents for whites and came to the conclusion that most do a good job at removing stains both at 140 and 104F. Two cheap brands, among them the detergent from Lidl, even did well at 86F. However, they still recommend 140 for though stains.

I can definitely recommend Persil for coffee stains - and probably fruit stains as well. The Megeperls versions contain TAED, which acts as a catalyst for the bleach, activating it even at 104F.

If you know what you are allergic to, this table might help to chose between Persil Megaperls and Megaperls Sensitive. (Sorry, don't know how to list the ingredients side-by-side.)

Persil Megaperls Universal

ZEOLITE
SODIUM CARBONATE PEROXIDE
SODIUM DODECYLBENZENESULFONATE
TAED
AQUA (WATER)
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
SODIUM CARBONATE
C12-18 FATTY ALCOHOL 7 EO
SODIUM SULFATE
SODIUM CITRATE
SODIUM ACRYLIC ACID/MA COPOLYMER
CELLULOSE GUM
SULFONATED POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE
PEG-80
ZEA MAYS (CORN) STARCH
TETRASODIUM ETIDRONATE
SODIUM SOAP C16-18
PERFUME
CORN FLOUR
HEPTASODIUM DTPMP
PARAFFIN
SODIUM CHLORIDE
C12-18 FATTY ALCOHOL 5 EO
SODIUM HYDROXIDE
OPTICAL BRIGHTNER
SODIUM GLYCOLATE
PEG-14M
COLORANT
PROTEASE
HEXYL CINNAMAL
LINALOOL
BENZYL SALICYLATE
LIPASE
AMYLASE
CELLULASE
MANNANASE

Persil Megaperls Sensitive

ZEOLITE
SODIUM CARBONATE PEROXIDE
SODIUM BICARBONATE
SODIUM DODECYLBENZENESULFONATE
AQUA (WATER)
TAED
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
C12-18 FATTY ALCOHOL 7 EO
SODIUM SULFATE
SODIUM CARBONATE
SODIUM CITRATE
SODIUM ACRYLIC ACID/MA COPOLYMER
CELLULOSE GUM
PEG-80
ZEA MAYS (CORN) STARCH
TETRASODIUM ETIDRONATE
SODIUM SOAP C12-18
SODIUM SOAP C16-18
PARAFFIN
CORN FLOUR
C12-18 FATTY ALCOHOL 5 EO
PERFUME
SODIUM CHLORIDE
SULFONATED POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE
SODIUM HYDROXIDE
OPTICAL BRIGHTNER
SODIUM GLYCOLATE
PEG-14M
COLORANT
PROTEASE
AMYLASE
CELLULASE

Alex


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Whirlpool is now setting hot as low as 105 degrees Fahrenheit and warm at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have detergent sensitivity you want to run on of your rinses at warm water.

Allergies to actual chlorine are very very rare.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi Whirlpool trainee, thanks for the list. Yes, it appears as though I would probably have allergies to some of the chemicals listed in those Persil ingredients. I looked some of them up. Some are known contact allergens which consistently lead to skin problems, and contact irritants and one is used in insecticide. I am sure though that Persil is great for those non allergic people, ...maybe I could look at the ingredients in the sensitive version of Persil. :>) I have not done that yet.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

As I indicated above, I think the answer to soap alergies is to rinse, rinse rinse. Use the hotest rinse available and just no soap on the final wash cycle. If you can't use the product because of skin contact when putting soap in the machine, wear rubber gloves then. If you have a machine that doesn't thoroughly rinse the soap dispensers, a second wash cycle with no soap added gives it another chance to wash all the soap out. I know quite a bit about the chemistry of soaps and water softeners because I am a retired chemist. In the long history of washing products, most successful products combined chelating agents, that tie up the calcium and magnesium that make water hard, with grease dissolving agents like soaps and detergents. Some have had things like enzymes to attack proteins or oxidizing agents. Products like washing soda and borax are mostly alkaline compounds that cut grease they are relatively poor at chelation. I would try to find a product that works for you and do what is necessary to eliminate the residues from your laundry. JMHO


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Getting back to you about the Spuma Di Schiampagna bleach - it's ok, it seems to make things whiter, but I had (hang on TMI here) period stains in my white unders and I put Persil in (2 tblsp) Spuma Di Schiampagna gentle bleach, and Spuma Di Schiampagna softener, and while it did get a bit lighter I might have to go another route.

I do think it does get things that are not as stained as my unders were, lighter and whiter.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi Nerdyshopper, thanks ! Its not really a skin contact upon putting soap into a washer situation that I and my family experience. What I and my family experience is an after washing/wearing clothing that has been washed in certain soaps; sort of thing. The two url links show an example. It is not me, but the rashes are similar. Not quite as acute, but very similar. The severity of the reactions vary depending on each soap/detergent used. The rashes remain on the skin as long as one continues to wear clothing each day from the batches laundered. They can itch a lot or burn. But thanks for your suggestions Nerdyshopper :>)

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/photoessay_6420_images/0128091543_M_allergic_rash_450.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/0,4644,6420,00.html&usg=__m3Bx5sZ9p-EMQ-jUJH9_-wvw2as=&h=350&w=450&sz=48&hl=en&start=6&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=1NNXEV7ssztvFM:&tbnh=99&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dallergic%2Brash%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DMob%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26tbs%3Disch:1#2_0

and:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_OhCO7N4vYns/SJUAq9wz_6I/AAAAAAAAAZY/4w6PsSaa_DA/P1010031.JPG


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Mariwen, I'm trying Vaska's unscented herbatergent on clothes this week and will let you know how it goes. Tried it last week on towels and sheets, but no tough stains on those and washed in HOT water so this week is a tougher test.

In general I don't have problems removing coffee stains or most juices (peach being the exception), but I can use most regular products despite hubby and son having skin sensitivities. With most detergents and fabric types I just have to make sure to rinse well and not use too much detergent. I am more careful with the kids' fleece sleepers as those seem to hold on to detergent residue more?

BTW, you mentioned you couldn't find Spuma di Sciampagna on Whole Foods website. You aren't going to find it on their website as they don't list all their products and don't have a web store. They do carry it in-store though -- at least my local Whole Foods has Spuma di Sciampagna (but only the regular detergent, not the extra white formula).


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks hej. I will look forward to your report about Vaska.

I did have a child's turtleneck to wash today with chocolate drips on it, from an ice cream bar. I washed it in hot water with Ecovers' liquid non chlorine bleach and some washing soda which would soften water. The bottle recommends 1/4 cup per load. I did that. The results were that the stains to the color of coffee with cream. I washed it again with same 1/4 cup. About the same results. I washed it again, and this time doubled the 1/4 cup. And nothing changed. I then boiled it. It did not come out.

Thanks for the suggestions to rinse, rinse, rinse.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

My boyfriend is so sensitive that even one less rinse or more soap will make cause him pain, he gets red burning painfull rashes and hives. And that makes his dermatitis worse. He is actually on immunosuppressants now
- among other things, to cope.
Sensitive detergent didn't make any difference to him.
I must say that all that extra rinsing and rerinsing really does make a difference.
Someone once told when you wash a dog and you think he is rinsed out after a wash, rinse him againg so he has no residue left to cause itching. I treat our laundry like a dog, just to make sure my bf doesn't suffer.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

You are so sweet czechchick to care so much about your bf.:>) Thanks for the example.

hcj, also I forgot to thank you for telling me that the Spuma di Sciampagna is carried by Whole Foods; its just on the shelf and not shown on the website.

In case anyone is interested:

Toxicity report for Persil/ Sensitives.

http://www.packagingpluscleaning.co.nz/_packagingplus/Library/PDF/PERSIL SENSITIVE (NZ).pdf


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

According to this university extension specialist/educator article on " getting stains out of clothes ", I guess I did not do things correctly yesterday, dealing with the chocolate spills on my childs shirt.

She says to: 'rub heavy detergent into the stain and then wash .'

She calls coffee stains " Tannin stains ." And she has an entire list of " tannin " stain guidelines. She says natural soap: grated ivory bar of soap mixed with washing soda " powder, for example will only make tannin spots more difficult to remove. She says use a detergent and HOT water.

She has a guide for " dye stains " like blueberry stains, etc.

She has a guide for " Protein stains " ( egg, cream, cheese based,baby food,mud,ice cream," urine ", pudding, vomit,blood,gelatin, etc. She says use " COOL water " to soak, agitate, rub, these stains. Hot water, she says will " cook " these stains in between the fibers.

She has many other kinds of stains and guidelines for them also. Oil based stains, Combination stains: Group A and Group B. ( chocolate is a combo stain )

Are we supposed to sort laundry based upon " protein stains" " tannin stains " etc, and then do a load?

This extension person says to go through ateps 1 and steps 2: first release stain using correct soak temperature prewash/soak. Then if this has not released stain: use non chlorine bleach along with laundry soap/detergent ( and soap might not be appropriate. Then step 3, could be to use a chlorine bleach, if all else has failed.( for bleach-able fabrics )

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/regions/SIfamily/more/stain_removal.swf


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

As a working mom I don't think it's reasonable to sort my laundry into different loads by type of stain. I also don't like to pre-treat as I inevitably miss a spot; in my mind the detergent and general routine should take care of most stains.

My general routine for (all) stain removal is:
- cool soak or pre-wash (you want to start with cool water so you don't set the stains that might get set at higher temps)
- wash with detergent at highest temp fabric can stand (usually just warm for me as my loads are mixed)
- rinse really well
- for tomato/carrot stains I set the clothes in the sun after they've gone through the dryer, takes the stains right out

That should work for most stains, if the detergent is doing its job. I guess where it's trickier for you is finding a detergent that works on stains that you don't have a reaction to.

I think it's really a trial and error thing -- can you try some different products and see what works? If you have a Whole Foods or other natural foods store near you, that would make it pretty easy -- just take a stroll down their laundry aisle. Many of them even list their ingredients so you can check for stuff you're allergic to. Maybe get the Vaska, Biokleen Premium powder as someone suggested earlier, etc.?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Yes, hcj, lol, I'm with you: I don't want to spend all that time either to sort by stain, and pre treat etc. I guess I just don't like doing all that. I have felt guilty about that too.

Yes, that seems to be one of the problems: is finding the right washing soap/detergent that does help to remove stains by itself and does not cause skin reactions. I have on order some BioKleen Premium from Whole Foods. They do not carry it on the shelf, but the man is ordering it and it ought to be here, maybe Friday. I will try that. I also had him order some Ecover Powder Non Chlorine bleach, as someone on the laundry forum said that it is 100% bleach with no fillers.

Yes, I usually do a cold water prewash on all clothes including whites. And I usually wash all whites in hot water. But the tannin stains as that university educator talks about, don't usually come out with a washing soda/borax blend and some Dr.Bronners liquid soap. I haven't really used non chlorine bleach, because my experience was that most stains on the white cloth still remained, only lightened.

Maybe my problem is also that I am not putting all whites in the washer within 24 hours after staining. Some don't make it in. I read yesterday that washing within 24 hours after staining is important.

Maybe the Ecover non chlorine powder bleach will do something good. And maybe the BioKleen Premium will help. I have read though, that some people get rashes with enzymes. So, hopefully, that won't be us. :>)

I am waiting to hear your report on Vaska.:) Maybe their botanical blends don't cause rashes and do get stains out.
AT least the advertisement showing stains gone impresses. But, I am not sold with advertising: real experience is better.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

mariwen, I can chime in on the Vaska. I started using the Lavender Herbatergent a few weeks ago. It seems to work great for me. I'm also using their "Spot Off" stain remover.

I found it even helps remove those troublesome grease stains that are so hard to get out. I spray with the Spot Off first and then launder.

Im so impressed I ordered their oxygen bleach and Herbasoft as well. Should be here any day.

I do use Persil Sensitive for white clothes to get them really white but the Vaska and oxygen bleach are doing a fine job on white towels and sheets.

Everything comes out of the dryer SO soft with Vaska. Im only trying the Herbasoft as I want more lavender smell to linger I dont need the added softness really.

If I hang dry, the items maintain a nice lavender/herbal smell that I just love.

I have used oxygen based bleaches for a few years (sodium percarbonate and hydrogen peroxide). My whites are very white with no need for chlorine bleach. I'm not sure they will rescue whites that are already dingy and greyed (?) but if you use it when they are still white it maintains a nice white appearance. Also, not as harsh on the fibres as chlorine bleach.

Looking forward to others opinions on Vaska!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Guess I should of mentioned we have 0 grains of hardness for water. Only way you can get chemicals to work on hard stains in the healthcare laundry biz.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Laundry Forum


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Maybe making our own oxygen bleach might help? Probably less trouble to buy it though.

recipe:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5662180_make-own-oxygen-bleach.html


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Vaska so far

Mariwen, you mentioned that washing soda+borax+Dr Bonners wasn't cutting it on the stains. I've tried my share of the natural detergents and I've come to believe that they have to have enzymes to take out a lot of stains. I mean, if you had time to be a laundry chemist and sort your loads by type of stain, maybe you don't need enzymes. But if like me you are looking for a short cut, my conclusion is I like detergents with enzymes.

Anyway, onto Vaska so far. Haven't had a kids clothes load yet but just walked by an adult clothes load on the last rinse cycle. Could not believe the amount of suds I was seeing! Either I need to use a LOT less or it's not very clean rinsing or possibly it's bringing out residue from previous detergents (Ecover and Persil)??? I was really shocked by how much suds I saw -- it was about to go into the final spin and full, full of suds.

Have good stain tests set up for later this week -- son just rubbed peach juice all over his white t-shirt and daughter rubbed chocolate on hers. I'm going to let it sit a day or two for good measure and to simulate real life conditions :)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach


cool ! You are SO nice to do all that. Thats grand of you hcj, to try testing the Vaska out on similar stains to mine. How nice ! Yes, the chocolate in the shirt I washed was a couple of days old too...and it did not come out. So, the Vaska would wash a similar stain to mine. :)

Yes, the Dr. Bronners/washing soda/borax mix does need something to help it along when one is trying to get those hard colored stains out of things. And yes, like you say, perhaps it is the enzymes that are needed to do the trick. And yes; I am not a laundry chemist and I don't have time to sort my laundry by stain/water temperature for each kind of stain. I do a lot of separate loads already. I am hoping, that what I am learning here, about the capacity of enzymes helping to get all these hard stains out, really happens for me, with no rashes, etc.

I am SO curious about the laundry tests you will be doing ! Let me know ! Thanks !

I will do same test with chocolate and juice, with the BioKleen premium I pick up toward end of this week. And I will let you know what happens.


Mariwen


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj1440, how much Vaska did you use for your load? I have used anywhere from 1/2 cap to 1-1/2 caps and not had a problem with too many suds. Someone else posted they had a suds problem with it too. I do vary my detergent amount based on size of load and how dirty it is.

I have tackled some stains with the Vaska (cant remember which ones they were). With pre-treatment of Vaska Spot Off or BioKleen Bac-Out everything has come out perfectly clean.

Maybe Im lucky that my kids are not "too" messy. For most of my laundry needs the Vaska is cleaning very nicely (absolutely love it for sheets and towels). I pull out the Persil Sensitive for white clothes (especially socks) to get them very white.

I also use the new Method when I feel like it and find it too works great on my familys clothes. I prefer this to the smell of Persil Megaperls.

I especially love Vaska for my own clothes. I wash a lot of my things separate from all the "boys" in my home. I like to hang a lot of my things to dry and the Vaska leaves them all smelling so nice. It is also very gentle on the finer fabrics and darker colours.

For the first time in a LONG time, Im in a good place with laundry. Im really happy with the detergents in my "arsenal". I find pre-treating certain stains (if you can catch them) with Spot Off or Bac-Out and laundering as usual gets almost everything out. If I miss something, I try and catch it next time around.

I am basically using Vaska Lavender Herbatergent for sheets, towels and most of my laundry although I do use it for the boys clothes sometimes too. I use Persil Sensitive Megaperls for white clothes (ie. socks, boys undies, t-shirts, etc) and new Method for most of the boys' (two small boys and one larger one) clothes. I additionally use; Vaska Spot Off, BioKleen Bac Out, some form of oxygen bleach (previously Ecover, currently BioVert but going to try Vaska) and 2 kinds of fabric softener (for certain loads only never on towels or sheets) Shaklee Soft Fabric Concentrate (love, love, love this one) and currently Mrs. Meyers Lavender but cant wait to try the Vaska Herbasoft.

I look forward to an update after you conduct your tests :)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I never heard of Vaska and after reading about it here I went to learn more. I will go get me some. It sells at Albertson's not far from us. It sounds like it might work for us since it is recommended for hard water too. It might even save me some water if it really rinses well as said. I love lavender scent but will get the one without the scent so my BF doesn't smell like lavender sachet at work:)
You never know, I might even find a new favorite and give up on Persil.
Thanks all for the info here!!!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

livebetter, on my load that was full of suds, I think I used one full cap. I'm going to try to catch the end of the cycle again for some of my other loads and see what the suds situation is. For this particular load it was clothes that I normally wash on delicates, but this time I decided to wash on permanent press. So maybe they did have a lot of residue from previous washes just because on delicates I think the spin speed is low and it won't let me select an extra rinse.

I have very soft water.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

In case anyone is interested: Here is a photo list along with color coded entries for what each detergent has in it not in this order: a. enzymes b. optical brighteners c. fabric softeners d.etc, etc.

It is interesting to see which detergents have enzymes, and other ingredients so that individuals can try to choose preferences or avoid what they may be allergic to. There are also notations about some allergy reactions to enzymes next to detergents.

http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Vaska Health Hazard data:

Here is material safety sheet for Vaska disclosing Health Hazard info. If you scroll to page 2, you will see " Health Hazard " info. It states: " irritation to sensitive skin or prolonged contact ". I don't know if Vaska will then help those people with skin reactions to detergents reduce problems. I hope those of you that try Vaska but also have family members that do have skin reactions, will let us know what happens. :>)

The material safety sheet does list out ingredients for those that want to look them up for toxicity.

http://www.vaskahome.com/files/msds-rtld122-herbatergent_lavender_scent.pdf


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

BioKleen Premium Laundry Powder ( with enzymes )

Ingredients:

Protein Digesters from Fermentations (Natural), Sodium Precarbonate (Oxygen Bleach), Soda Ash, Citrate, Surfactants (from coconut), Citrus Pectin Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Sodium Sulfate, Zeolites, Low pH Silicates (from vegetable fiber), Low pH Chelators (from vegetable fiber)

Have requested Material Safety data sheet from BioKleen and will provide once I get it. Its probably okay, but would be interested in seeing it. It is not available on the BioKleen website. But other products Material Safety Data sheets are.


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another update on Vaska

Just took hubby's pants out of the dryer and lo and behold, giant stain on the pant leg which I, uh, failed to notice prior to washing or putting into dryer. (Happens to me a lot, which is why I really want to find my "magic bullet" detergent.)

I'm going to try it again with Persil megaperls and see how that compares. Stay tuned...


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks hcj, curious to find out what happens.

Here is something interesting about PERSIL: and skin irritants. Also something about STTP, which some add to their washing cycle, or its already added to detergent.

Persils name:
" The name is derived from two of its original ingredients, perborate and silicate, but the name is deemed unsuitable as an international brand, as it is hard to pronounce in some languages. "

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persil

If you look up perborate: ( in Persil )

it says: "Sodium perborate is an EXTREME irritant for the skin. When being handled in a laboratory environment, scientists must avoid all contact with the chemical, as it instantly causes a very painful stinging sensation. "

I also found this on STTP ( sodium tripolyphosphate ) Its apparently what is called a " builder " ingredient in detergent. It works to remove calcium and magnesium ions in harder water.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet:

STTP "Allergic person may develop rash, marginal eye irritation possibly causing watering. "

http://www.tulstar.com/documents/SODTRIPOL.pdf

"


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I dont believe there is a "magic bullet" detergent. If there was, that company would be worth a fortune! It think battling the odd stain just comes with doing laundry :)

I did a load of white towels today with the Vaska and my new Vaska oxygen bleach which arrived today (still waiting on the Herbasoft).

Size of load was 3 large bath towels, 5 hand towels and several small wash cloths. They were not "dirty" per say (no visible dirt or stains). My machine is a 9 year old Frigidaire Gallery Heavy Duty version.

I used about cap Vaska Lavender Herbatergent and cap Vaska oxygen bleach. Used one extra rinse and saw no visible suds at the end. Towels came out soft and smelled lovely and they seemed as white as usual.

One of the reasons I liked this detergent is that it is recommended by some cloth diaper manufacturers as it rinses clean leaving no residue to cause ammonia problems in diapers. This should be great for anyone with sensivities.

If it can clean diapers without leaving residue, surely it can clean my laundry?? I think thats why everything feels SO soft no detergent left in the fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: fuzzibunz recommends Vaska


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach


For those interested,here is the BioKleen Premium Laundry Powder: Material Safety Data sheet disclosing toxicity/irritants, etc.

http://sz0131.ev.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/MSDS PREMIUM LAUNDRY POWDER.doc?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=187800&part=2


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

You're quite right of course... there's no magic bullet detergent... but some seem to come closer to my personal "asks" than others. Doesn't mean that's the right one for everybody else, doesn't even mean that's the right one for all of my own laundry. But I would like to find the one that comes closest to doing what I need it to do. I still have high hopes for Vaska... have a nice peach juice and a chocolate stain waiting for it.

P.S. I cloth diapered two kids... that's actually what got me really into laundry. I've tried my share of the "recommended" natural detergents that diaper manufacturers suggest, but always went back to Tide. I always thought that was really ironic that Tide had all the no-no's -- enzymes, optical brighteners, etc. -- and yet it was the detergent of choice for what seemed like half the cloth diapering community. I hated the smell and didn't use it on much else though. It faded colors too fast.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I would think that peach juice and chocolate would require a pretreat (for any detergent). Do you use something to pretreat stains before you launder?

As I said, I'm in a really good place currently with my "arsenal". Vaska has found a very good place in my current line up and I'm SO happy I discovered it on Drugstore.com. Mrs. Meyer's just didn't smell like lavender to me ... more citrusy?

Vaska smells like lavender and herbs which remind me of France (not chemically like someone else posted). I guess my south of France is someone elses chemical "soup"? Weird eh? Since Vaska is made of botanical ingredients and no harsh chemicals it's weird someone would smell chemicals.

I dont think the majority of my laundry is that dirty that it requires crazy chemicals to get it clean. The only stains that seem to give me trouble are tomato based ones and greasy ones. For the most part, what Im using right now is getting everything just the way I like it (that has been a several year journey) ah nirvana .

I sure hope Vaska is here to stay for awhile.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

mariwen, have you used Shout spray on stains? I like it because we can spray stains before clothes go in hampers. Even just a few hours with Shout causes the stains to break up -- often, they're barely visible when I put them in the wash.

Have you tried baking soda (not washing soda) for help with skin sensitivities? I often use it in the wash, though not for that reason. A good friend says it has helped her skin sensitivities a lot. I would use at least 1/2 cup in an HE washer; 1 cup in a traditional washer.

Also, have you tried white vinegar in the final rinse? When I had babies in cloth diapers, the pediatrician's nurse recommended its use. She said it would prevent skin irritations because it strips out all detergent. Again, I would use about 1/2 cup in an HE washer; 1 cup in a traditional washer.

Baking soda and white vinegar are very inexpensive and easy on the environment, too. I buy them both in huge bulk sizes at a warehouse store.

Hope this helps. :-)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I don't pre-treat. Well, more like, I don't want to have to pre-treat. I have had very good luck with the various normal pre-treaters on the market -- Shout and the competitor in the green bottle. But I always miss a spot. My kids are messy. So it's annoying to have things come out of the dryer and there's a spot that I missed. My laundry nirvana is to find a detergent that does a reasonably good job on most stains by itself -- without pre-treatment.

Chocolate and peach stains are among the toughest I have encountered. Especially the peach. I'm curious to see how Vaska does on them -- all on its lonesome. I'm not expecting a miracle -- I've yet to find something that takes peach out completely. But I want to see how much progress it makes against it. I usually try a detergent for a good month to really get a feel for it. I'm only in my first full week for Vaska. But if early tests are poor (compared to other detergents) I give up sooner.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I am with you hcj on the pre-treat ideas.
My order for Bio-Kleen Premium Laundry Powder came in today, and I picked it up. I have made new stain samples to wash with this laundry powder, and will let them mellow until Saturday wash: chocolate smudge on cotton, and coffee with cream spill on cotton, all on white T shirts.
I will not pre-treat except to do a cold water pre-wash using a water softener. Then I will launder using a water softener and Bio-Kleen.

hcj, what temperature of water will you use to test out your stain samples? I will do what you do. :>)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I also am creating a mixed fruit juice stain sample of pineapple, strawberry,orange juice to use on Saturday as well. And one of olive oil.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Wow Mariwen, you are serious (for creating the stains!). I'm impressed by how scientific you are about it. I'll let you know how my tests go -- although I've already screwed up on one and threw the peach stain in with a Persil load (I was trying Persil on husband's pants that came out with the stain on the leg). Ah well, there is still the chocolate to go and it will be interesting (for me) to see how Persil does on the peach stain.

I usually wash on warm (40C) but I did that last Persil load on "very warm" which is 50C (I think around 120F). I think I'll do the chocolate stain on just warm because that's what I usually wash in. I'm not nearly as disciplined as you are on the testing -- I'm just basically washing all my laundry in detergent X for a month.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj1440, how did Persil do on your husband's pants? Just curious if it managed the stain that Vaska left behind.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I admit I haven't read all of the responses to this post, and someone might have already suggested this.

But... Is it just you or your entire family that is allergic?

If it is just you, have you thought about just doing your own laundry once a week or so and separate from the rest of the family? Then you can use more industrial detergents, spray and wash, bleach, or whatever on the rest of the family, and deal with their stains.

That is probably what I would do, and then just do your laundry with whatever works for you and your skin and when you get a full load of your clothes.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, okay, I will use warm washing temp. also.But if it does not take out the stains, I will do a second wash using hot water temp. to see if that makes a difference.

Shappy, yes we all suffer reactions from detergent.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Meriwen:

Just getting back to you about Whole Foods and Spuma Di Schiampagna bleach (which is an oxy type of bleach), they should have it at Whole Foods. Whole Foods does not put 99% of their products online, you have to go in there to find it.

I think it should help somewhat. I'm really dubious about most "alternative" types of soaps these days. I was the one that said that Vaska softener doesn't smell that good to me vs the Spuma Di Schiampagna softener, and not like lavender at all (no offense to that person) but in the bottle, well if you're in Whole Foods do the smell test of Spuma softener vs Vaska softener in your local Whole Foods store, and see if I'm right.

I do notice that my lights are lighter with the Spuma di Schiampagna bleach (which is an oxy type of gentle bleach) but as I said, deep monthly stains on my unders - it got it out somewhat but I miss my TIDE. I know that you can not use Tide due to sensitivity issues, but I can not think of anything else that is going to get out deep stains!!!

I don't even have Tide with bleach here, and I'm not even sure they make a Tide with bleach for HE yet but gosh, I love Tide. I'm not particularly happy with the smell of Tide and so far am too afraid to use it with the expensive Miele washer.


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Persil & Vaska update

Meriwen: The Persil color megaperls took out most of the mystery stain on my husband's pants that Vaska left behind -- I can see a shadow if I look hard, but it took a lot of it out. I think if I washed it one more time it will be gone.

It also did pretty well on the peach stain on my son's white t-shirt -- much to my delighted surprise, I have to say. This is a type of stain that I have really struggled with in the past and have tried a lot of different products on.

Vaska has left all the chocolate stains behind on my daughter's dark pink shirt -- they look like grease spots. Other items have some stains left behind as well, although I'm not sure what kind of food it was. I might have to save the Vaska for adult clothes only.

Mielemaid: I swore by Tide for my diapers! I think Tide does whites really well. I would have used it for everything, but it faded my colors too fast.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I always check any clothes that were stained before I washed them, before I put them in the dryer -- because once they've been dried, stains are usually 'baked' in. After that it can be virtually impossible to get them out.

I trained my children from a young age to spray stains with Shout. If they missed anything, I sprayed the stains before washing clothes. For me, the few minutes that took was well worth their clothes lasting a long time and looking good.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach


Hi all,

The stain samples used were: chocolate,coffee with cream, pineapple/orange/strawberry juice,olive oil, and blueberry. The stains were two days old. This was deliberately done to test older stains. I used a cold water pre-wash first, with a little diluted washing soda added. Then the load was washed in warm water for 30 minutes, with a little diluted washing soda and one full scoop of BioKleen Premium powder. The stains still remained, but lightened.

I then washed the entire load again in hot water using 2 scoops of BioKleen ( 4 T ) for 40 minutes, and the stains still remained.( lightened though )

Next, I again washed the entire load using 1/4 cup of Ecover Liquid Non Chlorine bleach and one scoop of BioKleen Premium. The stains still remained. ( several little tiny chocolate stains were gone )

I again washed the load in hot water, this time adding a double amount of Ecover Liquid Non Chlorine bleach 2)1/4 cup amounts) and one scoop of BioKleen. I washed for 30 minutes. The stains are still there, just lighter in color.

Someone has mentioned on the laundry forum, that the Ecover powder bleach works real good. Whole Foods did not have this, so I bought the liquid version.

Thats my report for BioKleen and particular stains. I don't know if the results would have been improved if I would have washed the stains the same day or the next day.
Did doing a cold prewash set the coffee stain ? ( the laundry chemist's article I read said to wash coffee stains in hot water.)

I am disappointed. Perhaps when I get the Ecover Powder non chlorine bleach, that will make a difference with these same stains.

And hcj, yes, I did read that Vaska left the chocolate stain in your clothing just like my test. :>(....The advertisment for Vaska showed coffee coming out. I can't remember about chocolate.

Whats left to try is Persil Sensitive or ?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, the Vaska stain test on utube, DID include chocolate,and apparently removed it. In real life, it did not remove chocolate stains in your clothing.

Vain stain test utube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fkPKQiFF68


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I think the reality is that some stains need pretreating. They also need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

No way I would allow a blueberry stain to sit - I don't believe anything would remove that after a few days (not even Persil or Tide). They are just detergents not miracle workers :)

One thing (I forgot to mention earlier) I use for stains that truly is great ... Soapworks Laundry Bar. I'm sure there are other brands as well but this one works amazing on so many types of stains.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soap Works Laundry Stain Bar


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks Mariwen -- appreciate you doing the test and hearing your test results. FWIW, although I did not like Persil color megaperls at first -- it smelled too strong, I thought it wasn't doing a good enough job removing stains, and my son reacted to it -- I kept playing with it and now feel it is the best one so far. I decreased the quantity I used which helped with the smell and the skin reactions. I also kept observing the stain removal and have changed my mind -- it's actually doing well on most stains, although there are some that it has trouble with (unfortunately I have not been able to pinpoint what type it has trouble with -- I'm not very scientific about my testing and I'm just washing my laundry as usual and noting whether there are stains left behind).

Anyway -- given my current results with Persil color megaperls and given what others have said about the various Persil formulas (the gels are supposed to do better on food stains?), the next one I am going to try is going to be Persil sensitive gel (I think this exists). Hoping it cuts down on the smell and skin sensitivity issues while retaining the same pretty darn good cleaning performance (without pre-treatment which I don't want to do if I can find a detergent that washes well without me having to pre-treat).

I'll come back and let you know how Persil does on the chocolate stains that Vaska left behind.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi livebetter, yes, it may prove out that one has to use some pre-treater before laundering. My husband is not going to do that. So, if he spills things in a day.. there could be potentially ten spots...who knows? Not always, but sometimes. And then there are the children. So, then that means, that I am going to have to sit there and find those shirts...and then get a stain stick/or spray and spray each spot/stain. Multiply that by 21 shirts a week that goes into the laundry along with other wearables that might have some stain problem. For some reason, I am hoping that the reality is not that a person has to use a stain stick/or spray on each stain x 21 shirts. ( and whatever number of tea towels that get stains on them ) My hope is that there is some more natural solution that is able to release those stains. Coconut oil based ? How have Polynesians handled stains over decades ? I mean we/the U.S. and other industrial countries can put satellites up in the sky, we can make terrible weapons, we can put men on the moon so to speak; wouldn't you think that the scientists could tackle a smaller problem called helping those women to get out tough stains? ? that is not comprised of a totally chemical soup that we must put our washables into, risking chemically induced rashes etc. Mainly because of the skin irritants in the chemicals? And then citizens' water bill has to go up as we try to contend with the chemicals after washing; in order to rinse, rinse, rinse. I'm chuckling at it all.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

PRE-SPOTTING NOT NECESSARY TO GET STAINS OUT, PER EUROPEAN OPINION:

" Europeans subscribe to a completely different wash philosophy from Americans. They simply can't understand why anyone would put up with machines that don't get out stains without the use of pre-treatment chemicals or added chlorine. Particularly, when the answer is so simple -- time and temperature." and more:

http://www.epinions.com/content_1858248836

It kind of makes me feel jipped if the above is true. Many families trying so hard to get clean laundry, scrubbing little stains, etc...and most of that totally unnecessary? All that work unnecessary ? So, is it the case, that Americans have been falsely programmed to think that STAINS are usually going to remain in clothing after being laundered, unless they use strong detergent like Tide,along with pre-spotting ?

Could it be possible that U.S. industries could make profit on the American population if they did not inform them of European knowledge of laundry philosophy? It appears in the above link: that historically Europeans have detested the addition of more and more chemicals to clean laundry; and KNEW that it WAS the temperature and length of GENTLE agitation, which REALLY took the stains out. That NO chemical prespotting and harsh detergent and rough agitation were needed in the washer?

Have we Americans all been sold a bill of goods being given washers with only warmer water, and rough/quick agitation cycles; then because of it, households could not get stains out, and were then forced to rely upon chemicals? which made huge profits for industries ?

Maybe its been the washers made by the U.S. all along...and most families grew up with them, and just would never think to question the water temperature and short/quick agitation time..as being linked to stained clothes still remaining after being washed.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

In regards to NOT PRESPOTTING, and stains coming out in normal washing cycles like Europe uses: on another forum, a European posts:

"2 hours 45 minutes for a normal wash ".

and " These extended, high temperature washes mean that chlorine bleach is not necessary to get white loads spotless."

and: " While bleach is readily available from any supermarket here in the UK, generally it's only used as a disinfectant for sinks, drains, toilets and the like. Never in the washer. "
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=184314

Other posters here on this thread of the laundry forum have posted some similar understandings.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I tapped out a long opinion but managed to lose it all when DD came screaming about something. Argh. Here's the shorter version:

I have a Euro-style washer, a Miele, 220v, with the long cycles and boil washes. I'm also married to a European and perhaps that has influenced my laundry philosophy and attitude toward pre-treatment.

I don't entirely agree with the epinions poster, that it's just about time and temperature. I think the detergent matters. I say this because I see the difference in stain removal between the different detergents I have tried so far.

I think I can get to a place where I don't have to pre-treat (well, I'm pretty much there already now just trying to solve for something with less of a scent left behind). But having tried what I've tried, I think for myself at least, I need a "strong" detergent like Persil or Tide. But one of these days I guess I should put it to the test and try a sanitize cycle (2 hours) with the boil wash temps and use a gentler/greener product like Vaska and see what happens. It would be purely for the curious cat in me, because I wouldn't want to subject our clothing to that kind of temperature on a regular basis.

P.S. Did you know bleach will react at temps over 158F and will actually break down washer parts and damage the machine... would be a bad combo for Euro washers since the boil wash temps are well over 158F.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks hcj,. No, I didn't know that about bleach; thanks. yes, I would like to NO pretreat also. And yes, it would be very interesting to see what happens with a very long hot wash, and persil sensitive and chocolate stains, juice stains, etc. Or Vaska as you mention. Also, thanks for your feedback on the Epinions article.:>)

On the Cost of doing all those rinses ? Its less expensive than a regular washer: Here's why.

I learned that using a European washing style: where heating the water to very hot temperatures ( 140 degrees is adequate ) and then 4 or 5 rinses, actually WOULD NOT most likely increase water bills as I thought they would: Here is the comment from a poster on another forum:

"Don't forget that European washers are mainly of the front loading type, which work by tumbling clothes in just A FEW INCHES OF WATER. A wash cycle with FOUR RINSES still only uses between ONE THIRD TO HALF AS MUCH WATER, on average, AS A TOP LOADER. Heating this small amount of water requires very little energy - plus, of course, you only end up heating the water the machine uses, instead of a whole tankful. "

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=184314

And, A GERMAN WOMAN IN THE U.S. TALKS ABOUT GETTING WHITES CLEAN in the U.S. GERMAN MACHINES BETTER, SHE SAYS, 'you don't have to use bleach.'

"I am German, living since October 2005 in the USA and yes, I miss the German washing machines badly and not because I need to know how hot the water is, but because I like my close, especially my white wash, clean and I CAN'T GET THE STAINS OUT AS GOOD AS I USED TO IN GERMANY -WITHOUT BLEACH ! And for a fact, I can't get them out with bleach either. In Germany we don't use bleach much, I don't know anybody that uses bleach, because our washers work better than the Americans. Sorry, to say so. First, the wash cycle as some said correctly is much longer, normal white wash requires a wash cycle of 90 min. minimum, longer when it is extra dirty. The different temperatures are important, because of what you wash, whites, color cotton, color synthetics, mixed fiber, wool etc. . And have you ever felt how cold the "warm" water flows in the American machine. I did, and it is not even 30 C, 86 F, good for wool, but not for my husbands work close (colored wash).
And someone said, he/she has a washer with temperature on in here in America? Tell me more about it.
The cheapest German machines washes much better than the average American one, especially when you don't want to use bleach, what isn't to good for your clothes anyway. "

http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic8952.html


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj1440, you should try the Persil Sensitive if you're looking for less scent. It def is a much softer smell. I can't tolerate Persil Megaperls scent but don't mind the sensitive smell at all.

I have the Megaperls Sensitive which is only recommended for whites/colour fast colours. There is a Sensitive Gel which they recommend for colours I havent tried that yet as Im pretty happy with Method Smartclean. I will probably try it though.

I did use Persil Color Gel and did not like the smell either. Too strong. I also didnt notice that it was that much better at cleaning. Although I know many rave about it as being the best.

Im pretty sure Ill go with the Miele when I upgrade. Im hoping that they may come out with a reversible door sigh

I dont think my wash cycles are very long in my Frigidaire Gallery so Im amazed I get white, clean, clothes?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

> P.S. Did you know bleach will react at temps over 158F and will actually break down washer parts and damage the machine... would be a bad combo for Euro washers since the boil wash temps are well over 158F.

Most European-style washers sold in the U.S. (i.e. the 24"/60cm wide Bosch, Miele, Asko) specifically don't allow use of chlorine bleach.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

lee, mine wash cycle is not very long either. Although it is looking like the capability to extend wash cycles is important.

My perception is that it appears that there are two ways to approach laundry as the earlier posted article suggests.

a. The U.S. way of using chemicals to get stains out and make up for lack of long extended washing time cycles, and lower washing temps.

b. or the European strategy of avoiding chemicals to pretreat and wash with by using longer extended washing cycle times using Gentle agitation...which removes stains naturally deep out of the fiber combined with the use of adjusting temperatures manually and 4 to 5 rinses. ( along with using small amounts of detergent )


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

livebetter -- Yes Persil Sensitive is definitely next on my list of things to try. I just want to use up the megaperls first. From everything I have heard about it, and even from my current experience using the megaperls, I think it might be *the* detergent for me... at least, I'm hoping so!

You take all the right steps to take care of your clothes -- treating stains immediately, etc -- so I'm not surprised you have clean, white clothes :)

Mariwen -- you know, through all this I never thought to ask if you were using a toploader or a frontloader. If a toploader, your questions and comments about extra rinses are now making so much more sense. Seriously, if you have serious skin allergies in the family, you might want to consider making the investment/switch to a front loading washer. They really do clean better and rinse cleaner. No amount of rinsing in a toploader will get out enough of the detergent ingredients that you're allergic to -- but a frontloader can do a much better job of it. I admit I have a pretty specialized machine, and I have it programmed to special settings. But I had a regular, American brand frontloader before and I think it rinsed cleaner than my top-of-the-line Kenmore toploader did.

Lee: Don't know about the rest but my Miele manual contradicted itself and said bleach in one place and no bleach in another place. Plus, I bet a lot of Americans didn't read the manual and used bleach anyway! I think it's the reason why the new generation of Miele's in North America only go up to 158F.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

> I bet a lot of Americans didn't read the manual and used bleach anyway! I think it's the reason why the new generation of Miele's in North America only go up to 158F.

The new generation of Mieles only go to 158F because they caved in and switched from 240V to 120V, which means the internal heater is less than half as powerful as it used to be, and it would take hours to reach 190F like my ten-year-old Miele can.

> My perception is that it appears that there are two ways to approach laundry as the earlier posted article suggests.

a. The U.S. way of using chemicals to get stains out and make up for lack of long extended washing time cycles, and lower washing temps.

b. or the European strategy of avoiding chemicals to pretreat and wash with by using longer extended washing cycle times using Gentle agitation... which removes stains naturally deep out of the fiber combined with the use of adjusting temperatures manually and 4 to 5 rinses. (along with using small amounts of detergent)

I sense that Americans are slowly changing over to the European way though - the result of the recent popularity of front-load washers, many with internal heaters, replacing old top-load washers without internal heaters which can at best fill with 120F water from the external hot water tank (but in practice, due to residual water in the pipes from a distant hot water source, and the tub and clothes being room temperature, is probably closer to 110F). Most new American front-load washers, and some high-efficiency top-loaders as well, have internal water heaters and can be set to heat typically from 150-170F, although often starting with water drawn partly or fully from the hot-water feed. Most still have bleach dispensers too, probably because the manufacturers are afraid that Americans are used to being able to use bleach and want to continue. But as long as they don't build 240V washers for Americans (or even 120V/20A which most laundry rooms have, and is required by modern electrical code for a 120V washer), the slow heating times will probably dissuade Americans from giving up bleach in favor of hot temperatures.

I used to own an old Westinghouse dryer made in the late 1960s that was dual-voltage - could operate on 120V/15A (by attaching only one of the hot wires and the neutral) or 240V/30A (by attaching both hot wires and the neutral). They should make washers this way. And especially, they should make combination washer-dryers this way, since it would speed up the drying as well as the washing. The big LG washer-dryers take up to 4 hours to do their job - because they run on 120V/15A. It's ridiculous that they don't offer a 240V/30A option, because many people would replace their washer and dryer with this one machine if it were faster, and most Americans already have a 240V/30A outlet for the dryer and would be good to go without a visit from the electrician.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks lee, that was informing. :>)


Yes, hcj, I have to admit, I guess I am not " with it " as far as knowing what is on the market that is best in washing machines, etc. But, as a credit, I am just learning and learning here, and I am so appreciative of everyone's comments. Yes, I have to admit I have a nice trusty top of the line top loader Kenmore. Its a good one though. And its about 12 years old now, but running strong. But only 2 rinses. And yes, I just learned about the gallons of water used situation. My family always used Kenmores and kept them for 30 years or Maytags, and a lot of my friends even those with money use standard trusty Kenmores. Sooooo, I guess the old traditional top loader washing machine is not up to snuff now, when compared to the articles I have posted about European ways of washing and front loaders ....:> I guess, I never questioned the standard American reputable brand of trusty washing machines; I grew up thinking they were just fine because they wash the clothes.

And now I see,.....that they probably were inadequate all along requiring strong compensating detergents/pre spotters from the market to make up for things. To me, thats a sad state of affairs, with all the seeming UNNECESSARY extra work that puts on a person who does the laundry, just because of seemingly: machine deficits. And then I think of my mother, etc and all of her hard work.

I called Sears today, and the guy in the washer department told me that the only thing that heats more, that is available, is the sanitizing option on washers now, and it will heat hotter than what the hot water heater will bring into the washer. So, that means if a person wants more than a button to push for " sanitize " one has to get some Euro brand, I guess.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I have one of those tiny euro washers that heats up water to the boiling point and I use it almost more than big LG. The LG does a good job but our cotton whites and towels stay snow white thanks the little wonder and Persil. Even our socks are spotless! My BF has a habit to walk in the back yard in his socks, specially when he cooks outside so you can imagine....
I got big LG b/c of the mounds of laundry we had since my bf moved in. His dermatitis goes through cycles and we have times when we have to change sheets every day! King size! And he uses two-three towels a day too.
So big washer was needed. However the small washer is still my favorite. It is noisy, it walks and drips,leaks water but washes like a dream. Plus having two washers is a plus.I don't have to wait for full load for big washer.
Being european, I'm use to washing at very high temps and long cycles are fine w/me too. I tried many detergents and aditives but its a hassle. Persil works wonders.
Normally I use only sanitary and the boil out cycles but today I turned on just hot water button by mistake and I was surprised how quick the cycle went through. The water wasn't really hot either.
Prewash is recomended on just about every load in fl to get all stains out. It really helps too.
There are products on the market "iron out" and "yellow out" that works on cotton and it will make things white, BUT I used it on the stove, big pot- boiling things out. It stinks ( I used more that they said) but it works on baby stains and cotton diapers.
I wouldn't use it my washer thou.
Iam trying the Vaska line now since reading here and so far its great. It really takes small dose and laundry smells pretty good. Not really lavender,more like detergent/degreaser type smell w/hint of lavender way behing but it cleans well. Not sure what hapens long term w/our whites yet. It doesn't bother my bf skin either. I still use extra rinse but less than before.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

> Europeans have always scoffed at American laundry appliances. They simply can't understand why anyone would put up with machines that don't get out stains without the use of pre-treatment chemicals or added chlorine. Particularly, when the answer is so simple -- time and temperature.

Americans "put up with" crappy washing machines that needed tons of water, inflicted wear on clothes with a twisting agitator, couldn't heat their own water, required bleach to keep their shirts white, usually rinsed only once leaving detergent in the clothes, and had spin cycles so slow their clothes were left too damp, because....... they didn't have a choice. From the late 1970s to mid '90s, only one American manufacturer made front-load washers (Westinghouse, whose appliance division was sold twice and is now part of Electrolux), and it wasn't a very good one.

Over the 15 years, U.S. manufacturers finally got serious about good laundry machines, because they realized they were more profitable. To make them more palatable to Americans, they made them bigger, increased the door opening size, often tilted the tub slightly to provide easier access, allowed bleach to be used, shortened the "normal" cycle, used low-wattage heaters that could run on 120 volt power, and offered optional pedestals to make loading and unloading easier and provide a storage drawer. They also rediscovered appliance colors other than white or ivory, and by painting their washers metal-flake red, green, blue, or taupe, found they could also sell a "matching" dryer in the same color and style for about twice the price of the same dryer dressed in traditional American style (white, rear control panel, no window in door) to match top-loaders.

Unfortunately, generations of Americans have no idea how to choose washing-machine options having not had any reason to learn. For decades, American washers had a temperature knob labeled only "cold", "warm", and "hot", and the actual water temperature was a crapshoot since "cold" was dependent on outdoor temperature and "hot" on the water heater tank setting, and "warm" simply combined the two at whatever water pressure the two water inlets had. And thus, clothes sold to Americans were labeled with washing instructions like "Machine Wash Warm". There wasn't any point in putting temperatures on the labels, because the washers didn't have any way to set a given temperature. Actually, most textiles seem to say "Machine Wash Cold" - I think the labels are written by the clothing company's lawyers, number-crunchers, or quality-assurance staff to avoid complaints about shrinkage or running dyes. They don't care about the clothes not getting clean, because the customers will blame that on the appliance or detergent manufacturer, not the clothing manufacturer or the store they bought their clothes from.

Many labels on newer clothing do have the European-style (actually, international) labels marked with a specific temperature, but it's in degrees Celsius which definitely won't be found on U.S.-market washers. There are also symbols that indicate drying, bleaching, ironing, etc., but I doubt most Americans know what all those buckets, lines, triangles, and dots mean.

But at least some Americans cared enough to seek out a decent washer: I recently stumbled upon an interview from 1996 in which Steve Jobs raved about his Miele washer and dryer ("I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years"!), which prompted me to buy a used Miele W1926 and find out for myself. When the guy who brought forth the Mac, the iPod, and the iPhone gets more excited by a washing machine than by any recent electronic gizmo, you know the thing must be darned impressive. And Steve was right - it is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry Symbols


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Czechchick, thanks for your story. I can almost see you working and having two washers going, and setting temps, etc. Yes, you probably knew about hot hot water long ago and longer washing cycles. I guess I am wondering tho, with the long long washing cycles, how would a family get 2 loads a day done ? If each cycle is 2 hours and 40 minutes, doing two loads would take almost 6 hours. Maybe Europeans buy small amount of clothing and wash more ? ( Yes, I also read the earlier posted article that suggested 90 minute washing cycles so I realize the timing might be somewhere between both ) Maybe thats the secret, to have two washers.
Gosh, I would not have considered getting two.

Lee, yes,....I can see your points. Thanks for your time to write all that. :>) But my question is, and I dont expect you to have all the answers :>), but if you know: WHY wasn't there a choice? Was it political,Suppressed information for Profit orientation, technology deficits, not wanting to retool, or?

And did Europe have these washing machines that had long washing cycles and hot hot water in the 70's/80's ?

I realize nothing can be done now about it all, crying over spilled milk so to speak, and its more important to just be happy about realizing it all now, and take action to change the situation now, but it still is sad to think of my grandmother and mother sitting there scrubbing little stains, when they didn't have to, all because of a possible devolved state of affairs.

P.S, my older traditional washer does electronically control temps in that warm is 100 degrees, and hot is whatever the hot water heater temp is. But I see now, that that is not enough probably.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Mariwen, don't feel bad for not having a frontloader. IMHO toploaders are better for some things, and also, by delaying your switch to a frontloader you have given the manufacturers time to work out the early problems. It's an interesting question, why we didn't have frontloaders before, but I don't know that it's some big conspiracy on Tide's part. Just my opinion but I don't think there was any consumer demand for it here, everyone thought their toploader was just fine thank-you-very-much and there was no interest in saving water or energy as our resources here cost a lot less than what it did in Europe. And yeah, they did have frontloaders there all this time with some people even having combo machines that both washed and dried (and did a really poor job of drying, btw). The grass is always greener... I think Europeans look at us and some of them probably wish they had our cheap water and energy and big houses where you can have a monster size washer AND a dryer too and throw everything in the dryer without thinking about the electricity bill and everything comes out soft and nice because you didn't have to hang it dry outside. You don't want to listen to half the complaints my sister had when she moved to London for 4 years.

OK back to topic at hand... if you are thinking about getting a frontloader, what you want to look for is a washer with an internal heater. Which usually does equate to a machine with a sanitize option, but it should use the heater for other cycles/temps too, not just for the sanitize cycle. If you look at the "specs" tab on the Home Depot website, you will see a line that says "built in internal heater" and the answer yes or no next to it. That's one place where you can do some preliminary online research where it's easy to sort out whether a given model has a heater or not... I'm sure there are others too.

Finally... wanted to address your question about whether you could get 2 loads done per day with a frontloader and its longer cycles. The sanitize cycle on my Miele takes over 2 hours but that is the longest. On my GE frontloader that I had before, the longest cycle I think was the stain wash, I believe it was about 2.5 hours. But the "normal" cycle on the Miele (which is what I use most of the time) is 1 hr 43 minutes if I include a half hour soak, or right around 1 hr 30 minutes if I do a pre-wash instead of a soak. And on my old GE I think my typical cycle length was also around 1.5 hours. I don't know how you would use your new washer but wanted to give some examples of cycle times.

I think if you are spreading your laundry loads throughout the week -- i.e. 2 loads per day instead of 6 loads on Saturday -- you are already well-suited to frontloaders. That was the biggest change for me going from toploader to frontloader -- shifting from having one "laundry day" to doing a little bit every day or every few days. You just learn to work around it... after all you aren't sitting there watching it wash for 2 hours. I put laundry in while dinner is cooking in the oven, and transfer to the dryer after the kids are in bed, things like that. The shift for me was not dedicating time to "doing laundry" -- instead it gets parceled out as discrete tasks that get fit in throughout the day. 10 minutes to sort and load. Then go back when you have 5 minutes to transfer to the dryer. Then go back when you have 15 minutes to fold and put away. Know what I mean?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach


hcj, thanks for all the information. :>) Yes, I developed a particular habit about 10 years ago, and that was to keep laundry hampers empty. They collect things in childrens bedrooms, etc. but then they are emptied and taken to the laundry room large hamper, and then washed usually that day. But sometimes things sit up to three days depending on what might be going on. But usually things are washed up so that there is little accumulation. And everyone has enough T shirts to last if things have to wait for three days. But I am more particular about this: (so I am probably wierd) no socks go in with clothing, and no underwear goes in with clothing. Each of those catagories has its own separate wash. I have a separate sock basket for dirty socks and they are washed in one single load. Everyone brings their dirty sccks to this sock basket. And they have enough socks to last while other dirty ones are building up in sock hamper and then washed. And weird me, I usually do all towels separately with sheets and pillow cases. And they are all light colors. Most of all things are light colored or white, with several dark T shirts from somewhere..:>)

So, if I have 10 T shirts from Saturday and Sunday on Monday morning and 3 towels and some underwear, depending: I will do three small loads, on low water levels or I sometimes will combine the towels with the chothes, if they are not stained.

Yes, I see how you could work around things, thanks. I suppose I could wait two days and do a bigger load, IF the hotter water function gets it all disinfected and stains gone. That would be nice.

Yes, thanks, I did not know the electricity and water were so expensive in Europe and that, that might have been some of the motivation for their desire to have water saving front loaders and decreasing the electricity also to heat the the little amount of water. Thats good information, thanks !

Was the GE front load washer good? The man at Sears tried to tell me yesterday that " all " the U.S. machines do not allow a person to set temperature on water hotness. He said all only offer the " sanitize " function. And that that is the only way to get hotter water. Meaning, I would have to only use sanitize function, all the time. He did not say that the sanitize works on other cycles. ( but maybe he meant that, I don't know )

Yes, I would think that the internal heater you mention would be very important to increase water temp. Thanks ! And also as you mention, the heater in the washer ought to function on other cycles as well. Yes, that would be important to me too. :>) Thanks !

So, what is the consensus about which water temp will get those whites clean? In other words if there is a washer which has an internal heater that function on other cycles as well, is 140 degrees a good temp., that will get those whites clean. I notice that some people on the Laundry forum use consistently 158 degrees for everything, and they are almost certain that it does not damage any clothes. I think I must be more European, in that I don't like chemicals going into my clothes either.


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Suds in Vaska

I was the person who'd posted about the suds level of Vaska some time back. As near as I can tell, the detergent was designed to be used in either cold-water washing or, alternately, in machines that don't have internal heaters. The hotter the water I used, the more suds I got. If I did a "profile wash" (cold fill followed by heating with the onboard heater) I usually got a Titanic-sized mountain of thick foamy suds (we're talking 3/4 of the way up the door on my Bosch FL, and especially when washing towels!) that would sometimes take 2-3 separate washes with NO detergent just to get out. Clearly the old adage that when you heat suds you get foam applied here. That, plus the fact that it was somewhat ineffective on the tougher stains by itself (concentrated tomato and oil-on-cotton) and usually ineffective on significant body odors (think nighttime potty training) made me switch.

I'm now using Persil Megaperls (Color and Universal) and I'm able to use very small amounts (1-2tbsp) + 1 tbsp STPP which gets almost everything but oil-on-cotton out first time, every time without ~much~ pretreating... and the clothes always smell great. I find that the Megaperls scent fades a whole lot by the time the clothes come out of the dryer.

For the greasiest of greasy stains and other really awful, cringe-inducing stuff my kids manage to work into their clothes I pretreat with Persil Color Gel since it contains both surfactants and enzymes while not having any bleach to fade colors.

I still do use Vaska to wash wool and silk items on a delicates cycle which is both cool and unheated, and it seems to work OK for them as long as I don't use more than about 1/2 cap. I can't use Persil for those because of enzymes would probably damage those protein-based fibers.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Hi, another question, maybe the great minds on the laundry forum can answer :>)

I am wondering, if I used an hour pre- soak cycle on hot with BioKleen Premium laundry powder which has enzymes and oxygen bleach; would this be long enough to conclude that the enzymes have done their maximum work ?

In my experiment with stain sample in earlier posts, I did not soak them first. I just did a 30 minute wash cycle. Does anyone think, that pre-soaking like this could sort of compensate to a tiny degree for a 1 hour long wash cycle in a Miele or Bosch.? After pre-soaking, I could then switch to washing cycle and wash for 30 minutes and rinse several times. Might this clean whites better? If clothes are in an enzyme solution for a long period of time, might this allow the enzymes to work better at removing stains?


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Was the GE front load washer good?
The GE was pretty good, but the Miele is heaven. :) The GE was a bit rough on our clothes -- it made everything pill really fast and I have no idea why. I ended up washing everything on the delicates cycle all the time which meant it used a little more water, but nowhere close to what my old Kenmore toploader used of course.

The man at Sears tried to tell me yesterday that " all " the U.S. machines do not allow a person to set temperature on water hotness. He said all only offer the " sanitize " function. And that that is the only way to get hotter water. Meaning, I would have to only use sanitize function, all the time. He did not say that the sanitize works on other cycles. ( but maybe he meant that, I don't know )
Well... I'm no expert and don't know much about machines I haven't owned, but on the machines I did own it's like your temperature-controlled Kenmore. Warm is supposed to be X degrees, hot is X degrees, etc. and the washer uses its internal heater to help the water reach that temperature. I've heard that on the newer Miele's the heater does not engage on the "normal" cycle because they were trying to get around the energy star ratings and using the heater means using more electricity which meant a worse rating. But the heater does engage on the other cycles. My Miele doesn't meet the energy star requirements so it uses its heater like it should. Not sure about other brands/models but maybe some similar dynamic exists?

what is the consensus about which water temp will get those whites clean? In other words if there is a washer which has an internal heater that function on other cycles as well, is 140 degrees a good temp., that will get those whites clean. I notice that some people on the Laundry forum use consistently 158 degrees for everything, and they are almost certain that it does not damage any clothes.
I guess the general theory is that hotter/longer = whiter. The trade off is high heat is not good for elastics -- they will break down faster. I believe higher heat tends to fade colors faster but that's not a concern if we're talking whites. I also notice that when I use "very warm" (50C or 122F) on colors that some items bleed a little which contributes to a slight dingeyness on lighter-colored items in the load, and it might be my imagination but I think the clothes pill faster/more at higher heat.

The people I know in Europe all use commercial laundry detergents just like many Americans do, just no bleach. And detergents there seem to be more clearly marked "bio" or "non-bio" which means whether it has enzymes or not, I think. I don't think they make very extensive use of the highest heat cycles -- certainly not on everything -- although it is unheard of to wash things in what we call "cold" or tap cold. Their "cold" is more what we would call lukewarm and I think a lot of people wash most things on warm (40C), though I'm just guessing as I haven't talked to that many Europeans about how they do their laundry and I imagine it may vary by country as well. I do see the difference in our clothing's washing instructions, especially in children's clothing... with most US clothing instructions saying to wash in "cold" (30C) or "warm" (40C) while the clothes sent to us as gifts from Sweden usually say to wash in hot (60C).

The other thing is, I think many/most/all of their detergents have phosphonates which according to the folks on many a laundry forum really contributes to whiter whites. We took phosphates out of our detergents years ago and I don't think anyone has replaced it with phosphonates here... maybe it's not legal to do it. Phosphonates are a photo-degraded form of phosphates.


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Mysteryclock / Vaska suds!

Thanks for posting your experience with Vaska -- good to know that I am not the only one with the mountain of suds. Your explanation makes sense. I've never thought about using a detergent without enzymes for wool -- that makes sense too and I will save my Vaska for that. I was going to give Vaska one more go on the chocolate stains to see if it takes care of it on the second try, but after hearing your experience with it and stains, I think I will consider my Vaska trial over and reach for the Persil instead.


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pre-soaking works for me

On the advice of hidroman here, I've been pre-soaking most items instead of doing a pre-wash to save water and power. (I still do a pre-wash if I want the water to drain away before going into the main wash -- i.e. if the clothes are really dirty or saturated with pee.) It's been working pretty well for me. But, I read on another forum that most American detergents are not formulated to hold soils in suspension for longer than half an hour, so the dirt ends up being redeposited on the clothing instead of being rinsed away. My understanding is that Persil holds the dirt particles in suspension for longer so it's OK to soak for more than a half hour and then wash the items in the soak water when using Persil.

If you believe the above, I guess the workaround would be to soak with detergent for half an hour, drain the water away and then start the wash cycle with new water and new detergent?

I guess the European detergents are better/more sophisticated than our Tide after all... but I'm starting to think they have even more crap in it than we do. But I'm OK with that :)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

czechchick2, for whites with Vaska I would add an oyxgen bleach. I was using BioVert but also now have the Vaska liquid version. I've been doing this for a few years with white towels and sheets and my whites are definitely not dingy or grey and I don't have a FL with onboard heater. I would think the Vasak would leave less residue to bother your BFs skin.

I really like the smell. Makes me think real "herbal" not fake floral smell.

I still use Persil Sensitive Megaperls for white clothes (ie. socks) as I think they need the added benefit of enzymes, etc ...

I find Vaska great for items like sheets and towels which are not really that "dirty".

How do you find the suds level of Vaska in your machines? Do you find it too sudsy as well? I have no problem with suds. My friend who has the Miele W4842 didn't have a problem either. Another laundry mystery??


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, oh goodness...well, I soaked them for an hour and washed for 30 minutes and did three rinses. Next time I will soak only 30 minutes. I ordered Persil Sensitive just now..a small box/bag to try ( 20 loads )..to see if it gets stains out better, and if we get scratchy. Should be here in 5 days or so. And then I will do a soak for my clothes in Persil. I will let everyone know what happens.

Hope you let me know what happens with the chocolate stain and Persil. Maybe you will have a new fruit juice stain by then too. :>)

I have been reading about washers that do a " profile wash."
They gradually heats water as the clothes tumble in water...to allow for cooler water first to remove protein stains, then it heats the water to hotter and hotter temp to allow enzymes to work and stains to come out.

http://www.thathomesite.com/faq/lists/laundry/2003053858021558.html


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Where to start? Hm...

European front loaders used to be faster in the past - cycle times of over two hours were probably unheard of. But as energy conservation became more of an issue, cycles became longer. In the 80's, washers had 3000+ watts heaters and would guzzle lots of water. Our 1984 washer did a cool-down at the end of the main wash that would fill the drum more than half way up! Each of the four rinses filled the drum about 1/4. Lots of water!
Many years later, the EU introduced a labeling system that rates every washer by cleaning ability, energy consumption and spinning performance. On top of that, many stores and especially catalogs would advertise the overall water consumption in big numbers across the washer. In this case, less is more, of course. Therefore, manufacturers decreased the water and energy consumption as much as they could - to be competitive. Unfortunately, this lead to looong cycle times.

Today, cycle durations in Europe are becoming shorter again. There are numerous cycles and options from all the different manufacturers to shorten the wash. One hour is usually what you're looking at for a regular, lightly soiled load. Bosch, for one, allows you to select either a normal wash, which is like 90 minutes, or to add one of the Perfect options. SpeedPerfect reduces the normal cycle to one hour. EcoPerfect increases it to over three hours. Saving takes time... Of course, there are also extreme cases. Whirlpool's European version of the Duet takes slightly over five hours to complete the SuperEco 140F cycle - with lots of mid-cycle soaking. Then again, they say it uses 60% less energy than your average 140 cycle.

So reason number one for extended cycles is the race to make super-efficient washers. Reason number two is the ridiculous capacity rating our washers have. Efficiency is not the only selling point anymore - every machine is already rated "A" for energy conservation and some are up to 30% more efficient than what was originally required to get the "A" rating when the labeling system was introduced. Now, capacity matters. The problem is, however, that you can only get so much drum space into a 24 inch wide cabinet. Manufacturers claim that our8 small washer will hold as much laundry as some of the large US washers. How so? By increasing cycle time, of course! So there you have it: efficiency and over-rated capacity are the two main driving forces for our longer cycle time. The good thing is that, in reality, only the so called Energy Label Reference Cycle (Cottons 140F) takes really long because this is the one cycle the Energy Label is based on. Naturally, every manufacturer tries to make this one cycle as efficient as possible. This is the very reason why Miele does not use the heater on Normal - to get a better rating despite the fact that other cycles will use more energy but are overlooked by Energy Star.

As far as your 4 - 5 rinses theory goes. No dear, you're sadly mistaken on that one! Three rinses is the standard. The aforementioned Energy Label Reference Cycle might - on some machines - do only two rinses for efficiency's sake. But because these three shallow rinses don't get detergent out too well - see the average scores across the board for rinsing performance in our consumer magazine - every washer will offer at least one extra rinse. Some offer up to three (Bosch/Siemens) or even a 104 heated final rinse (LG).

As for our detergents being more advanced - yes, I sometimes think so. Okay, the last time I did a load of laundry in the US was years ago but from looking at the list of ingredients of Tide HE Powder vs Persil Magaperls, I can immediately see that Tide has two enzymes versus four in Persil. Wonder why that is? By the way, the UK is the only country with non-bio detergent, I think.

Regarding: doing laundry the European way. Well, I think hcj1440 described it pretty well. You throw a sorted load of laundry into the washer, add whatever chemicals you need, set and forget. The washer works fully automatic. I remember how much "work" was involved in doing a load of whites at my aunt's house in Fresno... First: wash whites in bleach with lid open. Once the main wash finished, the washer would pause ( -> soak) until you closed the lid. Second: after some soaking, close the lid and let the cycle finish. Third: come back and run the washer over again with detergent. Fourth: don't miss the rinse cycle to add softener! Now, my aunt's laundry routine was probably not the best one (soaking stuff in bleach) and modern top loaders have all kinds of dispensers etc. but it goes to show how much labor and active participation laundry day with a top loader can require. Since no running back and forth is required with a front loader, people just throw the laundry in and walk off. For processing large amounts of laundry, a TL is probably faster, tough.

Finally, the comment on the Sanitary cycle as being the only hot cycle on modern front loaders is - as usual from a sales person - wrong. Several manufacturers offer a cycle or option to raise the water temp above warm but below Sanitize.

Whirlpool allows you to select Sanitize temp on Whitest Whites, Heavy Duty and Bulky Items. There's also a Deep Clean option that starts out as a warm wash and then heats to hot or sanitize (depending on the model with or without steam). Electrolux has the Perfect Steam option that heats the water to hot but not sanitize. LG (and therefore Kenmore) has the Stain Treat option to perform a warm to hot profile wash. Samsung has something similar. GE. Of course Bosch and Miele. So you're not limited to Sanitize if you want a hotter-than-warm wash.

So much for now.

Alex


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

mariwen, do you soak clothes? When I wash a load of very dirty/stained clothes (particularly such loads as white socks and stained white t-shirts), I soak them in HOT water and detergent -- usually overnight. I learned years ago (in science class) that baking soda doubles the whitening/sanitizing power of chlorine bleach, which means I can use a small amount of bleach (usually 1/2 cup) when I use baking soda (I usually use 1 cup) -- in a huge 4.6 cu ft washer. The baking soda leaves the clothes very soft and sweet-smelling. I also use white vinegar in the final rinse. It strips all detergent out of the clothes. They come out very clean, very white, very soft.

A lot of people really like to use Dawn on greasy stains. I mysels prefer Shout, but from what I hear, Dawn is very effective at breaking up grease.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Whirlpool trainee, thanks for all of your info. So, which washer then, lasts the longest, and which one is least expensive to repair and also has least repair calls.....that also has water heated up to either a gradual cool to really hot of 158? ( or at least 140 degrees ) in all cycles or as you state: three/four at least in some ? Is there a competent washer? made well to highly reduce needs to repair, yet it does get clothes very clean using the least chemicals ? ( or at least rinses so much the chemicals are virtually almost gone )

Mara: yes, I do soak. I am more like the gal that is the Aunt of Whirlpool trainee. I " participate " a lot. And I don't want to anymore. I dont like to use chemicals. I don't want to use chlorine bleach or shout, etc. I do know that ' shout ' does a pretty good job though. A long time ago, I used it. But I don't want to feel like I "have " to use these things, just to get clothes clean. I want to be more like Whirlpool Trainee mentions: " load and forget " and clothes come out very very clean using the more natural function of HOT hot water, perhaps. I am still learning, so I am not an expert...:>)

What I would like is a very competent washer that will do what whirlpool trainee describes. But I don't want it to fall apart in 7 years. My relatives had washers for 30 years, and I don't know why I can't have one of those too, but that also will now in the current time: 2010; clean the clothes in a 'load and forget ' mode using HOT hot water. And also one that is not that expensive to repair, and also has low repair calls, because it is so well made in the first place. ( yes, I want a magic carpet ride lol.)

I don't like the idea/concept of planned obsolescence to make profit on parts. It seems to me to be way to exploit the public, and make/force them to pay the price of their faulty design to begin with. All I am asking for is well made machine that lasts and does what it is supposed to do. And repairs are few. I realize we have an economy to keep going, but not via my washing machine, lol. I am not against repairs if needed,but I am hoping someone in this world can design a good washing machine like I describe, since we can put satellites up in the sky and rockets on the moon. We ought to be able to make a really good machine that cleans whites without too many chemicals. And this is why i was amazed that Europeans have accomplished it using HOT hot water. ( I know they use some detergent as well)

I have only called a repairman to fix a washer once in my life. All of my washers just lasted without repair calls. I would like to have the same thing now....IF I replace what I have. Mine mechanically works fine and no repair calls. Its just that it does not heat the water like more european machines seem to do.

Whirlpool trainee: When I heard that only sanitize function gives the ONLY HEATED water, I got concerned because..what if I use that button only. I imagined that over use of it, would cause the machine to fail in a short span of years, because maybe it was not designed to be used every day, a number of times a day, etc. But what I hear you saying is: that the Duet will heat water to hot, in about 4 different cycles, ..am I interpreting correctly?

I feel frustrated, can you tell? :>)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Mariwen, may I boldly suggest my very own washer, the last generation of the 220v Mieles... w1213 (white) or w1215 (stainless). It has been discontinued, so you can get it for a discount price (I paid $1300). Truly a Euro-style machine, you won't be disappointed!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, thanks !

I wonder how expensive Miele washers are to repair ? Do they break a lot? I have their platinum vacuum. Because I am so allergic, ...sadly this time: to dust mites and dust.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

They are probably more expensive to repair because you probably need to call a more specialized service person, and the parts cost more.

On the plus side I keep hearing that they are engineered to last 20 years. I don't think they break a lot, but don't know for sure.

I got a good price on the washer itself but then had to pay for these extras:
1) a Miele conversion kit so I could run two 220v appliances off one outlet (since the washer is 220v and the dryer is too, and both needed to be run off the one 220v outlet that most American homes have)
2) a Miele stacking kit as I wanted to stack the dryer on top of the washer
3) we saved on the installation cost -- DH installed it -- but that would be been around $200

Anyway, the washer was a good price but when you buy Miele this and Miele that on top of it at regular prices, it ends up being more expensive. Just wanted to be totally honest.

P.S. I've always lusted after their vacuum :)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, just out of curiosity, was the conversion kit an adaptor: something that you just modify the outlet? or does a person have to change the wiring behind the wall or run a new line to the circuit box? My husband just asked that, I'm not that technically knowledgeable about those things. I have same as you: one dryer outlet to fit American dryer. So, maybe like you, I would have to use that one outlet for both appliances, IF I get a new washer.

I think I read somewhere when looking up a miele here on the forum, Lee mentioned he had to do something to the actual wiring. I might not be remembering correctly though.
Thats why I am curious.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

We didn't do anything to the wiring -- just plugged in the converter thing and plugged the washer and dryer into the converter. I think you just need the standard 220v, 30 amp outlet to use it.

Our other option was to rewire, but the electrician bill was going to be the same or more as the converter.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

oh thats good to know hcj, thanks.

Here is a blurb on Miele repair costs that I found interesting; Maybe interesting to others...I don't know.

For Miele: " parts are likely to be expensive too because they are high quality parts. The idea though is that breakdowns should be far fewer, and overall, over a long period, the cost of owning and maintaining a Miele should be cheaper than buying cheap washing machines. However: Miele currently have really long guarantees that reflect their confidence in the quality - although these guarantees swap and change all the time because Miele use them for promotion instead of price cutting."

http://www.washerhelp.co.uk/reviews/miele-w864-review.html


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Miele's Easy Installation Kit:

They make (made?) two of them:

057B - plugs into NEMA 10-30P (old-style 3-slot outlet with shared neutral/ground)
060B - plugs into NEMA 14-30P (new-style 4-slot outlet with separate ground)

Both provide two 240V outlets each with their own 15A circuit breaker so a 240V/15A washer and 240V/15A dryer can be plugged into the Easy Installation adapter, and it plug into your 240V/30A wall outlet (most commonly used just for an American 240V/30A electric dryer)

What's confusing me is that Miele seems to have changed the style of plug they equipped their American 240V washers with somewhere along the way. Although it needs only 15 amp service, my Miele washer (W1926) has a NEMA 14-20P plug, the kind normally found on a 240V/20A appliance. But evidently Miele later started equipping both their 240V/15A washers and 240V/15A dryers with NEMA 14-30P plugs, the kind normally fitted to new American-style 240V/30A dryers. They are considerably larger than the 20A plugs but similar in configuration. I think the picture above shows 30A outlets, but without knowing its size it's hard to tell.

You can also add a 240V/15A circuit breaker to your electric panel if there's room for it and run a new outlet for the 240V washer to it. I'm not sure if Miele's dryers are fused at 15A or not; I know Bosch and some Akso 240V/15A dryers are internally fused at 15A so they can be plugged right into common American or Canadian 240V/30A outlets/circuits.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Lee, my husband says thank you so much for all of the detail you provided. and he says: If we purchase a Miele at some point; Sounds like I can get away with just using the adapter you describe on my dryer outlet. If I bump into one of the newer 20amp style plugs, I'll know to look into whether there is also and adapter that can sit between the 20amp plug and the outlet adaptor or whether the possibility exists to change the cord on the appliance 15amp style.

My question: does anyone know if I could keep my current American dryer along with a Miele washer with that kind of adapter ?( yes they would be unmatched ) Or, with that adapter, am I required to get a Miele dryer also? Just trying to know ahead of time. Thanks.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

If you have a gas dryer, probably yes. If it's a 30-amp 240V electric dryer, you probably can't run both from the same circuit (there are some dryers that could be used this way if you avoid the high-heat setting, but you really need to know how your dryer works if you attempt this).

Some Bosch and Asko dryers have a fused 240V/15A outlet built into the back of them; these dryers can be plugged into a 240V/30A outlet and you can use the back-of-the-dryer outlet for a 240V Miele washer (you may have to change the plug though).


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

My husband says thanks and " I am just amazed at all the work arounds that people have come up with to use European appliances in the U.S. or perhaps for Europeans who have only one outlet. Its just amazing how many configurations there are to solve the problem ".

PERSIL:

For any that might be interested,..I found something out about the Persil version sold in France. The article states that the French version: uses " skin friendly " ingredients and " natural " ingredients. Maybe the French version is better for skin sensitive people?

" Unilever also market Persil in France. In this market, the brand focuses on natural ingredients and skin-friendly formulations and is sold alongside Unilever's main brand in France, Skip. In French, Persil means "Parsley" which lends itself to being a more herbal, natural product. Henkel also sells its Persil formulation in France under the name Le Chat, as Unilever owns the naming rights to Persil in this country. Therefore, it can be said that the original Persil products (by Henkel) are indeed sold in France but under a different name, while the product actually labelled Persil in this market is a differently positioned detergent from Unilever. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persil


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Persil

The Persil that is continually touted and mentioned on this website and some others is the Henkel Persil product. However the Persil brand name goes back many years and long ago the rights to the name were somehow given/sold to Unilever in some countries. French/Unilever Persil is a completely different product than the German Henkel Persil and is not related. It may be more natural etc but again, you may as well consider it a completely different brand and cannot latch on the cleaning properties touted by many here.

And on that topic -- Persil cleaning properties -- something finally dawned on me. The half hour pre-soak with Persil that I've been doing on most loads seems to make or break the stain removal process. I finally put together that whenever I select pre-wash instead of pre-soak, the stains don't go away. That is probably why I was not impressed by my first attempts with Persil but then changed my mind as time went on as it seemed to be doing better with the stains. The detergent didn't change, and I wasn't crazy at first. I changed my laundering habits to doing a half hour soak instead of a pre-wash, and that seems to have made all the difference.

I'm going to have to reload on my old favorite detergent, Ecover, and try the soak thing with it... very curious to see if it does better on stains this way, because I do love it in all other respects.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj1440, I'm wondering if the pre-soak helps as it gives the enzymes time to do their thing (eat stains). I'm guessing pre-soaking with any detergent with enzymes will help with certain stains.

Not all enzyme detergents are created equal. Some have 4 kinds of enzymes and some have only 2 (I believe each enzyme works on different types of stains - ie. protein, starch, grease, etc ...). Not sure what Ecover's enzyme compilation is.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks! hcj, okay I will remember that the German Persil is better. Its coming to me in the mail soon I hope for me to try.

Also, I am so glad I got to know you and you were here at the right time...to share with me about your Miele and how your clothes come out good, becuase i think that when its time; I am going to get the Miele you have. Maybe I can find a good used one..that functions very good and still has a lot of years left on it. Because at least you know what you have and you know it works, etc. I am going to write your Miele # down that you have, and save it for when I need it. I think after reading everything, that it is unfortunately... the hot water and temps and the agitation cycles that american machines don't have. That is probably what makes a big difference, along with some good detergent that may be good for sensitives like me. And also a Miele because it is expected to last a lot longer than Bosch because it is made well, hopefully that reduces probability of needing repair to very very infrequently. All my washers/dryers have lasted a long time..very long time..with no repairs and so did my parents machines. Hopefully the Miele will be like that. ( hoping hoping :) )

Which dryer do you have, just out of curiosity? same: 1213/1215?

Thanks for your insight about the soaking: I will also try it: presoaking stains no longer than 24 hours old for 30 minutes, in BioKleen Premium AND Ecover non chlorine bleach and see what happens. It could be that my sample stains of two days old were just too old. And I really didn't expect the blueberry to come out, but I thought the chocolate might and the juice and the coffee.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Would love to know what you think about the Persil Sensitive. I do think the soak is working because it gives the enzymes time to do their work. I have the w1215 washer and t1403 dryer -- I am expecting them to last a long time!

P.S. Since you are considering buying used... the Miele I have is less preferred in some circles because it has an electronic panel -- the even older models like w1986 have a dial instead of electronic controls and that is supposed to have fewer potential problems. It also gives you more option combinations because you can choose all the settings yourself -- the w1215 could be considered a bit "dumbed down" for Americans who just want to press one button. Good luck!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

This won't help with getting things white but I use white vinegar to help remove soapfrom my laundry loads.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks hcj, I will let you all know what happens when I try the Persil.

Thanks for the info about the dryer, I just wondered which one might be good, since maybe it looks like I do have to get a dryer also,because of the outlet plug converter situation.

Lee has a 1926, and I wonder if he likes that one.

hcj, your washer is a larger capacity is that right? I have a lot of clothes, so a small capacity would take me so long to get through that I would be concerned about things really building up around here, laundry wise.

Thanks Rachael for your comment.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, your washer is a larger capacity is that right? I have a lot of clothes, so a small capacity would take me so long to get through that I would be concerned about things really building up around here, laundry wise.

The w1215 is what Miele calls "large" capacity but it is not the supersize that most American frontloaders are (when you walk into Home Depot or Lowes and see all the floor models, it is not that size). It's 6kg and I'm not sure what that translates to in cubic feet. It looks small compared to a toploader drum but it holds as much or more than my Kenmore toploader did (I can pack it fuller than the toploader and it still cleans well). When you look at the drum keep in mind there is no agitator in the middle taking up all that space.

Compared to the Miele 48XX series models it is much smaller. The 48XX series is super-sized like the other frontloaders sold in the US market. The trade off is the 48XX run on 110v and do not have a boil wash, and apparently has fewer anti-vibration type technologies (at least that's what I'm reading here). It goes up to 158F and not 203F like mine does. Also I believe the heater does not engage in the normal cycle although you can certainly work around that by using the other cycles.

FWIW, My GE was 3.8 cu ft (slightly smaller than the 4+ cu ft in many machines today) and when I first made the switch from Kenmore toploader to it, I had a very hard time filling the drum to capacity and frequently washed with less-than-full in it. Of course over time I adjusted and managed to fill it full for most loads (I ended up combining loads I didn't used to combine -- like towels, sheets and kitchen towels all together -- I closed my eyes and hoped the sanitize function would take care of any potential grossness from mixing it all up). And with my current "large capacity" Miele w1215 that most people would think of as small, so far (knock on wood) I have not wished for a larger drum even though I switched from the big GE to it. In fact, these last couple of weeks as I'm doing all the detergent tests, I have been under-loading the machine every time and wishing I had more to put in it. So there you go... real life user input, but only from one person :)


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Wow, what a long thread! I read many of the replys, but got lost somewhere in the middle!

I recently tried Seventh Generation Natural Powder detergent on my whites after reading the July 2009 laundry detergent review in Consumer Reports. I had been using the SG liquid detergent, and even occasionally Tide Free and Clear HE liquid.

I have always washed whites in my current machine as follows: Cotton temperature boost cycle (on my machine, this heats up to 150 degrees) and an extra rinse cycle- for a total of 100 minute cycle. The whites have always been pretty clean, but not "bright" white. I don't like to use bleach on my clothing.

I tried a load with 2 1/2 tablespoons of Seventh Generation powder detergent and the whites look really white. However, the clothing is not super soft. Since that load, I have run some other loads with vinegar in the first rinse and the clothing has been softer.

Anyway, my DH sweats a lot and his white undershirts had yellow stains on the underarms. While they have not completely disappeared, they are much cleaner looking, and even my dirty socks are whiter.

SG powder has gotton out a jelly stain and a coffee stain in warm water with a pre-soak and extra rinse (warm on my machine is 95 F). I purposefully did not do any pre treatment. STains had been on the clothing longer than 24 hours.

I have sensitive skin, although am able to use the Seventh Generation products okay (even those with fragrance- by the end of the time in the dryer, the fragrance is mostly gone), and Tide Free and Clear liquid okay. Many of the other Tide products bother me, and forget about most of the other "branded" detergents with fragrances, most make my skin itchy and I cannot stand the fragrances.

The SG powder has enzymes in it, which is helpful with certain stains.

Barbara


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

hcj, thanks ! I think I will stick with the ones that reach the high temp. like you have. I think Lee's temp went high also. I will wait for him to post what he thinks of his.
But, I have already written your Miele model down so I know which one to look for when I buy another one. And I wrote your dryer model down also. :>)

Was your previous Kenmore a larger capacity washer like my current one is? if so, then that is really good news to hear that the Miele can hold what your Kenmore did.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

When I finally do receive the Persil, and I try it, how much would you all think might be a good starting amount for a top loader ? I read somewhere on this laundry forum, that maybe 1/4 cup?

I also read on Persil website, that if there are stains, that soaking with Persil for 30 minutes is a good thing to do. So, I think I will try that also.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Soaking is always a good thing to try for stains. It works wonders, especially if you soak with a product that contains enzymes... like Persil. Or even Biz.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Yes, from what I understand, some Whirlpool washers allow you to select the Sanitize temperature one three (or four) different cycles. I will attach a video highlighting this. It's a training video from Whirlpool where they basically bash LG because, well, they are the biggest competitor, it seems.

The vid also says that Warm is 104 and Hot is 140, which would be warmer than most US front loaders. There is also a Max Rinse option, which is good for sensitive skin.

You may also want to check out the new Frigidaire washers. They look very identical to the Electrolux IQ Touch washers but are cheaper. They have a bunch of options such as an Allergy mode with "multiple rinses" and a Stain Pre-Treat option that "fills with cold water, tumbles for ten minutes and then starts to heat the water". Nice!

Here is the link to a Frigidaire washer: FAFS44741. The user manuals are online, too.

However, I think Miele will ultimately give you the best fabric care. And you can set some (all?) Miele washers to give you extra deep rinses via a hidden service menu like seen here. Only thing that speaks against Miele is/ may be the lack of an extra-sophisticated anti-vibration system and, of course, the price.

Alex

Here is a link that might be useful: Whirlpool Steam Washer video


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Was your previous Kenmore a larger capacity washer like my current one is? if so, then that is really good news to hear that the Miele can hold what your Kenmore did.

I wish I remembered the model number on my Kenmore, but it has been over 5 years since I got rid of it so I no longer recall. I do think we got the largest capacity Kenmore available at the time and I remember it had a ridiculous amount of cycle options -- top of the line. I think we bought it in the mid to late '90s.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Thanks hcj !

and thanks whirlpool trainee for all the links etc. I will watch them. Thanks for going to ALL the trouble of posting them and writing all of that !

Wow ! you guys are amazing !

Still waiting for the Persil, I ordered it on Amazon, from a company that said it would take an extra 5 days or so. I don't know why the delay, but..thats where I am. I ought to have ordered from a different company on Amazon, but I was not paying attention to how long it might take. Usually when I order on Amazon I get the order within a week. I got this order from Better Products company, so I am still waiting. I won't order from them again thats for sure.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

On temp of Hot water and adjusting detergent amounts for Whites !

New Info ....maybe this is also another factor?

I found a new report that shows the results of a German Study which was designed to look at older washing machines vs. newer ones and their individually different hot water temperatures and cleaning performance variations. They determined in the results of testing, how to compensate for the difference of hot water temp. using/adjusting the amount of detergent to the temperature of the water.

I used a calculator to translate Celsius to U.S. F degrees. 90 C is equal to 190 F, and 60C is equal to 140 F, and 40C is equal to 104 F.

In the report they did a study on older washers in Germany and performance and newer washers in Germany and performance.

Here is what they found: ( significant part is in <<<< >>>> below.)

" The results are presented here in terms of the washing performance index and class definitions used
in the European energy labelling scheme, although the test conditions were not all in accordance with
those used in this system. Nevertheless, a three-dimensional plot of the performance fields (Fig. 5)
which washing machines can achieve depending on the amount of detergent used and on the
temperature selected, provides the best overview of the results.

<<<performance can be achieved (Fig. 5, a) in a 90 C programme with only 50 % of the rated detergent
dose, in a 60 C programme with the rated detergent dosage, or in a 40 C programme with 150 % of
the rated detergent dose. >>>>

Thus, consumers are basically free to select any one of these options to
achieve a specific level of cleaning performance, the only limitation being the temperature stability of
the fabrics to be washed. "

So for water temp. differences, they are upping the detergent ?

The report states:

<<for all three detergent dosages (Fig. 6) shows that performance, in addition to varying greatly between
machines, can be adjusted effectively via detergent dosage.>>>

here is link for those interested: Scroll to 4.2: test results.

http://mail.mtprog.com/CD_Layout/Day_1_21.06.06/1400-1545/ID76_Stamminger_final.pdf


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

1/4 c. of peroxide in FL and 1/2 - 1 c. in top loader, the strength you buy at the grocer.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Wow! The lengths some of you go to, to get your clothes clean. I use a detergent that is Ph balanced and rinses out well. It is also made to work best in cold water. The same company makes a pre-spot that gets out most stains and a non-bleach whitener. My best friend also uses the same brand and her husband used to get rashes from her previous detergent, but no longer.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

So for water temp. differences, they are upping the detergent?

It's true that clean laundry and dishes are the result of the combination of four components: time, temperature, mechanical and chemical action. If one decreases, another one has to be increased.

Therefore, modern dishwashers run longer but with cooler water temps; Cold Wash / Energy Save cycles and options on modern washers usually increase agitation or time to compensate for less heat; Tide Cold Water is stronger than regular Tide and so on...

However, some stains just need a higher temperature because oxy bleach will only activate at higher temps - ideally 140F. Our consumer magazine recently tested powdered detergents and found out that light stains were even removed at 86F using a cheap detergent from Lidl (Formil ultra plus). That being said, they still recommend 140F for optimal removal of tough stains such as red wine.

Bottom line: no amount of detergent will get tough stains out if certain ingredients are not activated because the temperature is too low.

Alex


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Wow! mariwen, I hope the Persil is working for you. I don't know how you do it with all the demands on you & your family. I thought my Mom & I had very sensitive skin, but I know now we have no problems compared to your family. If the Persil doesn't work you may consider working with a dermatologist to see if there is some way he/she might be able to test you & your family on some of the products they have found their patients to be able to tolerate best. I do know that just because a product has "natural" or "inactive" ingredients it doesn't mean I won't have a reaction to it. (For what it is worth I am able to use Tide Free successfully & some liquid fabric softeners. I cannot use Softener Sheets since they leave a film on clothes that I react to. Obviously you have vetted those things out.) The other situation a dermatologist may be able to help you with is assuring your skin is moisturized enough -- apply a light layer of moisture/water before applying lotion, use lotion daily, don't dry off after a shower/bath, then apply lotion -- mine currently suggests CeraVe: best price is at Costco pharmacy. My skin is less reactive when it is adequately moisturized.

For your original stain question: I discovered during a recent remodel when I had run out of time for pre-treating that throwing the clothes in my FL & putting on "heavy soil" worked miracles -- I had very few stains to worry about. Of course, I am using Tide Free & Clorox II. I also use additional rinse cycles in my FL; I find the fabric softener tends to work better. As well, it was hard for me to get used to putting such a small amount of detergent in the FL & it still working -- it is truly amazing how much money I am saving just on detergent with my FL.

I am interested that you guys react to Hydrogen Peroxide. I am not a chemist, but my understanding is it is one additional molecule of oxygen than water . . . (of course, I am not a chemist & I react to many "natural" products).

For stubborn stain treatment my Mom has often placed garments/linens in the sun with lemon juice & salt on the stain. It will need to be washed afterward.

Good luck!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

> Lee has a 1926, and I wonder if he likes that one.

> I think Lee's temp went high also. I will wait for him to post what he thinks of his.

mariwen, sorry wasn't following this thread and missed your posts.... the W1986 is awesome. Besides the obviously high quality, it's the really straightforward controls I like the most. No need to decipher or guess what the machine will do if you select "workout wear" or "kid's clothes" or "heavy stains" or "lime-green trousers" - instead, just select the temperature (in degrees F), spin speed (in RPM), and just the few needed options for cycles, extra rinse water, and the like. What removes some stains will permanently set others, so manual control settings are better. What's best for stain removal, and most everything else, is filling with cool water and quickly heating the water to a higher temperature as it washes, which is what Miele's 240 volt internal water heater allows.

I especially like having the actual temperature markings, a rarity in U.S.-market washers. Can you imagine an oven that didn't show temperatures, just "cold", "warm", and "hot"? Of course, most older American washers couldn't put real temperatures on the dial since the actual temperature was a crapshoot anyway - "hot" meant whatever your water heater was set at (minus residual cold water in the plumbing), "cold" was whatever the outdoor weather happened to be that day, and "warm" was a combination of the two, with preference given to whichever of the two water intakes had higher water pressure.

Incidentally, if you use the higher-temp settings, the washer is smart enough to add some cool water to the tub before draining it, so for setups where the washer drains into a laundry tub (or a shower or bathtub), you won't have near-boiling water splashing around.

I decided to install a new double-pole 125/250v, 15A circuit breaker for it (Home Depot stocked the one I needed - they're inexpensive) and run new 12/3-plus-ground NM-B (Romex) wiring from the electrical panel to a new washer outlet in a surface-mounted box, all of which are easy to do since I have suspended ceiling tiles throughout my home, and my electric panel has a main shutoff switch (but remember the thick wires leading to it are still live, unless you have a separate box with the main power switch).

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele W1926 thread


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

> the W1986 is awesome

whoops, W1926 not W1986. I haven't memorized the model number of my washing machine yet. What's wrong with me?

From what I was told here, the W1986 (successor to the W1926) was slightly less awesome, but still pretty great.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Still got it wrong..... W1966 not W1986 replaced W1926. I think. There was a Miele W1986 though, not sure where it fits in the timeline. Maybe it was a fancier model sold at the same time. I'm not a Miele expert obviously....


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

For those of you testing chocolate stains, what are you using for your chocolate? I believe some chocolate products have a brown dye in them. I once had a fast food chocolate milkshake stain that I couldn't get to fade even a bit! But I'm usually much more successful.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

susanjn, a lot of people say they get could results on chocolate stains by using Dawn w/bleach on them. (The bleach in Dawn is not chlorine bleach, but an alternative bleach.)

This website gives advice about that. HTH

Here is a link that might be useful: How to get out chocolate stains


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

For a long time with my old TL (that's supposed to be so inferior to European-style FL), I get excellent results with all my laundry and stain removal by soaking in oxygen bleach (OxiClean). This required active participation: I would start the hot water flow into the machine, add the oxi, add detergent (enzyme-based Kirkland Free & Clear), switch to warm if required to be easier on fabrics (stayed with hot for whites). Then I'd let the clothes soak for at least 60 minutes, sometimes several hours or overnight. This soak eliminated most stains without pretreating. One important exception is oily/greasy stains. Oxi doesn't do well with those. Straight detergent on the stain, Shout Advanced, or citrus degreaser pretreatment is needed for oily stains.

I learned about the soak technique from Cook's Illustrated when they did their test of stain removers. Any organic, plant-based color stain, I think of oxi soak to remove it.

Over the years, though, my favorite white towels and tank tops harbor faint stain residues that accumulate till the items don't look good. Inspired by the book "Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson, I soaked my beloved Champion tanks in Clorox, at the correct dilution, then hung them in the sun. They looked like new. Lesson learned: there is nothing like true bleach.

A few days ago, I bought a FL and tried the "Sanitize" cycle on stained white towels and T-shirts, and after nearly 3 hours was highly disappointed that many stains remained.

So I still think soaking in oxi is more effective than a long, hot wash cycle in FL. A long warm oxi soak is also gentler on the spandex fabric than either super-high temperature or chlorine bleach. So my overall strategy is to oxi soak every wash in warm/hot water, chlorine bleach soak occasionally as needed.

My detergent contains no optical brighteners, but those certainly make a huge difference in making whites look white. I read where people talk about how they're not "really" white because it's just an "illusion." This is nonsense. The only thing that MATTERS is how the color LOOKS to your eye/brain perceptual system. Garments that have lots of optical brighteners look great. Old garments whose optical brighteners have deteriorated look lousy, no matter how clean they are. I can see the amount of optical brighteners using a UV light.

So to the OP's problem, removing stains without pretreating, soaking in oxygen bleach is the best solution I know, but if the stain has an oily component, you must either pretreat with enzyme/surfactant or use a very strong detergent. If skin can't tolerate those cleaners, I can't see any way to have stain-free clothes, because I have tried tons of different things. I would therefore recommend diet/supplements to improve skin's barrier function. I have friends with reactive skin like this, that improved greatly with more protein and EFAs (fish oil) in their diets, plus B vitamins and chelated minerals. A formula of chelated magnesium, zinc, selenium, chronium, and vanadium, makes a HUGE difference in skin and nail health. I have seen it personally in many different people. And 3-5 grams of fish oil daily is a must for healthy skin.


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dylon super white

Dylon Superwhite
I wonder if you can find somewhere or if anyone has Superwhite Dylon is a product that is no longer manufactured and they were a small blue cans. if anyone knows where to find it is much appreciated.
EscucharLeer fon�ticamente


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I washed my baby's diapers many years ago. I went from a typical top loader to Asko front loader. I washed them in 180 to 190F in the Asko. Asko heats the water in the washer. It really did not matter what detergent I used. The temperature of the water did the trick for most stains. This is the reason why the linens were "boiled" in the olden days.

I also "soak" the dirty white things in Oxyclean and water in a bucket until I can wash them. Sometimes days, if I can't get to them. It is amazing what comes out of the dirty kitchen towels when they are just soaking!


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I have a miele 1215T as well.

I have yet to find an equal to the mieles all steel ladles- and this is a big secret to the fabric care as plastic ladles will scratch and then drag the scratch over your clothes for the rest of time.

I have had the unit 6 years now and in the 6 years it has has 2 problems both quickly fixed.

I have not used bleach in the laundry for 6 years I have had the miele. A soak in oxy clean and or the nuclear heat if I press sanitize and I can blast clean nearly anything back to white. I have 2 boats, a toyhauler & 2 quads, a dirt bike, 3 cars and slew of weapons I clean after practice - nothing Ive ever owned cleans like this miele. Shop rags, socks you've been wearing in the yard without shoes, rancid and towels, and white cotton chaise covers brought out on weekends to the pool all yellow after use smeared with suntan oils and dirt- all blasted completely clean. Its amazing.

On sensitive you get three rinses and I had the miele guy mod the rinse mode for what they refer to as water+ so I get just a bit more water in the rinse modes- I have no problems with a normal rinse with a house of super sensitive rash prone denizens 2 teengers and Dw and I.

Ill occasionally do a load of cotton diapers for my sister on a visit and they come out completely white and fresh and not one case of diaper rash we have seen yet.

True you wont get a king comforter in a 1215, or if you do its going to be a thin one, but we sort our loads into 4 bins and never have a capacity problem when laundering sorted clothes.

There is only one problem with the 1215 and thats the price!

Uncle Dave


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

Biz is a great additive for treating stains in your laundry and also whitens using oxygen, not chlorine, bleach.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

@ mariwen:

I order my Persil from abt.com, and they ship it for free and with no sales tax.


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RE: Help me get white clothes white without bleach

I second the approval of ABT. Those guys have been really helpful to me on several occasions; they'll price-match, they stand by their stuff, go to bat on warrantees, etc. And they're mail-order. I understand they are a very upstanding brick-and-mortar store as well so politically, you can have your cake and eat it too.

But FWIW I have a lot of luck with Biokleen getting whites white without bleach. I have no idea what's in it; doesn't say. I used it for years on diapers.


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