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Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Update

Posted by studio460 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 10:39

I was bit surprised at reading some of the detergent threads here . . . who knew? They're very similar to the "Which oil?" threads on car forums (Mobile 1). Most of the detergent threads here are several years old, so I thought an update might be in order.

Detergents:

I wasn't aware of any of these brands until I came here (Persil, Charlie's, LeBlanc, Miele, Sears, etc.).

I understand those with aversions to overly scented products, but I'm absolutely addicted to the smell of original-scent Gain (and have been for decades). I think it smells like FruitStripe gum (which I love!). I don't particularly like perfume on women, and can't stand cologne on men, but I really love the smell of Gain. I use Gain He, original scent, in the huge, 1.17-gallon jugs we buy at Target. My GF likes Tide He Pods (I'm not particularly fond of them since I always to forget to put them in first, as recommended).

From reading through some of the older threads, and looking at some other sites as well, I wanted to make a few additional notes which I wanted to summarize here:

Water softeners:

Unfortunately, we have hard water. Very hard. Common water softening agents I found include:
Sodium carbonate (washing soda)
20 Mule Team Borax (sodium tetraborate)
Calgon (sodium hexametaphosphate)
citric acid (chelating agent--limescale remover)

Fabric softeners:

One GW member in particular notes April Fresh Downy as her favorite. However, a quick check at Downy's site revealed a raft of consumer complaints regarding Downy's new formula (apparently there was a formula change two years ago to a stronger "April Fresh" scent).

We don't currently use a liquid fabric softener--we use Bounce dryer sheets, but we're moving to a combination washer/dryer (LG), so we'll soon have to switch to a liquid softener--guess which one? Gain! I didn't even know P&G made a Gain-flavored liquid fabric softener until I did a search just now!

This post was edited by studio460 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 2:21


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Chlorine, non-chlorine bleach, "oxi-type" products:

I forgot to mention bleach. We used to use chlorine bleach on socks and white T-shirts, but stopped for some reason. I just asked my GF why we never use it anymore, and she told me that it turns the colored details on white socks brownish-red (my socks have thin blue lines at the toe and heel). I said, "Oh." When I was single I used chlorine bleach to keep my T-shirts white. Now, apparently, we're not using anything (I guess I'm buying new T-shirts more frequently). All my T-shirts are 100% cotton, usually from Banana Republic, although I've recently switched to Target's fitted Mossimo-brand for convenience's sake (also 100% cotton).

I've never used a non-chlorine bleach, because (rightly or wrongly) I was never convinced that they worked any better at making whites whiter than detergent alone. Are all non-chlorine bleaches basically "oxi-type" cleaning agents? Which non-chlorine/oxi-type product is most effective at making whites, white?


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Non-chlorine/oxygen bleach will not destroy clothing like LCB (liquid chlorine bleach) will. I've never seen LCB make anything white in our washer. I only used LCB to sanitize stuff before getting a machine with internal heater. Now I only use non-chlorine bleach and the HOT! water. ;-)

I've read LCB will actually 'yellow' white fabric over time, and have no reason to doubt that. I think it has happened to ours in the past.

I really think non-chlorine bleach gets things whiter. Toss in some good OBAs and one is good to go. ;-)


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Thanks for your reply. I did a quick Google search--I assume OBA stands for "optical brightening agent," which is apparently a type of dye which boosts visible light in the blue spectrum, making clothes appear "white." Any specific brand recommendations?


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

studio1640: "I've never used a non-chlorine bleach, because (rightly or wrongly) I was never convinced that they worked any better at making whites whiter than detergent alone. Are all non-chlorine bleaches basically "oxi-type" cleaning agents? Which non-chlorine/oxi-type product is most effective at making whites, white?"

The active ingredient in all non-chlorine bleaches is sodium percarbonate, which is, effectively, anhydrous hydrogen peroxide. That is, when sodium percarbonate is mixed with water, H2O2 is generated, and it bleaches just as it would straight out of the little brown bottle in your medicine cabinet. (The drugstore liquid H2O2 is diluted to 3%; dilute it further one-to-one with water, and you get a 1-1/2% solution that, swished in the mouth for 30 seconds before brushing your teeth, will double your tooth brushing's effectiveness and provide better whitening than the specialty strips, etc., on the toothpaste aisle..)

Most of the oxygen bleaches, like Clorox/2 and OxiClean, comprise mostly fillers (often washing soda is used), and only about one-third sodium percarbonate. An exception is Ecover brand oxygen bleach, which is about 95 percent sodium percarbonate.

However, pure sodium percarbonate is strongly hygroscopic (it adsorbs water from the air), and so must be maintained in a sealed airtight container in humid climates or damp laundry rooms; the cardboard box in which Ecover ships it will get damp and disintegrate from the contents inside if you fail to take that precaution. I, for one, find Ecover bleach worth the minor extra trouble.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Thanks for that excellent explanation herring_maven! If Ecover is a more concentrated whitening agent than most common household brands, I would love to give it try!

I really like using the more pure form of the often highly diluted "active ingredient" in consumer products sold at retail, where you often end up paying for mostly water (for example), or some other inert ingredient. Would you then suggest a sodium percarbonate/sodium carbonate "cocktail" for even better results?

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 22:54


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Does anyone buy their own laundry additives from a chemical supplier? There should be a TON of savings involved, if you know exactly what to order.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

"Oxygen" cleaners:

I just went to a large Southern California grocery chain (Ralph's), because a check on Ecover's website said they sold their whitening-agent product at my location. They don't--they only sell Ecover's "green" laundry detergent. But, here's what I did find:

OxiClean-brand's, "versatile stain remover" powder, sold in the familiar tubs, lists only two ingredients:
Sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate (washing soda).

Ralph's store-brand, Kroger Home Sense "multi-purpose oxygen cleaner" powder also lists only two ingredients (the same two):
Sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate (washing soda).

The store-brand oxi-cleaner was on sale for $3.99 (normally $4.99) for a 3.5 lb. (56 oz.) bucket, which comes to to $0.07 per ounce. Who knows if the proportions are also the same, but, for only four bucks, I thought I'd give it a try. I'll have to go back to the store to re-check the price, but I believe the store brand was half the price of the national brand (the liquid version of the national brand, OxiClean, was significantly more expensive).

Usage directions for the $3.99 Home Sense product (powder), for those using HE washers with liquid HE detergent, says to add a one measure (1/4-cup) of powdered oxygen cleaner into an empty tub prior to loading. OxiClean's directions were similar, and even showed a small drawing of a front-loading washer next to the HE directions.

This post was edited by studio460 on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 2:37


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

When I am not using German Persil, Ariel or Dash (my family in Germany brings it to me, in addition to my prized dishwasher tabs Somat 10 with Phosphate, I know, I know Bad Larsi)...I love Tide he original powder. The smell is so soft, gentle and nostalgic & it cleans so well and gets virtually any stain out. I too also love the scent of GAIN, but the last 2-3 times I've bought GAIN he powder or liquid...the cleaning power and freshness was very sub-par compared to Tide.

I also really like Tide he liquid with a touch of April Fresh Downy. This product smells somewhat close to the original and much missed Original April Fresh scent. This liquid he detergents cleans very well, and leaves clothes soft and very lightly fragranced. I just find Tide to clean SO much better than GAIN!


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

@studio460 - Those are the two active ingredients. Trust me, Oxi-clean has perfume and probably one or two other things in it, like 'filler.' The most pure form of Oxi-Clean is the "Baby" formula. It has less than the 'free' vresion. I did the research a while back but forget the details. When I can no longer find Ecover, that's what I will buy. BabiesRUs sells it.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

studio460: "I really like using the more pure form of the often highly diluted "active ingredient" in consumer products sold at retail, where you often end up paying for mostly water (for example), or some other inert ingredient. Would you then suggest a sodium percarbonate/sodium carbonate "cocktail" for even better results?"

Sodium percarbonate (a small proportion) + sodium carbonate (a larger share) = OxiClean, essentially. How much does the (cheaper) sodium carbonate add to/subtract from the effectiveness of the (premium ingredient) sodium percarbonate? That is a good question; but I have not yet found an application for washing soda (sodium carbonate) that sodium percrbonate or sodium perborate does not accomplish better.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Larsi:

Thank you for your comments. I believe Tide has long enjoyed a widely supported reputation for being a highly effective detergent, and may be a large reason the brand remains so popular. As I said, my GF uses the Pods--although she has no preference, we happen to have "Mystic Forest," whereas I would probably prefer "Ocean Mist" (since I used to like the way Surf smells--perhaps it's similar).

But, I've never sensed any scent after drying when using Tide Pods. Perhaps powdered Tide leaves a stronger scent. However, if Tide proves to be a noticeably more effective cleaning agent than Gain, I may be convinced to switch, and give up my adolescent addiction to FruitStripe gum-smelling clothes. Thanks again for your recommendation!

This post was edited by studio460 on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 4:08


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Cavimum:

Thanks for your reply, and for posting the results of your research! I'm not averse to fragrance in general; however, I did take a whiff of the new Downey formulations while at the store--holy cow--those are really over-the-top!


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

herring_maven:

Thanks again for your comments. I don't know under which rules non-food, consumer goods manufacturers are guided by as far as listing ingredients. Both OxiClean and the house-brand listed only those two chemicals, both in the same order. I just assumed the ingredient listed first is the one of greatest proportion. But, from the manufacturer's product description alone, we have no way of knowing what those exact proportions are; however, in both products, sodium percarbonate is listed first.

If in fact sodium percarboante significantly outperforms sodium carbonate (washing soda) as a whitening agent, I suppose it would be worth ordering a percarbonate-only product.

However, the only Ecover powdered laundry additive I found listed on their website contained both chemicals: sodium percarbonate, and sodium carbonate. Additionally, I could only find a liquid Ecover product sold at US online retailers: soap.com sells two 64 oz. bottles of Ecover non-chlorine bleach for $11.24, which comes out to $0.09/fluid ounce (not counting shipping). Unfortunately, no ingredient information is given in the description for this product on Ecover's site.

This post was edited by studio460 on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 4:17


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I searched, "sodium percarboante," in Google, and found the following at soapgoods.com:

Sodium percarbonate:

Percentages:
Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate: > 85.0%
Sodium Carbonate Approx = 13.0%
Sodium Silicate Approx = 1.5%

Price:
2000 Lbs ($0.95 per lb) $ 1897.50
1000 Lbs ($1.02 per lb) $ 1024.65
50 Lbs ($1.28 per lb) $ 63.75
24 Lbs ($1.54 per lb) $ 37.00
6 Lbs ($1.77 per lb) $ 10.60
1 Lb ($3.06 per lb) $ 3.06

Source: http://www.soapgoods.com/Sodium-Percarbonate-p-1001.html

So, about $0.11/ounce when purchased in the 6 lb. size. Apparently, "sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate" is just another way of saying "peroxyhydrate carbonate of soda," and is more commonly referred to as simply "sodium percarbonate." This is basically the anhydrous (dry) form of hydrogen peroxide. As herring_ maven points out, the compound is highly hygroscopic (water-absorbing), so smaller order sizes are probably best to make it easier to keep dry.

Washing soda (soda ash--light):

Price:
2000 Lbs ($0.59 per lb) $ 1183.05
1000 Lbs ($0.64 per lb) $ 638.55
50 Lbs ($0.77 per lb) $ 38.45
28 lbs ($0.99 per lb) $ 27.72
7 Lbs ($1.42 per lb) $ 9.97
1 Lb ($1.99 per lb) $ 1.99

Source: http://www.soapgoods.com/Washing-Soda-Soda-Ash-Light-p-716.html

About $0.09/ounce if purchased in the 7 lb size. They have both "light" and "dense" soda ash (no listing for "sodium carbonate;" so I searched instead on their site for "washing soda").

Note that pricing for both compounds may be even less (or, about the same, but more convenient to purchase) at a local janitorial supply. Bulk pricing may also be less at a chemical supplier.

This post was edited by studio460 on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 5:31


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

While a bit dated, the information in this article still serves as a good primer to oxygen cleaners, specifically sodium percarbonate:

http://www.textfiles.com/uploads/oxiclean.txt

The article's author also chose to curate the following "stain recipe:"

Mix:

1 cup of hydrogen peroxide
1 teaspoon of ammonia

Use within 1/2 hour of mixing (solution is no good after that).
Dab the mixture onto the stain.
Take white paper towel (do not use a paper towel with a colored design), place the paper towel over the stain, and weigh it down with something.
Leave for 2 to 3 hours.
Lift, and the stain will be gone.

This post was edited by studio460 on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 5:38


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Good info here. it seems that your Ecover bleach is more concentraded than the European version:

US
- Sodium carbonate peroxide
- Sodium carbonate

Euro
- Sodium carbonate peroxide
- Sodium sulfate
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Sodium polyaspartate
- Glycerin

Hmmm. How about Vaskas's bleach?
- hydrogen peroxide
- surfactants
- water

I was thinking about buying some Vaska next time I come to the US and would need a bleach when doing towels.

Alex


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

studio460: "Sodium percarbonate:
Percentages:
Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate: > 85.0%
Sodium Carbonate Approx = 13.0%"

whirlpool_trainee: "... your Ecover bleach is more concentraded than the European version:
US
- Sodium carbonate peroxide
- Sodium carbonate "

I cannot be definitive, but -- as noted above -- sodium percarbonate is highly hygroscopic, and therefore, it is virtually impossible to ship pure sodium percarbonate to a destination (like a supermarket) and have it arrive as pure sodium percarbonate. Inevitably, a fraction of the product will combine with atmospheric moisture, and create hydrogen peroxide gas, which evaporates, leaving sodium carbonate as a residual. That is why Ecover claims no more than 95 percent sodium peroxide concentration, and why Ecover lists sodium carbonate as a secondary ingredient on the label -- because by the time it reaches the consumer, that is what it will be.

For fans of spiritous liquors, a similar problem affects Batavian Arak rum, which ships in sealed bottles at 151 proof, the highest alcoholic concentration one can purchase; but, by the time the bottle has been opened and the rum is poured into a glass for sipping anywhere but the mid-Sahara, it is already down to 120-130 proof or so, having sucked moisture from the air.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Thanks for that clarification, herring_mavin. Yes, I now understand that sodium carbonate is apparently a necessary part of the manufacturing process.

I couldn't find any percentages specified for the Ecover product (note: the percentages quoted by herring_mavin from my post are for the soapgoods product). Do you happen to have a link to Ecover's >95% claim, or is that percentage printed only on the packaging?

Again, I couldn't find the powdered Ecover product sold at any US retailers (online, or brick-and-mortar). Do you have a US source for the powdered Ecover product?

This post was edited by studio460 on Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 0:14


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

studio460: "Do you happen to have a link to Ecover's >95% claim, or is that percentage printed only on the packaging?"

I do not remember where I saw that written, but it was some time ago. I do recall a thread here three months ago, http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg021714471653.html, where someone said that she thought that Ecover had changed its formula, and My Favorite Author looked at the Ecover packaging, and said that the box stated that the contents were 100 percent sodium percarbonate. Currently, we do not have the packaging on hand, because we decant the product to an Emsa Komax container as soon as we get it home, and throw out the box.

"Again, I couldn't find the powdered Ecover product sold at any US retailers (online, or brick-and-mortar). Do you have a US source for the powdered Ecover product?"

We buy it at a local supermarket (Strohecker's at 2855 SW Patton Road in Portland, Oregon); but Ecover has a store locator, or will sell it directly to you on-line. See the link below. (The Ecover store locator does not list Strohecker's, but it does list Whole Foods stores in Portland that I know for a fact do not regularly stock the powdered bleach, so it probably is worth your while to telephone ahead rather than waste time and gasoline.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecover powdered bleach webpage


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

"Pure" sodium percarbonate suppliers:

Soapgoods sells the highest-percentage sodium percarbonate product among the consumer-friendly dealers I've found (i.e., they sell in "normal" quantities, and accept credit cards). However, note that the shipping costs for soapgoods' products are as much as the product itself. For example, a 24 lb. container costs $37, but shipping via FedEx ground to Los Angeles is $30.90 (the least-cost option), making the product's total cost nearly $0.18 per ounce. Part of the reason for the high shipping costs may be that it might be listed as a hazardous material (as an oxidizer).

However, soapgoods also notes under the product description, "Choose a shipping method when checking out, we will ship via common carrier which is usually much cheaper, and refund the savings to you." Common-carrier is often much less than other courier services. But, since the statement is grammatically incorrect, its meaning isn't ultimately clear. A quick call to the company should answer that question.

The cheapest I've found elsewhere (e.g., Ebay) is $0.14-$0.25 per ounce, including shipping. But quantities and availability appear highly variable.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Thank you for your detailed answers, herring_mavin. However, if you click "buy online" at the Ecover site, it simply redirects you to soap.com, which only sells the liquid Ecover product. If it's sold at retail in Portland, that's a very good sign. I'll try checking more "earthy" retailers in my area (e.g., Whole Foods). Thanks again for your help!


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Oh, shoot! I just saw the part of your post where you said your Whole Foods doesn't stock the powdered version. I may have to drive to Strohecker's!


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Found some . . one site wants $26.92 for "6x400GM" of Ecover powdered bleach, whatever that means. If they mean six, 400-gram boxes, that's about 84 ounces, or about $4.50/box, which works out to $0.32 per ounce.

I found another bulk supplier which sells a 30lb. pail for $93.20, and charges $48.82 for UPS ground to Los Angeles (I still can't seem to find a local chemical supplier), which works out to be about $0.30 per ounce--virtually the same once you add shipping.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I finally found a way to buy Ecover directly. They're at ecoverdirect.com. The 400-gram (14-ounce) package sells for about $2.65 USD. However, shipping across the pond is another thing . . .


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Since the Ecover product is difficult to source, and chemical suppliers are just a hassle, is there any harm in simply using double the recommended amount of OxiClean/store-brand, sodium percarbonate/sodium carbonate blends? What harm could come from an excess of washing soda?


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I just went to a Los Angeles-area Target to buy some powdered HE detergent for our brand new LG combo washer/dryer. To my surprise, Target carries several brands (including Tide) in an array of powdered HE varieties (Gain Icy Fresh Fizz with OxiBoost, Gain Island Fresh, etc.). I bought the smaller, non-oxi box in original scent for convenience's sake:


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

"What harm could come from an excess of washing soda?"
It might not rinse out thoroughly, leaving residue in your clothing and the washing machine.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I just read in the manual that my new LG washer also takes powdered detergent in its dispenser. Since it's not recommended to mix liquid and powdered products in the dispenser, here's my new, "all-powder" laundry regimen:

1. 1/4-cup powdered Gain HE detergent; $10.99 for 91 ounces.

2. 1/8-cup oxygen cleaner (sodium percarbonate) as an oxidizing "bleach;" $3.99 for 56 ounces. Note that over-the-counter oxygen cleaners also add sodium carbonate (which also works as a water-softener). "Pure" sodium percarbonate is more difficult to find, and isn't generally sold at US supermarkets.

3. 1/4-cup 20 Mule Team Borax (sodium tetraborate) as deodorizer and rinsing agent; $8.99 for 76 ounces.

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 19:55


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Cavimum:

Good point--thanks for your reply! Yes, I went back to the recommended amount--about 1/8-cup.

This post was edited by studio460 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 19:38


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Wait, maybe I should '86' the Borax. Won't it "deodorize" out my much-beloved Gain fragrance? In fact, I don't seem to smell the Gain scent on my newly washed T-shirt--I seem to smell only the oxygen cleaner. It still smells "clean," it just doesn't smell like "Gain."


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I found this excerpt in an older thread, posted by Cryptandrus:

"Oxygen bleaches need hot water (and time) to work properly.

There are TAED-activated oxygen bleaches that work without heat . . . those are what's in Persil, Oxydol, and Biz.

A quick Google search of "TAED," gave me a short primer on the subject. I think I may add Oxydol or Biz (or, "Oxidol with Biz") to my laundry cocktail to boost my percarbonate's effectiveness in temperatures lower than 60°C (if I understand correctly how TAEDs work).


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

I just bought some 20 Mule Team borax ($5.49), and a box of Biz! I also bought another $3.99 tub of house-brand (Kroger's "Home Sense") oxygen bleach. The Biz was fairly pricey at our local grocery chain ($10.28 for an 80-oz. box), but Target doesn't seem to carry 20 Mule Team, or Biz.

I thought I read that the active ingredient in Biz aided oxygen bleaches' effectiveness at lower-temperatures; though, I'm not sure where I read that. However, Biz' Wiki entry indicates that it's an "enzyme-based, oxygenated and color-safe bleach," whatever that means. Since our new Kenmore washer lacks an internal water heater, I thought I'd give it a shot.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

The following Wiki describes so-called TAED compounds:

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

However, I found the entry confusing as to which ingredient actually contains this compound, since it lists several (including plain 'ole, sodium percarbonate). It also states that oxygen bleaches are mostly ineffective at temperatures below 40°C (104°F).


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

A Chinese business listing on a Bangladeshi online industrial directory included the following TAED product description:

"Hongye Chemical Co., Ltd. can supply good quality TAED (tetra acetyl ethylene diamine) low-temperature bleaching activator for sodium perborate. Sodium perborate/TAED oxygen bleach formulation is widely used in laundry detergent, all-fabric bleach, automatic dishwashing and stain removal/cleaning products. The most commercialized low-temperature bleaching activator, TAED is typically applied in domestic laundry detergents, automatic dish-washing, bleach boosters, [and] laundry soak treatments, to improve the washing performance. TAED could be applied in textile bleaching to react with hydrogen peroxide in the bleach bath to produce a stronger oxidant.

The use of TAED as a bleach activator enables bleaching at lower process temperatures, and under milder ph conditions. In [the] pulp and paper industry, TAED is suggested to react with hydrogen peroxide to form a pulp bleaching solution. The addition of TAED into pulp bleaching solutions results in a satisfactory bleaching effect. TAED used for [the] detergent industry is in granular form, free-flowing, and has several colors (mainly white, green, blue) to choose depending on users' choice."

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 16, 13 at 4:29


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

What the heck do they put in Biz? According to one site, the trade-named, active ingredient in Biz, Enzamix, "is a proprietary enzyme formula." CR Brands' site (the company which now owns Biz) makes no mention of its ingredients. Look here for other Biz ingredient information:

http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/5630-BIZPowderStainFighter

Most importantly, does Biz even contain any TAEDs (the reason I thought I was buying Biz)?

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 16, 13 at 6:06


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

Consumer Reports' 2013 top seven laundry detergent picks (source: ABC News):

Top conventional brands, for standard top-loading washers:

1. Wisk Deep Clean, liquid
2. Tide Plus Bleach Alternative Vivid White + Bright, liquid
3. Tide for Cold Water, liquid
4. Cheer Stay Colorful for Darks, liquid
5. Tide Ultra Free & Gentle, powder
6. Tide TotalCare, liquid
7. Gain Icy Fresh Fizz Oxi Boost 2-in-1 FreshLock, liquid

Top high-efficiency brands, for front-loading or high-efficiency top-loading washers:

1. Tide Ultra Plus Bleach Vivid White + Bright, powder
2. Wisk Deep Clean Free & Pure, liquid
3. Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Pacs (Costco), pods/packs
4. Tide Ultra HE, powder
5. Tide HE Plus Bleach Alternative Vivid White + Bright, liquid
6. Kirkland Signature Ultra (Costco), powder
7. Tide Pods, pods/packs

This post was edited by studio460 on Tue, Jul 16, 13 at 6:17


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

The Ultimate Additive Mixture?

So, here's what I now have on the laundry shelf (including recommended usage per load, and current local retail pricing):

1. Gain HE powdered detergent, original scent; 1/4-cup; $10.99 for 91 ounces.

2. Kroger Home Sense oxygen cleaner (sodium percarbonate); 1/8-cup; $3.99 for 56 ounces (also contains sodium carbonate).

3. 20 Mule Team Borax (sodium tetraborate); 1/2-cup; $8.99 for 76 ounces.

4. Biz enzyme cleaner; 1/2-cup; $10.29 for 80 ounces.

Although I would prefer Ecover's oxygen cleaning product (over the house brand I've been buying) for its increased proportion of sodium percarbonate, it's simply not available locally.

Even given Tide brands' leading Consumer Reports' ratings, I figure, with the right combination of the above products, I should be able to match or exceed Tide's top-rated performance while still using my favorite-scented powdered Gain as the primary detergent ingredient.

However, the caveat remains, that since all of the products' ingredients are not known, I could be incurring some considerable overlap in additives (e.g., sodium carbonate), leading to an inefficient (and, costly) combination of products.


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RE: Detergents, additives, and fabric softener brands: 2013 Updat

studio460: "What the heck do they put in Biz? According to one site, the trade-named, active ingredient in Biz, Enzamix, "is a proprietary enzyme formula." CR Brands' site (the company which now owns Biz) makes no mention of its ingredients."

You are unlikely to find any listing of ingredients in enzyme formulas. There are, however, groupings or categories of types of enzymes. Some individuals (that is, humans) have allergic reactions to some groups of enzymes. Silk fabrics, generally, should not be washed with enzyme products, as many laundry enzymes apparently dissolve silk fibers; some of us (moi) also eschew washing woolens with enzyme-containing products for the same reason.


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