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q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Posted by lmgch (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 14:10

we have ordered our new washer/dryer - Electrolux with IQ Touch Controls. (hoping we've made a good choice!)

i've read in a number of places that powdered detergent is much preferred to liquid, and that it's "necessary" to not do many cold water washes if we want to avoid mildew/mold issues and smell

hoping to get direct feedback on both these issues - if powder, than which do you like best? and with regard to temp, much/most of our clothing is "cold water wash"...do you guys really not wash your cold water clothing on cold?

thanks. i've never had a front loader before.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

1. liquid works fine. don't use too much of ANY kind of detergent or fabric softener.

2. leave the door open after finishing the day's laundry and wipe the water out of the boot. leave the soap dispenser open also. I use an oven magnetic meant to keep the door slightly open when broiling, for preventing our front loader's door from closing.

3. save HOT washes for the last load of the day, but if you keep the washer door open when not using it, there should be NO MOLD or SMELL.

I've had a Samsung FL for several years and it's as fresh as a daisy. It's all about how to take care of it and it's not rocket science.

oh, and if you have soft water, you'll have better luck as you won't need much detergent, plus there will be less residue inside the tub (between the inner and outer tub).

also, I always choose EXTRA RINSE to better rinse out detergent and to help keep the tub clean.

This post was edited by dave1812 on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 14:16


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I rarely wash anything on cold, even if the label says to do so. Maybe 100% cotton t-shirts with a decal, or something seriously apt to shrink (and then it also doesn't go into the dryer).

The Warm temp on EnergyStar washers nowadays is much cooler than in the "olden" days, usually between 75°F and 85°F. In some cases of hot-climate locations the machine may mix-in very little hot water to the warm fill so there may not be much effective difference between the cold and warm selections.

Keep in mind that dryers get to around 125°F minimum on the lowest setting, and between 155°F and 165°F on high.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I agree with Dadoes. "WARM" is still pretty much "cold" if you feel the water in a recent model front loader. To get truly hot water for my hot water washes, I turn on a bleeder faucet to draw hot water right up to the back of the HOT water inlet of the washer. There is so little water in a FL that if you don't first purge the hot water line, the water will possibly be warm instead of hot...

This post was edited by dave1812 on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 16:33


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Cold is cold tap.
Eco warm is cool warm
Warm is warm

Most of my loads are washed on Eco warm and no problem with
mold or smells.

Both type of detergent can be used and it is best to try both and get the feel of what works best with your soil level and water condition (hard/soft).

As for the clean cycle, I skip from time to time since I do a hot wash every other week!


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Yeah, I think the main issue is with people who NEVER do hot washes. But, I find that I have the best results in both front loaders and top loaders when I wash with TRUE WARM water, not dumbed down warm. Following are the actual temperatures for each setting on your new washer:

Sanitize 67°C (152°F) +/- 5°C
Hot 55°C (131°F) +/- 5°C
Eco Hot 45°C (113°F) +/- 5°C
Warm 29°C (84°F) +/- 4°C
Eco Warm 27°C (81°F) +/- 3°C
Warm Rinse 24°C (75°F) +/- 3°C
Cold 15°C (59°F) +/- 5°C

I am going to disagree with cleanteamofny that 84º is a true warm. I consider a true warm to be over 100 degrees. Of course, everyone has their own way of doing laundry, so other people may disagree with my way. But, just for a frame of reference, I'll tell you which settings I would use if I owned this washer:

Sanitize for heavily stained whites
Hot for normally soiled whites
Eco Hot for colors
lower settings for delicates

Just curious, what are the items that say they should be washed in cold. Are they just normal cotton stuff, or are they things that you would normally consider as needing special treatment in the laundry?

I have linked the service manual where I got the temperature information for your washer here so you can learn more about its operation if you are interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Electrolux service manual 5995523544


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

To add to the above, on the Electrolux, Eco-Cold is cold tap. The regular cold setting, if I'm correctly reading the table posted by hvtech42, has the potential for actually warming up the water.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I think we should just dump these worthless "warm", "cold", "hot" designations and just put the actual temperatures on the controls. My old Miele is like that. I want a 105F wash, I set the dial to 105. (and BTW, 105F and 120F are both labelled "warm".). The spin speeds are the same way - 800, 1200, etc.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

First off, be sure to use an "HE" detergent (and not HE compatible).

Personally I mostly use liquid detergents but do switch to a box of powder every once in a while just to mix things up.

I'm always trying different detergents only because I want to see if theirs anything better out there.
I've seen the "bargain" ($1.99-$2.99) detergents not do much in the way of stain removal. So I stay away from those.
I feel better to pay more and get the job done right the first time.

Any of the Tide's, Cheer's, Gain's would be your top of the line detergents.
You also have your "Green", "Natural", "Organic" ones too.

There's something for everyone pretty much.

I say try different types and formulas and don't get your heart set on any one version because they WILL change it some how.

Please let us know how you like (or don't like) your new Electrolux IQ.
I love reading honest reviews.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

hvtech42, thanks for posting the list of Electrolux temperatures. I could live with those.

Can anyone confirm that if the water comes in too cold, the Electrolux will use the heater to boost it to the target temp? One might think that's a given, but the LG I owned for a short time in 2008 wouldn't do it. Also, if it will boost, will it lengthen the cycle if necessary to reach the target temp?


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

@suburbanmd

I believe we've touched that subject in the past about the incoming of too cold water.
If I remember that discussion correctly, yes the washer will sense the "cool" water is too cold and step in but not with the heater but with the ATC (Auto Temp Control)...but there's more to it.

If incoming water is too cold the ATC will step in and mix hot water into the tub until it meets it's predetermined temp.
If however after the tub is done filling with water and the temp drops below the specific temp. then the built in heater will step in.
And yes, I believe it will add more time to the cycle suspending the count down, until it meets it target water temp. and then continues on from there.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

For what it's worth...

I was at P.C. Richards doing a price adjustment and browsed around and was looking at the washers/dryers.

I noticed on the Electrolux's (IQ's were the ones on display) that the drum has a ton more tiny drain holes than Samsung or Whirlpool.
That's a good feature as it puts less strain on clothing during high spin speeds.
(The centrifugal force can pull fibers through larger holes and more densely packed tiny holes support fibers better).


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

of course anyone familiar with garment care would select a slow spin speed for delicate fabrics, as well as selecting a delicate cycle which will limit the fastest spin available. we have a samsung 520 and haven't ruined any fabrics yet (had it for a few years). sometimes "features" are more of a marketing gimmick than a significant improvement over other models/brands.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

lmgch: "i've read in a number of places that powdered detergent is much preferred to liquid, and that it's "necessary" to not do many cold water washes if we want to avoid mildew/mold issues and smell"

The (passive voice) "is much preferred" can cover just about anything, most poignantly cognitive dissonance. As to whether powder detergent is better than liquid detergent for washing laundry, try this for yourself: outside your washing machine, take a dry and dirty piece of laundry and put it in a bowl with some powdered detergent; now, without adding any water, scrub away. Does the laundry get clean?

Powder detergent noes not start to perform its job until it is dissolved in water; then its job is to break down surface tension -- make the water "wetter" -- and hold the dirt that gets dislodged from the laundry in suspension in the water until the water gets flushed down the drain.

When you dissolve powder detergent in water, voilà! you have a liquid detergent; when you dissolve liquid detergent in water, you still have a liquid detergent, diluted to working strength from the concentrate in the bottle.

dave1812's suggestions at the top of this thread are fine, but I think that they are a bit of overkill. You should not need to wipe the water out of the boot or leave the detergent drawer open, or even leave the main door of the washer open. We know, because we (counting our household's previous generations) have washed in front-loading automatic washing machines without frequent wiping of the boot -- of course, we wipe it when we have washed a load that has left a huge load of lint or sand on the boot -- for more than three-quarters of a century, and, since acquiring the first of our machines that had a separate detergent drawer in 1995, have never found any need for or benefit in leaving the detergent drawer open. In all of those decades, between washes, our practice has been just not to close the main door of the washer until it clicks (seals); between washes, we simply leave the door ajar, with the door latch touching, but not engaged. We have never had a mold or smell issue.

(Footnote: we have never used fabric softener, any fabric softener, either, which may or may not be relevant; we lack an experiential basis to tell you for certain if it is relevant. We also have a habit, of several decades at least, of putting a scoop (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of plain 20 Mule Team Borax into each load of laundry, and reducing the amount of detergent accordingly; that, too, may be relevant.)

Oh, and the laundry detergent that we use these days, which is at least as satisfactory as, and probably better than, any other that we have used in the past, is Vaska. Vaska is not easy to find on the shelf of just any old sore, but it is readily obtainable online from Vine Market.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vaska laundry detergent


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

DELETED

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 18:41


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

From what I've read, the overuse of FS can contribute to a smelly washer as the residue between the inner and outer drums makes for a great breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria can equal sourness or other nasty odors. Using too much detergent with too few rinse cycles can also contribute to a colony of nasties in between the drums.

I don't find it all that onerous to wipe out the bottom of the boot, which is where all the water worth removing, is sitting. I don't make a big deal of it.

I don't want to have a problem with the washer that requires me to replace it, or to have a stinky washer. Shortly after I bought my Samsung, within less than 9 months it developed a very sour smell. I ran the Pure Cycle with a bit of bleach (which removed the sour smell) , and shortly thereafter, I tweaked the water level to provide just a bit more water for washing and rinsing. After doing that, I haven't had to run the Pure Cycle to combat any sour odors, as they haven't returned since that one time. Ergo, I think I'm doing things correctly.

This post was edited by dave1812 on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 19:12


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

thank you all so much. especially for the temperature chart! with regard to the question about what I wash in cold - most of my kids' clothing says wash in cold. unless there are obvious stains, i follow the care labels. yes, they are 99.9% cotton.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I wash cotton all the time on warm. IMO the care labels are too conservative. But again, I think as long as you do hot washes on a somewhat frequent basis, washing in cold other times should be fine.

"Using too much detergent with too few rinse cycles can also contribute to a colony of nasties in between the drums"

Too little detergent is bad as well.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

We recently went to the local dealer we usually purchase from, and he informed us that, although front loaders are presently more popular, water residue does remain in them and cause problems that top loaders do not.

We decided to stick with top loaders, as well as the old-fashioned dial controls, which we were told last much longer than the new electronic ones.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

100% cotton doesn't necessarily = cold wash required. Kids' clothes I would involve some bit of heated water, at least lower 90°Fs, which is warm on machines nowadays. I routinely wash 100% cotton or cotton-blend oxford casual shirts at much as 110°F to 112°F (even when the label specifically says cold). Cotton towels and dish clothes 130°F to 140°F, haven't noticed they've shrunk.

This post was edited by dadoes on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 21:20


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

"We recently went to the local dealer we usually purchase from, and he informed us that, although front loaders are presently more popular, water residue does remain in them and cause problems that top loaders do not"

If you use the machine improperly, yes.

"We decided to stick with top loaders, as well as the old-fashioned dial controls, which we were told last much longer than the new electronic ones."

I hope you're buying a Speed Queen because it's the only washer on the market now which fits that description.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

We recently went to the local dealer we usually purchase from, and he informed us that, although front loaders are presently more popular, water residue does remain in them and cause problems that top loaders do not.
Residual water also remains in the outer tub of toploading washers. If your dealer was inferring that frontloaders retain some water and toploaders don't, he's absolutely wrong.

This post was edited by dadoes on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 23:22


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I'm not sure if the temps above are still correct. This service manual is a couple of years old - there's no Allergen temp, for example. I have a feeling, with washers becoming more "energy efficient", these could be the temps now:

Sanitize 152°F
Allergen 131°F
Hot 113°F
Eco Hot 84°F
Warm 81°F
Eco Warm 75°F
Cold 59°F

As for liquid vs. powdered detergent: only powdered detergent can have oxygen bleach in it. Oxy bleach, along with warm or hot water, has sanitizing properties. That is also the reason, why some HE top loaders require you to add oxy bleach to their sanitization cycle - because the heater can't get the large volume of water hot enough so the manufacturer relies on the oxy to do the sanitization at a lower temp. Also, many "washer cleaner" products are just oxy bleach.

Liquid detergent is fine - I use it for my dark clothes. I would, however, suggest to use some powdered detergent (or some sort of oxy clean) with a warm/hot wash to keep the machine really clean. Regular Clorox bleach also works but can be hard on fabrics.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

whirlpool_trainee where are you getting those temps? The service manual I linked is the latest one available on EMASERVICETIPS and the tech sheet for the new IQ washers with steam says nothing about the temps.

WHY do the manufacturers have to be so tight lipped about temps? That information should really be in the owner's manual and if not there it AT LEAST should be on the wiring diagram/tech sheet for servicers to see.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Well...

I think Sanitize is still as hot as ever.
Allergen has to heat to 131F per NSF requirement.

I just figured that, since Allergen/131F is the new Hot, all the other temp would have moved down one position - makes sense? Of course, I have no proof for my theory.

I think manufacturers don't put temps in the manual because a) most people have been used to cold/warm/hot all their life b) it would be embarrassing for manufacturers to show how cool their washers really wash and c) even the very first Whirlpool Duets had different target temps for one setting: Hot either meant the water was heated to 127F, 122F or not at all - depending on the cycle and setting.

Alex


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I'm not here to debate operating water temps. since you said you are new to the front loader world and that you do cold washes!

I do recommend eco warm to replace just plain cold tap washing. I have the older model Wave Touch since 2009 so I do have great experience on how to adjust my machine to suite my needs.

BTW Some of us don't have a clue how to manually run the system clean cycle on demand like the IQ washer..... Just saying!

Re-read the manual that is posted to see if it gives a description on how to do it.
I will tell you that it does not!


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Dadoes-About the temps, I checked the Kids Wear cycles on the KM machines:
Front Load says:Hot Wash Heavy Soil High Spin 86-96 min cycle time
Top Load says:Warm Wash Light Soil High Spin no time given.
They both note they have extra rinsing on this cycle.

Wonder why the difference between the front and top load machines in wash time and temp?


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

whirlpool_trainee: "As for liquid vs. powdered detergent: only powdered detergent can have oxygen bleach in it. Oxy bleach, along with warm or hot water, has sanitizing properties. ... Regular Clorox bleach also works but can be hard on fabrics."

An interesting theory. What we refer to as oxygen bleach is hydrogen peroxide, which in retail form generally is sold as a liquid. Outside the laundry room, many toothpastes these days contain oxygen bleach, and although we rarely refer to toothpaste as a liquid detergent, that is what it is in fact.

The powdered oxygen laundry bleaches contain sodium percarbonate, which comprises sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Dry sodium percarbonate does not function as a bleach; when sodium percarbonate dissolves in water, the hydrogen peroxide is released and the hydrogen peroxide is what performs the actual bleaching action.

Although oxygen bleaches are promoted as color safe, all bleaches will work to fade colors -- if they did not, then they would not be bleaches. Best practices, then, suggest using bleach only in those laundry loads where bleaching is desired: in fact, in our household we add a small scoopful -- we dose with a coffee scoop -- of 99 % pure sodium percarbonate to our regular loads of whites (our "white" loads include kitchen wipe up cloths of all colors), for the purposes of both bleaching and sanitation. Because hydrogen peroxide is more effective in hot or warm water than in cool water, we wash our whites loads with hot water.

Even a small scoopful of pure sodium percarbonate used with a non-bleach detergent yields a higher concentration of bleach inside the washing machine than the minuscule concentration obtained from any recommendable quantity of "with bleach" powder detergent. So, as long as you regularly run loads of whites to which you dose pure bleach, the sanitizing effects on the washing machine will be realized. And borax, too, has mild disinfectant properties: we add a scoop of borax to every load, whites and mixed colors alike.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

My point was to give some general advice on liquid vs. powdered detergent. I didn't have the impression that the OP was interested in mixing a little of substance A, a tablespoon of substance B and a dash of C every time just to wash her clothes. Now... I like doing laundry, but I am also happy to be able to simply add a measured amount of detergent to the drawer and be done with it.

I know oxygen bleach comes as a powder or a liquid... but... are there any liquid detergents that have hydrogen peroxide in it? Last time I checked tide.com, none of the liquid detergents had it in them and the ones labeled "bleach alternative" had optical brighteners to give the illusion of whiter whites. The only product to have oxy was a stain release spray that has been discontinued. Miele in Europe uses hydrogen peroxide in a separate cartridge on their washers that auto-dose detergent. Other than that, I have not come across a pre-made liquid laundry detergent to contain oxy bleach. It's always been powders.

Alex


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

I sure wish I could find a LG thread that had people on it as knowledgeable as many of you are here about Whirlpool, Speed Queen and Samsung. I have given up trying to figure out how to get truly hot water in my machine. Mine is next to a laundry tub so I routinely run the hot water for a moment to make sure hot water is in the vicinity. I have experimented with cycles, soil level settings, etc and have never gotten what I would consider a high temperature hot water wash. I actually have my water heater set fairly high and it seems that the LG always tempers that.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

armjim,

Does your LG washer have a built-in heater? Mine does. When "Extra Hot" is chosen and I put my hand to the glass window it feels very warm, indicating the water inside is probably hot. When "Hot" or "Warm" are chosen, the glass window does not feel warm at all.

Please note, however, that the built-in heater only kicks in when using the "Sanitary" and "Baby Wear" cycles. Only when using these two cycles am I allowed to choose "Extra Hot" as my wash temperature.

Hope that helps.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

^You can start by looking at your model number. LG's nomenclature is not very hard to figure out. 2 examples, the rest of the models work the same way.

WM2250CW

Think "Cold Water"

This machine will always temper the incoming water, has no heater, and thus will never be able to do a true hot wash.

I have a WM2650HWA

(Hot Water)

On the normal cycle with the temperature settings up to hot, this washer will also mix in cold water and only get up to warm. However, certain cycles such as Sanitary will let me select the "Extra Hot" setting which activates the internal heater to get a true hot wash.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Well, at least I now know why I can't get a true hot wash. Indeed, my model WM2140 has the CW after it according to the tag inside the door. The manual refers to a heating element used to boost the temperature. Is a heating element different from a built-in heater?

Thanks for clearing this up for me. I plan to sell this house within two years so I think I will be leaving this set here and buy a new set when I move into my next house. You can bet I will be reading this forum more carefully to make certain I choose a machine that gives me a true hot wash.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

Is a heating element different from a built-in heater?
No, slightly different terminology for the same thing.

I washed a batch of casual shorts yesterday, majority are tagged "wash in cold water." I did them at 105°F.


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RE: q about detergents and temps for frontloader

whirlpool_trainee: "My point was to give some general advice on liquid vs. powdered detergent. I didn't have the impression that the OP was interested in mixing a little of substance A, a tablespoon of substance B and a dash of C every time just to wash her clothes. Now... I like doing laundry, but I am also happy to be able to simply add a measured amount of detergent to the drawer and be done with it."

Alex, apparently you do not: (1) sort your laundry before washng, or (2) change the temperature controls on your automatic washer according to the load; is that right? We -- and I think that we are part of the uninteresting majority, always sort our laundry -- whites and food-residue items in one category; colored items, woolens, and silks in a separate category -- and we always set our wash parameters according to the load.

Sitting on a table next to our washing machine are: (a) a bottle of Vaska; (b) an Emsa Click & Close container of 20 Mule Team borax with a 1/3 cup measuring scoop inside; and (c) another Emsa Click & Close container with "pure" -- 99 percent pure -- sodium percarbonate and a small coffee scoop inside.

Every load of laundry that we wash in the Samsung front-loading automatic washer gets a half+ capful of Vaska in the detergent dispensing drawer and a slightly less than full scoopful of borax dosed directly into the washer drum. Only washloads of items that we want bleached -- whites and kitchen items like wipe-up rags and towels that get infused with food wastes -- get the small scoopful of sodium percarbonate, also dosed directly into the drum with the laundry. (That small amount of pure sodium percarbonate is equal in bleaching effectiveness to something like half a cup of OxiClean.) There is not only no point in using bleach on colored items; bleaching colored items will make them look dingy. Bleach (noun) does bleach (verb), after all.

The washloads of whites and food residue items that take bleach, we wash in Hot water; the washloads that require no bleach, we wash in Warm water. It is not rocket science.

Here is a link that might be useful: The larger of the two Emsa containers


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