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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Hula Hoop on November 30, 2019, 06:56:05 AM

Title: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Hula Hoop on November 30, 2019, 06:56:05 AM
I always buy the cheapo off brand laundry powder.  However, I was talking with some people who swear by certain brands of laundry powder for removing stains and generally keeping their clothes nice.  I've had to throw away a couple of shirts lately that were very stained and it got me wondering if my frugal laundry powder buying is false economy.  The ruined/stained shirts cost me a lot more than the couple of euros it would cost to buy better laundry detergent. 

We also only rarely use other additives like bleach, fabric softener etc. Should we be using those more often?
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: ketchup on November 30, 2019, 07:20:49 AM
My only specific recommendation is the "free and clear" variants without dyes and smells.  When we switched, my skin got much less angry.

We use Tide.  GF gets grouchy if I go offbrand, and it's not a hill worth dying on, so I haven't explored it too much.  I think I used the Costco brand one years ago and it was fine, but I'm not picky at all.  We never ever use fabric softener or bleach or dryer sheets or any of that.  I have a couple ten year old shirts that get weekly wear, so I'm probably at least doing something right.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: OtherJen on November 30, 2019, 07:30:07 AM
We just use the Costco store-brand dye-free and scent-free detergent. Bleach only on our white towels. I do usually add a small scoop of Oxyclean to the washer, which helps with any minor staining. I pretreat major stains with stain remover and grease spots with dish soap before washing. Our clothes tend to hold up well unless they were cheaply made to begin with (e.g., wear holes in cheap, thin T shirts).

Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Imma on November 30, 2019, 07:52:38 AM
I buy brand name, but only in the largest sized box. My goal is not to spend more than €10 on a big box which will last me for a year or more. A consumer organization in here did some tests and I think the best value for money laundry powder was actually Lidl's (Formil brand).

I never really have issues with stains, not even when my partner worked in a really dirty job. I'd put his work clothes in a bucket with hot water and soda until laundry day. When I know there are stains in my clothing, I treat the stains before washing (with oxgall soap). When I got a new machine it became harder to get some stains out and that turned out to be because the machine used so little water.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Hula Hoop on November 30, 2019, 08:19:07 AM
What temp do you do your laundry on?  I usually use either cold or 30 degrees (for whites).  We tend to get stains on white shirts and other things.  I just noticed that my white shorts have yellowish stains around the bottom hems and my white shirts had underarm and collar stains.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: bacchi on November 30, 2019, 09:14:01 AM
We pre-soak tough stains with hand dishwashing soap. Works great on everything.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Sibley on November 30, 2019, 04:02:59 PM
I buy liquid, either Tide or All brands (in the US), no dyes or perfumes. I find that Tide is slightly better than All, but in general the difference isn't a factor for me so I buy based on price. If I get something on my clothes, I have a pretreater that's pretty good. I use it rarely.

The amount of detergent they tell you to use is ridiculous. I use generally 1/3 of what they say, if that. If it's a very soiled load, I'll increase the amount of detergent.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: KBecks on November 30, 2019, 05:30:26 PM
I buy cheap Aldi liquid and use 1/4 or 1/3 of the provided cup. 
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Imma on December 01, 2019, 03:22:30 AM
We don't wear white a lot, so I don't really have experience with that, but I know people use a special laundry powder to keep their lace curtains white. I'm not sure if that works for stains or just for yellowing.

If presoaking / treating the stains doesn't work, I guess you could try washing on a higher temperature? My partner sweats a lot during work and I've noticed that his work shirts get a bit smelly if I don't wash them on 60 degrees every month or so. It's not the most environmentally friendly option but buying new clothes isn't either.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 01, 2019, 04:12:16 AM
We don't wear a lot of white either but I have a pair of white shorts and a white work shirt that seems to be a bit stained.  We never wash on 60 degrees but maybe we need to start.  We usually wash sheets/towels on 30 degrees and clothes on 0 degrees.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: Pigeon on December 01, 2019, 05:49:43 AM
I find Tide to be superior on stains and heavily soiled clothes. Otherwise, what's on sale is fine. I get much better results from liquid detergent than powdered. I usually buy cheaper brands  but keep a bottle of Tide for really dirty clothes, which doesn't happen too often in my house.
Title: Re: Brand name laundry powder
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 01, 2019, 01:19:02 PM
Cold water wash is definitely a false economy.  It saves money, but it doesn’t get clothes clean.  Warm water is one of the best solvents out there.

We’ve also found Tide is much better at cleaning, and the regular is better than free and clear.  When we were doing cloth diapers I read a lot about laundry soap, and it turns out there are actual differences in how strong the detergents are.  Hard water also reduces the cleaning power of detergents.  So adding a water softener such as Borax can increase the cleaning power of detergent.