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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    Another detergent thread

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    I am looking for a new laundry detergent. There are several old threads on the topic, but since they're old I figured I'd start a new one.

    I used to use "Wisk with Oxyclean." (The manufacturer added the Oxyclean into it, I didn't add it myself.) It was great. It got all my clothes clean -- looking as well as smelling clean. It had a scent but it wasn't too strong and didn't stay on the clothes after the rinse cycle. It was also inexpensive. Then one day the manufacturer decided to stop making it.

    Since then I have tried and not been happy with:

    - Arm and Hammer -- horrible strong scent that make my whole apartment smell, gave me a sore throat and made my clothes smell like detergent long after they were dry. Oh and it didn't actually get my clothes clean.
    - All Free and Clear -- didn't get my laundry clean. Towels started to smell funky all the time.
    - Persil for sensitive skin -- doesn't get my laundry clean. Even pre-soaking doesn't work.


    There's nothing unusual about my laundry, no tough stains, just ordinary wear. Soon enough I'll have sweaty bike clothes again, but over the past few months when I've been trying these new detergents, that has not been an issue.

    I thought about adding Oxyclean to the detergents that don't work well but the instructions say to not use it with wool, and many of socks and base layer shirts are wool.

    I didn't try regular Persil because I read reviews that said the scent was very strong.

    Years ago I used Tide with bleach alternative, which I think worked okay but felt very oily and hard to rinse when I got it on my hands, so I suspect it doesn't rinse well out of my clothes either. I also used 7th Generation, but it didn't get things clean enough.

    I have an old-school top-loading washer, and always use cold water. (The water heater is two floors up from my condo, and I would have to run the water too long to get hot water for laundry.) For years I have used liquid detergents but would be open to other types as long as they're not too expensive. Re: scents, something mild is okay but I don't want clothes to smell like detergent for weeks and weeks -- frankly I am baffled that this seems to have become a selling point for detergent.

    So -- can anyone recommend a detergent that actually gets clothes clean, does not have a strong lingering scent, and works in a top-loader with cold water?

    Thanks!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I use All Free and Clear as well as Tide for sensitive skin. I don't notice any difference in the cleanliness of my clothes, but then, I do wash some things in hot water, and I have a front loader. For me, not having perfume is the key. I cannot stand smell, it makes me itch, sneeze, feel like coughing. My skin is extremely sensitive, I am itchy all of the time!
    Maybe ask a dermatologist for some recommendations?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,871
    I'm surprised that Persil didn't work well for you. I switched from All Free and Clear to Persil for sensitive skin, and have been happy. I wonder if it depends on the water hardness/softness?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,581
    I also use All Free and Clear. One thing I find important is to make sure everything free of soap at the end of the washing cycle. I use the ‘extra rinse’ Cycle with every load. And I have a high powered front loader. I also use as little as possible. One bottle lasts a long time.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,950
    I guess water hardness could make a difference, though I think it's pretty average in my area. It is very very cold water, though, at least in the winter, so maybe that makes a difference?

    It would probably help to get a better washing machine, but I'm limited to whatever is small enough to fit in my condo's small laundry closet.

    Reading this review, I think I will try the Tide variant from Target that they recommend, despite the price.

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/th...dry-detergent/

    Interesting to note that they tested with "cold" water which was actually 60 degrees. That is definitely warmer than the cold water in my apartment in winter time.

    p.s. It's worth reading the article I linked to for information about a preservative in some detergents that can cause skin allergies -- scroll down to the part about what is in detergent.

    p.p.s. I'm starting to think I need a subscription to Consumer Reports. It seems like it would help for this sort of issue, as well as for other things such as a new vacuum cleaner, specifically a stick vacuum, which I think would be useful now that the old wall-to-wall carpet has been removed from my condo.
    Last edited by ny biker; 04-05-2018 at 10:35 AM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    central NY
    Posts
    408
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/th...dry-detergent/

    Interesting to note that they tested with "cold" water which was actually 60 degrees. That is definitely warmer than the cold water in my apartment in winter time.
    This is exactly the first thing I thought of. The first feature I'd look for if I were buying a new washer is auto temperature control. Detergents are formulated to work at certain temps. If your cold tap water is 40 degrees or so, it's too cold for the detergent to work properly. Can you try at least a warm water wash?

    No advice on specific detergents. I just bought a super large jug of something that smelled okay in the store, but is way too strong in practice. I've left the top off hoping it will dissipate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,394
    I like Biocleen myself - it's a citrus based detergent with pretty much no lingering scent (I loath it when I'm hiking and I can smell other people coming before I can even hear them.... forget about seeing any wildlife when someone who reeks of Tide or Gain is around.....) and it does well. I do occasionally supplement it with a little powdered Oxyclean when my synthetic cycling gear starts to get that polyester funk, but I don't have to do that every time. I use the liquid version with a front loader, but they do have a powdered product as well.
    Last edited by Eden; 04-08-2018 at 05:57 PM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,615
    And here we thought, we were the only outliers when it came to "must be scent free" yuck with scent. We were using Arm and Hammer Scent Free but it just disappeared off the shelf. so now what??? Is it biokleen or biocleen? just looked it up and result was for Biokleen. Will also look at Persil.

    Thank you for starting a new thread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,394
    My bad - it is Biokleen with a K. They have an entirely scent free version too, but even the regular does not have much of an odor. It smells faintly like orange peel and does not transfer to your clothing.

    I wonder what happened with Arm & Hammer that they jumped off the scent free bandwagon... my husband used to like to get their scent free underarm stick and that disappeared too.
    Last edited by Eden; 04-26-2018 at 06:41 AM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,366
    Yeah, I used Arm and Hammer, too.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,950
    I see Arm and Hammer fragrance free detergent in stores near me. In a white bottle.

    I decided to buy some Tide Ultra Free something-or-other. It was the highest rated detergent in the Wirecutter reviews and is only available at Target. Haven't used it yet, am too overwhelmed by everything else in life to have time to do laundry.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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