Thread Number: 72003  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
The Ariel Saga
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Post# 952381   8/9/2017 at 18:51 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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Just thought I'd make a mirror thread of sorts to what's been going on at Houzz. Tl;dr is that someone tested a Mexican Ariel package and it was positive for phosphates.
ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/470...

I'm currently also ordering a test kit for my Ariel. Both our Mexican marts have it, I'm in rural Oregon.
Seems that P&G isn't quite on the ball with their previous statement...

Anyways, I saw the Tide post from earlier, but I thought I'd make this thread. I'm intensely interested in what goes down here in the months/years to come.





Post# 952389 , Reply# 1   8/9/2017 at 19:35 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Whoops! Should have posted my Ariel purchase here rather than the Mexican Tide thread.

Not having used it for years, I was glad to see the color-speckled blue powder and the intoxicating scent of crushed-up Sweet-Tarts remained unchanged. Am assuming it is phosphate-free, which isn't a problem in softened water.

Suggested dosage: 1 cup for normal loads; 1-1/2 cups for extra large/heavily soiled.

Looking forward to the results of your phosphate tests, amyofescobar!


Post# 952396 , Reply# 2   8/9/2017 at 20:16 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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@Frigilux on the Tide thread you said you got yours at Walmart? And in Spanish? And it's blue? Strange.............

Here are photos that I posted in the Houzz thread. To my eye, it looks identical to the OP who got their's tested. 
I also noticed that some were able to find the manufacture dates for their bags. How do you do that? Does it have to do with the serial number? 

I'm currently part of a Chemistry chat server on Discord, so I'll be asking them how to do a good test. What's been mentioned so far is something called a magnesium test. In the presence of magnesium (and ammonia mixed in I think), a phosphate salt solution with turn cloudy. However, since the detergent has several components to it, this might prove a difficult testing method. Maybe the aquarium test strips would work, but again, we are introducing quite a lot of different components here. Does anyone know how much a lab analysis costs? I might just do that. 

But I think it would be fun to come up with a cheap, reliable way for all of use across the country to test our batches! Teehee! This is such a strange phenomenon, I wonder if P&G agents read any of these forums... 


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Post# 952397 , Reply# 3   8/9/2017 at 20:47 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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The Walmart I shop at is in a town with a huge Hispanic population. They carry Roma, Foca, Ariel and Blanca Nieves. Had never seen Blanca Nieves, but a baby was pictured on the front of the package, so I thought it might be for baby laundry. Have never tried Foca or Roma.

Haven't used Mexican detergents for years as sudsing was an issue with the HE front-loaders. Now that I have a decidedly non-HE Speed Queen top loader, will have to explore a good Mexican grocery store some time soon. I'd love to find Viva, Ace, 1-2-3, and whatever else is on the market.


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Post# 952398 , Reply# 4   8/9/2017 at 20:56 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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Now you're making me want to visit the Walmart again! I keep forgetting what bags I've seen where. A good 1/4 of our town is Mexican.

Post# 952404 , Reply# 5   8/9/2017 at 21:31 by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Any Mexican detergents you find at Walmart or Dollar stores ect including the Ariel are going to be phosphate free. Frig that Ariel you bought at Walmart smells and looks a lot like the Mexican Ariel, but the formulas are somewhat different and the Mexican one is a darker blue with a stronger scent also the Mexican one has a lot of tiny different colored specks. Unless things changed the Foca, Viva, Blanca Nieves, Roma have all been phosphate free for a good while.......by the way I think Blanca Nieves translates to Snow White. I can't remember if it contains a oxy bleach or even enzymes.

Post# 952420 , Reply# 6   8/9/2017 at 23:11 by Johnb300m (Chicago)        

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Why are the Mexican and Latin American detergents so vastly different than from US and EU?
Very curious.


Post# 952422 , Reply# 7   8/9/2017 at 23:21 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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John, what do you mean by vast?

For one thing, I've heard that many Mexicans wash their clothes by hand, at least many compared to the US. At my market, they sell washboards and on the packaging of Ariel and other powders, there are directions on how to wash by hand. I don't know if this is just for certain clothing, or if people in certain areas wash all their clothes this way. 

Also, I think there might be hard water issues? Although in the Rockies they have the same issues so...


Post# 952458 , Reply# 8   8/10/2017 at 04:12 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

The Foca packaging is so cute! 


Post# 952460 , Reply# 9   8/10/2017 at 05:08 by dixan (Europe)        

Oh my god, this Ariel is blue! I have never seen blue powder in my life. Doesn't it stain the clothes?

Post# 952465 , Reply# 10   8/10/2017 at 05:50 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Blue Ariel / Staining Clothes: The instructions say to let the detergent dissolve while machine is filling, then add the load. No recall of doing that and don't remember staining problems with loads of white bath towels, bed linens, or kitchen / personal whites. Guess I'll find out today when I wash a load of bath towels.

I always put detergent in the empty tub, add the load and then start the machine. That allows for more accuracy when choosing a water level on the SQ. As with many electronic control panels, this one doesn't allow you to change settings after pressing start--although you can easily cancel the cycle, then reset the controls if needed.

Amyofescobar-- Is the Ariel you purchased a white powder?


Post# 952471 , Reply# 11   8/10/2017 at 06:50 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Blue powder

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I'm sure back in the 70s, that Daz and/or Surf were available as blue powders.

And I distinctly remember using the cloudy blue Surf liquid (like Lever's 'Wisk', but blue instead) in 1990.

They didn't stain clothes, but I wonder if the blue shade was to boost optical brightness a tad more.


Post# 952489 , Reply# 12   8/10/2017 at 09:26 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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Frigilux, see 4th photo^ it was blue.

In a post on Houzz someone showed a photo of the Walmart variety, and it was white I think.

I'm not sure why blue would be bad. Especially for whites, it could even be good. Bluing was used instead of fluorescent OBs back in the day right?


Post# 952490 , Reply# 13   8/10/2017 at 09:32 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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DIfferent colors as of Nov 2016

CLICK HERE TO GO TO amyofescobar's LINK


Post# 952499 , Reply# 14   8/10/2017 at 10:43 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Thanks for the info and clarification, amyofescobar. I've seen the white Ariel before and was thrilled the bag I purchased was the classic aqua blue with multi-colored specks and had the scent I refer to as crushed Sweet-Tarts. Maybe I need to hustle back to the same Walmart and pick up a couple more bags of the 'classic' version before they're gone.

Post# 952501 , Reply# 15   8/10/2017 at 11:09 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Blue Daz

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Post# 952502 , Reply# 16   8/10/2017 at 11:14 by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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Lol "Daz" pretty white bruh.

Yeah Frig, I need to get my testing rear in gear.


Post# 952503 , Reply# 17   8/10/2017 at 11:42 by dixan (Europe)        

Wow, blue Ariel and it doesn't stain the clothes! I want one! I bet it smells gorgeous.
Is it suitable for European machines?


Post# 952507 , Reply# 18   8/10/2017 at 12:41 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Foca is the Mexican version of Rinso-Blu. The bluing makes whites look brighter.
Roma is the only one of the Mexican detergents I have been disappointed with. It makes lots of suds, however,cleaning ability is not so good,IMO.
I'm glad I stocked-up on all my favorites before the phosphates were removed.


Post# 952521 , Reply# 19   8/10/2017 at 13:42 by johnb300m (Chicago)        

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I guess I mean vastly different, as in, it seems their formulas are different; different looks, colors etc. Phosphate, no phosphate. Different perfumes etc.
Blue speckled powder? Yea that's different.

It makes sense though, it was mentioned that maybe it's because Latin America does a lot of hand washing still, along with different styles of machines.


Post# 952522 , Reply# 20   8/10/2017 at 13:45 by mamapinky (blairsville pa)        

Listen folks none of these Mexican detergents are suited for HE machines including Mexican or US Ariel . They are sudsy. I do know a few people with HE washers that are able to use Mexican Ariel but most can't. I just felt it worth mentioning.

Post# 952533 , Reply# 21   8/10/2017 at 17:02 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Well there are large coin laundries around Atlanta full of Mexican's using Mexican detergents with total abandon in all the front-loaders. No argument, though, because they are heavy sudsers. When using in an HE machine you just scale back the dosage.

The Mexican detergents are not meant to rinse out office dust, so yes, there are differences in formulations.Most of the Mexicans do very hard and dirty work whether they are living in the US or Mexico. With or without phosphates I find the Mexican detergents superior performers. Viva remains my personal favorite and is the strongest one I have found. Ariel has a wonderful fragrance and I like to use it with loads of colored clothes in the summer.


Post# 952616 , Reply# 22   8/11/2017 at 16:18 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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"Listen folks none of these Mexican detergents are suited for HE machines including Mexican or US Ariel . "

Well that would depend on what you mean by "HE" washing machines.

Persons have been using Tide and other regular high foaming detergents in commercial/laundromat front loaders for ages; long before anyone thought about "HE" washing machines. Standard advice was simply to use less detergent (about 1/4 for a 18lb load).

Of course such machines nearly always have dump valves; so excess froth choking a pump isn't an issue.

Will give you that with today's front loaders being so miserly with water usage a clean rinsing detergent, and or at least one with low froth levels seems mandatory. This being said there are plenty of so called "HE" detergents on shelves (that Persil made by Henkel sold in USA comes to mind) that create suds in levels that rival some Mexican detergents.





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