Thread Number: 75868  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
best for removing body oil
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Post# 997156   6/14/2018 at 15:03 by cehalstead (Charleston, WV)        

Which type of detergent is best for removing body oil from sheets? Powder or liquid? Please disregard brand or additives or lack of additives for this question...

Post# 997161 , Reply# 1   6/14/2018 at 15:41 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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All kinds of consumer tests around the globe have shown it again and again that the old myth that powders were best for clay type (pigment) stains and liquids for oil stains is not always true.
So many powders and liquids struggle on oily stains. Even within a certain brand one product can be excellent and another one a total fail.
Best advice for oily stains is to use plenty of a product with a high surfactant level that works well on this type of stains and use the hottest possible wash temperature the fabric can withstand. If you have a FLer the sanitary or boil wash cycle is best for removing body oils from sheets, otherwise a "hot" wash will have to do.

Post# 997168 , Reply# 2   6/14/2018 at 16:07 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I just did what you're wanting to do, removing body oil residue from sheets. I used liquid Tide, a cup each of Borax and Baking Soda, and a full scoop of OxiClean. Soaked in this, starting with very hot water overnight, then drained and rinsed, followed by a wash with Tide, Baking Soda and Borax (1/2c rather than a cup) and a good dose of liquid Clorox (mine were white) in very hot water, then rinsed at least twice. They looked brand new, and the only reason I did this, is they were literally lemon yellow when I started. Had they not been able to be cleaned, they were headed for the trash.

Post# 997170 , Reply# 3   6/14/2018 at 16:50 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        
For normal everyday sort of linens

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Have had good results with following liquid detergents:

Tide Free and Gentle

Tide Coldwater Free and Gentle

LeBlanc Linen Wash

Persil ProClean

Tide (regular)

Post# 997172 , Reply# 4   6/14/2018 at 16:57 by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

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What do is when I am faced with other half shaves his head so the oils get right on the pillowcases....I use Persil 2in 1 liquid, a quarter cup of borax, a dose of Clorox2 pac and hot water for the wash cycle. I have an LG front loader that does an amazing job removing said funk.

Post# 997190 , Reply# 5   6/14/2018 at 19:09 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Wasn't ammonia touted as good for that also?

Post# 997195 , Reply# 6   6/14/2018 at 20:20 by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

The key here is to use HOT water more so than which type of detergent. I usually use Tide liquid and Clorox 2 with hot water and a long wash setting. Works great. I remember reading awhile ago that we should be washing ALL laundry in water that is warmer than body temperature, so that the body oils and soils are melted and washed out of the garments.

Post# 997196 , Reply# 7   6/14/2018 at 20:42 by cehalstead (Charleston, WV)        
thanks for the quick responses

I have a Speed Queen top loader which allows me to use hot water. I rarely use cold water for anything. From the great tips I have seen here in the replies to my question, what I think I need to do is use additives and allow the linens to soak. I usually use either Persil or Tide, so I'll keep using one of those with additives. Thanks again....

Post# 997200 , Reply# 8   6/14/2018 at 21:47 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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This is good information.  I don't have my Maytag A712 hooked up at the new house yet, but this is among the laundry jobs I got it for.

Post# 997212 , Reply# 9   6/15/2018 at 03:52 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
@Reply #7

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You actually don't need to use expensive additives at all.

Just leave to soak in a plastic bucket, with a strong solution of soap powder and hot water. Then wash the following day on a hot programme.

Post# 997277 , Reply# 10   6/15/2018 at 20:38 by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
Removing oils

Of course hot water is great for oils. I find liquids work better for the job than powder. However, Ammonia works wonders. 1/3 of a cup per wash in our front loader is great.

Post# 997282 , Reply# 11   6/15/2018 at 22:43 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

STPP probably enhances the cleaning also.

Post# 997312 , Reply# 12   6/16/2018 at 07:18 by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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I've had great success using Stanley Degreaser as a laundry additive when washing items that have quite a bit of body oils (sebum) in them.  A ¼ cup of Degreaser concentrate along with your regular detergent does wonders IMO.  Ammonia and HOT water are big helpers also.




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Post# 997662 , Reply# 13   6/19/2018 at 06:02 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Ammonia and a 190F wash in the Miele worked great for us.  Even if the high temps destroyed the garment, it would have been thrown out otherwise with the huge grease spot on it.  Hey, this is my 2000th post!

Post# 997676 , Reply# 14   6/19/2018 at 07:21 by iej (Ireland)        

Fairly hot water, time and a good detergent should remove them.

If you've a front loader just put in plenty of detergent and put the machine on a long cycle at a fairly high temperature. If they're cotton sheets you can comfortably wash them at 60C or even 75C if there's no elastic (fitted sheets).

If you've a top loader of the old deep fill type. Plenty of detergent. Run a hot wash and turn the machine off halfway through the wash cycle to manually cause them to soak. Let them sit for a good hour or more. Resume cycle.

If it's a low fill machine with a wash plate or similar. You may need to use a sink or a bucket.

Time and temperature help a lot. TL agitation is effective but you can't over do it. FL tumbling tends to be a lot more gentle on the clothes and you can run very long cycles as a result and they are effective.

Post# 997679 , Reply# 15   6/19/2018 at 07:46 by Helicaldrive (St. Louis)        

Hot water, Persil and ammonia.

Make sure it is clear ammonia with no surfactants added. Scant 1/4 cup in FL. In a full fill TL, just pour it in: a cup or even several for something really dirty.

Body oil and head smell are totally lifted out of pillow slips, and sheets stay fresh for a week. It, along with Persil, completely eliminates the issue of older sheets smelling a week old again after just a night or two. Its also great for getting sweat odors out of dress shirts.

For those who have never used ammonia, surprisingly, it does not leave any residual ammonia odor and it does not cause fading or increased wear. One exception: it fades synthetic fibers for some reason.

Its also great for removing tenacious grease spots from polo shirts. Dilute it with a little water, saturate the stain, wait a few minutes and wash. Works every time.

Post# 997681 , Reply# 16   6/19/2018 at 07:50 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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My head (and the rest of me) tends to sweat during sleep unless the room temp is appreciably cool and I have oily hair. Pillow cases quickly catch a stain. I have to wash sheets at 135F+ to shift it. Sometimes run the 2-hr soak in my F&P with Biz, works nicely.

Post# 998716 , Reply# 17   6/28/2018 at 14:42 by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        

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I sleep in shorts... with a big, hairy, oily dog, so my sheets get changed frequently and washed often.

I found that adding ammonia to the wash and cutting back on the detergent (I use powdered Tide) worked wonders at getting the sheets clean and eliminating a lingering "not clean" smell.

The only caution is BE SURE you don't add bleach by mistake. Ammonia and Bleach together will create highly toxic gas.

I find when used regularly, the sheets are kept white.

Post# 998721 , Reply# 18   6/28/2018 at 15:53 by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
Sheets and Ammonia

I recently have been using Ammonia in every wash with sheets. They are coming out cleaner than ever before. You are correct about the 'slightly off' scent. The Ammonia removes this all together. My dog occasionally sneaks into my bed at night. He will bleed a bit and get his oils on the sheets. After the wash they are like new! The real proof comes when we wash hockey equipment. It comes out clean all the time. Others always ask why his equipment smells soo good.

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