Thread Number: 78042  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
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Post# 1020544   1/8/2019 at 11:08 by roscoe62 (Canada)        

Has anyone had better results with one particular detergent over another that rinses better when washing towels so their not so hard?

Post# 1020605 , Reply# 1   1/8/2019 at 20:04 by westtexman (Lubbock, Texas)        

I made an impulse buy at Costco recently (which happens more than I care to admit), and bought a huge jug of All Free & Clear. I have used it on towels and sheets (without softener) and found the washed items to be much softer than they generally are with other detergents.


Post# 1020619 , Reply# 2   1/9/2019 at 01:00 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Bold powder, found at Big Lots, marketed by P&G.  Very little suds but smells good, washes great, and rinses well.

Post# 1020623 , Reply# 3   1/9/2019 at 02:48 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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In the case when detergent residue is indeed the culprit for hard towels then it`s usually the detergent`s alkali components like washing soda to blame not the residual suds (surfactants)
So a good enzyme containing liquid is probably a better choice than a powder in this perspective because those are generally less alkaline. Some super cheap liquids however compensate the lack of enzymes with a high pH.

Hard towels could also result from too short inferior cotton fibers. They tangle much more in the washing process than those of high quality towels.

Next if you live in a hard water area like I do the problem could also be mineral deposits on the fibers. In this case it`s not detergent residue to blame, the culprit might be not using enough detergent for a longer time.
If calcium buildup is severe no soaking in vinegar or stripping with phosphates will do, then it`s best to start over with new towels.

Post# 1020635 , Reply# 4   1/9/2019 at 05:39 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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I find STPP added to Tide powder softens.  Could speculate on the chemistry, or someone could explain, just know it works.  Fairly hard water here, deposits mineral ring in toilet in a matter of days.

Post# 1020654 , Reply# 5   1/9/2019 at 09:43 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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STPP functions as a non-precipitating water softener.  Sequesters and holds mineral content (calcium, hard water) out of the water so it can be flushed away.

Post# 1020707 , Reply# 6   1/10/2019 at 00:45 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Post# 1020854 , Reply# 7   1/11/2019 at 20:11 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Good tips, thank you but...

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I hate the smell of vinegar; would citric acid work as well?

Post# 1020856 , Reply# 8   1/11/2019 at 20:51 by lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        
iWhite Vinegar

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if you Don't over do it, once dried, you should not smell any vinegar!

Post# 1020857 , Reply# 9   1/11/2019 at 21:21 by StrongEnough78 (California)        

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I've had issues with stiff and scratchy towels for a while. I even tried a vinegar wash followed by a baking soda wash that was shown on here a while back. Just seemed to make them worse. However couple months ago I found a left over bar of Zote that I had for a while. I grated about a half a cup of it and washed a load of towels. Used hot water and a second rinse with liquid softener in the last rinse. They came out much softer. And they still absorb water very well. I highly recommend using Zote for towels. I've used this method twice so far and I am much happier with the results.

Post# 1020859 , Reply# 10   1/11/2019 at 21:30 by StrongEnough78 (California)        

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Oh and dry on permanent press setting instead of high heat. It seems to help.

Post# 1020865 , Reply# 11   1/12/2019 at 00:02 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Using Zote

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Or any other soap for washing even when "cut" with detergent will give softer results.

Have been saying this for ages now, but don't take my word for it:

The "built in fabric softener" Ivory Snow, Fels and other soap based laundry "detergents" were touting is the residue effects from using just that, soap.

True soaps are made from fats and oils; and regardless of how much rinsing trace amounts of same remain in/on fabrics. Hence the "built in fabric softener" claims.

Remember original fabric softeners were merely emulsions of tallow and or other oils/fats in water. First invented for use in commercial laundries, they spread to domestic use for same reasons; to counter the harsh feeling of fabrics washed in the "new" detergents like Tide. For generations housewives, commercial laundries or anyone else had no need of such a thing because they were using soap for washing laundry. For most part

There are other contributing factors to roughness; pH level, type of surfactants and or builders and so forth; but on whole doing laundry with soap will give you a softer result than most detergents, especially powders built with soda, caustics and Zeolites.

Commercial laundries still do wash certain things in specially built soaps (diapers among one thing ironically), and or have access to soap products marketed as wash additives. There they boost cleaning of oily/greasy fouled laundry and or add softness depending upon dosage.

Post# 1020886 , Reply# 12   1/12/2019 at 07:35 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Thing is that soap based washing powder or the use of fabric softener only cures the symptoms but not the cause.
Found less than a quarter of the recommended dose of FS does the trick without any ill effects on absorbancy as incrustation can never be completely ruled out in my water quality.
Sometimes it may not be the worst option to team up with the devil if you`re looking for for quick and easy results.

Post# 1020891 , Reply# 13   1/12/2019 at 08:37 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Yes, but

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Point is or was that for various reasons persons choose to go with soap over using fabric softener.

There must be something to this because Dalli, Henkel, Kreussler-Chemie, and a host of others produce various soap based laundry "detergents" if not simply laundry soaps (built or not).

In USA there is the cult of that God awful "Duggar's" homemade laundry soap. In France and other parts of Europe it is Savon de Marseille instead.

Speaking to the time of Ivory Snow, Fels and other products that were soap based and advertised "built in fabric softener", remember in North America top loading washing machines ruled until rather recently.

Also until rather recently fabric softener dispensers were nearly unheard of; so one had to rush and catch the washer at final rinse to add the stuff. That or reset the washer for another cycle.


Post# 1020892 , Reply# 14   1/12/2019 at 08:38 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Beulah !!!

Love her. " You have to coax them clean".

Bob and Tommy... I remember watching that commercial.

Post# 1020900 , Reply# 15   1/12/2019 at 09:38 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Miss Beulah Hall didn't do washing for anybody.

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She was laundress to presidents of the United States, in particular JFK who sent his shirts to her hand laundry.

An order was waiting to be collected when JFK was killed.

Post# 1021978 , Reply# 16   1/21/2019 at 20:01 by mayguy (Minnesota)        

I looked up to see if Ivory Snow was still made, and powdered stuff is EXPENSIVE! They do sell liquid forme.

Post# 1022003 , Reply# 17   1/22/2019 at 02:12 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Dreft Detergent For Babies

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Is now "Ivory Snow" detergent.

But wait, there is also "Ivory Snow" Gentle Care liquid detergent.

There once was a powder but it was discontinued, however people sell the odd boxes at insane prices.

These products are all detergents. P&G discontinued Ivory Snow soap powder ages ago. It became the "Gentle Care" detergents shown above. IIRC this was done due to declining sales of pure soap products for wash day. Despite what Mrs. Palmer and other ladies in Ivory Snow commercials stated the new light duty synthetic detergents like Delicare were gaining market share for "nice things" (blankets, slips, nighties, petticoats, etc...)

For baby things Dreft was doing to Ivory Snow what Tide did to Oxydol soap. There is also fact soap interferes with the flame retardancy properties of infant/toddler sleepwear, something mandated by government.

Have a couple of the old Ivory Snow soap powder in my stash. Use it for doing my "nice things" in the Hoover TT or Maytag wringer. Nothing smells all broody like things washed in Ivory Snow soap powder.

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