Thread Number: 84605  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Roma Detergent ... opinions?
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1090233   9/22/2020 at 06:38 by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        

scoots's profile picture

I usually buy Tide 143 oz size at Walmart, but for the longest time I've been eyeing Roma from Mexico.  I have a non-HE machine (Top loading washer with stacked dryer) and on a lark I bought a very small bag to try.


I have seen the threads about having a simpler formula and cautions about sudsing, but is there anything else I should know?


When I do bed linens, I fortify the Tide with ammonia to handle the body oils. I have no fine clothing I wear. I'm looking for a more cost effective laundry detergent. Is this going to work?


Thanks -

Post# 1090247 , Reply# 1   9/22/2020 at 09:22 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
It's a low-end product with no enzymes AFAIK and super-sudsy.

Foca is stated as having one enzyme so is a better choice in comparison.

Post# 1090259 , Reply# 2   9/22/2020 at 11:45 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
Roma works well but is quite sudsy and I am diligent with the amount I use in my Maytag A606 and 1963 RCA Whirlpool Imperial Mark XII washer. I am using Ariel detergent at the moment and that’s another favorite detergent of mine besides Gain and Tide powdered.

Post# 1090289 , Reply# 3   9/22/2020 at 14:47 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        

Roma is decent. Not great, by any means...but not awful, either. Scent-wise, it seems to have an aroma of citronella. It is extremely sudsy - even for me, and I love a sudsy detergent. Cleaning power is ok. Nowhere near as good as Tide, but nowhere near as bad as, say, Sun powder.

Someone else mentioned Foca. I’d second that, for the enzymes alone. If you live near a predominantly Hispanic area, try visiting one of their supermarkets. There’s one in Plainfield (NJ) that has the largest selection of liquid and powdered imports I’ve ever seen, including Axion powder, Ariel Revitacolor liquid, and Ace “soft and gentle” liquid.

Post# 1090296 , Reply# 4   9/22/2020 at 16:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

What, exactly, do you mean by a top loader with a stacked dryer? Are you talking a laundry center? Is it a Whirlpool built set up like a super Thin Twin or some WCI pos? You do not want suds in those machines. The WCI machines were terrible about suds locking. Actually, the fewer suds you have in any machine, the better. Constrain your wild nature in the detergent aisle.

Post# 1090424 , Reply# 5   9/23/2020 at 20:09 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

The Mexican version of Super-Suds.
Lots of sudz, not much cleaning action.
Maybe if you beat your clothes on a rock it works better.

Post# 1090433 , Reply# 6   9/23/2020 at 20:50 by sfh074 ( )        
Steve ......

thanks for the good belly laugh! It lasted for nearly a solid minute.

Post# 1090447 , Reply# 7   9/23/2020 at 22:22 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
'Maybe if you beat your clothes on a rock it works bette

launderess's profile picture
Remark is not far off the mark....

Many in Mexico and South America still do laundry by hand. Am not speaking of dainty things either, but entire family weekly (or whatever) wash. Thus you don't need detergents with incredible cleaning power; not when you're beating them against a rock, using a washboard, etc...

There is a reason why Roma detergent packets feature a woman bent over a wash tub; and it wasn't just an image chosen at random or for nostalgia purposes.

In fact when you get right down to it mechanical action accounts for about 75% of energy used to clean laundry. Rest comes from temperature, chemicals, etc.. This is one reason why washing machines with central beaters have much shorter wash cycles than H-axis, and clean using products meant to be diluted in large amounts of water.

OTHO H-axis washers have a more gentle mechanical action, but use less water (which means higher concentration of products), however take longer due to lower mechanical energy being employed.

Post# 1090601 , Reply# 8   9/24/2020 at 23:23 by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

dermacie's profile picture
I have never used it, but I find for the money Tide powder in my opinion is the best value. I buy the big box and I use it on whites and linens and it gets everything clean. It is expensive but I buy it at Costco and it lasts for a long time.

I find when I go cheap I end up having stuff not come clean and re-washing.

Post# 1090603 , Reply# 9   9/25/2020 at 00:44 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

If I'm not mistaken, Roma used to contain STPP which made it an effective detergent. But like many other imported Mexican laundry detergents, it probably is no longer available with that valuable additive.


I have a stash of STPP I got some years back from a chemical supply warehouse. Usually I add a tbs at the start of each fill. And then add an HE powder or liquid so suds can just be seen developing.


Post# 1090608 , Reply# 10   9/25/2020 at 02:34 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
IIRC Foca, Roma, Blanca Nieves, and other Mexican laundry detergents including P&G's Ariel did contain phosphates. That was until things started showing up in USA stores located where phosphates were long since banned. All heck broke loose and that was that.

P&G along with other detergent makers for North American market removed phosphates across the board (or rather border) period.

Remember going to K-Mart on Astor Place back when the place had a really great laundry product section. Nearly all the Mexican detergents on offer had phosphates.

Post# 1090640 , Reply# 11   9/25/2020 at 08:38 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Since I have been using H-axis washers, I have noticed that my shirt collars and cuffs have shown much more rapid deterioration from abrasion at the edges. I am washing them separately from slacks now to see if the absence of heavier garments will help preserve the fabric edges in these places. When I washed in the Kenmore combo or the Duomatic or the Westinghouse front loader, I did not notice the wear, nor did I notice it in the top loader-washed loads.  It might just be the elimination of polyester in the permanent press fabric blend, but something is different, like lower water levels. What say you, Launderess?

Post# 1090696 , Reply# 12   9/25/2020 at 16:43 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Abrasion is caused by friction, quite simply the rubbing together of surfaces or friction being applied to same.

Front loaders clean by lifting and dropping washing against suds container, but also the friction that comes from items rubbing against each other as they tumble about.

In theory H-axis washers are supposed to be more gentle than top loaders with a central beater, but that has slightly changed in recent times.

Longer cycles with lower water levels means things are being subjected to more friction than in past. This can be mitigated by wash rhythms and other programming such as increased water levels, but not all cycles have such provisions.

Does your washer have a dedicated "dress shirt" cycle? If not you might try washing shirts alone either on "gentle" or "permanent press". Normal "cottons" might work if you decrease load size to give things more room to move about.

Maddening thing about many front loaders nowadays is they automatically adjust water usage even within a given cycle. My Miele will use the same five or so gallons of water on "Normal/Cottons" regardless if one washes 11 or six pounds. Thus can get high water level on a wash. The AEG washers OTOH will vary water use to suit weight of load.

Post# 1090704 , Reply# 13   9/25/2020 at 17:58 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I think everyone who used detergents like Roma and Ariel knows that they became phosphate free a year or so ago, even in California. There seems to be some old stock out and about, but nearly all the stuff I've checked on the shelves this year are phosphate free.


California was a hold-out because our climate is such that phosphate contamination of fresh waterways is not an issue here, like it might be on the wet-summer east coast. So technically it was still possible to use sell and use phosphate laundry detergents here long after it became illegal elsewhere.


I liked Ariel; it cleaned well and had a pleasant aroma. Sort of reminded me of bubble gum.


Oh well.


Post# 1090712 , Reply# 14   9/25/2020 at 19:25 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Launderess, Thank you. I have started washing shirts, by themselves, in the Creda, which I can set for a high water level on Super Wash. I use the shorter 115F wash cycle and vary the combination of detergent and STPP to produce more suds to soften the washing action.

The instruction manual for the original Bendix machines said that when washing blankets or other woolens, the suds should be at the top of the window to cushion the washing action and prevent felting and shrinkage of wool blankets. Older dryer manuals said to preheat 5 or 6 towels on high heat for 5 minutes, then place the blanket in the drum with the towels distributed in its folds. After 5 minutes of tumbling on high heat, the blanket was removed and stretched both ways before being hung over two lines to finish drying.

A drying hint from Bendix: Hang striped blankets vertically so that if the color runs, it will remain in its color area and not stain adjacent areas of a different color. This gives a hint as to the water extraction abilities of these early washers.

Post# 1090720 , Reply# 15   9/25/2020 at 20:05 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Tend to use the newer AEG Lavamat washers for woolens

launderess's profile picture
Truly is amazing what a difference a few decades of technology makes.

AEG washers have total computer control over drum rhythms so the tumble pattern give a bit more cleaning than the Miele's simple "half turn-pause-half-turn-pause"....

It was also discovered lower water levels are best for cleaning woolens along with shorter cycles. Less water in drum means less will be absorbed by fabric (wool like linen loves to soak up water), which is a good thing.

For dress shirts again tend to prefer "Easy Cares" or Permanent Press cycles. They are generally faster, use higher water levels, and don't spin washing to death.

Post# 1092143 , Reply# 16   10/5/2020 at 23:28 by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        
Thanks everybody for the input

scoots's profile picture

The decision to try Roma was based simply on cost containment. I already use pre-treatment for stain-lift and ammonia for oil-busting, so those elements I think are covering the simpler formulation of the detergent.


I quickly worked through the sample sized bag and I will be buying the full sized bag next. I've been pleased with the result. If there's a snag, I'll let you all know.  Remember, my laundry needs are pretty unsophisticated so it may not work for everybody.

Post# 1092203 , Reply# 17   10/6/2020 at 16:23 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
I bought a bag and used it once.

I think it is good to switch to different detergents frequently as they work better on different soils, but I'm not sure this removes anything a good detergent would miss.

Post# 1092206 , Reply# 18   10/6/2020 at 16:38 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

mrboilwash's profile picture
My biggest gripe with those super cheap Mexican powders would be the absence of nonionic surfactants. They`re essential to keep synthetics like polyester or blends of synthetics with cotton clean.
You might get some sort of a build up within a few weeks or maybe you`ll be fine because of the additional ammonia. Time will tell.
The good thing is that it seems to contain silicates to protect aluminum washer parts from corrosion and carboxymethyl cellulose as an anti redipositing agent.
If I had to pick one of those Mexican powders I`d go with Foca because it has protease listed, the most important enzyme found in laundry detergents.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy