Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debating Laundry Soap

Many of you probably know that I have been using homemade laundry soap for... probably most of this year now.

While I have loved the savings (it is mega, super, duper, amazingly inexpensive to make!!), I'm having second thoughts about how well it's getting things clean. When I first started using it, I gave the clean clothes "the sniff test" to see if they smelled clean. They didn't smell like anything, so that meant it took the dirty stink out of them. I was satisfied.

Previous to making my own, I was using the cheapest laundry detergent I could find that seemed to get the job done. It wasn't the cheapest, because those left the clothes smelling like dirty, wet clothes. In our married life I've never bought high-end laundry soap because of the money factor.

Lately I've started to pay more attention to how his clothes are looking and smelling after I wash and dry them. I don't know if I'm happy with the homemade stuff. But at the same time, I don't know if the high-end stuff will do better at removing grease spots, fuel-stains, so on and so forth.
The somewhat deciding factor was Monday. I had washed a load of his jeans and hung them out - they didn't camp out in the washing machine for hours or days before I got around to that - and when I got them in that evening, I noticed that some of them still smelled like stinky, sweaty jeans. With the extreme humidity we've been having lately, he's come home pretty gross smelling some days. And that's what the jeans still smelled like.

This morning I noticed the jeans he'd just put on still looked dingy-dirty. I noticed some spots that I hadn't paid attention to before, and I wonder if store-bought, high-dollar detergent would get them out, or at least any new ones. His work shirts get the run-around. It seems like I can't keep them clean looking... without spending hours on them with a scrub brush and stain remover, which I don't plan to start doing.

So yesterday I decided to give Tide a try. It was on sale plus I had some coupons, so while I still shelled out about eight times the money for the same amount of loads if I were to use homemade, I want to see if it makes a difference. I haven't used it yet, but I'm going to start with a load of towels and washcloths today. I've noticed for some time that the washcloths seem to maintain a gray-looking patch in the middle of them... and it's not dirt or stains from bathing. I think it's body-wash residue not getting washed out all the way. In fact, I'm 100% sure of this. Unless the pink Oil of Olay has a stainer in it, I used a white washcloth yesterday that very obviously had pink tinges in the middle... and I try and rinse them out good before I hang them up to dry after a shower.

I will be eager to see if there's a difference, and I will be happy to report back whatever I find!!!


mint said... [Reply to comment]

My hubby is H&C guy....I use Cold Water Tide & Spray & Wash...does good for me.

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Let us know what you find out after using the Tide. I've been using homemande laundry soap for about 6 months and have recently noticed that our bath towels could smell fresher. We usually use our bath towels a couple times before washing so I'm not sure if thats it or if it could be the soap. I am really hoping its not the homemade soap because I love how inexpensive it is to make :)

Angie said... [Reply to comment]


I have always used Tide and nothing else. We are firm believers in our house. Also, if the kids have something on their clothing I just make a thick paste w/the Tide and scrub it with the other end of the fabric and most of the time that pulls it right out. Hope that you discover whatever you are wanting to find out.

Just a thought too. While being pregnant everything smells!!!! LOL :0) It will go away after the baby is born. Thank goodness.

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Everybody that I've ever heard about that has nice clean clothes uses Tide. I use Tide, and I'm happy with it. Now, I can't say none of my clothes have stains on them, but it sure gets a lot of stuff out. That and hanging them in the sunshine.

edensgarden said... [Reply to comment]

This is Amy (edensgarden is my "work" alias)!

Tide will kill your cloth diapers, so don't fall in love! All Free and Clear is what we have settled on after a few years with cloth diapers. I second the Spray and Wash (or Shout).

RochelleS said... [Reply to comment]

I use homemade laundry soap, but I don't think that it works as good by itself. I like to use half homemade and half store boughten (middle range brand). With my husband's work clothes, I let them soak with the homemade soap only for a day or two then wash as normal and this works good.

Good luck,

Georgi said... [Reply to comment]

I will be interested in hearing your test results. I was almost convinced to give the homemade stuff a try, but was always just a little, mmmm, concerned.

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

I've tried every brand. I like Tide, Gain, and believe it or not Great Value. They all work the same in my experience (and smell great too!) so I go with sales and coupons. But I have to use the HE stuff so I don't know if that's making a difference or not. Good luck. If it doesn't work, you could try color safe bleach on your clothes with any detergent. It's the only way I can get baby spit-up and other rough things out :)

Leighann said... [Reply to comment]

I read somewhere to use Dawn dishdetergent as a pretreat on grease spots and it works great! I use whatever I can get a good price on. Normally it is Wisk, All, or Arm and Hammer. I also think Tide is the best, but so expensive.

Maria D. said... [Reply to comment]

How weird! I just went through this saga myself a few weeks ago! After using homemade detergent for almost a year, I noticed that things were starting to smell... off. However, my husband is absolutely sold on the homemade laundry soap idea and doesn't want to give up on it entirely, so what we're doing right now is using store-bought detergent for a while and giving the clothes a break. We're using Arm and Hammer, which always seems to work well.

When we were using homemade detergent, I always added a half cup of distilled vinegar to help with buildup.