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whiteliondreams's avatar

Can you explain if laundry detergents each are different?

Asked by whiteliondreams (1717points) August 28th, 2012


I use Tide and am wondering, does each detergent have a function that another doesn’t?

For instance, is Tide used for heavily soiled clothing, while ALL is used for something such as removing a particular stain, and Purex might be for something along the lines of dress clothing?

If so, can you please help me out? Otherwise, tell me a detergent you use that you would recommend and why?

I have a question that has to be posted separately concerning this. Thank you all!

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10 Answers

augustlan's avatar

There are specialty detergents, such as Woolite for delicates and Dreft for baby clothing, but pretty much all of the others are suitable for general purposes. Each may have slightly different ingredients, so if you have sensitive skin you might have to experiment with several to find one that works for you. Same goes for fragrances.

I have extremely sensitive skin, even detergents designed for sensitive skin give me hives. I tried a bunch, and ended up having to use a detergent that isn’t all that great when it comes to cleaning, but doesn’t bother my skin. I use Arm & Hammer.

abundantlife's avatar

The detergents are different for different types of clothes. The same detergent cannot be used for cleaning sweaters as we use to clean the shirts and pants. You need to be careful before using the detergent.

Seek's avatar

I always look at the ingredients. The ones that only have “nonionic and anionic surfectants” are basically just cleansers. The ones with enzymes help remove proteins (you need this for cloth diapers and really sweaty clothes).

Further than that, I have no bloody idea.

jca's avatar

I heard from a friend whose son worked for a detergent manufacturer that the better detergents (Whisk for example) have more enzymes and therefore clean clothes better, by being more efficient with getting out stains and dirt. Cheaper detergents clean less efficiently because they have less of the ingredients needed to do their job. That said, I usually buy what’s on sale in the local supermarket, which may be Arm and Hammer or All or whatever. I pre-treat stains with sprain treating spray.

dabbler's avatar

@jca Pre-treating is a great idea, the longer you can let your soap/detergent/magicGoo act on a soiled bit ahead of time the more likely it will come out in the wash.
If you can pre-treat a spill right away you can sometimes save an article of clothing that might otherwise be destined for the Salvation Army or ‘painting clothes’ piles.

JLeslie's avatar

Some have more detergents in them I think. We used to sometimes tell people not to use Tide on darks, because it washes too well. That it was great for whites and stains. I am no expert, but that was kind of the spiel, and I worked in retail selling clothes. Oh, and dark towels, the people who worked in domestics used to advise it too.

jca's avatar

When I wash dark jeans, I put them inside out before laundering. Same with shirts that have decorations on them, like studs, beads or glitter. Items that may be delicate, like my daughter’s dresses that have tulle on them, I put in a mesh laundry bag so they don’t get beaten up in the wash.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Thanks everyone. What detergents do you use though?

gailcalled's avatar

I don’t pay much attention but do use a powder in both washing machine and dish washer because I believe that the grit, when wet, acts as an abrasive and helps rub off the dirt.

Arm and Hammer works for me.

jca's avatar

@whiteliondreams: I use liquid, whatever’s on sale, often Arm and Hammer, but could be All, or any other “middle of the road” detergent. I sometimes supplement with Oxy Clean powder.

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