Post # 1
Socks are coming out gray on the bottoms. Workout clothes are coming out not so fresh. We live in an apartment and use the laundry room HE front loaders. We use the correct amount of detergent plus add water softener stuff (generic Calgon) and use vinegar as softener. I’ve been battling this for some time now and thought it was mostly the ridiculously hard water. Guess not. We’re going to play around with other detergents; currently we’re using Costco Free and Clear. Sigh.
So Bees, what do y’all think is the best detergent? Anyone else successfully get workout clothes completely clean with a detergent for sensitive skin?
Post # 3
Pick up a box of Borax. It’s in the laundry section. Add 1/4th cup to your laundry (along with whatever else you put in there). I also have an HE frontloader and it’s been making a world of difference. You can even soak your socks in a solution of it and water for a couple hours before washing.
ETA: You apply the borax to the clothes directly, not in a dispenser cup.
Post # 4
The machine is probably dirty. In the apartment, I used to spend a fair bit of time and paper towel and cleaning out the machine before I did any laundry. They were top loaders though, so easier to clean.
When we moved, our washing machine was FILTHY around the seal. I have no clue how they could have done laundry in it.
I use Tide Free & Gentle (regular & coldwater), and haven’t had a problem with workout clothes smelling.
Post # 5
I love this stuff!! http://rockingreensoap.com/
It’s really gentle on your skin & Eco friendly too. It’s not cheap but you really don’t need much so it works out in the long run. There’s also something my Mom uses for whites that’s pretty great. I can’t remember what it’s called but it comes in a smaller white container & it’s a powder that you just add to your white wash. Its not bleach though so it doesn’t yellow. If I can remember the name, I’ll repost. She gets it at safeway. Maybe something like bright whites but I can’t remember…
Post # 6
I know what the problem is!
HE washers/dryers get dirty super-quick because they use such little water. They also get a lot of residue build-up from detergent. I would go to the apartment manager and ask how often it gets cleaned. They need to run it through the wash cycle with vinegar, and then with bleach. they also need to wipe it down inside with bleach. There is also a hair trap and a water drain that needs to be emptied.
Cleaning them isn’t hard, but you HAVE to do it frequently or else nothing comes out clean and your stuff will smell funky.
Post # 7
@Hyperventilate: I was going to suggest adding borax too!
We make our own laundry detergent, and I always add extra borax to the whites. It made a huge difference in how clean the whites looked.
Post # 8
@Hyperventilate: Oh, perhaps that’s where I’m messing up. I add the water softener with the liquid detergent. I’m paranoid that adding it directly to the clothes means that it won’t get completely dissolved. We have a huge box of Borax leftover from one of his chemistry experiments, and whenever the softener runs out, which is thankfully soon, I’ll add that in.
@AB Bride: I thought that as well (dirty machine), but it turns out the apartment staff clean them out. However, it’s probably not often enough for all the use. I should probably check out machines next time.
@Amayansong: Ha! That’s a great website, and their stuff sounds great. Thanks!
Post # 9
I’m guessing it is a dirty machine.
As the other Bees have said HE Machines (BOTH front & top loaders) are great, but in exchange for the fact that they use less water they need more TLC from their owners.
We have a Maytag Top Loader, have had it just under a year now, and the Instructions very clearly said that the machine should be cleaned thoroughly (including an “Affresh” run thru, full wipe down etc) once a month OR every 30 Loads whatever came first.
I can assure you that if it is a HE Machine in an Apartment Building setting, it doesn’t take long for it to see 30 loads go thru.
Unless that is happening you aren’t going to see clean clothes… just too much soap residue and gunk build up in the inner workings of the machine
As for Laundry Detergent, I am a TIDE Girl thru & thru. Swear by Tide Regular, Tide Vivid with Bleach (for Whites, and safe for Colours), and Tide Sport for “smelly stuff”.
I also use a Whitener / Brightener / Bleach when needed on my Whites… over the years I’ve tried them all… Javex, Chlorox, Oxyclean etc. BY FAR the best product I’ve found for WHITES (and ONLY Whites) is DiDi 7. This is an amazing thing that gets even the worst stains out !!
A little goes a long way, and as I say, you ONLY use it on Whites.
Hope this helps,
Post # 10
@This Time Round: I’ve heard you mention DiDi before. I haven’t seen it (but I avoid the detergent aisle due to allergies). Where do you get it and do you know if it’s dye & scent free?
Post # 11
Aside from dirty machine issues, are you using a HE detergent? I’m not sure if the one you mentioned is HE. My parents switched to a HE machine a few years back and had to switch detergent brands for that reason.
Post # 12
@This Time Round: Oh geez, THAT often?? Yeah, they’re definitely not being cleaned nearly often enough. That makes me want to go to a laundromat that uses old school machines. Yuck 🙁 I think we’ll have to bite the bullet and start using Tide. It’s worth the extra few dollars per bottle to have clean clothes.
@kgirl91: Yes, the Costco detergent is supposed to be good for HE machines as well as non-HE. It works for the medium-level dirt like a work shirt, but it doesn’t seem to be cutting it for the really dirty stuff (gym stuff, socks).
Post # 13
TO @AB Bride: DiDi 7 is now a solely owned distributed Canadian Product, and once upon a time it was a product that was what would be called a “sold on Tv” product or found in select stores who chose to carry it (some Grocery Stores, some Hardware Stores, etc). It is now pretty much only available on-line, which is how I buy it (for Canadians it is shipped overnight out of Toronto)
It is not odor / scent free. It has a distinct chemical smell. BUT it works. And has also saved plenty of White items I thought were otherwise destined for the trashcan. It has very effectively been used on… Grass Stains, Blood, Mustard, Red Wine, Mud, Rust, etc.
When I have dingy or a stained bunch of Whites, I squeeze in a bit (or pre-treat an individual stain by putting some on and letting it sit)… then wash as regular load with my Detergent. If one is “sensitive” to the smell, a second run thru with detergent alone will get rid of any left over scent in my experience.
Hope this helps,
Post # 14
@HisMoon: Perhaps dirty machine or kack of water pressure maybe. Is the laundry room on the ground floor or above?
Post # 15
@This Time Round: Thanks! As long as it isn’t specifically scent it should be fine without the second run through.
I get fed up with products that are designed to leave stuff on your laundry. White shirts don’t actually glow under a black light, it’s the dye in many laundry detergents that does.