Laundry (whites)

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by New Mexican, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    My sister in law once told me that she does not add laundry detergent when she washes her whites with bleach. She said, "think about it.....why would you?"Hmmmmmmm....made sense to me but I still add detergent!

    Does anyone else do this? (or NOT do this??)
     
  2. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    I still add detergent.
     

  3. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    I use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach and always add detergent. Depending on how dirty the whites are I sometimes let them soak for half and hour or so.
     
  4. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    I use borax instead of detergent & don't need fabric softener. It must be the detergent that stays in the clothes & makes them stiff.
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Bleach won't take out dirt, it just changes the color. I don't use detergent, I use soap and sunshine. Rarely bleach.
     
  6. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    Ooooooooo...please tell me more!
     
  7. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    What kind of soap? I've been told that bleach has to have chlorine in it in order to "do the job"......that the generic "bleaches" are not the same as Clorox!!
     
  8. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    What is borax and what does it do??
     
  9. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Scientifically speaking :haha: borax makes the detergent work better.

    A lot probably depends on your water quality.

    No matter what I use, if the water softener is on the fritz our clothes come out gray/yellow/rust stained.

    I just use detergent and sometiems borax. It comes in cardboard box like detergent used to. And would be in the same area as detergent, fabric softener and so on. I used to always get 20-Mule Team borax but have not used it as much now that the kids are a little older and don't seem to wreck their clothes so much.

    Or maybe I've just given up :D:

    Ann
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I use homemade soap. Laundry bleach is chlorine, same as chlorox.

    If you bleach with H2O2 make sure it is thouroughly rinsed out or it will yellow the clothes when the sun hits them
     
  11. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    Bleach is bad for fabrics and for the environment. I "painted" a black t-shirt with bleach once to get a thin-lined design of no color on the shirt... the bleach dissolved the paintbrush bristles and, in places, the t-shirt. In Germany, where I'm from, bleach is used only in an industrial environment - nobody uses it in the laundry (the washing machines do the job there). Plus, I did buy a small jug of bleach for stubborn stains a while back and set it on my (pine) laundryroom shelf. It leaked a tiny bit and there's a neat, 1/8-inch deep ring eaten into the wood now where the jar sat. Why would you want to do that to your clothes? Hm.

    Also, Cyngbaeld is right, bleach won't remove dirt or stains, it just takes out the color. If you have a kitchen faucet with stained lime and grime on it and use bleach for cleaning, you'll end up with a kitchen faucet with white lime and grime on it (I let my ex-husband prove that to me when he insisted that bleach works great for cleaning). So, whatever makes your clothes dirty won't be removed by bleach, you just won't be able to see the dirt after washing. If you wash for looks, bleach will work for you... if you wash to get clothes clean, it won't.
     
  12. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    Me thinks you are supposed to dilute bleach. Chlorine will eat away a lot of stuff.
     
  13. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally Posted by Fla Gal
    I use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach and always add detergent.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the mid 80's I worked as a cleaning lady at an apartment complex then became a maintenance person which included becoming a certified swimming pool operator. To make a long story short, bleach trashed my lungs and I can't tolerate bleach now.

    I learned to use hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent. If it can bleach your hair it can bleach your clothes. I prespot stains with soap, use hot water and depending on how soiled the whites are I let them soak until the water becomes warm. My whites, unless I've worn a pair of socks into the yard, redneck me, :p stay white.

    When I can afford it I get the 35% food grade peroxide from the health food store. If not, I buy quart bottles of it from the grocery store and use half a bottle in one apartment sized load of whites. If you get the 35% stuff it doesn't take as long to bleach your clothes if you make it stronger than 3%.

    WARNING!!! Keep in mind, 35% hydrogen peroxide is very strong and can burn your skin off. If ingested it can kill you. Then again, bleach won't take your skin off but if ingested in sufficient amounts will kill you too.

    Fla Gal

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for textile fibres bleaching

    The bleaching of textile fibres with hydrogen peroxide is certainly the today most used process. The essential reasons of its development are as follows:
    http://www.atofina.com/groupe/gb/solutions/marches/d_textile.htm

    ps: the detergent I use is Seventh Generation Free and Clear. When I'm out of that I use 20 Mule Team Borax. I ought to stop wasting my money on the Seventh Generation and just use Borax. I saw no noticable difference between using the two.
     
  14. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    I have also heard baking soda does really well.
     
  15. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Vera you are so right about european washing machines! I could not believe the steps americans take to get their clothes clean until I got an american washing machine.
    To answer the original question, I do not use chlorine bleach in the wash, ever. I do occassionally use oxygen bleach (oxyclean, napisan etc) but I use it with homemade laundry soap (soap, borax, washing soda).
     
  16. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I only use bleach to clean my stainless sinks, and never in laundry. I do use the cheapest liquid laundry soap along with a small amount of liquid dish soap in the wash. For whites, usually socks, I do a presoak of hydrogen peroxide 1 part to 6 parts water.
     
  17. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    Not true (about the environment). Chlorine breaks down into inert salts.
     
  18. Karen

    Karen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd like to hear more about the european washing machines and how they are differant from ours.
     
  19. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to hear more about those European washing machines also -- probably those great German engineers again right? And more importantly - where can you purchase one in the U.S?

    I have had people ask me how I get my whites so white ... after watching other people mix whites with other light colors, and use too much detergent...I figure that most be it - I never put anything with any color in with the whites -- most of which are cotton -- they are "suppose" pick up color and whatever color fades from the colors is picked up by the whites right? And I think that "gray" in whites is from too much detergent which doesn't get rinsed out. Please forgive me but I use clorine bleach -- but just every other time -- for it does damage the material and especially elastic over time. I figure it's a trade off for great whites.

    And I read something somewhere that says Gayle is right about the environmental thingy. I know that I put a cup full once a week in the fiberglass duck pond to keep out the algae and disinfect it...I do that in the evening after the ducks are in for the night. The vet suggested this and I trust the vet. And no I have never found a dead duck in the pond or anywhere else come to think of it.

    Marlene
     
  20. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    I concede on the bleach/environment issue :) As for European washing machines, they're front loaders and that makes the difference, I think. For one, you can't overfill the machine with clothes, so what you put in there has room to move. Because the tub is horizontal, the clothes rub against each other on the upswing and when they "fall" down again, with room to twist and turn and turn over again, which makes for much better cleaning than the wishy-washy "agitation" of top loaders. Next, all whites are washed on the hot setting over there, and when they say hot, they mean hot. Before washing machines became common in the 60s, whites were boiled - tub with boiling water etc. - and I guess housewives weren't about to give up on that standard when machines came around. If you can stick your hand in the water and not scream, it ain't hot.
    Wash quality still depends on some of the factors mentioned above, like water quality and detergent quality and rinse quality, but I'd think that one of the American frontloaders would still be a major improvement over any of the common toploaders. Was it Kenmore that makes a frontloader now? These days, there are several on the market which are priced sensibly.

    Marlene, I can't remember most of the German brand names for appliances, but one of them is "Miele". If you google for that, you should find washing machines :)