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Is it better to use powder or liquid laundry detergent?

I've been using the liquid for years, but am I missing out by not using the powder?

by Anonymousreply 6510/06/2012

Liquid is better.

by Anonymousreply 104/29/2012

More water is added to liquid vs. powder from what ive heard. I use powder and i think its more economical to use powder than liquid. But if you are happy with your laundry as far as the look, feel and smell of it when washed and you are not spending an arm and a leg on liquid it probably doesnt matter.

by Anonymousreply 204/29/2012

I always buy liquid because I wash in cold water and I think that powder won't dissolve completely and leave residue on my clothes.

I also know this is foolish cause companies know that people use cold water so the product is probably formulated to work in all temps.

I also pick liquids cause the container is easier to store under my sink and transport to the laundromat.

by Anonymousreply 304/29/2012

Powders can itch and they are very destructive to the environment.

I use Ecos (see link). It's earth friendly and it cleans well, although I still use Shout for things that might stain. One 15 dollar bottle from Costco cleans close to 200 loads and I'm talking one of the larger machines stuffed with clothes. I haven't found anything more economical than that.

by Anonymousreply 404/29/2012

I don't understand the question...

by Anonymousreply 504/29/2012

I use liquid because when I used powder there was always some residue in the clothes no matter how well they were rinsed or how little I used. Now I use liquid and I pour it in while the tub is filling, then put the clothes in after it's dispersed.

by Anonymousreply 604/29/2012

It depends. Do you plan on using it for drug money?

by Anonymousreply 704/29/2012

I find powder cleans my laundry much better than liquid. Not sure why. Tide Free is hypoallergenic.

by Anonymousreply 804/29/2012

Powder sucks.

by Anonymousreply 904/29/2012

I use powder because I hate plastic containers. I use bar soap instead of body wash for the same reason. I'm just trying to cut back on the plastic waste.

by Anonymousreply 1004/29/2012

I use both. Most of them in powder because its cheaper, my good clothes in liquid. The prices of liquid are ridiculous now. My grandmother would turn over in her grave if she that knew detergent can cost up to 20 bucks a jug.

by Anonymousreply 1104/29/2012

Just don't use cancer causing Tide.

by Anonymousreply 1204/29/2012

Whatever you use, don't use the powders that are little "balls", either in laundry detergent or dishwashing detergent. This is an excuse to mostly fill the box up with air. The little spaces between the packaged "balls" is space that would normally be powder.

by Anonymousreply 1304/29/2012

Cheap powder detergents are sometimes more than half "filler" agent... might not disolve, might contain harsh chemicals, etc.

I use high efficiency front-loaders, so I just use the "He" liquids... the most environmentally friendly versions.

Works fine.

by Anonymousreply 1404/29/2012

I use liquid. A lesbian gal down the hall showed me how it eliminates the possibility of residue on my clothes. I've used liquid ever since.

by Anonymousreply 1504/29/2012

It might be a matter of picking the form of residue that's acceptable to you, especially if you use a front-loader.

One report I read (in the laundry forum at Gardenweb, where people are really serious about their laundry!) was from a user trying to deal with rancid, mildewy towels. She said she found a couple hundred sites where people were discussing the problem and, in every case where someone had found a solution, the solution was to stop using liquid detergent.

That view seems to be reinforced on Tide's own site, where many reviews of Tide HE powder are from users begging P&G to make the powder more widely available because "the liquid made my towels all stinky and moldy."

So, it seems we can choose a residue of either white, powdery sodium carbonate or rancid, moldy who-knows-what.

Because of the mold issue, I tend to lean more toward powder. Persil Sensitive seems to be the best rinsing (at least in my moderately hard water), without the overpowering scent of other Persil formulas. Tide, in all its forms and scents, seems hardest to rinse properly.

And those pods! Yuck!

by Anonymousreply 1604/29/2012

Liquid is fine if you don't mind paying for water. If you're worried about powder not dissolving, you could create your own liquid detergent by measuring the powder into a jar, adding water and shaking until it dissolves.

by Anonymousreply 1704/29/2012

R16, thank you for the info about the laundry forum at gardenweb. I may have found a new favorite place to hang out. I've never before encountered people who think about laundry the way I do.

by Anonymousreply 1804/29/2012

Hmmmmm i never had a problem with powder dissolving but i let the washer fill up about a quarter first and then add laundry.

by Anonymousreply 1904/29/2012

I have no idea why you think a liquid detergent leads to rancid moldy towels. That's ridiculous.

It makes zero sense at all.

Of course, with front-loading HE washers, you need to leave the door open between washings so it can dry out. People who keep it all closed up are bound to grow mold, but that has fuck-all to do with "powder vs. liquid".

by Anonymousreply 2004/29/2012

r20, you seem tense.

by Anonymousreply 2104/29/2012

It doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

Do whatever.

by Anonymousreply 2204/29/2012

I use Nellie's all natural laundry soda. It only takes a tablespoon, rinses clean and leaves my clothes so soft I haven't used fabric softener in years. Not only that, it removes stains.

by Anonymousreply 2304/29/2012

powder dissolves much better into water then the liquid. the liquid is like trying to combine oil and water

by Anonymousreply 2404/29/2012

Is there any legitimate reason to use Woolite anymore? Who is this marketed to these days; your old auntie rinsing out her threadbare silk panties in the sink?

by Anonymousreply 2504/29/2012

I like biokleen's all temperature powder detergent. No residue and eco-friendly. Vinegar and biokleen keep my clothes tidy. I add biokleen's oxygen bleach to whites.

by Anonymousreply 2604/29/2012

The liquid has ingredients to make it "syrupy"... it is these organic thickeners that may help feed the mold [r20]. The powder detergent is actually a small amount of chemical detergent sprayed on washing soda and some fillers to make the powder.

When detergents were first introduced after WWII, they were sold in a little bottle with an eyedropper and you only added 10 drops. Of course they were a failure. They were then reintroduced with a lot of fillers and same detergent sprayed on the filler as powders and were of course a huge success.

Just like cake mixes were a huge failure at first when they first came out as they were "just add water". Once the frau was required to add eggs also, the insecure frau was restored to being a "real" cake baker and cake mixes became a success. Once they changed the formulation in the 80's to have the frau add eggs AND the oil/butter in addition to the water, they were a real success!! Always feed the frau's ego before you feed her a slab of cake. If you can manage to pass the two most expensive ingrediants back to the consumer, all the better for profit margins.

by Anonymousreply 2704/29/2012

This thread illustrates why I love Datalounge. And r27's post is the cherry on top.

by Anonymousreply 2804/29/2012

"but that has fuck-all to do with 'powder vs. liquid'"

Well, you wouldn't think so, R20, but people who've actually dealt with the problem disagree.

Here's a quote from the first review that popped up on, a few minutes ago, under reviews for Tide HE powder:

"I bought my 1st HE machine about 10 yrs. ago & replaced it about 3 yrs. ago. I always used liquid Tide HE in it but my towels, especially, had a funny odor to them. I cleaned my washer each month as instructed by my serviceman but the smell was always there. I would eventually get rid of them & buy new. Then about a year ago I read that it could be caused by the liquid detergent & to try the Tide HE powder. After the 1st load the towels I was about to get rid of smelled fresh again!!! I never went back!! I LOVE TIDE HE DETERGENT!!!! But like some others I am having a hard time finding it."

There are lots more reviews with similar comments.

by Anonymousreply 2904/29/2012

R17 Just try your own little tip and then see what happens when all the space in the jar is taken up by suds and bubbles before even a fraction of the powder has dissolved.

Powder struggles to dissolve in the very hard water we have locally, so liquid and gel it is.

by Anonymousreply 3004/29/2012

I have a water-saving washing machine (Fisher & Paykel) that determines the water level based on the weight of the load. Sometimes there is not really enough water to dissolve all the powder, even if I wait till the tub is filled. Liquid detergent works much better for me.

R25, I use Woolite for handwashing my Hermes scarves and shawls.

by Anonymousreply 3104/29/2012

I wasn't suggesting using a pill bottle, R30.

by Anonymousreply 3204/29/2012

I bet half these people who don't want to pay for the water in liquid detergent think nothing of paying for a glass of tea at a restaurant.

by Anonymousreply 3304/29/2012

[quote]powder dissolves much better into water then the liquid. the liquid is like trying to combine oil and water

More idiocy.

by Anonymousreply 3404/29/2012

the absolute BEST wash for delicates/high performance fibers, and any handwashing is Forever New. A little goes a long way. Love the stuff.

It is also excellent for travel be it to Paris or Timbuktu.

by Anonymousreply 3504/29/2012

I love liquid eyeliner

by Anonymousreply 3604/29/2012

Charlie's Soap

Good detergent

by Anonymousreply 3704/29/2012

I knew a girl who switched back to powder detergent. But then she died.

by Anonymousreply 3804/29/2012

Don't overstuff your washer. That can prevent the powder from dissolving.

by Anonymousreply 3904/29/2012

I use The Laundress products. I really like the smell and my clothes have been much cleaner, no residues and they're also easy to carry to the laundromat.

by Anonymousreply 4004/29/2012

Golly, this is just like the Algonquin round table.

by Anonymousreply 4104/29/2012

Make your own detergent.

Save money, stick it to The Man.

Here's how.

by Anonymousreply 4204/29/2012

People who use liquid laundry detergent are the same pinheads who use liquid "body wash " instead of bar soap and they buy their orange juice pre-mixed instead of from concentrate.

There is a persistent idiocy manifest in all these purchases, viz., these people are mindless boobs.

by Anonymousreply 4304/30/2012

I always had a detergent residue on clothes when I used powder. Only liquid for me.

by Anonymousreply 4404/30/2012

Then you used too much powdered detergent … duh!

by Anonymousreply 4504/30/2012

[quote]I've been using the liquid for years, but am I missing out by not using the powder?

Indeed, you are missing out, OP. Like a dinner with Claire but without the bread pudding, like a Lesbian without a cane, verily like a cup of fresh Santorum without the frothy mix -- you are missing out on Life's je ne sais quoi.

by Anonymousreply 4604/30/2012

Slow news day.

by Anonymousreply 4704/30/2012

Hey OP, just beat off on your fucking laundry and stop the stupid threads. Who gives a shit?

by Anonymousreply 4804/30/2012

Powder is always better. You can't get the chemistry into a liquid form like you can in powder form. Take a look at the original components put into the liquid form and you'll see that most of them are actually powder to start.

Also, even though industrial laundries use liquids they use things at concentrations that are highly dangerous to home users and they use 3-5+ products to do a load rather than the standard 2 or less at home.

For those reasons powder is better for home use. You do have to think about how much laundry you cram into your washing machine though as if the machine can't rinse properly you will get residue.

In front loaders you need the laundry to be only 2/3rds full so the mechanical action of the laundry falling down from the top of the drum helps "slap" the laundry clean.

by Anonymousreply 4910/06/2012

Powders are more effective at cleaning due to the higher pH found in powdered detergents. The carbonates raise the pH level of your wash allowing the cleaning agents/enzymes to react better; providing a cleaner wash. You can do this easily with baking soda, but most powders use sodium carbonate or washing soda which is a natural product made from minerals.

by Anonymousreply 5010/06/2012

Why is Tide so damn expensive? I use Arm & Hammer which is almost half the cost of Tide and it works just as well.

by Anonymousreply 5110/06/2012

I do my laundy on the river's shore, hitting it with a stick.

by Anonymousreply 5210/06/2012

R51 Tide is a cash cow product for Proctor & Gamble. It costs pennies to produce and I bet the packaging now costs more than the contents. They have to keep cost high to maintain market leadership and allow the profits from Tide to foster new products in their portfolio. However, Tide market share is declining. In part due to lower cost me-too products like Arm & Hammer's line. They are made with the same ingredients. Often toll packaged at the exact same plants.

by Anonymousreply 5310/06/2012

It's up to you to be your superhero.

by Anonymousreply 5410/06/2012

I miss Fresh Start laundry detergent from the 80s. Remember? It was a super concentrated light blue powder that came in a thin light-weight clear jug and you only added a cap or two to your wash.

by Anonymousreply 5510/06/2012

Most people use too much laundry detergent and don't know how to properly sort loads.

It's not rocket science, a lot of it is just common sense.

And the people bitching about mold are idiots. If you have a front-loading washing machine, all it takes to keep it clean is to leave it open a crack when it's not in use -- and not leaving wet clothes in it for days at a time.

by Anonymousreply 5610/06/2012

R53 thanks for the explanation. I used to use Tide, but Arm & Hammer is the same; I've never noticed a difference. My mother refuses to use anything but Tide, and I've told her she's just spending more money than she needs to but she's from the old school where things that cost more are "better."

by Anonymousreply 5710/06/2012

I prefer powder and I make my own once a year.

ZOTE laundry bar (shredded) + 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Powder + 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax.

Sometimes I use Fels Naptha laundry bar instead of ZOTE.

Works great, fun and cheap to make.

Store in an old detergent container.

Like liquid detergent? So add water to it when you finish mixing the three ingredients.


by Anonymousreply 5810/06/2012

Who are all you people doing your own laundry?

You drop off your bag of dirty laundry at the laundromat and then you pick it up the next day and it's clean and folded for you.

by Anonymousreply 5910/06/2012

r43 I agree that body wash is a big ripoff. You're paying for 50% water and paying more. Bar soap lasts longer, is more concentrated and cheaper. I only use bar soap and I always smell fresh as a daisy.

by Anonymousreply 6010/06/2012

I've started using the Tide Pods and I really like them. Just throw one in as the water fills and when it starts to dissolve, add your clothes. Right now it's about the same cost per load as Tide liquid, but if it takes off, you can be sure the price will skyrocket.

by Anonymousreply 6110/06/2012

Another vote for making your own. For pennies.

by Anonymousreply 6210/06/2012

[quote]I think that powder won't dissolve completely and leave residue on my clothes.

First of all dried semen isn't residue. Try using a sock.

Second just dissolve the powder in hot water then put it in the cold water. Must be that autism you got from the vaccinations to see how you're too stupid to figure that out.

Third always was in HOT water to kill bed bugs. They are coming to your area soon.

by Anonymousreply 6310/06/2012

Powder. You get more soap less water. And you get more laundry loads for the money. Try using your hand to dissolve the soap and swish it around as washer is filling up if residue an issue.

by Anonymousreply 6410/06/2012

Seriously, homemade detergent is a very easy money saver.

Is there any plausible reason to explain why a big box or jug of Tide® costs about $20 these days? It's ridiculous. Gee, could it be all that advertising and gimmickry, e.g., "Swirls."

Most people use way too much detergent when on any given wash day their laundry is not very dirty.

Yes, you still have to spot your laundry for tough stains with Tide or other brands and you still will with your home made, but for everyday normal washing, homemade is great. Hate scents? Use an unscented bar soap.


You use a LOT LESS homemade detergent than store bought. The idea is NOT to see suds, but to test the wash water with your fingertips -- if it feels "slick" you have used enough of your homemade, usually about a tablespoon or two will do the trick, less for smaller loads.

by Anonymousreply 6510/06/2012
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