Saturday, February 6, 2010

February week #2, targeted item.....Laundry Soap

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As we plug along in our quest to stock up on Long-Term preparedness items, we all would agree that we need......Laundry detergent.  I'm sure you have all had the experience of running out and needing to wash....everything!  So, it's a quick trip to the store.  How very inconvenient!

Did you know that Consumer Reports has tested and made recommendations on the Laundry Detergents that they feel performed the best?  Would you like to know what they were?  Would you like to know what Consumer Reports suggests that you look for in a Laundry Detergent?  Okay, let's get to it.

What to look for:

Reviewers report the following about shopping for laundry detergent for standard or high-efficiency washing machines. Note that there is a separate ConsumerSearch report on stain removers and pre-treatments.

Powder vs. liquid detergent? There seem to be more liquid detergents out there at the moment than powered laundry soaps, and more liquid varieties are included in testing. Some say that powdered detergents work best in hard, hot water and for removing mud and clay. Liquid detergents are better for removing grease, oily dirt and stains. Liquid detergents can also be used as a spot treatment for stains. Overall, we didn't find conclusive evidence for choosing one over the other.

Natural LaundryProducts without perfumes or dyes may be helpful to people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Consider buying detergent in bulk and transferring it to smaller containers at home, saving on plastic waste.

Experts recommend the following about using laundry detergent:

Do not use regular detergent in an HE machine. Suds may remain on clothing or in the machine, subsequently causing mildew.

Add both powder and liquid detergents to water in the washing machine before clothes are put in. Powdered detergent in particular can leave residue on clothing if it hasn't first been dissolved into water.

Cold water is fine for lightly soiled clothing. Hot water should be used for diapers, underwear and clothing worn by people who are ill.

You can pre-treat a stain before washing by applying a liquid detergent or a paste made from powder detergent onto the fabric on the opposite side of the stain.

The Top 4 Best Reviewed brands (See the link for the full article for supporting research articles at the bottom of this post)

1.  Tide 2X Ultra Concentrated with a Touch of Downy.  *Est. 31 cents per load

  • When it comes to laundry detergent for standard top-loading washing machines, Tide liquid laundry soaps are tested the most widely. They receive the best reviews overall, even though they are more expensive than many… competing mainstream brands. Tide is well-reviewed by consumers, and in more formal testing it excels for stain removal and keeping colors bright. While we've put Tide 2X Ultra Concentrated with a Touch of Downy in our Best Reviewed chart, you should note that Tide 2X Ultra Concentrated detergents as a whole are top performers in comparison testing, and any of them would be a good choice. The HE version of this detergent, a low-sudsing soap for high-efficiency washers, also gets good reviews and costs about the same.

2.  Budget liquid laundry soap  Great Value Everyday Elegance 2X Ultra.  *Est. 19 cents per load

  • Although we didn't see it included in as many tests as Tide, Wal-Mart's house brand, Great Value Everyday Elegance 2X Ultra, cleans only slightly less impressively than Tide laundry detergent in testing and it costs much… less. As with all laundry detergents, the fragrance may not be to your liking, but Everyday Elegance cleans as well or better in tests than other laundry soap. Everyday Elegance is a liquid soap formulated for standard washing machines.

3.  Eco-friendly HE laundry detergent  Country Save HE Laundry Detergent Powder.  *Est. 9 cents per HE load

  • We didn't find Country Save included in formal comparison tests, but this powdered laundry soap has a strong fan base, particularly among parents who started using it for laundering cloth diapers but now use it for all of… their laundry. This mild detergent is dye-free and fragrance-free, and it contains no phosphates (which can harm marine life). Since you only use a small amount of this powder, costs are low -- about 18 cents per load for standard washing machines or 9 cents per load for high-efficiency machines (since you use less). Country Save's packaging is made of recycled and recyclable materials.
4.  Best "green" liquid laundry detergent  Seventh Generation Free & Clear.  *Est. 26 cents per load

  • Seventh Generation laundry detergents are the most popular of the eco-friendly detergents among consumers and experts. Seventh Generation soaps use vegetable-based cleaning agents instead of petroleum-based agents. In… addition, they have no phosphates, which can be harmful to marine animals. Free & Clear contains no dyes or fragrances that can irritate those with sensitive skin. In comparison tests, Seventh Generation laundry detergent falls in the middle when it comes to cleaning, but for many, the slight loss in performance is an acceptable tradeoff for a detergent that has less environmental impact. Seventh Generation can be used in both standard and HE washing machines. Seventh Generation detergents are easier to find than Country Save's eco-friendly soaps, but Country Save is less expensive.


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