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I have been buying the cheap detergent- I have made my own in the past and felt like it didn't get our clothes very clean. We are both chefs and our clothes get lots of food stains, grease, etc. I like my laundry to smell like something (lavender, etc) but the scented detergents make my skin itch.

Is there a cheapo detergent out there that does a good job? Thanks in advance!
 

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I have used Xtra for years and have always liked it. It's on the cheaper side, but does seem to still do a great job. I've tried the "uber" generic from Aldi's and felt that it didn't really do a good job. So I found something middle of the road, price wise that works well.

I've found that with dish soap, more than anything else. I buy generic and it doesn't work nearly as well as the regular!
 
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I make my own detergent now, and I have used everything from tide to the cheapy Aldi's versions. I actually like the Aldi's version of Tide...But I would buy anything that was cheap. I do a ton of laundry with two boys....and I found that most cleaned the clothes pretty well...As for chef, food stained clothes, I have no experience with that...the only thing I would recommend is maybe washing in hot water along with whatever detergent you use, to help get some of the grease out! Good luck on your quest for new detergents!
 

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I would try bleach and Oxyclean and soaking them. I don't think you are supposed to use bleach on jackets but if needed you kind of have to.
 

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I spot clean food stains with fels naptha and an old tooth brush, then launder as usual.
This is what I do, (and my grandma did) and it works well, even on greasy stains. It doesn't take any longer than spraying something on.
 

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Try adding a degreaser product to your wash. Wal-mart has it in the automotive section. Castrol makes a good product in a purple container.
 

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I used to use Tide all the time, my mom used it! LOL Now I use Arm & Hammer and I love it. It's soo much less expensive than Tide. Sometimes if I have a really dirty load, I'll add Borax to that load to give it a boost. I've used Oxiclean in the laundry as a booster as well.
 

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You could also try adding a squirt of Dawn dish washing soap to your washer along with your regular detergent. Or mix Dawn and water in a spray bottle to make a pretreater for greasy food stains. I have done both and Dawn does a great job at removing greasy food stains.
As far as detergents go I find using even a quarter of the recommended amount of Tide is better than the full amount of a cheepo detergent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all! I forgot about Fels Naptha. I am going to try it on some of DD's laundry because she has some adorable stuff I wanted to consign.
 

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I've had mixed results with detergents, but just can't fit some of the most expensive ones in my budget. I used Xtra (liquid) with decent results and Fab (powder) with great results. I make HM detertgent now, and it works as well as the Fab did, if not better. I spot clean really tough stains with Awesome or Mean Green, or dish detergent for something greasy. Works well for us.
 

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I used to use Tide all the time, my mom used it! LOL Now I use Arm & Hammer and I love it. It's soo much less expensive than Tide. Sometimes if I have a really dirty load, I'll add Borax to that load to give it a boost. I've used Oxiclean in the laundry as a booster as well.
I love A & H too.

You could also try adding a squirt of Dawn dish washing soap to your washer along with your regular detergent. Or mix Dawn and water in a spray bottle to make a pretreater for greasy food stains. I have done both and Dawn does a great job at removing greasy food stains.
As far as detergents go I find using even a quarter of the recommended amount of Tide is better than the full amount of a cheepo detergent.
:agree:

For stubborn stains--especially grease stains--I use Dawn as a pretreater. :yes:
 

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When dealing with whites, I think the powdered detergents work alot harder to whiten than liquids. I'll also add baking soda to strengthen liquids. There's also powdered bleaches that work really good too. Are you doing a hot water pre-soak? That can help alot too, especially along with a pretreatment for stains.

Theresa :)
 

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This is what I do, (and my grandma did) and it works well, even on greasy stains. It doesn't take any longer than spraying something on.
When DD ws in preschool, she would get red Maui dirt in everything and it wouldn't come out of her socks. So I used fels naptha soap and scrubbed it with a floor scrubbing brush - worked like a charm!! I was glad to see it still existed to make my own laundry detergent.

I would ask nurses what they used to keep their uniforms clean.
 

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LOL Now I use Arm & Hammer and I love it. It's soo much less expensive than Tide.
~My favorite detergent too. I only use 1 or 2 Tablespoons per load and it still takes out food stains without pre-treating. The unscented is amazing. The baking soda in it leaves a mysteriously fresh smell on the clothes without a cloying perfume-y scent.
It was just on sale here for $3 for a concentrated 32 load jug(that's about 90 loads for me).~
 

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I worked food service most of the way through college: ran a dish room, did pot washing, iced line, grill line helper, etc., but never cooked.

Anyway, what I always used on the stuff that I couldn't get clean otherwise was the degreaser that we cleaned the dish machine with! But I wore boy's jeans and chambray shirts every day when I ran the dish room for a reason, the blue helped hide the stains AND since I was tiny and I'm short, the boys' clothes helped keep the expense of 3 pairs of jeans and 8 shirts every semester to a minimum.

We use Sun & Earth, buy it in bulk from the company online. It's got a lemon/citrus scent and since DH and I are both scent sensitive and it doesn't bug us, that's a hit. YOu can buy their laundry soap concentrated, and that's what we do now. We used to buy the 5 gallon container. Now we just get concentrate and add water.

If I was working foodservice again, I"m not sure I'd dilute the soap!

Also, lately, I've been presoaking things with Biz and that has taken a lot of the previously "permanent" stains out of our clothes. We got a bucket w/ a hole and plug in the bottom last year that DH uses to wash his bike duds as they can't go through the washer, and I use that.

IHTH!

Judi
 

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i think there is a difference. i was a cheer only user for yrs. it is quite pricey. switched to tide. usually is cheaper. but, we need free and clear. have used ALL. like it..just like, i think cheer and ride are the best. for towels and sheets...i use arm&hammer or all. great for that. i use downy free for most also. but, i do add vinegar to each load and washing soda to boost.

i served for a long long long time....at that time, for greast and smelly stuff...i used oxiclean, bleach if white, cheer and downy.

try soda water on bad stains and good ol dawn dish detergent works wonders
 

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The biggest difference that I find is the amount of water that is added to the detergent.
The cheaper ones are much runnier and seem so much thinner.

Right now I'm still using detergent that I bought a year ago at the discount grocery store. It was the BJ's warehouse brand in the humungous containers. I bought like 7 or 8 of them and I probably have enough detergent to last *at least* another year to year and a half.

I have begun to add the ingredients to make my own into my 'stockpile' though.
I tried the powdered recipe but it didn't dissolve in cold water like I felt it should.
So it's either wash everything in warm/hot or I'm gonna have to break down and just make up the liquid.

As for it not working for you, could you double up one or two of the ingredients to make it more 'concentrated'?
Or I might even think about adding in some good quality dishwashing liquid, not alot, but some to help break down the grease and whatnot on you and your husbands uniforms?
You might even just be able to add about a tsp. into the washer along with the homemade detergent to a really large load to see if that might work, instead of trying to 'tweak' the homemade recipe completely??

Just a couple other options to try.
 

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I tried the powdered recipe but it didn't dissolve in cold water like I felt it should.
So it's either wash everything in warm/hot or I'm gonna have to break down and just make up the liquid.
You might keep a jar handy by the washing machine and just swish your homemade detergent with a little warm water to get it dissolved before running your loads in cold water. Our water here is very hard and I always run cold water loads, but I've never noted an issue with it not dissolving all the way. It could be a difference in your water, idk.

Greasy stains react well to a squirt of Mean Green, and I've also had success in scrubbing them with a paste of baking soda and water.
 
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