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clothes not properly 'clean' - washing powder or washing machine?

(12 Posts)
shelley72 Sun 07-Aug-11 15:20:55

well the title says it all really - most of the kids clothes are just not coming out of the wash clean.

DD whites are turning a grimy grey colour, marks from food spills (despite pre wash treatment with a stain remover) are still there once the clothes are dry. have just had to rewash all of last nights washing sad.

i have cleaned the drum, drawer and the rubber seal of the washing machine, run it through on a 90 wash but all to no avail. so is it likely to be the washing powder (fairy non bio gel -the only thing that doesnt make DD ezcema flare up) or is it time for a new washing machine?

has anyone had this before? and how did you fix it? is there a magic washing solution i dont know about - or are childrens clothes always destined to look grubby?!

Poodlehorse Sun 07-Aug-11 15:27:47

I never think non-bio gets things clean enough especially at low temps. If you can't use any other powder could you try a higher temp for their stuff at least? I kow they all say 40c but usually they are fine unless you buy the DC cashmere wink. i know a friend of mine who used fairy but had to use loads of vanish to get the stuff clean. I think she changed to Ariel but she could.

babycham42 Sun 07-Aug-11 15:39:20

Try washing anything you can at a higher temperature whenever you can as Poodlehorse says. I know someone who washes stuff with a good bio every so often and then re - washes with non bio. Hanging out in the sun can be effective with some stains.

TapTapTapPenny Sun 07-Aug-11 15:42:04

Agree about non-bio detergents.

Have you tried:
using a bio detergent but doing an extra rinse/higher water level wash?
using bio detergent and softened water? (use a softener tablet if you're in a hard water area)
no fabric conditioner
a colour magnet to trap dirt and runs
some oxy-powder thing to lift stains
powder not gel/tablets/liquid/liquitabs

You could use a combination of the above. ime, the key things are
1. no fabric conditioner
2. extra rinse/higher water level
3. softened water
4. measure out your own detergent and be mean with the amount you use - you rarely need as much as the manufacturer makes out

And wrt to higher temperatures - as a rule yes, you get a better result, BUT you can wash out some colours and make whites go grey doing this.

pollyblue Sun 07-Aug-11 20:20:55

The best I've found for really mucky socks and food stains is Ecover bio powder. Non-bio doesn't really (ime) cut the mustard on stains. And a 40 degree wash, no cooler.

Mandy2003 Sun 07-Aug-11 21:34:31

Soak in Napisan first?

AlwaysbeOpralFruitstome Sun 07-Aug-11 21:43:38

Biotex is good. Either soak first or sometimes I put it in the pre-wash and then wash with Fairy, but rinse with extra water as DS3 has eczema.

SybilBeddows Sun 07-Aug-11 21:45:59

ask a friend if you can do a load in their machine using your usual powder/temperature and you'll soon know if it's the machine.

emsyj Sun 07-Aug-11 21:53:42

Could be both. I read somewhere that biological powder very rarely causes a reaction - it is more likely to be another ingredient in the powder such as fragrance. But of course you don't want to experiment with your DS's skin so maybe increase the wash temp as others have said.

Do you ever put 'lights' in with whites? A sneaky yellow or pale pink item here or there will make your whites grubby in no time. White wash should be just that - whites only. Not even stuff that is mostly white with a coloured trim etc.

<has very white sheets and towels and is strangely proud of being complimented on them> grin

Some washing machines are just crap tho. We had a really rubbish one in a rented house and it was such a waste of time putting anything in the damned thing. We now have a Miele and the difference is significant.

nannyl Sun 07-Aug-11 21:56:01

If you use Fairy Gel then you will not get white whites.

it does not contain the bleaches that are in powders that makes whites white.
Try fairy powder if you want white whites.

also using liquids and gels all the time will in time clog all the pipes and stuff and make it go all gunky. Especially if you always wash at cooler temps (40c or less) A hot wash every so often with a bio powder / soda crystals should help sort this.

Can you wash the clothes in a biological detergent? (some people react LESS to bio) Perhaps use extra rinse if your machine has it and then do a rinse cycle afterwards aswell, which should remove most traces of the detergent.

Also line dry where possible, ideally in the sun (if we have any) and then the sun will bleach stains like magic, where as a tumble dryer will set the stains

PositiveAttitude Sun 07-Aug-11 22:00:49

My old washing machine broke recently and when I got a new one I was absolutely amazed at how clean everything suddenly became. I am still looking in wonder every time I do a wash, so for me it was 100% the washing machine as I am still using the same powder.

shelley72 Tue 09-Aug-11 07:50:25

thank you lots of good suggestions there..

emsyj i do put pinks etc in with her whites so i think i may try and stop that from now on to see if it makes a difference. the only true white wash i do is our bedding -which always seems to come out ok - but then i use bio powder on our things.

nannyl i may try and switch to fairy powder (the actual powder or tablets?) but use an extra rinse (now i have discovered we have such a thing on our machine!). i didnt realise that liquid to gunk things up so much.

i already have to use a stain remover and pre soak - DS is a mucky pup 3 yo boy so think i have that covered, adn try to dry outside when possible to rid the stains as i had read that on MN before.

our washing machine is a few years old (maybe about 6?) so if all the above fails maybe its time to replace - hope not as i would rather have a new cooker first!!

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