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I developed laundry detergents AMA

375 replies

LapinR0se · 16/07/2018 21:36

For many years I was responsible for innovation for one of the biggest laundry brands in the UK.
Any questions you have on stains, wash cycles, laundry products etc you can ask me.

OP posts:
ThroughThickAndThin01 · 16/07/2018 21:38

Oh good a nice practical one Grin.

What’s your favourite product?

RoadToRivendell · 16/07/2018 21:40

Well, I find this pretty exciting.

I spilled red wine all over a brand new sand-coloured silk jumpsuit Saturday night (wail). I dropped it at the dry cleaner Sunday morning. Any thoughts?

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 16/07/2018 21:41

And is wishing at 30 really as good as washing at 40 degrees?

QueenOfIce · 16/07/2018 21:42

Were they tested on animals?

SprinkleSomeMagicMyWay · 16/07/2018 21:43

How do I get tea stains out of a white cotton top (which has been washed post-staining)?

boatyardblues · 16/07/2018 21:43

Do the enzymes in bio powder really munch your skin? DH’s uncle (70s) has got this into his head and won’t use them. Grin

BIWI · 16/07/2018 21:43

Unilever or P&G? Wink

YoYotheclown · 16/07/2018 21:44


boatyardblues · 16/07/2018 21:44

Is there anything shifts yellow staining from the armpits of white linen garments? Also, what causes it - sweat or deodorants?

Littlemissindifferent · 16/07/2018 21:44

What is the difference between bio and non bio and
Should I use different powders for different colours?

FrogFairy · 16/07/2018 21:46

Is there a detergent for dark clothes that will not fade them?

WhoKnowsWhereTheW1neGoes · 16/07/2018 21:46

Why aren't there more unfragranced detergents? Also why are the cheapest ones the most heavily fragranced?

LapinR0se · 16/07/2018 21:51

I don’t have one favourite product as you need different things for different fabrics etc.
Basically, powder contains bleach. So whites will only stay white if you use a powder.
Liquids cannot currently contain bleach as it creates instability in the formulation. So all liquids available on the market are better for colours than powders - which will fade them much quicker due to the bleach. So to keep your clothes looking newer for longer, use liquid.
Fabric conditioner will also keep your clothes looking newer for longer. It also makes them dry faster and easier to iron although that is rarely communicated as the British shopper is obsessed with fragrance so that’s now the key benefit.

(With me so far? Hope I’m being clear)
The British Isles is the only place in the world with a bio/non-bio split and it’s purely due to a manufacturer issue in the 1990s.
Bio refers to biological enzymes which are not dangerous, do not damage skin, but remove a whole host of stains.
Non-bio formulations do not contain enzymes so they don’t get out lots of stains.

You need to wash towels sheets and anything else in contact with bodily fluids such as underwear or soiled baby items at 60 degrees or tumble dry them to kill bacteria.
Bacteria actually breed at anything less than 40 degrees. 30 is their safe haven.

OP posts:
Furrycushion · 16/07/2018 21:55

I thought liquids were very bad for the machine. I use separate powders for white & coloured clothes.
Is it true that things like Daz are just the previous incarnation of Ariel, or (or Persil if I've got the companies mixed up)?

nightwispa · 16/07/2018 21:57

How can I keep whites white? Anything white I own ends up a tired looking yellow. I've tried all the main powders but just can't get it right. I've tried lightly bleaching the whites beforehand, hand washing whites, adding vanish/bicarbonate soda but NOTHING works for me. Wash at 30-40 degrees on a quick wash.

ThatEscalatedQuickly · 16/07/2018 22:11

You say that bio powder doesn't damage skin but I always come out in a terrible rash if I use it. Maybe I'm reacting to something else though but it's happened so often I'm loathe to think it's a coincidence.

I did live elsewhere in Europe for a number of years and non-bio was indeed practically unheard of.

FairyPenguin · 16/07/2018 22:12
  • Will clothes with washing label saying 30c shrink if I wash them at 40c or above?
  • How do I get grass stains out of cricket whites?
  • How do I get yellow stains out of school shirt collars?

We use a non-bio powder and only about 2/3 of the recommended amount, and no fabric conditioner. This is because all of us have eczema and also we had terrible problems with blocked drains which were full of lumps of hardened soap. Also, I get migraines and some washing powder smells trigger headaches so I end up sticking to the one I know I’m ok with. I only currently wash towels and bedding on 60c, sports and synthetic fabrics on 30c, cottons on 40c. Does this all sound right?!
FlibbertyGiblets · 16/07/2018 22:12

Hang in sunshine.

FlibbertyGiblets · 16/07/2018 22:13

(That was to wispa)

marcopront · 16/07/2018 22:14

What is the best way to remove blood from sheets?

JuliaJaynes9 · 16/07/2018 22:18

Fabric conditioner will also keep your clothes looking newer for longer. It also makes them dry faster and easier to iron
Great info thank you OP😎
could you elaborate a little on the fabric conditioner please?

Akire · 16/07/2018 22:18

Does it annoy you when an advert shows how rubbish the old product was compared to new one. Then in 2y time they will be saying the old one was rubbish?

What’s best powder liquid or new flake or pod for washing? All of them still end up with powder, bits of plastic or flakey pellets somewhere in machine.

LapinR0se · 16/07/2018 22:25

P&G makes Ariel, fairy and daz (and lenor)
Unilever makes persil and surf (and comfort)
Neither company makes products for anyone else eg retailer own brand. They are made by 3rd party manufacturers.

Liquids are not bad for the machine. What you need to do is run a service cycle about twice a year, that means a 90 degree wash on an empty machine with a squirt of bleach in the drum.

Detergents and fabric conditioners are fragranced because the base actives smell quite unpleasant.

OP posts:
anametouse · 16/07/2018 22:33

I am officially a grown up - this thread is really useful!

BikeRunSki · 16/07/2018 22:34

Do you look at the whole-life environmental impact of products?

What I mean is, I know the Ecover maintain that their products are harmless to the environment; at the point that the domestic user washed them down the drain, but do they perhaps need more intensive processing during the manufacturing process and create more pollutants at this stage?

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