Sunday, March 29, 2009

Checking Laundry Soap

We're now using liquid Allen's Naturally Laundry Detergent, since that is what our friend Heather at the local Cloth Diaper store recommends.

Back in June I wrote about using Charlie's Soap for laundry. It is also free of additives and suitable for cloth diapers. It served us well for almost a year.

One thing we learned since that June blog post was that even one tablespoon was too much for our front loading washing machine. Half a tablespoon was enough. Here is what happened...

We had the last annual free maintenance on our washing machine. The repair guy taught us to run the machine empty on the "pre-rinse" cycle every few months to check for soap buildup. If this test cycle was sudsy then we were using too much soap.

If there is soap buildup, run the machine empty a few times with a complete cycle. If that does not remove the soap then there are liquids you can purchase to do the job.

After we switched to Allen's soap we needed to again test our soap use. It turns out that the instructions on the jug are accurate: our washing machine did not have extra soap when we used the recommended 1/4 ounce per load.

(Since the Allen's soap is so thick and syrupy we actually dilute it and use a larger scoop. Much easier.)

UPDATE: After a few months there is soap buildup: we have switched to 1/8 ounce per load an all now seems well.

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