BS really *does* work as a laundry detergent! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-28-2006, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read in a post that someone uses strictly BS with some TTO and vinager to wash their clothes. I thought there was no way that really worked, so I tried it. I just checked my laundry and it is actually clean, smells great (I sniffed socks and underwear and no stink!), and doesn't fell stiff or icky.

Does anyone else do this regularly? Just curious. I'm very impressed.

Shannon
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:42 AM
 
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Ohhh whats TTO... I'd love to stop buying over priced detergent!!!
oh and whats the amount of the bs and tto..?

mother to E-(8).... A-(6) .... & N-(5)
Vivian Claire born 3-11-10.... ...still an , extendedmomma :
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaToThree
Ohhh whats TTO... I'd love to stop buying over priced detergent!!!
oh and whats the amount of the bs and tto..?
Tea Tree Oil. can you buy it at walmart!!!

Getting back into the groove of being groovy!
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:44 AM
 
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It was 1/2 cup of baking soda and 5 drops of TTO.

Here's the original thread:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=473097

Thanks for reporting back, Shannon. I was gonna try that this weekend and was a bit apprehensive. I also read somewhere about using Borax and baking soda for the dishwasher with vinegar where the jet dry goes and am getting ready to try that as I just found Borax.
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:56 AM
 
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That sounds like a great idea! I have used BS as an addition to my laundry soap when washing whites (it gets them super white), but have never tried it by itself. Lately it has been so humid here that our clothes stink all the time--even after we have just washed them. . .hopefully this will work and we won't have to be stinky anymore.

Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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Old 06-28-2006, 11:07 AM
 
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What part of the cycle did you use the vinegar? Along with the baking soda? Or during the rinse cycle?

I found an article that recommends using baking soda only and adding tea tree oil or lavender oil:

http://www.webnat.com/hi/HomeSafe1.asp


Also, I can attest to using baking soda and white vinegar in the dishwasher.

I do use Palmolive (a little less than usual amount unless I have a super dirty and full load), which has the lowest phosphate rate out of most of the dishwashing detergents I've seen, but I always sprinkle baking soda on the bottom since we have hardish water in Atlanta. I also pour white vinegar in the dispenser (mine is a screw off cap where you'd put the Jet Dry). I have cleaner and shinier looking dishes, no water spots on my glasses and definitely NO etching whatsoever. I LOVE IT!
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:24 AM
 
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Hmm. Now that we're talking about all this...can I use baking soda only for my dishwasher? I'm not thrilled with the idea of Borax or washing powder in my house (too high pH, not non-toxic - if I sprinkle a little on the floor or something, I don't want my dog licking it up and getting sick). I would want to feel safe that baking soda is doing a thorough job of cutting grease and getting rid of bacteria. Perhaps baking soda and tto here too?

The Palmolive I use is liquid and it stays in the cabinet, so that doesn't spill or anything.

I can't stand the thought of bacteria. Let me know if this works and is sanitary.

For some reason, I'm more willing to not have super sanitized clothes (even though I did some loads of laundry with baking soda only and it looked and smelled great) than having undersanitized dishes, stemware, and glasses (yuck!). Though it's been argued that baking soda just masks odors in clothes and doesn't really clean, I've seen other articles that say baking soda just turns the oils in your clothes into soap and then washes away gently (which baking soda does - it's like a mild alkali that turns grease into soap). In either case, I guess I'm okay with it. I would hate to think that the baking soda is just masking the muck and my clothes aren't really clean. But they have lifted off messes before...

Editing again: I've tried baking soda only in my dishwasher before, but made the mistake of just putting it in the soap container with lid (it hardened and didn't even come out during the washing). Even if you were to use baking soda only or the borax mix, do you put it on the bottom of the dishwasher to keep the powder from caking in the dispenser tray?
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, last night I did a large load of laundry and only used a 1/2 cup of BS with some TTO. I added the vinager to the rinse cycle. We have had a lot of problems this summer with stinky clothes, too, even if I take them out of the washer and dry them right away, but these clothes sat for some time before I dried them and they still smell great!

I don't have any lavender oil right now, but when I get some I'm definately going to try that!

If anyone else tried it, let me know. I hope it really does work and it wasn't just a fluke!!!

Oh, and thanks for the BS/vinager idea for the dishwasher. My DH is getting mad at all the money we're spending trying to find a good alternative to harsh chemicals!!!

Shannon
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:39 AM
 
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Shannon, I added more stuff above - any thoughts?

I'm still doing research into using baking soda only in the dishwasher. Usually people suggest baking soda along with regular detergent or making your own detergent with borax and baking soda.

To be continued...
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm. I guess I've only heard of BS cleaning, not just masking odors. I did put some clothes in there that had some blood on them (I get bloody noses with this pregnancy and use my shirt sometimes to stop the bleeding! ) and some that had dirt on them (from DH). The dirt and blood were gone, but does that mean the bacteria in them were gone too?

I will be doing more research on this, too. I think, maybe, for now I will add BS to my regular detergent until I can get a solid answer on whether or not my clothes are truly clean, and don't just smell good!

Also, with the dishwasher, I'll need to know for sure that the bacteria is gone before I use BS, but doesn't the hot water in the cycle kill bacteria? Okay, spastica, between you and me we can figure this out!!!

I'll be back later to post more. I have to get my kids in the bath!

Shannon
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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Shannon, sounds like a plan. I am so obsessed with baking soda, I'd love to use it all over the house and more. I do think the tea tree oil takes care of the bacteria problem, so maybe that part is essential for laundry.

But like you, I'm a bit skeptical about using BS and TTO for the dishes. We'll figure it out.

Psst, I just posted on the Curly Hair Tribe forum, if you want to go read it.

My name is Gina, btw but I definitely don't mind my online nickname of Spastica or Spazzy (even my boyfriend knew me as Spastica before we started dating.... ).

I was trying to be cool and come up with an online or DJ alter-ego in college for a radio show - I liked bands like Metallica and Elastica, so I came up with Spastica.

Boyfriend is Italian, and he says that Spastica means "Crazy girl" in Italian. He thought I named myself that on purpose. It's fitting....
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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: I love this board, you guys rock!

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Old 06-28-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:20 PM
 
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Vinegar goes in the rinse cycle. It's supposed to take care of any soap or other residue. It's also great in killing bacteria as is TTO.

I'll report back periodically too. I haven't tried the Borax/baking soda yet because I run my dishwasher usually in the mornings and DH works from home and will unload the dishes and I won't be able to inspect the results. I'm gonna try it this weekend.

I don't know if Borax is that toxic. It's still used in food in some countries, I think in caviar in France. Supposedly the toxicity is almost equal to table salt.

Even if the Borax and/or baking soda don't work, they are supposed to be great for stretching out your dishwasher detergent.
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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Interesting...

Borax as I know has a high pH. But here is some info I found:

Connoisseurs prefer fresh malossol, which contains a maximum of 5 percent salt by weight. Borax, which acts as a preservative, is added in France to caviar with low salt content (not in the United States, however, where borax is an illegal food additive).

And here's where it covers the toxicity, as you mentioned

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

Borax is also a food additive in some countries (it is banned in the United States), with E number E285. Its use is similar to salt, and it appears notably in French and Iranian caviar. Despite its use as an insecticide and reputation as a toxin, the LD50 toxicity of borax is about the same as that of table salt (both are around 3,000 mg/kg body mass).



I was mostly concerned with handling of borax, due to high pH, and what would happen in my dog licked it up if I spilled it. The pH is 9-10.5, where baking soda is only 8.1 (7 being neutral; same as water).

Washing soda is pH 11! Drano is an 11.

http://www.borax.com/detergents/pheffect.html
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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Good links:

http://www.oldfashionedfamilies.com/...ad.php?p=41877

http://housekeeping.about.com/od/env...dishwasher.htm

http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7018


Cute and informative science fair project by an 11 year old on different detergents on stain removal. She found out OxiClean did better than other detergents for removing stains:

http://www.selah.k12.wa.us/SOAR/SciP...tml#conclusion

Oxiclean is made from Sodium percarbonate and Sodium carbonate, mostly.
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey! Just wanted to tell you, Gina, that I'm glad I know your name and can call you by it. I get kind of weirded out always referring people to their user names (although I like that Spastica means "crazy girl" in Italian!!!).

Thanks for all those links. I haven't had time to look at them, though. I'll probably have to do that tonight after the kiddos go to bed. I've kind of been a bad mommy lately and have been super lazy with them, so I need to do a little more quality time since I'm off work this week! I'm 32 weeks pregnant, so I feel like sitting on my couch all day. Bad, I know...

Anyway, the one thing I did want to tell you is that I use Oxiclean for stain removal and I really like it. I usually just put a little on the stain, wet it, rub the stuff around on it a bit, and toss it in the laundry. Sometimes I do a load with a scoop of Oxiclean in it. I never looked at the ingrediants to be honest with you, because I thought it would be so toxic it would stop me from using it (isn't that sad?).

Okay, off to play with the kiddos. Talk to you ladies later.

Shannon
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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This is awesome!!! I've been trying to figure out how to cut out all the horrifying chemicals (not to mention support of huge corporations) around the house. Laundry has always been a sort of a sticking point as DP is very skeptical about the effectivness of baking soda in that regard and a stickler for super cleanliness. Can't wait to try this out!
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:52 PM
 
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Me again... I use BS (just dump a couple of tablespoons right on the door of the dishwasher before I lift it up so it goes right in there) and vinegar in the rinse 'thingy' and my dishes are fine and we haven't gotten sickies from anything yet. Hot water can kill bacteria, but vinegar has antibacterial properties also.
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Old 06-28-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I just took a trip to Walmart (I know, I know, but that's the only place that carries large boxes of baking soda, which they were out of, ugh, and affordable tea tree oil).

I was being a total nerd and looking through all the chemical ingredients for standard cleaning products, including OxiClean.

OxiClean, as a lot of internet sites say, is Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate. Sodium Carbonate is just washing soda and sodium percarbonate, when mixed with water, forms hydrogen bubbles. Hydrogen is unstable, so it kind of blasts stains off of things.

I have read that hydrogen, because it's unstable, isn't good for skincare like they thought it was years ago, because over time, the instability (or free radicals) can harm your skin and wrinkle it. But for our purposes here, I think hydrogen peroxide based cleaning is okay.

Again, I would strongly caution for everybody to use gloves when handling borax or washing soda. Both are highly basic in pH. It should work very well for cleaning for that reason - you need either a high base or acid for things to get super clean

As for other products I saw -- dishwashing powder has sodium silicates and sodium carbonate (washing soda). Sodium silicate I saw again in Drano and it was explained on there that it's an anti-corrosive agent (so it doesn't wreck your pipes). That makes perfect sense because washing powder AND Drano has a pH of 11, which can corrode a lot of stuff. This is why gloves are a must - think of what such a high pH can do to your skin!

I held a box of washing powder and one of borax ones, and just the residue of the box (since it's in plain cardboard like baking soda is) made my hands feel super dry.

Anyway, washing soda seems to be the common element in dishwashing and for laundry (at least if you're talking about OxiClean or SUN Oxy cleaner type products). Based on the little kid's research (link posted earlier), she found that OxiClean lifts stains better than other detergents.

My deduction? Washing soda can be used for all kinds of cleaning. HOWEVER, baking soda is so much more readily available and the pH is lower. It's environmentally friendly and - dingdingding - it's NON TOXIC.

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
http://www.explainthis.info/ba/baking-soda.html

Sodium Carbonate (washing soda)
http://www.explainthis.info/so/sodium-carbonate.html

ALSO: Because Washing soda is so high in pH, it can wear the fibers of your clothes out over time (especially cloth diapers and elastics). I wouldn't use it on floors because it takes the wax off of flooring. Baking soda may irritate your eyes or if you inhale it but washing soda is very toxic if inhaled over time (because it's stronger): http://www.cutofcloth.com/article_bakingsoda.asp

http://www.cutofcloth.com/article_bakingsoda.asp

Perhaps the baking soda will not pack the punch of washing soda but they're similar enough that I think baking soda is probably a safer version of washing soda. But I think it's a good thing to try out. Perhaps we can all use the baking soda for our dishwashers and laundry unless we have something SUPER DUPER soiled and then we have to use regular detergent or washing soda. Washing soda removes lipstick and grease from garage floors, for pete's sake. Most of us don't need that much grease cutting power in EVERY wash.

Here's somebody who used washing soda in their dishwasher, results were positive, posted on the bottom of the page: http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/node/10148

More recipes: http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/...sp?Main_ID=564
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gina, you rock! I feel like I should pay you for finding out all this info, since I just don't seem to have the time to do it! I tried doing a little research over naptime, and what I found a lot of sites saying is that BS can boost your laundry soap, but only the liquid, not the powder. Now why would they say that? That's confusing, because no one says why...

Also, I did the kids' clothes with the BS, TTO, and vinager and a few stains remained (but a lot of them do with regular detergent) but it seemed to still work great. The clothes that still had the stains on them would have been clothes that I would have used Oxiyclean on anyway, if that makes sense, so I really didn't even expect them to come out anyway.

Once again, you rock, Gina!

Shannon
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:05 PM
 
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Shannon,

I am totally addicted to this forum and spent way too much time on it, but it gives me so much pleasure each day that I can't help but coming back (like 80 times a day).

Also, I was trying to explain to my boyfriend that all of us here get excited over strange things like baking soda and vinegar. We love playing mad scientists and concocting things at home. Meanwhile, we're trying to find cheaper, eco-friendly, and just plain BETTER solutions for everyday household things. It's like a secret, like we know something other people don't.

It's very addicting.

I'm one of those people that, as a child, would read all the ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and product packaging information for every cereal box at the table (when I wasn't zoned out watching cartoons at the coffee table, of course).

My mom always would pay attention to sugar, fat, cholesterol, or salt content on stuff to determine if it was junk food or not.

Later in life, in college, I developed a uterine tumor so I read health articles like a fiend now, because I'm madly disappointed that everyday chemicals can create uterine tumors and ovarian cysts. Perhaps it was all those pesticides that I ingested over all the fruits and vegetables my mom gave me. And because my doctor never said anything about that, because he didn't know or care to tell me, and because I ended up getting rid of a 1 inch ovarian cyst that supposedly needed surgery.....with taking vitamin E everyday for a month or two, something I found online out of desperation one day....I vowed to keep looking online for things I can do myself and be informed.

I can control the size of my tumor by my diet. I didn't know that until I did lots of research. Nobody ever told me that at the doctor's office. Maybe they don't know and don't keep up with research because they're into the groove of everyday work. That's understandable. I'd like to think that. Others, I think, probably make more money by not telling you what you can do yourself, and purposely don't tell you good information.

It seems like this country is progressively taking advantage of people who don't keep informed of things more and more through the years.

I still remember the 80's children's commercials that used to say 'knowledge is power!' I find that to ring truer today.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastica
I held a box of washing powder and one of borax ones, and just the residue of the box (since it's in plain cardboard like baking soda is) made my hands feel super dry.
So I've been handling borax and playing with vinegar a lot over the last few days (making concoctions and soaking my hot water dispenser as it's got a big buildup of hard water deposits). All my fingers are wrinkly like I just soaked in the tub, and although they don't hurt, the skin is peeling off the tips of my thumb and forefinger. So I too would recommend gloves.

I'm Sara btw.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gina, I'm sorry that you had to go through all the stuff with your tumor. It makes me so sad that you had to do research yourself to figure out how to manage it. I get really sad over things like this because up until about a year ago I was so mainstream and completely trusted doctors (some things with my DS and DD is what made me start questioning doctors, mainstream practices, etc.). I just keep thinking that if I didn't find this forum, would I still be harming my children with chemicals and such? They're young, almost 4 and almost 2, and then I have one on the way, so I feel so happy knowing that I'm getting them on track to be healthy. My mom wasn't so good about reading labels, and I know I shouldn't, but I partly blame her for my weight problem. She still will come to my house with tons of junk food and want me to eat it with her. She was excited when we could share clothes after my DD was born (she's a size 22!!!). I almost feel like she was sad that I got down to a 14 before this pregnancy, like I was a comrade of the fat club with her, or something.

I'm glad you've been able to shrink your tumor and it makes me happy that you are living proof that a healthy lifestyle *can* make a difference. I just wish more people would wake up and realize that. Sorry to ramble. I need to get all my computer time done before the kids are ready for mommy time!

And thanks, Sara, for letting me know your name!!! I guess I should have figured it out from your signature, but I'm kind of slow! Thanks for all your input, too!!! It's been very helpful!

Shannon
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwill129
I read in a post that someone uses strictly BS with some TTO and vinager to wash their clothes. I thought there was no way that really worked, so I tried it. I just checked my laundry and it is actually clean, smells great (I sniffed socks and underwear and no stink!), and doesn't fell stiff or icky.

Does anyone else do this regularly? Just curious. I'm very impressed.

Shannon
here i am! they work just great!

Liv, SAHM of 3 kiddos 

 

 

 

 

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Old 06-29-2006, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clavicula
here i am! they work just great!
Question for you...Do you put the vinager in the rinse cycle, or do you put it in with the BS and TTO? Just curious.

Shannon
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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I think most people put vinegar in during the rinse, as it's like fabric softener.

Speaking of which, can you put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser in my top loading washer? I'm really bad about remembering to catch the rinse.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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I can't believe that I just syumbled across this thread!
It's soo weird - I just filled up my rinse-aid thingy in the DW with vinegar and filled up the detergent part with chemically soap and commented to myself how I CAN'T use this junk! It freaks me out.
I use baking soda and/or vinegar for most other of my household cleaning but never thought to use it in my dw or laundry machine. I am TOTALLY going to do this next time. (I can hardly wait!!).

Thanks to all of you for your research on this. You saved me a ton of time!!

You rock!!
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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Does it concern anybody that Arm and Hammer did not post baking soda as a sole detergent in laundry or dishwashers? It's always mentioned as a cleaning booster, not sole cleaning agent.

If it were so great to use, they would have definitely mentioned it. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastica
Does it concern anybody that Arm and Hammer did not post baking soda as a sole detergent in laundry or dishwashers? It's always mentioned as a cleaning booster, not sole cleaning agent.

If it were so great to use, they would have definitely mentioned it. Any thoughts?
It doesn't really concern me. They do have their own brand of laundry detergent, though it's not JUST baking soda. I think alot of people want scents and things aimed right for a specific job instead of just what's right in front of their nose sometimes.
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