Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Wasting Soap - I've Been Doing it for 30+ Years!!!
Old 03-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Wasting Soap - I've Been Doing it for 30+ Years!!!

Maybe I'm the last person to figure this out, but I did the washing machine experiment below and the results were surprising! We use the recommended amount of soap or less, always. So I just washed one clean bath towel in hot water for five minutes without adding any soap - and the suds were unbelieveable! I will probably cut my laundry soap spending in half if not much more...jeeeeeeeez.

Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News

Quote:
Here is Mr. Schmidt's test to determine if you're oversoaping. Take four to six clean bath towels, put them in your front–loading washing machine (one towel for a top loader). Don't add any detergent or fabric softener. Switch to the hot water setting and medium wash and run it for about five minutes.

Check for soap suds. If you don't see any suds right away, turn off the machine and see if there is any soapy residue. If you see suds or residue, it is soap coming out of your clothes from the last wash.

"I've had customers that had to run their towels through as many as eight times to get the soap out," Mr. Schmidt said, who lives in Indiana. He offers other handy advice on his Web site, refrigdoc.com.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-20-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,934
A few years ago, at Frank's suggestion I started using less than half the recommended amount of liquid detergent for my top-loading washing machine like he does. I fill the cap with only about 1/8" of detergent for a very large/supersized load, instead of up to the line. My clothes have been just as clean as ever and I have saved a lot of $$$.

FWIW, I think they recommend way too much.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
I have to use powdered laundry detergent because I have a septic system. The septic pumping service guys told me that a lot of liquid detergents have petroleum derivatives in them and will clog up a septic system over time. No fabric softener for same reason.
I use A&H powder with no fragrances added, always measuring to approx the medium line for a large load of clothes.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
I'm not quite sure that I follow the logic of the demonstration--couldn't the fact that soap is still remaining in the towels just as easily be evidence of the insufficient rinse efficacy of the machines rather than too much soap? Is soap "used up" so that if there's just enough to provide sufficient surfaction/grease cutting/cleaning there is no trace of bubbles? I'd be surprised.

But, I do agree that too much soap is generally recommended. We use 1/2 fl oz per load in our (wonderful) Staber machine, and that does the job very well.

The soap mfgrs obviously want people to use a lot of their product, and I guess the washing machine companies recommend a lot of soap since it costs them nothing and probably helps get clothes their cleanest in very hard water conditions.

By the same token--does anyone really use the amount of toothpaste shown in the TV ads for that stuff? It'd be frothing out of my mouth in 20 seconds of brushing.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
We have a water conditioner and a front-loading washer, so we use a bit more than one tablespoon of detergent.

But I'd take the article's advice with a large grain of salt:
Quote:
One last bit of advice on an appliance — your oven. Use the self–cleaning mode more than once a year — otherwise, so many food particles have built up that when they burn off, smoke will billow throughout your entire kitchen. But don't clean right before a big holiday dinner, Mr. Schmidt advised.
That's because the oven heats so high during cleaning that any weak part will give.
"If it's ever going to fail, it will then," he said. "Every holiday we get swamped with calls."
This is a huge waste of energy and a great way to fry expensive oven components. Maybe a better solution to oven-cleaning problems would be... to not let it get dirty in the first place?!?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
By the same token--does anyone really use the amount of toothpaste shown in the TV ads for that stuff? It'd be frothing out of my mouth in 20 seconds of brushing.


And the liquid dishwashing detergent mfgs go the opposite direction and tell you that with their detergent you will only need a drop - then they make the hole in the bottle so large or the shape of the bottle such that it's impossible to only squirt out a drop.
__________________
tinlizzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 04:01 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
But I'd take the article's advice with a large grain of salt:

This is a huge waste of energy and a great way to fry expensive oven components. Maybe a better solution to oven-cleaning problems would be... to not let it get dirty in the first place?!?
That's what DW used to tell me. So now, I let her use the oven by herself. Works for me!

(No, I didn't used to break dishes so she'd wash them herself. Styro plates and bowls just bounce when you drop 'em. )

But back to OP. DD of close friends went off to college. She'd never done a load of laundry in her life, so mom was concerned but didn't offer advice. Upon returning after semester one, DD did her own laundry to the shock of mom. Of course, she used fabric softener instead of detergent!! Apparently she had the softest dirty clothes on campus for a whole semester until mom wised her up.

Now, even more seriously, we've always performed an additional rinse on our clothes as we tend to get chaffing otherwise. Now, after all these years, I think I'm finding out we were just using too much detergent to begin with. Once again the forum has paid for itself with helpful advice!
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
I never wring out my wash cloths, assuming the soap can be re-used in the washing machine.

Silly me, I bought another box of laundry detergent to stay stocked up; the small amount left from the last box is probably good for two or three years more.

Thanks for the reminder, Midpack, when are you retiring?
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Tesaje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Frederick
Posts: 333
I've gotten very sensitive to soap residues. Gives me a bad rash so I'm careful to use as little as possible I use white vinegar in the rinse to get the soap out. The amazing thing is that if you get the dirt & soap completely out, laundry is naturally soft so there is no need for that awful "softener" stuff either. Lol
__________________
I FIREd myself at start of 2010!
Tesaje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
IBWino's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
By the same token--does anyone really use the amount of toothpaste shown in the TV ads for that stuff? It'd be frothing out of my mouth in 20 seconds of brushing.
I have no idea if this is true, but a friend once told me a story about a guy who had an idea for increasing toothpaste sales. He approached all of the major manufacturers and told them he knew how to instantly increase sales by 30%. They were all very interested but skeptical and balked at his request for a percentage of the sales, preferring to pay a flat fee for the information. After some time, they relented and agreed to pay him a percentage of sales. His idea was to increase the diameter of the toothpaste opening by 14% (thereby increasing the area of the opening by 30%). The idea quickly made him a millionaire.
__________________
IBWino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 07:12 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
I've found that even half a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent can do the trick. But it seems like such a small amount, we usually put in more.

Remember those magic laundry balls that were supposed to clean without detergent? Perhaps leftover soap is the secret for those, at least for the first load or two.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Here's what not to do: When I was a kid and we ran out of dishwasher detergent, I used the regular "sink" dishwashing soap instead. I knew it made a lot of bubbles so I used a lot less. Apparently it was still too much--as the machine ran (unattended), sheets of bubbly lather spilled all over the kitchen floor.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 09:03 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Here's what not to do: When I was a kid and we ran out of dishwasher detergent, I used the regular "sink" dishwashing soap instead. I knew it made a lot of bubbles so I used a lot less. Apparently it was still too much--as the machine ran (unattended), sheets of bubbly lather spilled all over the kitchen floor.

Been there done that twice, I am slow learning at times.

On related question, I am sucker for Costco Coupons so I bought new monster laundry. It says it does 112 loads of laundry, now I am sure I never do more than two loads of laundry (light and dark) a week and sometime it more like every 10 days. I also (not having read this thread before) dutiful fill the laundry to the line. So logically I should need not to buy a laundry detergent more than once a year. But I am sure that I buy it more often than that.

I suspect that X number of loads is using a small amount of laundry soap like you all advocate, but if you use the amount on the cap, you get less than 1/2 the amount.

Can anybody verify this?
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 09:53 PM   #14
Administrator
Janet H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 4,957
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBWino View Post
I have no idea if this is true, but a friend once told me a story about a guy who had an idea for increasing toothpaste sales. He approached all of the major manufacturers and told them he knew how to instantly increase sales by 30%. They were all very interested but skeptical and balked at his request for a percentage of the sales, preferring to pay a flat fee for the information. After some time, they relented and agreed to pay him a percentage of sales. His idea was to increase the diameter of the toothpaste opening by 14% (thereby increasing the area of the opening by 30%). The idea quickly made him a millionaire.
McDonalds did this a few years ago with their drink straws. They have a bigger bore and a small sip gets you a big mouthful....
__________________
E-R.org Custom Google Search | You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. (Robin Williams)
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
CCdaCE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
McDonalds did this a few years ago with their drink straws. They have a bigger bore and a small sip gets you a big mouthful....

You'd think with free refills, they'd go the other way - less diameter.

-CC
__________________
"There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more, but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops. Kinda like you're startin' from the top..." "Society" - Eddie Vedder
CCdaCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 01:57 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
Ronnieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 646
My wife still thinks more is better......and yes I am talking about the laundry soap.
__________________
I don't want to spend my entire life at work. I deserve more. - Want2retire aka W2R
Ronnieboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
A few years ago there was a strange washing product: a plastic puck with water inside. The idea was to put nothing but the puck and the clothes in the washer. No soap at all. Surprisingly, everything got pretty clean anyway. Partly because of residual soap, I suppose, but it goes back to washing clothes in the river, beating them against the rocks.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
A few years ago there was a strange washing product: a plastic puck with water inside. The idea was to put nothing but the puck and the clothes in the washer. No soap at all. Surprisingly, everything got pretty clean anyway. Partly because of residual soap, I suppose, but it goes back to washing clothes in the river, beating them against the rocks.
Never stopped to think about it, but washing is simply separating dirt from clothing, so I guess it could be done entirely with mechanical/physical action. Soap is just supposed to facilitate the separation.
Quote:
Soap has two main functions:
1. Decrease water's surface tension

2. Bind to dirt, oil and bacteria
This morning, I did a load of laundry with 1/2 the recommended laundry detergent, we'll see how it goes...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 11:25 AM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
MikeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
McDonalds did this a few years ago with their drink straws. They have a bigger bore and a small sip gets you a big mouthful....
I heard it was so they were not useful as cocaine sniffing straws. Apparently, the coffee stirrers were little spoons and were used to shovel coke up people's noses also.

Mike D.
__________________
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life

- R. Earth
MikeD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 11:46 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
I heard it was so they were not useful as cocaine sniffing straws. Apparently, the coffee stirrers were little spoons and were used to shovel coke up people's noses also.

Mike D.
Drug Czar in meeting w/ McD's honchos: Increased straw diameter? check. change coffee stirrers? check. <brushes hands off> Mission accomplished! Drug war is over!
__________________

__________________
calmloki is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Turning over a new leaf in the Soap Box REWahoo Forum Admin 141 12-31-2008 06:33 PM
what % of members have turned off the Soap Box entirely? ladelfina Forum Admin 86 09-14-2008 08:31 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:45 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.