Laundry Soap Challenge – Who won?

Laundry Soap Challenge from  tide vs homemadeIf you thought I’d forgotten about my laundry soap challenge, think again.  In my continuing war against the laundry pile, I started a test a few weeks ago pitting Tide against my homemade laundry soap.

I tested tomato stains, chocolate, spinach puree, coffee, cherry juice, plain Texas dirt, and bacon grease. I explained my testing methods in an earlier post, with the exception of the bacon grease.  I added that using the same methods.

If you’re really interested, you can download the blow by blow photos in PDF form.  I’ll spare you 100+ photos of dirty socks.   Each set of stains was washed 20 times.  (PDF in progress, I just couldn’t face all those photos of dirty socks last night!)

Here are my observations in the laundry soap challenge:

  • Either soap works better than just plain water.  Repeated washings with just water = dingy grey
  • For preventing laundry “funk” from a load left in the washer too long, my unscented homemade soap worked better than Tide unscented.   I did not deliberately try to test this, but it happened more than twice.  Laundry left overnight soured with the Tide unscented, but not with the homemade stuff.
  • For removing bacon fat, Tide was better.  It did NOT remove everything.  There was enough of a stain that it was not acceptable.  But the home made stuff completely failed.  The yellow rag I dipped in bacon fat still smelled vaguely of bacon after the first wash.
  • Tide appears to be slightly better at removing sharpie marker.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
  • Both soaps were completely effective at removing cherry juice and spinach puree after one wash.
  • Both soaps were completely effective at removing coffee stains after two washes.
  • Both soaps failed to remove the chocolate or tomato stain completely, even after 20 washes.
  • Neither soap removed all the dirt my boys ground into the socks.

Here are my conclusions from the laundry soap challenge:

  1. Pre-treating stains is the only way to get some stains out.  Especially greasy stuff.
  2. There’s a reason for bleach.
  3. I’m satisfied with sticking with my homemade laundry soap.
So what’s next?  I’m going to go “myth busters” on those stains.  I want to see if it’s possible to get those socks looking white again using anything other than bleach.  I’m also working on removing bacon grease stains.
Any suggestions on stain removal?
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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. I find that the detergents used for washing dishes provides for the best stain remover..

  2. This was by far the most entertaining piece on laundry soap I have ever read. I can’t wait to try it!

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