I've always used liquid, because there were brands that I liked, and usually I could snag a bottle on a great sale at the grocery store. However, clothes kept coming out of the wash with dark spots (almost greasy-looking spots) on them, and I knew they didn't go in that way. After experimenting to see if it was happening in the washer or the dryer and settling on the washer, I called the manufacturer to ask if they had any clue what could be happening. They put me in touch with our local appliance store, who would service the machine.
Apparently, the problem with liquid detergent is it is paraffin based. At the high altitude at which we live, the detergent does not fully dissolve in cold water (possibly even warm), and it builds up a residue inside the drum of the machine. This residue then was leaking out onto our clothes, according to the appliance store owner.
His recommendation? Powder detergent.
You can make your own following this recipe:
(I'll add pictures, so you can know what you're looking for)Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine
½ Cup Borax1 Fels-Naptha soap bar1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
Yes, I have tried this homemade recipe. My husband likes the smell of it (the Fels-Naptha soap). I think it works ok. I always at least 2 tablespoons, and if I have OxiClean on hand, I add a scoop of it to the load too.
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" is not the same as Baking Soda. I find it at my local ACE Hardware. It must be sodium carbonate!
Lately, though, I bought some Arm & Hammer Powder Laundry Detergent on the recommendation of a friend's mother. I think it works well, and it smells good too! I really like the kind with Oxi-Clean in it.
The problem is--the spots persist. I have started using vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, because I've heard it is a great and frugal softener, and it helps wash out the soap.
Has anyone else ever had this happen? Have you figured out how to fix it, short of getting a new washer?
What do you like to use--liquid or powder detergent, and why?
(Linked to Frugal Friday)