Laundry powder

I hope this is not going to lower the tone. I have noticed that there are no more advertisement on TV (French) for washing powder. I also noticed that since I cannot find any 'non biological' powder my laundry is certainly not as clean as it used to be. So what washes whiter than anything nowadays?

Thank you again, I am too lazy to soak and rub but if it does not get better I will have to.

The vinegar in the machine is a very good idea better than the bleach tablets. I do use vinegar to clean everything I should have thought of it for the machines.

This said what about the disappearance of advertising?

I shall try Le Chat - we do try and buy as much non-bio as possible whenever we visit the UK!

Good point re powders Brian - "we" (I use the term advisedly as I am banned from anything to do with the washing machine) haven't used powders for years - good liquids far better.

I never use that bio washing stuff as we all have stupid reactive skin, I use Le Chat gloop au savon de Marseille and it seems to get everything done OK. White things at 60° and presoak them if there is anything dodgy-looking. A bit of neat gloop rubbed into any stubborn patches works very well. I rescue virtually all clothes covered in grass-stains/fruit stains/paint that way.

The problem is that powders build up residues in outlets, they can eventually block pipes. We have stopped using them because they accumulated with fatty substances in the outlet and filtration to and in our bac degraisseur so that I had to use rods to push solid blocks of the stuff out. I did a couple of web searches and found out about the powders doing that and now we have stopped. We have a new washing machine, since late November anyway, and will resist any bleach, javel or anything else acidic. When the man from the place where we bought the new one delivered, he also took the old one away for scrapping/recycling or whatever. He told us that the inside of the drum was clearly damaged by such things and not to use them. His point was that if that is what we can see, then imagine the state of the parts inside where we cannot. We thought that a good point. We now use good liquids, not the low price supermarket own ones that do not wash well and certainly not Aldi/Lidl/Netto/etc type ones, they have never done it for us. However, regular emptying and cleaning the filter helps, doing a water only rinse cycle once week is so far helping and with the new machine it is far better anyway. It may, of course, also be the age of machines. Our old one was seven years old when it went kaputt which is not that long compared to people we know who are still using a 20 odd year old top loader!

Hello Dominique, my wife has a problem too with the "whites not being whiter than white". She has become increasingly frustrated in France as she used to use a brand which took all the stains out. Even though she spent a lot of money on bulk buying this product from the UK it no longer works. So. Now she puts everything which needs soaking in a bath full of warm water and - yes, you've guessed it - Vanish - powder. She soaks everything for two days before she washes it. Don't wash at 90 because that sets stains in. Wash low but soak first unless you want to kill bacteria - in which case 60 or 90 should suffice.

One last thing - have you tried a cup (or mug) of vinegar in your washing machine at highest temperature to clean out? And clean the filter once every few months?

Thank you for your replies.

BUT I have tried every temperature; the program with pre-washing at 90 C works best I have even tried with bleach but still not as good as the old Ariel non-bio. About smells in dishwasher and cleaning the washing machine I put once a month a Javel tablet.

I am sure Vanish does marvels but I hoped that I could do without. I have to reread James recipes for home made soaps.

Tracy mentions a "mouldy" smell in her washing machine.

A couple of years ago I read somewhere that with the arrival of still better detergents the use of the higher temperatures to obtain a clean wash was no longer necessary . This was thought to be good for your wallet, as well as for the environment. We all adopted this and most of us never wash warmer than 40 C . That's where the mouldy smell comes from apparently. Don't hesitate to wash cotton stuff like towels somewhat warmer than that, let's say 60 C, or why not occasionnally 90 C. Not only do they come out cleaner, for the grease left on them by your skin will not disappear at 40 C, but also it will take care of the source of the mouldy smell, that feeds on aforementioned grease that stays in your machine.

Although bleach no doubt helps in cleaning out the inside of your washing machine never let it stay in there overnight. Bleach will "eat" its way through the stainless steel. Same applies for stainless kitchen sinks. Rinse well after cleaning.

I would also like to know if anyone knows of non-bio washing powder as the bio ones seems to irritate my kids skins. Although, i recently slushed my whole washing machine with bleach recently to get rid of th emouldy smell and its amazing how much better it is working now.

Have you tried adding 'Vanish' Dominique, I always use it for whites.