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Old 10-22-2004, 02:16 PM
iwakura43 is offline
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OK to mix brands of laundry detergent?


Sometimes I find myself with a few drops of laundry detergent in each of a few different bottles--different brands, of course. Is there any reason not to mix a couple teaspoons of this brand, a couple of that brand? In fact, are laundry soaps all pretty much the same?

I could avoid having this problem in the first place, yes, but then again my parents buy the detergent for our household.
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Old 10-22-2004, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwakura43
Sometimes I find myself with a few drops of laundry detergent in each of a few different bottles--different brands, of course. Is there any reason not to mix a couple teaspoons of this brand, a couple of that brand? In fact, are laundry soaps all pretty much the same?

I could avoid having this problem in the first place, yes, but then again my parents buy the detergent for our household.
They're pretty much the same. I can't think of any reason why you couldn't mix them. Some brands are exactly the same save perfumes, dyes and the packaging.
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Old 10-22-2004, 03:03 PM
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I'd hesitate a bit to mix types of detergent, like liquid and powder - can't imagine what could happen, it just dosen't seem right. Nothing wrong with mixing different brands of the same kind, though.

Although, FYI, one hears you don't want to ever put your bleach in at the beginning because it's less effective when mixed with your soap. If your machine has a bleach dispenser, evidently it releases it at some point later in the wash cycle.
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Old 10-22-2004, 03:15 PM
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I use mixed dregs of leftover laundry detergent all the time. Nothing bad ever happens. All laundry detergent is basically the same -- it's not like mixing ammonia and bleach.
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Old 10-22-2004, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zsofia
I'd hesitate a bit to mix types of detergent, like liquid and powder - can't imagine what could happen, it just dosen't seem right. Nothing wrong with mixing different brands of the same kind, though.
The only real problem is making sure you're putting the correct amount in. If the directions say "1 scoop per load" of the dry stuff and "1 capfull per load" of the liquid stuff, and you're pretty sure you have a half-measure of each (or whatever proportion) the universe will survive.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:46 AM
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Wow.


It is difficult to describe the amount of misinformation here.

There are HUGE differences between types, brands, and ingredients in laundry detergents. And no, mixing them is NOT a good idea, but probably won't hurt anything.

There is a huge difference between an alkali (petroleum)based detergent powder and a natural based liquid detergents. Powders are better on grease, oil, and chemical based stains...liquids are better on organic and protein based stains like grass or blood.

But presuming you are speaking strictly about liquids, there are still big differences.

1.) All detergents need surfactants. Surfactants allow the dirt to attach itself to the water molecule to allow the dirt particles to float away with the rinse water instead of staying attached to the clothing. Some brands use anionic surfactants and some use ionic surfactants. mixing them is counter productive.

2.)Many liquid detergent ingredients do not mix well. One of the biggest drawbacks of liquids is the inability to include boosting agents and their short shelf life. This is the single reason that Pods are such a breakthru in liquid tech is because they can keep the various chemicals separated until use. This allows for the inclusion of several important water softening agents which until now have not existed anywhere but powders, and also greatly extends the usable shelf life of liquids.

3.) The single most critical difference to you as a user, is enzymes.
Enzymes are what clean clothes now that phosphates have been banned.
Enzymes are what clean, and enzymes are what cost. Cheaper detergents have less enzymes than expensive ones.
And all enzymes are not particularly or necessarily compatible with other enzymes. They can feed off and/or destroy each other.

Corporations like Dial and Proctor and Gamble spend millions of dollars in research and testing to determine the science behind dirt, soil, enzymes, fabrics, water, and machine compatibility (IE:So their products aren't corrosive to metals or plastics and rubber). Other brands ride their coattails and copy.

Summary:
Will you notice any huge difference doing this now and then? No.

Is there any difference in detergents? Yes. Huge.

Last edited by Roadcase; 08-30-2017 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 08-30-2017, 05:13 AM
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1.) This thread is 13 years old
2.) I get the impression that the OP was asking "will combining these produce a potent explosive or toxic gas that will kill my ass" (like with ammonia and bleach) not "will there be a difference in cleaning efficiency."

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 08-30-2017 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:19 AM
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This is the single reason that Pods are such a breakthru in liquid tech is because they can keep the various chemicals separated until use.
I would also say the breakthrough for the Pods is the price! $$$
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
1.) This thread is 13 years old
Roadcase sounds like he knows what he's talking about more than any of the original respondents, so his contribution is welcome. Though I can't help wondering if things have changed any in the world of laundry detergents since 2004.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:55 AM
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I would also say the breakthrough for the Pods is the price! $$$
I'm not sure what you are saying, here.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:58 AM
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The things people worry about. I don't even measure. Sometimes I'll add a bit of this and a bit of that to a load just for variety. "Clean enough" is how things come out.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:44 AM
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The biggest "don't mix" warning is bleach and ammonia cleansers, which can produce a toxic gas (a device that I've seen featured in several mystery/murder stories). But then, actual bleach seems a lot rarer nowadays, and AFAIK ammonia is not a common ingredient in laundry detergents - it's more for heavy-duty antiseptic stuff.

Plain detergents are fine to mix.

One warning from my washing machine repair guy. Especially for front-loaders, there's a bearing at the back in the middle of the drum. Put too much soap in, or overload the machine, and the suds foam up to that bearing regularly, and the machine may fail early. So, his advice was to use about half the recommended amount of liquid detergent on front loaders. They don't use much water anyway, so the washing water will be pretty full of detergent. I've typically used about half the smallest recommended level of detergent on the detergent bottle filler cap and have not been disappointed with the results.

Another hint is to leave the front door of the washer open and let the machine dry out when not in use.

Last edited by md2000; 08-30-2017 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not sure what you are saying, here.
I am saying that pods are really expensive.

I might be (slightly) more likely to buy them if the advertisers said something like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadcase View Post
One of the biggest drawbacks of liquids is the inability to include boosting agents and their short shelf life. This is the single reason that Pods are such a breakthru in liquid tech is because they can keep the various chemicals separated until use. This allows for the inclusion of several important water softening agents which until now have not existed anywhere but powders, and also greatly extends the usable shelf life of liquids.
Except advertisers usually just show happy smiling families excited about hanging laundry. That does not make me more inclined to buy expensive pods.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:22 PM
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I love the pods. I get them on sale and it's less than 25 cents a wash. Is that $$$ ?
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadcase View Post
[...]

2.)Many liquid detergent ingredients do not mix well. One of the biggest drawbacks of liquids is the inability to include boosting agents and their short shelf life. This is the single reason that Pods are such a breakthru in liquid tech is because they can keep the various chemicals separated until use. This allows for the inclusion of several important water softening agents which until now have not existed anywhere but powders, and also greatly extends the usable shelf life of liquids.


[...]
Well quoth, Roadcase. Just to add to your point 2, powder detergents can include ingredients that attack other ingredients, once water is present to let them all move around and find each other. Maybe it would last an hour once wet, or a day. The ingredients certainly last long enough to do their job. But if you just add water at the factory to turn a powder into a liquid, it will never last weeks or months on the shelf. This poses a serious limitation to liquid products; their ingredients have to be mutually compatible. Mixing different liquid products might combine incompatible ingredients. If you throw them into the wash together they may last long enough but if you save all your dregs in a bottle that you then pour from when it has enough for a load, this may not work right.

I understand from a technologist in the field this was a big obstacle to introducing liquid machine dishwashing detergents years ago.

Perhaps the OP was getting at generation of toxic gas et cetera. But having the cleaning not work right is certainly an important problem too.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:18 PM
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I mixed detergents and my washer exploded what did i do wrong
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:45 PM
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I mixed detergents and my washer exploded what did i do wrong
You revived an old thread for a joke comment. Don't do it again.
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:12 PM
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You revived an old thread for a joke comment. Don't do it again.
Moderator Note

Let's refrain from junior modding. (I note that you didn't even bother to report the post). No warning issued, but don't do this again.

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Old 03-26-2020, 02:16 PM
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I mixed detergents and my washer exploded what did i do wrong
fojoge9273, we request that old threads in General Questions only be bumped to provide new factual information. For that reason, i am going to close this. If you have a specific question about detergents or washers you may open a new thread.

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