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Getting Rid of Soap Residue

If there is one laundry problem that is annoying, then it has to be soap residue. After all, isn't the laundry soap supposed to get rid of stains and not produce any new stains? Well, there are a few methods that you can use when getting rid of soap residue. While all of them will work, there are times when you may find yourself unwilling to try some of them. In situations such as this all you need to do is simply pick one that you like the best, and get to work.

  • White vinegar. By adding a little bit of white vinegar to your laundry during can help remove many forms of soap residue. Often all you will need to do is add 1/2 cup of white vinegar during the first rinse cycle. While this will remove the soap residue, you will need to rinse your clothes at least one more time to be able to remove the mild smell of white vinegar.
  • Limit detergent. Another method for getting rid of soap residue is to do something before you begin washing your clothes. In this case all you really need to do is limit the amount of detergent that you use. For example use a little bit less that the manufacturer's recommendation for the powdered detergent. Do not use a significant amount less, but only a fraction.
  • Warmest possible cycles. While washing your clothes in cooler water is easier on your clothes and more energy efficient, it doesn't exactly help break up the soap very well. If you find yourself with more soap residue than you would like on your clothes, simply try using a warmer wash cycle. Often this is all that you will need to do to remove the problem.
  • Liquid detergents. Liquid detergent has a lower probability of leaving any residue behind when compared to powdered detergents. This is often because of the cheaper powdered detergents will have extra silicates which can be more difficult to get rid of. However, if you are unwilling to spend the extra money on soaps, then simply do a few extra rinse cycles.
  • Check your water type and pressure. Another common reason for soap residue is that the water you are using to wash your clothes could be too hard, or the water pressure could be too low. Check both of these and take the appropriate steps to correct them. For example if you have hard water, you can always install a water softener or change detergents. For water pressure problems you should check to make sure that your connections are secure, and if they are call a plumber.

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Comments for this tip:

GreenLady    21 Jul 2015, 09:03
Always, always unscented, dye-free detergent. The environment will thank you, and as for your poor sensitive body, Linda ma'am, it will thank you also! Unscented, dye-free liquid fabric softener is the best way to go for softening clothes. If you put them in the dryer, Bounce comes in what is called "Free & Clear" sheets. Will this help? I pray in the holy Name of Jesus that it will.
Martie    20 Jul 2015, 22:10
Why do the wash cloths come out stiff after they are dry.
linda    18 May 2015, 01:25
how do you remove any biological residue or any detergent from clothes, when bought second hand? So far Vanish, in various forms has not worked,nor bicarbonate of soda,nor numerous rinses.I am scent sensitive & end up with am allergic reaction affecting breathing, or contact dermatitis.Does white vinegar work & if so would it damage your washing machine? Would washing soda work?Could that damage your washing machine? Has anyone succeeded in neutralizing these stubborn products? I use Ecover delicate liquid to wash my clothes with no ill effects.I live in a hard water area, & use a German made eco ball. Put in with your wash it softens the water,so able to use less washing liquid or powder & keeps your washing machine free of lime scale so lasts longer.It also softens your washing,no more rough towels.I have not read this so far in my search of solutions. Back to my 1st. question please.
Colleen    17 Jan 2015, 08:47
I *always* run a second rinse cycle, anyway, adding either white vinegar or fabric *rinse* to that last rinse.

My biggest problem is getting body soap out of wash clothes that sit waiting for laundry day. I've resorted to running them through a complete cycle with only borax, before a complete "regular" cycle with extra rinse. ...and I'm still here looking for a better method ;-)
PETRA    10 Mar 2014, 10:52
Adding vinegar is particularly important for those who do not use a dryer, as complete removal of detergent residue makes clothing softer.

I fail to understand how water pressure would affect the rinse cycle. The washer fills at a specific volume and agitates at a specific rate regardless of water pressure.

Because I am not at all happy with the so-called "water saver" feature of my front loader, I frequently add an additional gallon or two of water for rinsing, especially for clothing.

JJ    10 Mar 2014, 10:36
P. S. You can do the same with bleach too.
JJ    10 Mar 2014, 09:16
Another suggestion: substitute up to 1/3 cup of baking soda for the same amount of detergent. It enhances the cleaning, and you can use less detergent.

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