The Case Against Powder Detergents

In the beginning of the history of Selestial Soap Natural Laundry Products at a mega laundromat in Traverse City, Michigan  we began first as a powder using grated bar soap for the oil portion of the cleaning.  As you may know oils attract oils so their is a necessity of having some form of oil in the laundry soap.  Our product had no fillers in the powdered version, but powder soap never dissolved 100%, and over time caused build up in the dispensers of our HE machines.  It also left a slight residue on black pants, black sweaters etc.  We made a decision to discontinue the use of powder because with powder you cannot effectively use cold water only and again because of the build up in our machines.  When we switched to producing a liquid version of Selestial Soap, at first we still used grated soap which we melted and added to our liquid mixture.  Sure it cleaned but had to be shaken well before each use and even then would at times leave little lumps in the bottom of the container.  One day I received a call from a chemical company wanting to sell me a new type of propylene glycol.  I said, “I don’t use propylene glycol” to which he replied: “of course you do, all soap has propylene glycol!”  I shared with him what brand I was using in the production process and said it was pure and natural soap.  He kindly replied that no bar soap is without at least sodium hydroxide which is both caustic and harsh and unless it is a homemade bar soap, he would guarantee the bar soap contained propylene glycol.  In shock I called the company I purchased the soap in bulk form and asked them point blank if their bar soap contained P.G. and they replied: YES!  To say the least I learned quick after that and thus the end of the inclusion of bar soap in Selestial.  I promise you as a Selestial Soap consumer that there is absolutely no sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, or propylene glycol in any of our 100% natural and pure products.  We will not bash other natural products being sold in the marketplace but will tell you that some do use grated bar soap in their liquid form which clumps badly.  Another brand of powdered “natural”  detergent uses grated bar soap while others contain surfactants (unnatural foaming agents which do not clean clothes).  Bottom line here are the reasons you should not be using a powder detergent to wash your clothing in:  Use too much, and you’re left with cakey white gunk all over your clothes—which requires extra rinse cycles, and thus more water. Also, in order for some powders to dissolve completely, it’s better to use warm water, and that can waste more energy than washing in cold water—something that is easy to do with liquids i.e. Selestial Soap.  Powder detergents carry as much surfactants (unnatural foaming agents)  as their liquid counterparts.  HE machines never recommend powdered detergents by the manufacturer as it forms a hard residue in the dispenser over time.  At the mat we have literally chiseled out powdered detergent “rocks” the size of mango pits from the machines from customers utilizing powdered detergents.  Laundromat owners would ban powdered soap if they could.     Selestial Soap, the natural, clear alternative!