I’m probably the worst person in the world to test laundry products, but here I am, trying it again.
When I do a load of laundry, I hate to admit it, but sometimes it stays in the dryer for days. By that time, I’ve forgotten what brand of soap I was even testing!
I made an effort to really test Molly’s Suds this past month after I received my sample, and I’m sharing all the tests and results in today’s review post.
The Problem with Natural Laundry Detergent
First of all, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that “detergent” probably isn’t even the right term for Molly’s Suds. Is it soap? Or just “laundry powder?” I think the All Sport says it’s soap, so that’s probably what I should be saying.
We’ve used various natural laundry products for the past 6 years or so, and the one thing my husband notices is that the whites are pretty dingy.
Molly’s “Stain Tips and Tricks” shares a solution for that, and I do love that at least they’re addressing the problem:
Dingy whites after switching to Molly’s Suds means you were using a product that had optical whiteners in it, along with a list of other toxic ingredients. Mineral deposits in the fabric cause dingy whites and they are in hard water. Add 1 scoop of Molly’s Suds and 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and soak on hot. About 30 minutes to an hour, then wash as you normally would. Hanging clothes to dry in the sun naturally bleaches them and it really does work!
It was on my to-do list all week, but honestly, I didn’t get time to test it out yet…but we’ve definitely done plenty of laundry in the past month otherwise!
Does Molly’s Soap Get Clothes Clean?
The real problem with me and the laundry is that I feel like I always have some stained clothing on the other end, no matter what I do. When people ask me, “Does such-and-such laundry product get things clean?” I never know what to say.
Like I said, I worked hard to pay attention this month, and here’s what I can tell you about Molly’s Suds:
- Ground in dirt off my husband’s khaki shorts – as I was putting them in, I noticed especially the edges of his cargo-style pockets were pretty grungy. I thought, “No hope. That’s just a stain.” But when they came out, I was shocked.
- Two grease stains that had been through the dryer already. I did dab them with blue Dawn, but it was only on there 5 minutes before washing, and that has not always worked every time for me. This time, either the Dawn worked its magic, Molly’s Suds is amazing, or Molly’s Suds and blue Dawn are a good team. (Further grease stain testing worked about 75% of the time with the same one-two punch.)
- Stink out of armpits and such – there’s definitely no fragrance in the finished laundry.
- Got all campfire (etc) stink out of camping load, first try! If I remember correctly, soap nuts took two washes once.
- I asked DH to go sniff his camping load and tell me if they were as clean as expected after camping, and he was actually pleasantly surprised. “I don’t smell anything…impressive.”
- Plenty of dirt on a bright yellow T-shirt – came out completely with no stain treating. Shocked!
- Many stains tend to at least start to come out when pre-treated, and if they don’t, they are generally truly stains that will stay forever. My daughter had a mark on the back of her light yellow shorts – I can’t really say what it was. Marker? Food? Where does a bright pink thumbprint-sized splotch near one’s waist come from? Even the 5-year-old probably couldn’t tell me. If you’re a parent, you know about these things. Anyway – I did stain treat it with Branch Basics and it didn’t seem to even make a dent. I was totally blown away when the mark was 100% gone after washing. A dual success story!
Failures so far
No product is perfect. Here are the misses we’ve had with Molly’s Suds, which may have been the same with Tide or whatever the most toxic detergent you can think of is, anyway. Like I said – I stink at laundry, and I’m not sure our washer agitates as vigorously as it ought.
- (This one is a half-and-half failure/success)
I tried the stain tips for dark spots (grease?) on old hand-me-down clothes from the tips and tricks PDF – except of course that’s just my clothes, all the time – and I did use Dawn dishsoap, which is pretty powerful but hasn’t always worked. Results:
- half success on a dark gray shirt that had definitely been through the dryer at least once – one spot came out, another adjacent spot didn’t. Maybe I missed when treating? I’m doing it again this week.
- Boy’s khaki shorts, a sort of sheer fabric, slippery – nope. I don’t know what the discoloration was, and they’d definitely been through the dryer, but two times with everything I had didn’t get it out.
- My khaki capris (regular cotton blend fabric) that I hit with a butter knife – oh yes, I am so graceful – came out perfectly.
- Little girl’s pink shirt that had been through the dryer and was quite a mess – came out acceptably.
- Getting the “other detergent” nasty smell out – I had some shirts I bought at a garage sale that smelled strongly of “someone else’s” laundry. Yuck. I figured I’d give them 3 washes and hope the scent got out, and I’ve only had time for two so far, but the smell of the other detergent is definitely still there. The first wash was in the Molly’s powder, cold water, and the second was with the All Sport, warm/cool water. I’ll do it again and let you know on Facebook how it goes!
- Super ground in dirt on my 8yo boy’s clothes, especially on his swim shirt, which is bright highlighter yellow (and a big mistake to take camping in the woods). I washed once, hung to dry. No change. I even soaked it in oxygen bleach along with some other problematic clothes, and the water turned dark brown from all the dirt, but the shirt is still quite a mess. Bummer.
- Untreated month-old food stains I didn’t know about. Whoops. Clearly those should have been treated!
Good Laundry Habits
Natural or not, it really is true that if you catch a stain early and at least treat it, then wash as soon as possible, you have a much better chance of getting it out.
Trying not to let grease stains get through the dryer is important, and if you do, dish soap, scrubbing, and a bit of white vinegar is the way to go.
One lesson I keep having to learn over and over is the one about load size. A load needs headroom, space to agitate, in order to get clean. I tend to cram too much in there because there’s always more laundry in the dirty pile, and I figure “just one more is okay” far too often. Bah. Glad I’m reviewing natural laundry stuff so I can re-learn the habit again!!
Would I Buy Molly’s Suds?
Many of you know that we’ve used soap nuts for many years, and I still like the nuts, but there’s something to be said for a quick “scoop and dump” instead of chasing the little bag of soap nuts around.
Overall, I have to say I’m very happy with Molly’s Suds, so yes, I would buy it, and it may very well become our new standby, or at least the second option to have on hand. It’s gotten out some surprising stains, hasn’t done anything awful to our laundry, everything smells clean and fresh, and as a bonus, it’s scented with peppermint oil, which smells so happy when you open the package it actually lifts my spirits. (The peppermint really doesn’t come through on the finished laundry at all, and you can special order Molly’s Suds without it if you need to.)
I’ll share a little more about the ingredients later next week as we tackle cleaning and personal product sourcing, but you can read more about the Molly’s Suds story right here. It is really good for people with sensitive skin and babies, and it’s a laundry soap the whole family can use at once.
Are expensive gadgets and specialty foods really worth the cost? Read these super-thorough reviews to see if the item you have your eye on passed the KS tests and truly lives up to the hype.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. I did receive the Molly’s Suds products for free to review, but this is not a paid post and my opinions and experiences are completely my own. See my full disclosure statement here.
If you appreciated the balance and depth of the review you just read, you will love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!