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Doing laundry yesterday and today

Egyptian wall paintings show that even back then it was common to wash laundry and then wring it out. Apparently, potash and soda initially served as cleaning agents. The cleansing effect of soap was only discovered from the 2nd century on. Until the late Middle Ages, however, few citizens could afford soap, and a combination of wood ash and tallow often served as a cleaning agent. In 1789, the Frenchman Nicolas Leblanc succeeded in chemically producing soda. In the following years, there were many soap makers, and eventually it was possible to produce soap industrially. From the beginning of the 19th century, there were first detergents, which consisted of soap, soda, sodium silicate and sodium perborate. The latter two ingredients gave the detergent produced by the company Henkel its name: Persil. Although there were now special washing powders, actual laundry washing remained a time- and labor-intensive activity until the mid-20th century. Only then were fully automatic washing machines offered, but initially only a few families could afford them.

As early as 1932, Fewa was the first fully synthetic fine detergent. With the gradual spread of washing machines, several detergent manufacturers took it upon themselves to replace the soap contained in the products with tetrapropylene benzene sulfonate (an anionic surfactant). The increased release of the poorly biodegradable substance, in turn, required a rethink, and quickly degradable surfactants came into use in the 1960s. Enzymes were added to detergents from 1969 onwards, enabling better stain removal. Nowadays, you can choose from a very large number of solid and liquid laundry detergents. Often, these are concentrates that can be dosed sparingly. The three most important types of laundry detergents to distinguish are full detergent, color detergent, and fine detergent. While full detergent (universal detergent) is used for temperature ranges from 20 to 95 degrees Celsius, color detergent (color detergent) should be used for temperatures between 20 and 60 degrees Celsius. Special additives in color detergents effectively prevent the discoloration of laundry items. With a fine detergent, you can gently clean particularly sensitive textiles - usually at 20-40 degrees Celsius.

Using fabric softener

You belong to those who like to wear cuddly soft laundry on their skin? Then you will surely find what you are looking for in the subcategory fabric softener. The undoubtedly best-known brands are Lenor and Softlan. Fabric softeners with a good price-performance ratio are products of the EDEKA brand Gut & Günstig - such as Gut & Günstig fabric softener Soft Care Spring Feeling or Gut & Günstig fabric softener Sensitive. Fabric softeners are generally used as post-treatment agents for laundry items. Fabric softeners can counteract both the dry stiffness and the electrostatic charging. All washing machines now available have a special compartment into which the fabric softener can be filled, so that the laundry can be softened in the last rinsing cycle. It is cationic surfactants contained in the fabric softener that weaken the interactions of negative charges. This brings, among other things, a more comfortable wearing comfort and better ironing properties of the textiles.

What laundry care products are there?

Products that ensure that white laundry stays white and the colors of colorful textiles remain brilliant even after multiple washings can be found in the subcategory laundry care products. The use of color and dirt trapping cloths, for example from Heitmann and EDEKA, has proven to be effective. The task of the color catchers is to bind the color that coloring textiles give off. Correspondingly, other textiles washed together hardly absorb any other color components.

Regardless of whether you use color catchers or not, you should not fail to sort the laundry carefully before washing: First, it is a matter of sorting the laundry according to sensitivity (paying attention to the types of textiles) and the permissible washing temperature. The next sorting step involves separating white, colored and dark laundry items. Strongly soiled laundry generally requires separate treatment. Here, for example, pretreatment with a special stain remover may be necessary. Clothes with prints, like jeans, should be turned inside out before putting them in the washing machine. To prevent other laundry items from being damaged during the washing process, you should close all zippers and put underwire bras in a pillowcase. In any case, it is advisable to empty all trouser, shirt and jacket pockets before washing.

Stain salt, spray and gel

Stain removers are used whenever a normal detergent is not sufficient to completely remove the respective stain. A challenge are especially fruit, fat and blood stains. In addition, you always have to choose a product for stain removal that does not attack the fabric of the item to be cleaned. The more sensitive the material, the more complicated it is to remove the stain. Because if too harsh agents are applied, the fabric may be damaged and/or discolored. Therefore, it is also so important to test the chosen stain remover at a particularly inconspicuous location before actual use. If you find an incompatibility, a milder product must be chosen. Even if there are still dirt shadows after its application, they are certainly less noticeable than the results of too harsh a product. You stand a relatively good chance of removing the stain if you act quickly and know both the material and the stain-causing agent.

In our shop, we offer stain salt, which is filled into the washing machine together with the detergent, and stain sprays and gels, which can be applied directly. Stain salts mainly contain anionic surfactants and bleach based on oxygen. Stain salt must not be applied directly to textiles, for example for pre-treating laundry: the risk of discoloration and material damage is too great. Sil 1 for All, which can be sprayed on, is quite good for pretreating laundry in case of stains. You want to remove stains from upholstery or carpets? With Sil Sapur Carpet Foam and Tuba Stain Spray, we can offer you two effective stain sprays.

Bright white for curtains

Although there are now many people who prefer blinds to curtains and drapes, curtains still look great in front of some windows today. However, the care required for curtains is much higher than for blinds. This is especially true in households with smokers. The originally bright white curtains quickly turn nicotine yellow and also smell unpleasant. Since many curtains can only be washed at 30 degrees Celsius, the use of normal detergents does not help much. It is better to choose a special curtain detergent. Not least in case you cannot find a washing label on the curtains, you should definitely choose the gentle cycle and a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. Modern curtain detergents remove dirt and unpleasant odors at low washing temperatures. If the curtains are heavily soiled, it is advisable to soak them in cold curtain detergent solution for a while. Before putting the curtains in the washing machine, you should remove all metallic parts such as rings and clips so as not to have rust stains in the fabric after washing.