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I read somewhere that someone once did a comparison of ingredients, etc, and they found that RLR was basically just washing soda. Is that true? I've used RLR for my stripping and it does really well and everything comes out nice and white and soft.
But washing soda is so cheap!!!!! Can you use washing soda the same way as RLR? Could I throw that in w/ detergent and then wash and rinse rinse rinse?
I read that RLR won't disclose, and I also read that it was (I'm doing this from memory, so don't hold me to it) the stronger sodium bicarbonate that is used as a pool cleaner. Washing soda is similar, and stronger than baking soda (hence the need to dissolve it first, and avoid extended contact with your skin). I used it instead of RLR, did two overnight soaks following the box directions and the second time it pulled out residue I didn't think I had (was having no issues), i did 7 rinses!
I can't compare it to RLR because I have never used it, but it works for me. And it's cheap! I try to do the overnight soak with clean diapers every month or so just to avoid any build up, and I love it. It also helps with my hard water, keeps everything softer.
Washing soda is usually in the laundry aisle. Nobody here carries it, I have to go to another town.
I have a HE front loader and have used both RLR and washing soda. RLR doesn't seem to do anything for us - at least not as far as trying to get rid of chemical fragrances from used clothing or the ammonia smell out of diapers. Haven't tried it for detergent buildup on any items I KNOW have detergent buildup. (just a very few items I rarely use, not really worth a load and I've been too lazy to do it by hand )
Washing soda - I tried it once by itself (in with the regular detergent) and it really roughed up everything. I must have used too much?? It was maybe a teaspoon. I thought everything would get softer with subsequent washes but nothing has. Not that the items are scratchy, but they aren't as soft as they used to be.