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#1
Old 02-05-2005, 03:51 PM
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What is a mild detergent?

I've had things from clothes to furniture to my new stainless steel Thermos bottle that came with labels advising that they should always be cleaned with a mild detergent. What is a mild detergent? Are they afraid I'm going to use Ajax and steelwool? Or am I supposed to go out and buy a bottle of Woolite for these items?
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#2
Old 02-05-2005, 04:27 PM
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Mild detergent is something like dishwashing liquid. They're just saying "Don't use BonAmi and steel wool or else you'll scratch it."

Robin
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:49 PM
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Methanolic potassium hydroxide, chromic acid, and aqua regia, are other examples of cleaning agents that don't qualify as 'mild detergents.' An overnight soak in a mixture of ammonia and sodium carbonate is probably out as well.
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:50 PM
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Are any of those used in household cleaning products? I'm guessing not.

Is any dishwashing liquid considered "mild"? What about laundry detergents?
#5
Old 02-07-2005, 04:23 AM
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Any dishwashing liquid for hand-washing dishes can be considered mild. Dishwasher detergents are generally harsher, though I'd think a stainless steel thermos bottle could handle it. (Might discolor a bit, of course.)

Laundry detergents would also be considered mild, but you need to take the fabric into consideration. Ordinary detergents are fine for plant fibers such as cotton and linen, cellulose-based fibers like rayon, and most synthetics like polyester. However, animal fibers are different, and over time standard detergents will damage them. You'll get the longest life out of washable wool and silk garments if you use a detergent made for them (Woolite being one example). This will usually be specifically mentioned on the care tags. For things like wool/polyester blends, check the label - most such garments I've seen don't require special detergent.

I suspect the manufacturers specify "mild" detergent to protect themselves against complaints from dim-witted consumers who will figure that the industrial-grade garage floor cleaner they happened to have on hand said it was detergent, so....
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#6
Old 02-07-2005, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flodnak
I suspect the manufacturers specify "mild" detergent to protect themselves against complaints from dim-witted consumers who will figure that the industrial-grade garage floor cleaner they happened to have on hand said it was detergent, so....
Like my mother-in-law, who thinks it's perfectly OK to "handwash" my nice new white, embroidered blouse that says "dry-clean only" on the label.

(FTR, my blouse is now at the cleaners.)

Robin
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