Customer Resources

Customer FAQ

NEW USER? HERE’S AN INTRODUCTION TO CHARLIE’S SOAP

+ Q: Super-Cleanse and Detox your Laundry

A:

Sometimes the best way to reap the greatest benefit is to start from scratch. Charlie’s Soap allows you to do just that. Repeated washing with many laundry detergents can leave residues in both your washer and your wash that can irritate sensitive skin.

Charlie’s Soap is a soothing, safe, effective and biodegradable detergent that leaves nothing but the sweet smell of clean between your clothes and your skin.

To Super-Cleanse and Detox right now, here’s what you do as a new user of Charlie’s Soap …
Super-Cleanse your machine by washing a load of rags with at least one load of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry.

Use hot water and heavy agitation.

Super-Cleanse your laundry by washing the same load a few times in a row, each time with a new dose of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry. Each wash will remove more of those irritating residues until you’re left with like-new laundry: clean, soft and fresh-smelling.

Use only Charlie’s Soap products, and both your laundry AND your machine will stay super clean and odor free!

+ Q: Tips for HE washing machine users

A:

Many HE washers really are efficient at cleaning with less water than traditional top-loading washers. Charlie’s Soap is perfect for them. However, some HE machines are inefficient with their use of lower levels of water and thus need a little help.
Leave your washer on the Heavy Soil setting for extra agitation. Consider adding soft, plastic, knobby dryer balls to restore some agitation.
If your washer rarely uses enough water, use the Bulky cycle or add a wet towel to the wash.
Add Charlie’s Soap for Laundry directly to the clothes when possible. Be sure that the washer doesn’t drain the drum before starting its cycle, though.
Double rinse.
With all front loaders, leave the door open to prevent odor.

TIPS FOR THE LAUNDRY ROOM

+ Q: HOW TO . . . wash cloth diapers and other performance garments

A:

If you’re new to using Charlie’s Soap, click here first to Super-Cleanse all your diapers before using them. This is the first and last time you’ll need to strip these garments.
If you’re using other detergents on other regular clothes, make sure you clean out the drum before washing diapers. A quick wipe-down with Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath should be enough. Otherwise, the wash cycle will clean the drum and not your laundry. Those residues could be deposited on the garments temporarily degrading their performance.
Make sure garments are washed with lots of water and lots of agitation. Follow care instructions.
Charlie’s Soap is not a disinfectant.
Avoid letting polyester sit for too long as odors can become trapped and it will take a soak to remove them.
When in doubt, wash them twice.
Add Charlie’s Soap Booster if you have hard water.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . use Charlie’s Soap for laundry if you have sensitive skin

A:

If you’re new to using Charlie’s Soap, click here first to Super-Cleanse your clothes BEFORE wearing them.
As Charlie’s Soap starts to pull old residues out of your clothes, do not be surprised if they smell and feel weird. This is normal and will pass.
When in doubt, wash them again.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . use Charlie’s Soap for Laundry with an HE washing machine

A:

Many HE washers really are efficient at cleaning with less water than traditional top-loading washers. Charlie’s Soap is perfect for them. However, some HE machines are inefficient with their use of lower levels of water and thus need a little help.
Leave your washer on the Heavy Soil setting for extra agitation. Consider adding soft, plastic, knobby dryer balls to restore some agitation.
If your washer rarely uses enough water, use the Bulky cycle or add a wet towel to the wash.
Add Charlie’s Soap for Laundry directly to the clothes when possible. Be sure that the washer doesn’t drain the drum before starting its cycle, though.
Double rinse.
With all front loaders, leave the door open to prevent odor.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean the most stubborn of stains.

A:

First try Charlie’s Soap Laundry Pre-Spray.
Spray the stain as soon as you notice it
Rub the liquid into the stain.
Let that sit for 30 minutes or longer. It’s okay if it dries. You may see the stain spread. This is normal. It means the stain has separated from the garment.
Wash garment according to care instructions.
Take care not to dry the garment until you know the stain is gone.
If that doesn’t work, try repeating the process. But this time with a bit more vigor…
Use more Pre-Spray and agitate longer
Let it sit longer
When you go to wash the garment, double the dose of Charlie’s Soap
Add the Booster
And if it’s a light colored garment, add the Oxygen Bleach
And if THAT doesn’t work …
Find an appropriately sized bucket. Fill it with water. Add at least 4 doses of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry. The more Charlie’s, the more effective the soak.
Cover the bucket to prevent evaporation and leave it overnight. We have soaked items for weeks. Charlie’s Soap only goes after the stain, not the garment.
After soaking, dump the contents into the washer and run two cycles with NO soap.
AND IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, we’ll sell you a pair of scissors to cut the stain out. Because with a stain that far gone, nothing short of damage to the garment is going to get it out.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . use Charlie’s Soap in a professional laundry service

A:

When possible, follow these instructions for Super-Cleansing [link] the machines and the stock of laundry. Extra-long cycles can take the place of multiple washes to remove entrapped detergent residues.
Dosing
16 lbs. machine : 0.0625 fl. oz. per pound weight (liquid) or 0.03125 oz. per pound weight (powder)
400 lbs. machine: 0.0475 fl. oz. per pound weight (liquid) or 0.02375 oz. per pound weight (powder)
Wide range of temperature compatibility.
Compatible with many builders (sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, potassium diphosphate, etc.) and disinfectants (chlorine bleach, 3% hydrogen peroxide).
Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate is available as a pre-treater for extremely heavy soil or reclaim washes.
Since Charlie’s Soap rinses thoroughly, there is little to no need for softeners or sours to balance pH.
Water softeners and other industrial products available upon request.

+ Q: Extra tidbits about using Charlie’s Soap for laundry

A:

If you have hard water, add ½ tbsp of Charlie’s Soap Booster to each wash to prevent and slowly remove scale. Other water softeners like Borax and washing soda also help a little. Water hardness can change with the weather.
To brighten whites, add 2 tbsp of Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach. Regular chlorine bleach works, too.
Add Charlie’s Soap directly to the clothes, ignoring the dispenser whenever possible.
If you have to use a shared washer, or you go to a Laundromat, make sure your wipe down the drum with Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner before starting your load!
Charlie’s Soap is highly biodegradable. Therefore, you can use it for gray water irrigation. Use soaker hoses, not sprinklers.
If your washer is 4.0 cubic feet or higher, a full dose of Charlie’s Soap may be a heaping spoonful of Laundry Powder or an ounce and a bit extra of Laundry Liquid.
Using a double dose of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry can help in a pinch if you need extra cleaning.
If you really want to have a scent from your laundry, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a face cloth and add that do your drying clothes.
Charlie’s Soap is safe for colors, but do follow your garments’ care instructions. If a garment says it is not colorfast, it may bleed or fade.
Most clothes are naturally soft. The more you use Charlie’s Soap, the more your garments’ characteristics shine. You shouldn’t need fabric softener.
To kill static cling, add a moistened face cloth to the last 5 minutes of the drying cycle.

TIPS FOR CLEANING SURFACES . . . AND PETS

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean home interiors

A:

Heavy soils on hard surfaces: Tubs, sinks, fireplaces, grout, etc.
Use Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate.
Apply conservatively to surface.
Allow to sit on surface and work its way behind grease and grime. Charlie’s Soap was designed to gently release stains, not blast them off.
Lightly scrub. If you feel some extra scrubbing power is needed, sprinkle some of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder to the area and continue to scrub lightly.
Rinse thoroughly with running water if possible. If it is not possible to rinse with running water, use a sopping wet sponge, wet towel or wet chamois.
Repeat if necessary
Light to moderate soils on hard surfaces: Tile, shower stalls, toilet bowls, sinks, dishes (yes dishes), stove tops, ovens, grimy countertops after cooking, stove hoods, toilet seats, etc.
Use Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner.
Apply to surface conservatively.
Allow to sit on surface and work its way behind grease and grime. Charlie’s Soap was designed to gently release stains, not blast them off.
Lightly scrub the surface taking care not to scratch.
Wipe down with dry cloth or damp sponge, damp towel, or damp chamois.
Repeat if necessary
Very light soils or porous surfaces: painted or wallpapered walls, granite, etc…
Dilute to Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner 50% strength with water
Apply to surface conservatively.
Allow it to sit for only a few moments to work its way behind grease and grime. The dwell time will be less than for other applications to prevent absorption of the Charlie’s Soap into the surface.
Wipe off with dry towel or a slightly damp cloth.
Repeat if necessary
For spots on fabric furniture:
Use Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate.
Wet the area
Spray Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor once on the spot.
Let it sit for a few minutes
Agitate with a stiff brush.
Add water and extract with a wet/dry vacuum.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean home exteriors

A:

For concrete, asphalt drives and walkways:
Use Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor concentrate full strength.
Apply Indoor/Outdoor directly to spots.
Let it sit for a few minutes. The longer you allow Charlie’s Soap to sit, the better it cleans.
Agitate with stiff broom brush and rinse or rinse with pressure washer.
Repeat if necessary.
For all other exterior surfaces: vinyl, brick, wood, stucco, terracotta, Masonite, aluminum, canvas, patio furniture, gutters, concreted, etc… Not recommended for cleaning asphalt shingles—it cleans away the tar holding the gravel in place.
Dilute Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner 50% with water into a pump-up garden sprayer.
Spray mixture liberally over all vertical surfaces.
Allow mixture to sit and release soils: at least 10 minutes. The longer you allow Charlie’s Soap to sit, the better it cleans. Charlie’s Soap may remove oxidized paint.
Rinse thoroughly using a pressure washer or brush and garden hose.
Repeat if necessary.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean carpets and floors

A:

To spot clean carpets:
Wet the stain with water.
Spray Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate full strength once directly onto the spot.
Let it sit for a few minutes (the longer the better).
Agitate with a stiff brush to work up a lather.
Add water and blot up with towel or use a wet/dry vacuum.
Carpet Shampooing:
Use 1/2 the amount your carpet cleaning machine calls for when using Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner.
In a 1 gallon Rug Doctor (or similar) rental machine, use ¼ cup Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner (max).
No rinsing required.
All hard surface floors (sealed or unsealed hardwood, tile, linoleum, laminate, etc.):
Mix a solution of 1 Fl. Oz. of Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner per gallon of water in a bucket.
Spray trouble spots conservatively with full strength Charlie's soap Indoor/Outdoor.
Mop as normal. No rinsing required.
Higher dilutions or longer dwell time will safely strip wax from waxed floors.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean your car, inside and out

A:

Start with the tires, wheels and undercarriage:
Spray Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate liberally.
Allow to sit. NOTE: Do not apply to hot wheels. Rinse polished aluminum surfaces within 5 minutes.
Rinse when you finish washing the car.
Move onto the body: Metal, plastic, rubber, vinyl, or canvas.
Mix ¼ cup of Indoor/Outdoor per 5 gal of water.
Sponge or brush on one quarter panel at a time, including windows.
Allow to sit for around 5 minutes (MAX) and then hose off with water.
Note: Dirty Indoor/Outdoor mixed with water will continue to clean, but be wary of grit.
Spray engine compartment (except electric coils) with half strength Indoor/Outdoor allowing to sit for 5 minutes, and rinse off.
Now, detail the interior: leather and vinyl upholstery and plastic surfaces.
Apply diluted Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner to surface conservatively.
Allow Kitchen & Bath to sit a moment to work its way behind grease and grime.
Wipe off with a dry towel, or wet chamois.
NOTE: Not recommended for interior windows.
For spots on fabric upholstery:
Wet the area
Spray Indoor/Outdoor once on the spot.
Let it sit for a few minutes, and then agitate with a stiff brush.
Add water and extract with a wet/dry vacuum.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean your boat and all your boating accessories

A:

To clean your boat:
Mix ¼ cup of Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate per 5 gal of water in a bucket.
Sponge or brush on hull, deck, sails, engine housing, waterproof furniture.
Allow to sit for around 5 minutes and then scrub and hose off with water.
Spray engine compartment (except electric coils) with half strength Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner allowing to sit for 5 minutes, and rinse off.
For light washing and treatment of soft gear:
To eliminate odors and bacteria, prepare a tub of tap water and add 1 TBSP of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder or 1 fl. oz. of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid.
After the day’s activities, submerge gear in the Charlie’s Soap, working the gear up and down a few strokes. Works great on: bathing suits, wet and dry suits, life jackets, shoes, etc…
Rinse clothes if possible with water hose while hanging.
Hang dry.
Use a small amount of disinfectant to kill any remaining germs
Keep your hard gear clean:
Prepare 25% dilution of Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner
Spray on surfaces: boats, paddles, skis, sails, vehicles, trailers, etc…
Brush at dirt, grease and grime.
Wipe off or rinse. Hang dry.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean up while hiking and camping

A:

For cleaning dirty clothing while in the field:
Put clothes into a large, sturdy, sealable, black plastic bag. Do not overfill.
Place the bag into clear stream and allow some water into the bag.
Add up to 1 TBSP of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder or 1 oz. of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid.
Seal the bag and lay flat in the sun on a flat surface (rock or sand) to warm.
Walk around on the bag for about 5 minutes.
Remove the clothes.
Rinse them thoroughly in the stream.
Hang dry. The clothes may pick up scent from the stream, but your sweat and body odor will be gone.
For cleaning outdoor gear while in the field:
Bring along some Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner.
Brush off excess dirt, mud, grease, soot, sap, blood, etc…
Spray dirty equipment with Charlie’s Soap solution.
Wipe off with cloth or rinse if possible.
Use on shoes, tools, shelter, cooking and eating utensils.
To inhibit rust, reapply to clean steel tools. Do not wipe off or rinse.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean your pets and other animals

A:

If washing in a bath/basin:
Mix ¼ cup of Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner per 5 gallons of water.
Stand animal in bath and lather up fur or feathers.
Avoid contact with eyes as it will sting but cause no harm.
Rinse thoroughly.
For hand and hoof washing:
Wet hands (or paws, or hooves).
Apply Indoor/Outdoor mixture to animal conservatively.
Scrub animal to lather up paws, or hooves.
Avoid contact with eyes as it will sting but cause no harm.
Rinse thoroughly.
Please keep in mind that Charlie’s Soap will remove most natural oils from aquatic animals’ fur or feathers. Keep them from water until their bodies regenerate the oil, lest they have trouble swimming.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . wash the dishes

A:

In the Dish Washer (results may vary)
Add ½ tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder to the dispensing area
Add ½ tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap Booster to the dispensing area.
Don’t try this with the liquids unless you particularly enjoy suds. This isn’t a “proper” use of Charlie’s Soap. Your results may vary. Some machines will cause this to form more suds than they can handle. Just pay attention, and good luck.
In the Sink
Douse the pots and pans with the Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate after cooking but before cleaning. This will give it some time to separate the dirtier grease and whatnot from the surface.
Fill the sink with water and add 1-2 ounces of Liquid Laundry (if you like suds) or Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner (if you don’t like suds).
Swish and start scrubbing. Don’t look for lots of suds, just lots of clean dishes. There’s no extra need for dish gloves.
Rinse in the other sink. Charlie’s Soap is completely non-toxic and rinses completely away leaving dishes squeaky.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean up heavy oils and sludge

A:

For hard surfaces:
Use Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate full strength.
Apply it to area.
Allow Charlie's Soap to linger for at least 30 minutes. Indoor/Outdoor will work its way behind the oils to gently release them without harsh abrasives.
Using a spatula or other non-scratching tool, gently scrape surface clean of oil and sludge.
Use a pressure washer or very hot water to finish. Take care to get left–over grease.
Repeat if necessary. Charlie's Soap Indoor/Outdoor is non-toxic & completely biodegradable. No need to worry about effluent.
For fabrics and clothing (including washable filters):
Use Charlie’s Soap Laundry Pre-Spray and Charlie’s Soap for Laundry.
Apply Laundry Pre-Spray directly to fabric early on. Rub it into the stains.
Allow the Pre-Spray to sit on the fabric and penetrate: at least 30 minutes.
In a washing machine, wash with up to two doses of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry. Dosage depends on washing machine size.
Repeat if necessary.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . clean up in an industrial setting

A:

Dilute Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate with water for different applications.
100% strength for heavy oils and greases. Allow to sit, gently scrape off then rinse heavily.
50% strength for heavy soil on surfaces you can’t rinse easily. Allow to sit, rinse with damp sponge or chamois.
25% strength for light soil on many surfaces. Allow to sit, and wipe off or blow off with high-pressure air.
1% strength for hard surface floors. Mop and let dry.
For fabrics (including washable filters) use Charlie’s SoapLLaundry Pre-Spray and Charlie’s Soap for laundry:
Apply Pre-Spray directly to fabric early on.
Allow the Pre-Spray to sit on the fabric and penetrate: at least 30 minutes.
In a washing machine, wash with up to two doses of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry. Dosage depends on washing machine size.
Repeat if necessary.

+ Q: HOW TO . . . use Charlie’s Soap while working wood or metal

A:

Use as a cutting fluid for saws, routers and drills, etc…
Mix Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner concentrate 50% with water into your coolant reservoir.
Run saw or drill and circulate fluid.
Will keep tools cool and clean during job.
Clean up excess pitch, tar and dust after work
Using the Indoor/Outdoor from the coolant reservoir, douse cutting surfaces.
If no coolant was used, wet cutting tools with full strength Indoor/Outdoor.
Allow Indoor/Outdoor to sit a moment to work its way behind grease and grime.
Brush tools clean and rinse.
Dry thoroughly.
Store tools rust free. Charlie’s Soap Indoor/Outdoor acts as a natural rust inhibitor.
Clean tools as detailed above.
Reapply Indoor/Outdoor full strength to entire steel surface of cutting tool.
DO NOT RINSE. Hang up tools and allow them to air dry.

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CHARLIE'S SOAP BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK

+ Q: Is Charlie's Soap a "detergent" or a real "soap?"

A:

Charlie's Soap is a blend of natural-based surfactants (detergents) derived from coconut and mineral oils, salts and water (Laundry Liquid) or pure washing soda (Laundry Powder).
Real soaps are made from heating a variety of oils treated with caustic soda (lye) or pot ash. Real soaps do not bind to water very well and thus have a tendency to leave a residue.

There is a good reason that it is called Charlie's Soap and not Charlie's Detergent. Almost 40 years ago, the product was first created for the textile industry. It worked so well that workers in the plants started stealing it.

They eventually found their way over to our office looking for it. Everyone in the textile plants knew Charlie Sutherland, Sr. They started calling it Charlie's "soap," not knowing the chemical difference between soaps and detergents. Charlie Sutherland, Jr. actually created the product, but it's not his name on the bottle.

After years of trying to name the product everything under the sun, the name "Charlie's Soap" just stuck.

+ Q: Does Charlie’s Soap test on animals?

A:

We have not performed any in-house nor paid for any animal testing of our products.

To the best of our knowledge and sources of information, none of our raw materials have been tested on animals either.

It is, however, difficult to be sure of the total history of the raw materials.

We do not have any animal-based raw materials.

+ Q: Can I use Charlie’s Soap with other cleaners and detergents?

A:

If you add other detergents to Charlie’s Soap, chances are you will make a lot of suds while the two battle it out, but your clothes and surfaces will not come clean.

But there are a few products you CAN add to Charlie’s Soap:
You can add chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach to your wash cycle. You can also add 1 tsp of chlorine bleach (1 tbsp of oxygen bleach) to a quart sized sprayer of Charlie’s Soap Indoor / Outdoor or Kitchen & Bath to add disinfecting capabilities.
You can add oxygen bleaches to your wash.

WHY BUY CHARLIE'S SOAP?

Green Ingredients

Proven Effective

Built By Science

Our formulas are what make us special. We do things differently here at Charlie’s Soap because in our case, different (and simple) is better.

If you use the best and purest ingredients, you don’t need (pardon the pun) a laundry list of ingredients. All you need is what works.

Charlie's Soap Laundry Liquid

Water; sodium carbonate (washing soda); C12-15 Pareth-2 (Vegetable sourced surfactants)

Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder

Sodium carbonate (washing soda); sodium metasilicate (drying agent); C12-15 Pareth-2 (Vegetable sourced surfactants)

Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder Packets

Sodium carbonate (washing soda); sodium metasilicate (drying agent); C12-15 Pareth-2 (Vegetable sourced surfactants); cellulose gum (packet material)

Charlie's Soap Laundry Pre-Spray; Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner; Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner

Water; sodium carbonate (washing soda); C12-15 Pareth-2 (Vegetable sourced surfactants)

Booster & Hard Water Treatment

Potassium diphosphate

Oxygen Bleach

Sodium percarbonate (non-chlorine bleach); Sodium carbonate (washing soda); sodium metasilicate (drying agent)

Third Party Tested & Proven

Rated by Green Seal for Whole Foods' nationally acclaimed Eco Scale Program

TECHNICAL INFORMATION