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Is Charlie's Soap a "soap" or a "detergent"?

Charlie's Soap is a blend of natural-based surfactants (detergents) derived from coconut and mineral oils, treated with a product of natural gas (real soaps are treated with caustic soda or pot ash), and salts in water (Laundry Liquid) or pure washing soda (Laundry Powder).

There is a good reason that it is called Charlie's Soap and not Charlie's Detergent. Thirty-plus 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 and started asking for it. Everyone in the textile plants knew Charlie Sutherland Sr. They started asking for some of 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.

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As a first time user, how can I get the most from my Charlie's Soap?

First, run a large heavy empty load with two doses of Charlie's Soap Laundry Liquid or Laundry Powder and a few rags to detox your washing machine of residue left by other detergents.

Second, some garments require a few washings for Charlie’s Soap to safely and effectively remove those residues. After this, you should notice the long-lasting benefits of Charlie’s Soap for Laundry: low suds, softer clothes, clean scent. When in doubt, rewash to completely detox the machine.

For best results in everyday use, use only one dose of Charlie's Soap for Laundry for a large load of laundry, even in HE washing machines. Softeners are not recommended or needed. Wash according to care instructions. Test on garments that may bleed or fade.

For excessive or stubborn stains, treat laundry with Charlie's Soap Laundry Pre-Spray.

If you have hard water, consider adding Charlie's Soap Booster to your wash.

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Is Charlie's Soap safe for my sensitive skin?

Yes. Charlie's Soap rinses away completely from your clothes so there is nothing left to which you can react.

Clothes that have been washed in anything other than Charlie's Soap likely have detergent residues. Charlie's Soap will clean those residues to the exclusion of other stains until they are gone.

It may take several washes with a full dose of Charlie's Soap to remove those residues, not just bring them to the surface. You should wash clothes that are new to Charlie's Soap two or three times before wearing them. We want to make sure that nothing touches your skin but clean clothes.

If you develop itching from clothes washed in Charlie's Soap, this is a sign that not all the old residues have been removed. They have only been pulled to the surface where you can feel them. Two successive washes of that garment with Charlie's Soap should alleviate that problem. For more information, see our Sensitive Skin page.

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What happens if I use more than the recommended amount?

It is wasteful, but not necessarily harmful.

In extreme cases, an extra rinse may be needed to get rid of the suds and thus retain the hypo- allergenic properties.

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Can Charlie's Soap be safely used to clean a baby's diaper?

We believe that clean, dry, residue free and sanitized (frequently changed and disinfected) diapers are best for babies and babies' bottoms. (See AATCC test)

Our detergents contain no ingredients or additives that are designed to bind to fabrics; and they contain no antibacterial agents, either. Subsequently, Charlie's Soap is residue free. Because your results using Charlie's Soap may vary due to your particular water conditions, your washer and your baby's sensitivity to bacteria, we suggest you follow a successful procedure like the one suggested here.

Charlie's Soap is not a disinfectant. Follow care instructions on your child's diapers, but make sure to kill bacteria that might have survived the washing process: boiling, sunning, 1/4 cup vineger (rinse), 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide (wash) or 1 tablespoon bleach in the wash. Left alone, such bacteria can cause severe, burn-like reactions.

For more information, see our Diaper Washing page.

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Why shouldn't I use fabric softener with Charlie's Soap?

Fabric softeners are used to cover the residues that normal detergents leave on fabrics.

Charlie's Soap is designed to clean all the way to the fiber, and leave no residues, and so no fabric softeners are needed. Without the residues, clothes will be naturally soft.

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Is Charlie's Soap safe for colors?

Charlie's Soap is safe for all color-fast washables. When in doubt, apply some to a small area for a test and rinse.

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Can I use bleach with Charlie's Soap?

Chlorine bleach can be used in the wash cycle with no problems.

Keep in mind that you don't need nearly the amount of bleach to disinfect as you do to whiten clothes. If you use too much, beware of bleach residues that can irritate sensitive skin.

Following bleach with another wash of Charlie's Soap can remove any residues. Color-safe (oxygen) bleaches can also be used with Charlie's Soap.

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Is Charlie's Soap compatible with my HE washer?

HE means that less water is used per washing cycle.

HE detergents are often merely lesser amounts of the same detergents because most detergents on the market do not dissolve well in small amounts of water.

Charlie's Soap is completely water soluble, so it needs very little water to dissolve it completely. Therefore, a normal dose of the Powder or Liquid is small enough to use in HE machines.

If you have used the full amount of Charlie's long enough to have washed your wardrobe at least three times and you are still noticing suds, only then should you consider using less Charlie's Soap. When washing diapers in frontloading HE washers, make sure to use the highest water setting.

For more information, see our page on HE machines.

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Is Charlie's Soap tested on animals?

We do not have any animal-based raw materials. However, we cannot be absolutely sure of the total history of all of our raw materials. But, to the best of our knowledge and sources of information, the answer is No.

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

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Does Charlie’s Soap have a scent?

Charlie’s Soap not only does not have a perfume or scent blocker; it takes all other scents away. Any detergent that has a perfume is leaving that perfume behind. If it’s leaving that perfume behind, it is also leaving behind the odor that the perfume is supposed to cover up. If it’s leaving those odors behind, then it’s not clean!

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What's in Charlie's Soap

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Charlie's Soap
203 N. First Avenue
Mayodan, NC 27027
Phone: 800-854-3541 Fax: 800-432-6007

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