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Old October 11, 2005, 10:52 PM   #1
MeekAndMild
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What brand of detergent do you use on your hunting clothes?

This is weird. I have heard that many brands of modern detergents contain whiteners which make clothing shine in the UV spectrum. Deer can supposedly see UV.

So what brand of regular detergent (not the $10 a little bottle stuff sold in the sporting goods stores) can you use which has a relatively low level of perfume and UV brighteners and other things which would bother deer?
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Old October 11, 2005, 11:15 PM   #2
sm
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I don't own camo. I use natural fibers and neutral earth tone/ natural colors.
Old phart looking stuff...

Stiff brushing takes care of most mud and dirt.
Baking Soda in cold water if I need to wash.

I use Wool, and silk underneath to wick sweat away into wool. I also wear silk socks under wool socks. Wool sweaters. My coat, heavy cotton duck or Waxed cotton with wool liner.

Honestly , I have never washed some Heavy Woolen Pants I bought at the Army Surplus store. I bought these to wear over my britches. Suspenders, and used for Duck Hunting at first. Worked so well I used them for other really cold hunting too. Stiff brush takes care of mud and dirt. I paid something like $6-10 for these some 15 yrs ago. They get messed up too bad...toss 'em, buy replacements.

Jamacian Winter Army Gear or somesuch...
Heck if I can recall, had re-enforced knees and nice deep pockets.
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Old October 12, 2005, 12:55 AM   #3
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I have to agree that you could probably get away with just using baking soda in the wash... no perfumes or residues... absorbs the odors and gets washed away. Worth a shot anyway... if your clothes still smell "funky" you haven't really lost much. I'd have to guess that if there's a detergent that doesn't have "brighteners" it would probably be "Ivory Snow" http://www.ivory.com/YourIvoryProducts_IvorySnow.htm

Or some cheap off brand stuff. If you don't like the smell you could seal your clothes in a trash bag with some pine needles, juniper berries, mint leaves, etc.

Look for stuff marked "Phosphor-free" and if you're not sure, see if a blacklight makes the clothes glow.

FYI: Don't mix up laundry detergent names and type em into google... apparently "Angel Snow" ain't what you'd expect it to be.
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Old October 12, 2005, 07:34 AM   #4
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pine-sol

If you're hunting in an area with pine trees, you can use a dilute solution of pine-sol. Otherwise I just throw the clothes into the wash with no detergent at all....
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Old October 12, 2005, 07:45 AM   #5
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I use a natural lye soap which has no brighteners or scent and wash as normal, it is much better anyway for natural fibers like cotton, wool, etc.
Over here the brand is called Lux, cant help with a name in US, but women usually know all this stuff so ask a few of them.!
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:15 AM   #6
Windjammer
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Meek,

This basically goes along with the current post on scents.

I use the Knight & Hales detergent. It normally sells at Wal-mart for appox. $10.00 per bottle. One bottle last me more than a season. I wash my clothes after very hunting trip to remove the human scent that has been trapped in it. After drying I spray my clothes down with Scent Killer and let dry. I keep my clothes in a nonscented trash bag with leaves and pine straw. Before I leave the house to hunt I shower in scent killer soap. I do not put my hunting clothes on until I get to the hunting area, this includes my boots.

This is my routine, can I say for sure it makes a difference, No. But what I can say is it can not hurt and it does gives me a higher level of confident.

Ask your self this question, If there was something you could do to increase your chances of winning the lottery by 1% , Would you do it ?

Then ask the same question about taking a big buck.

Just MHO
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Old October 12, 2005, 08:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
FYI: Don't mix up laundry detergent names and type em into google... apparently "Angel Snow" ain't what you'd expect it to be.
LOL Neither is Marilyn Chambers the "Ivory Soap" girl.
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Old October 12, 2005, 10:00 AM   #8
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Look into Woolite and/or Dreft neither contains phosphates and their scent is minimal after a hang-dry in the back yard.

I used 'laundry balls' for a while....they were plastic balls with multiple tablets inside that were supposed to work by changing up the 'ions' in the wash...I don't remember exactly, but no smell except for the water.

I bought some Scent-a-way detergent this year. I also tried their bar soap this year and it seems like I don't stink near as much at the end of the day (TX bow season = hot).
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Old October 12, 2005, 01:12 PM   #9
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I remember Dreft, dont know if it still sells here, but I like siotwo s ideas must see if there is any of the ion stuff here.
I also agree with Windjammers advice on the increasing your chances even if only by 1%. Lets face it as he says if the buck of a lifetime walks out in front of you wrinkles his nose up and shows a clean pair of heels, you would be kicking yourself forever!
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Old October 12, 2005, 01:45 PM   #10
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Arm & Hammer baking soda. Line dry. Then seal in plastic tub.
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Old October 13, 2005, 11:10 AM   #11
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I use Arm and Hammer Free. It is a powdered detergent without perfume or brighteners. It is usually quite inexpensive. I recently got a 40 load box at Kroger for 3 bux. I have used the wildlife research powdered detergent with some UV killer put in the rinsewater but I see no difference between that and the much less expensive A & H brand. also, the A & H makes clothing much softer than other brands of soap, I think it washes out better. Use about a 3/4 amount for a full load (always use less soap than they say, they are in the business of selling soap, after all).

I use the A & H, line dry outside and put the clothes in a plastic bag with a dirtsmell wafer. I wear an acornsmell wafer on my shirt while hunting. Except it makes me hungry! Smells sort of peanutty!
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Old October 13, 2005, 11:36 AM   #12
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Foxman, I found my box of 3 'laundry balls' if you cant find any on your continent, let me know and I will either track some down or send you one.

A & H is sounding prettty good also.

anybody ever try vanilla?

Ron
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Old October 13, 2005, 12:44 PM   #13
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Tide every time

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Old October 14, 2005, 04:00 AM   #14
Foxman
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Siotwo thanks for that, I am still looking, should take my own advice and ask one of the ladies!
regards
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Old October 14, 2005, 10:45 AM   #15
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Same as all my other clothes. Don't fall for the hype and marketing. If scent and UV were that big of a problem how would we have survived 100-200 years ago? The american bison, elk, and whitetail deer were nearly wiped out, by some of the smelliest people around. I really doubt that anyone "knows" how a deer actually sees. It is amazing how UV was never a problem until someone,(probably an ad man), decided that deer could see UV, and guess what, they have just the product to sell you.

The animals hunted far from civilization don't know that human smell means anything, just something new or different. As far as those animals that have encountered humans and now associate that smell with danger. Poppycock!

Why would the animals we hunt now a days be any smarter than the same species we hunted to near extinction just 80-100 years ago? The eastern elk was eliminated, the whitetail deer was essentially driven out of PA and some other eastern states. The bison, well what can you say. They never figured out that "that" smell meant danger. Ever smell a mule skinner? They skinned hundreds of dead, rotten, smelly bison without bathing for weeks. Do you think that they had some human smell?

'Nough rant. With all that said, if it gives you confidence, then use it. I don't think the game really cares.
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Old October 14, 2005, 11:04 AM   #16
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I agree about the smelly thing, but UV brighteners have only been around for about 20 yrs. I think a lot of those would be shot off horseback too as the deer aren't so afraid of horses as us. One place I hunt, a main highway goes through the middle and more than once we have driven up to a deer browsing at the roadside and it hasnt even lifted it's head until we touched it ( and I mean touched its back !)or said something, then they take off like hell.
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Old October 14, 2005, 12:06 PM   #17
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In these days of Thinsulite and high tec insulation, I'm still old school. I like a classic all-wool Maine guide shirt (did you know that wool is the only fiber that retains 100% of its insulating ability when soaking wet?) I also like prime goose down for a coat, vest, and especially a sleeping bag. My bag has kept me toasty warm at -20 deg. F. (miserable when you have to get up to go pee though ). But you have to be careful what you wash down in. Use the wrong stuff and you'll strip the natural oils from the down, and it's good bye loft! The best stuff I've ever found for both wool and down is called "Sport-Wash", made by Atsko Inc. It doesn't have any perfumes or UV brighteners in it either. I think Wally World sells it.
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Old October 14, 2005, 12:30 PM   #18
siotwo
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Bison weren't too smart in the first place...they could be chased off the edge of a cliff

Whitetail will look UP to find you. They know something is just not right.

I had Axis deer about 70yds away hang out/walk around in a small thicket ALL DAY. I was in a box blind BUT the wind was blowing right through it, and toward them. I think scent was keeping em there.

Now, I don't worry about scent when stalking Antelope on the plains, but when I'm in the woods, the whitetail's backyard, trying for a bow shot, I'm taking all precautions.
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Old October 14, 2005, 12:50 PM   #19
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meddac19, have you ever had a deer smell you and run away? I have on a few occasions. So therefore I wash my clothing in water and bakingsoda. 100-200 years ago they washed there clothes in lye that has no perfumes. They also did not dye their clothes with the same dyes we use. They smelled very natural just like animals.
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Old October 14, 2005, 02:38 PM   #20
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I don't really know if I've had them smell me and flee? I do know that in my patch of PA there are a lot of deer. I have taken buck at spearing distances with bows, and have had doe bed down within 10 yards of my stand. I am lucky, I get to spend a lot of time in the woods. I have seen deer spook at chipmunks and I've seen them chase away other critters. They have jumped when an acorn dropped and run off.

I have been inside the house and had deer nudging clothes that were on the line drying. I've also seen them feed right next to the impact zone during live fire howitzer practice at Indiantown Gap. Who knows what they are thinking, heck if they even can think.

I think we anthropomorphize many of the animals we hunt, and that is where we go wrong. "Turkeys are smart and that's why they are hard to hunt." No, not really, they are dumb and flee when something moves suddenly or makes noise. Unlike us they don't think, "Hey, what was that? Let's go check it out." Same thing with deer. Why would a UV bright object suddenly scare a deer? They can't think about it, and realize that the bright object over there is a hunter trying to kill it. Same thing with smell. Why do so many people have intimate encounters with deer during the year and only during hunting season they spook because they smell them.

Like I said, if you think it helps, then anything that improves your attitude will help you. They rarely washed clothes 100-200 years ago. Ever try to wash out buckskins? They usually threw them out when they got so rancid, lice filled, and smelly, that they could not stand it any more.

Baths came around once a year or if they fell in the water.
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Old October 14, 2005, 04:21 PM   #21
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Baths came around once a year or if they fell in the water.
Whether they needed them or not!
As I understand the brightener thing, deer can see ( like many wild things) better in the UV spectrum than in the ordinary light ( hence better night vision) so I presume that if you are standing into trees or bushes with your newly washed realtree camo on you stand out from the background like a light bulb, at least thats what we are lead to believe. I have walked up on a sleepy doe in the edge of long grass in the sun and ashe didn't move until I knelt down about 5yds fom her and said "bad place to sleep here"! and I had no fancy scent gear on. I have also been laid down on a bank 100yds from a buck with no wind to speak of, waiting for it to turn, and It took off like a racehorse, having presumably got a tiny wiff of eau de human.
That is what makes hunting good, it isn't always easy and we don't know everything.
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Old October 14, 2005, 06:39 PM   #22
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Valid points, All. But If we assume deer can be 'trained' to come to a feeder it stands to reason that they can be 'trained' to be more cautiois when humans start comming around more frequently during hunting season, when things go BOOM.
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Old October 14, 2005, 07:00 PM   #23
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I use a 'no name' commercial powder. It has no scent, no UV brightners, no bleach. Cleans the hunting togs just fine.
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Old October 15, 2005, 12:40 PM   #24
Foxman
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Siotwo, right on the button.
I hunt an area which gets hunted 44 weekends out of the year (not by me! and yes we have long seasons ) The deer don't care about humans so much because there is public access when no shootings going on, during the week.
But start creeping around in camo with a rifle and they take a days holiday straight away, so they do get conditioned to things.
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Old October 15, 2005, 02:58 PM   #25
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Tide Free

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