UV Brighteners: We’ve Got the News

Because I know there are inquiring minds that want to know more about the UV brighteners issue and


Constantly on the Prowl for News!

We are Constantly on the Prowl for News!


products that can be used, I’ve literally worked myself into a lather over this problem!  :0  Now, it can be revealed.

Did you know you aren’t the only folks needing detergents without brighteners? Law enforcement and the military also need to keep brighteners out of their uniforms.

Can and Can’t Detergents

Finding that the wheel had already been invented, I checked some sources, and got two lists. Please note my additions at the end.

From 4MilitaryFamilies.com : “On the care label, the instructions are to launder in a mild detergent which does NOT contain ‘optical brighteners.’ No laundry detergent lists whether or not it contains these brighteners. By contacting the individual laundry detergent manufacturers the following list was compiled of detergents which do contain optical brighteners and those which do not:

Country Save* * 4MilitaryFamilies.com Approved!
Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
“All” Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
Woolite (all versions)

Because the “do not use – they have brighteners” and the “questionable items – do not use” lists from both sources are identical; I only printed them once, to reduce the word count.


Here’s another list, stated in a different way. It comes from: http://www.rangerjoes.com/acu_care.php I added the ACU (Army Combat Uniform) washing instructions, for any newbies out there. They apply to hunting clothes as well.

ACU Care Instructions

Before washing, close hook and loop fasteners to prevent snagging.  Turning the uniform inside-out while laundering prevents the hook and loop from attaching to other items and prolongs the usefulness of the hook and loop.

Washing: Machine wash in cold water using Permanent Press Cycle or hand wash using a mild detergent that DOES NOT contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners. DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH. Rinse completely. DO NOT WRING OR TWIST.

Drying: Hang dry or machine dry on low to medium setting, between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from dryer immediately. To drip dry, remove from water and place on rust-proof hanger.  DO NOT STARCH or COMMERCIALLY HOT PRESS.

Detergents that CAN BE USED, as they do not contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners:
All® Powder (all versions)
Bold Powder
Cheer® Liquid (all versions)
Cheer® Powder (all versions)
Surf® Powder (all versions)
Woolite® (all versions)

Avoid using these products, as the contents are questionable:
Calgon® (all versions)
Spray ‘n Wash® (all versions)

DO NOT USE these detergents which contain optical brighteners:
Ajax® (all versions)
All® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® FabriCare Powder (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
Arm & Hammer® Fresh ‘n Soft Fabric Softener (all versions)

Colgate-Palmolive laundry products
Delicare® Fine Fabric Wash (all versions)
Dreft® Liquid
Dreft® Powder
Dynamo® (all versions)
Era® Liquid (all versions)
Fab® (all versions)
Gain® Liquids (all versions)
Gain® Powders (all versions)
Ivory Snow® Liquid Ivory Snow® Powder
Rain Drops® Water Softener and Detergent Booster
Suavitel® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Surf® Liquid (all versions)
Tide® Liquids (all versions)
Tide® Powders (all versions)
Tide® Tablets (all versions)
Wisk® (all versions)
Yes® (all versions)

Dial® laundry products including:
*20 Mule Team® Detergent (all versions)
Purex® Baby™ (all versions)
Purex® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Purex® Liquid (all versions)
Purex® Powder (all versions)
Zout® (all versions)

CAUTION: If using a store brand or ‘generic’ product, the label usually states ‘compare to [brand]’ on the front panel. Match that product brand to the list above for ingredient content.”

Compiled by A. Hammond, 3rd IBCT RFG Assistant 10th Mtn Div, July 2005.


* 20 Mule Team Borax: I’m still going to stand by this product, in its pure form – original formulation.  I’m talking about the version that does not include any additives. I called Dial (who now owns the product) and the original formulation IS ONLY BORAX.

Also, I do not trust any of the fabric softeners or dryer sheets. I do not use them on hunting clothes.

Perhaps, if someone called Dial and asked if their detergents had brighteners, they would have to say, “yes.” However, if you ask specifically about 20 Mule Team, the answer is “no.” Still, you have to be the judge of this info!

Well, there you have it. More than you’d ever want to know about UV brighteners.   Just in case you were wondering, I worked like a dog to get this information. 😉


** 10:31 am/November 4, 2008: I’ve just received written confirmation from Dial’s corporate office that 20 Mule Team does not have UV Brighteners.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


Remember the Lead-in-Venison Controversy? Here’s an Update!


020031L_Break in the Storm 66x20

A Break in the Storm *


Reference to:  New Report on Lead-In-Venison & Lead Poisoning (posted on this site 14 October 2008).

What Happened

If you recall, the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) recently issued a “Preliminary Ammunition Study” on  their concern that hunting bullets fragment inside the game and just how far those lead fragments might travel throughout the body.

Although they labeled the report as “preliminary,” they were quick to spread the word. All of this hoopla came from finding some lead in packaged game – donated to food banks in North Dakota, Minnesota and a few other mid-western states.  On the basis of this report, some states collected all of the donated venison and had it destroyed.

My concern was that, from this small sample, Minnesota called lead bullets into question (as reported in the Minnesota newspaper). If you were around during the ‘duck hunting with lead bullets’ controversy, you know why I’ve been watching this issue.

When they found lead in streams and wild duck meat, those lead bullets were ‘dead in the water.’  Up till that time, MDH* could reload his own. The new ammo was SO much more expensive and they could no longer be reloaded at home.

Another View

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms, hunting and recreational shooting industry – released the following statement:  “The preliminary report found varying results among bullet types, but noted that in some instances fragments were detected ‘further from the wound channel than many hunters might assume.’

The DNR did not, however, conclude that hunters should not use traditional ammunition. Nor did they conclude that the use of traditional hunting ammunition presents a human health risk to hunters. The DNR noted that its goal was to provide hunters with science-based information on which they can make informed choices” (my emphasis). I think this is called backing down, after you’ve gone too far.

They also note that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture encouraged hunters to continue to donate venison. (Let me see if I understand: hunters pay fees & buy ammo, lease the land, shoot the game, pay for processing & packaging and the state throws it away. Then the state says, “Send more!” Am I missing something?)

More of Their Statement

“For more than a century, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely consumed big game, including whitetail deer, harvested using traditional hunting ammunition and there has never been a case of anyone suffering adverse health effects from consuming the meat. Put simply, there is no credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that using traditional hunting ammunition creates a human health risk.”

The CDC is Testing

(More from NSSF) “The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently conducting a study of hunters and others that have consumed game to determine whether they have an elevated level of lead in their blood that can be attributed to the ammunition used to harvest the game.”

Iowa Has Been Randomly Testing for 15 Years

(NSSF statement continues) “The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)  has conducted an extensive panel of blood-lead testing for more than 15 years. Iowa was among the states that did not over react and order venison destroyed.

The IDPH maintained at the time ‘that if lead in venison were a serious health risk, it would likely have surfaced within extensive blood lead testing since 1992 with 500,000 youth under 6 and 25,000 adults having been screened.'”

Essentially, NSSF concluded that, based on the randomness of the results, ‘lead-in-meat’ was probably related to field-dressing and processing issues. I’ll be interested to see how CDC explains this.


There you have it; another ‘much ado about nothing.’  This is why I refuse to get my knickers bunched about the UV brighteners in hunting clothes.

For your viewing pleasure: The NSSF statement, http://nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?AoI=generic&PRloc=share/PR/&PR=100808_MNDNR.cfm


* ‘A Break in the Storm’ is used by permission from ClearVue Graphics


* MDH = My Deer Husband 🙂

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com