Yet Another Mistake Turkey Hunters Make

This is #6 in a series outlining some of the most common errors that turkey hunters make, in no particular order.  I also make suggestions for avoiding these mistakes.

According to Biologists, Turkeys See some Colors – Especially at Dusk and Dawn!

Deer & Turkeys See Some Colors

In a landmark 1993 study, scientists at the University of Georgia conducted a study that literally shook the world of deer and turkey hunting.

I could go into a long explanation: ‘The difference in our eyes versus that of the deer and turkey.’

However, most folks don’t want the full sermon; they just want to know how it will affect them and their hunting.

A Quick Summary

1) Deer and human eyes are the same – in that both use rods and cones.

  • Rods = are light-sensitive and
  • Cones = see colors

Deer and turkeys have more rods and can see better in low light. Humans have more cones, which means that we can see colors better than deer and turkeys.

2) Human eyes have a protective layer that protects them from up to 99% of UV rays, but deer and turkey do not. This means that we can see details better than they do.

3) Human eyes see light in the “visible spectrum” – including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.  Beyond violet, there is something called the ”ultraviolet spectrum.”

Deer & turkey can see this “ultraviolet spectrum” naturally. We can see this range of color only when we use a black light.

What Does this Mean for a Hunter?

When most garments were manufactured in the US, there was no problem.  However, when the Chinese took over textiles and the manufacture of our clothing, they started doing things differently.

They added UV brighteners to all clothing.  Why?  Because it made the fabrics look nice longer.  Think about your white business shirts; they keep their bright, white color longer.  This is all fine and dandy, except for hunters.

Through experiments, scientists proved that turkeys and deer could see those UV brighteners in clothing.   Keep in mind, they noted that the animals would notice them most during dawn and dusk hours.

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It has been 17 – 18 years since the public learned of this issue.  Is there still a problem?  This is an involved concern that I will try to finish tomorrow.   Come back then.

~

‘Thinkin’ Spring’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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

 

Human Scent and Deer Hunting

Motion and Scent are More Important than UV Brighteners! *

I believe that a hunter’s site of  “up wind” versus “downwind” is more important than the soap used!  Developing an understanding of the terrain, winds and wind thermals seem more important to me.

In fact, I’ve read that the number 1 rule of success during a deer hunt is scouting the land before-hand!  Having knowledge of deer trails, checking spore and knowing where water lies, are important to success.

Human Scent and Deer Hunting

Deer are much more sensitive to scent — and they can detect scent from greater distances. There are some products that promise to remove scent from the hunter.

I wonder if they work? Could it be that deer notice when there is no scent, as well as when there is too much human smell?

You might want to take note of some of the interesting suggestions hunters offer to handle human scent (See:  For the Hunter with Everything, Including UV Brighteners! and  More Tips to Hide Your Scent).

I think a hunter’s movement is another important consideration.

Finally

Only you can decide how important this issue is to you. Perhaps the UV brightener-killer is right for your needs. However, I read something from R. Henshaw (on a forum).

He suggested purchasing a large box of 20 Mule Team Borax. “Wash your hunting clothes in that, do not use fabric softeners, do not use dryer sheets. ”

I’ve decided that ‘it’s a plan.’ Before I try the high-priced solutions, I’m going to keep it simple.

Another idea I’m considering: Repair MDH’s (my deer husband’s) old hunting clothes, languishing in the back of a closet!

Until recently, when textile manufacturing moved to China, this was a non-issue, no problem. I’m also planning to check out thrift stores in our area for camo not bearing the tag, “Made in China.”

One company is touting their wool hunting garments as an alternative to the ‘glowing goods’ that seem to be everwhere in the stores today.

However, I think there is something close to ‘undue concern’ about the glowing hunting goods, to the exclusion of issues that just might matter more.

**For more info about the amount of borax to use, go to article, “Words of Wisdom & A Bit of Humor” and look at the bottom paragraphs.

Remember: Scent and movement are more important (they can be seen/smelled further away) than the color of your clothing or whether it has UV brighteners.

~

*’Early Snowfall’ used through the courtesy of Vantage Point Graphics

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

Keeping UV Brighteners Out of Hunting Clothes

The Problem

Many of the hunting clothes made in the past few years have UV brighteners in them.   Most of the laundry products on your grocer’s shelves have UV brighteners.  They make clothing look brighter and more attractive.

Unfortunately, turkeys and deer can see those UV brighteners – especially in low light conditions!  What’s a hunter to do?

A Solution

Hunting Wear with UV Brighteners Looks Bright & Blue (& Seems to Glow)! This Suit Does Not Have Brighteners

If you buy hunting camo wear without those pesky UV brighteners, there’s a way to keep them out of your camouflage wear.  You can buy an expensive product at a hunter’s supply store or you can use approved laundry detergents from your local grocery store.

It may surprise you to know that law enforcement and military uniforms cannot be washed in products with UV brighteners.

Here are products members of law enforcement and the military consider safe.

Military & Law Enforcement List of Safe Washing Products *

  • All® Powder (all versions)
    Bold Powder
    Cheer® Liquid (all versions)
    Cheer® Powder (all versions)
    Surf® Powder (all versions)
    Woolite® (all versions)
  • Country Save **

Other helpful info: 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. ***

Products That are NOT Safe (They Have 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)

~^~

* This information comes from Ranger Joe’s

** This extra product comes from 4 Military Families

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

**** More about this next time!

~

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

Turkeys and UV Brighteners

In the past few days, I’ve explained that deer and turkeys see colors differently than most other animals.  They seem to be red & green color-blind.

Turkeys & Deer See Differently than Other Animals!

That’s why you can wear blaze orange hunting wear without worrying about being seen by deer or turkeys — green, red and orange are non-colors to them.

Other Considerations

Biologists have increased our knowledge of  ‘what makes turkeys tick’ in significant ways.  One of their recommendations has to do with camo clothing.

Biologists say that having patterned clothing that blends in with the landscape is more important than its color. The scientists warn hunters about wearing large patches of unbroken color.

Two specific materials are discouraged: vinyl and plastic. Why? Because they reflect light. It is not the color of these two materials that’s important, but the fact that light reflects so readily from them.

Back to the Big Blue Blob of Hunting Clothes

If you are concerned about this issue, there’s a product available that will remove the UV brighteners. It is manufactured by ATSKO (www.atsko.com), the U-V Killer. Once this product eliminates the “glow,” you will need to always use their washing liquid to keep the fabric safe.

Another company is touting their wool hunting garments as an alternative to the ‘glowing goods’ that seem to be rampant in the stores today.

Other Choices

Next time, I will list all of the washing products that I know of that are on grocer’s shelves that will NOT add UV brighteners to your hunting clothes. It’s a surprisingly long list.

My husband and I’ve discussed this issue ‘ad nauseum.’  Should we toss his clothes and get new ones, without UV brighteners, and then use products that won’t add the brighteners to his new clothes?

MDH, Richard, decided to conduct tests regarding this issue.  He decided that if he stopped getting his limit of deer and/or turkeys, he would buy new clothes and get serious about UV brighteners.

The results are:   In the past 4 years, Richard has gotten his limit each time he’s gone hunting.   However, he has friends who worry a great deal about  UV brighteners.

Richard’s conclusion is that if you think that the UV brightener issue is important — it is.  If you think there are more important issues, other than the brighteners — you’re right too.

Your belief system about this issue is the most important ingredient!

~

Next Time: Grocery store products that won’t put UV brighteners in your hunting clothes!

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

The Other Side of the UV Brightener Question

View from the Other Side of the Fence

 

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Few are Sitting on the Fence About this Issue!

 

During my convalescence from shoulder surgery, I’ve had the time to read a variety of views expressed (via Internet)  on the issue of UV brighteners and masking one’s scent from deer and turkey.

One thing I’ve learned is that few people are on the fence regarding brighteners and scent masking!  Everyone seems to have an opinion.

I find that I hold the same opinion as a minority of others – mainly, that this may be “Much Ado About Nothing.” (My English teacher should be proud of me for managing to insert William Shakespeare into a hunting discussion!)

Why? Info From the University of Georgia Study *

The landmark study by the University of Georgia generated several recommendations and insights.  During daytime, deer sight is only ‘average.’

They see the issue of camouflage as more important than the deer’s eyesight (whose color vision is also average during daylight hours).  In general, large areas of unbroken color are not recommended.

As long as the hunter’s clothing blends in with the terrain, the hunter is “OK.”  Thus, this study recommended using camouflaged clothing.

The study recommends both camo and orange (for safety – so other hunters can see you).  Some states still do not allow hunters to wear this combo, however.

More Facts from the University of Georgia Study

Another issue: Do not wear plastic or vinyl. Why? These two reflect light.  So, the same reason you wear a face veil — to decrease the light your face reflects — is the reason for avoiding plastic and vinyl.

The issue of “UV brighteners” comes into play only during low light conditions! They are talking about early morning and late evening.

In these conditions, deer see UV brighteners. You and I know that,  unfortunately, deer tend to be active during these times.

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* The study I’m referring to is the cooperative effort between the University of Georgia and the University of Wisconsin. This group of scientists proved that deer see only two colors — yellow and blue.

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Disclaimer: I don’t sell any products I mention in this series. This is strictly educational information.

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

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 6:23 am  Comments Off on The Other Side of the UV Brightener Question  
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For the Hunter with Everything, Including UV Brighteners!

Last time, I shared with you the brand names of the detergents that do not add UV brighteners to your hunting clothes.

Today’s Discussion…

 

j0438626

Taking Care of Your Hunting Clothes!

 

Is for those of you who have clothing  purchased with UV brighteners in them or you have washed your hunting clothes in the wrong detergents.

Now, What do You Do?

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t found any product — or washing process — that will remove UV brighteners except Atsko’s UV Killer. *

Believe me, I’ve tried everything: multiple washings with concocted brews and a variety of products. Repeated washings will not remove the brighteners, once added.

OK, I Surrender…

If you have brighteners in your hunting togs, there’s only one way to remove them.

However, after removing the UV brighteners, save some money by using the products mentioned in the last posting (Part 4*: Approved Detergents for Hunting Clothes).

These will not replace the UV brighteners in your hunting goods:

Country Save
Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
All Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
Woolite (all versions)

Two Others I’d Like to Add: **

20 Mule-Team Borax (although not a detergent in the normal sense, this product has had the same ingredients for over 100 years.)

baking soda (same reason)

Other Tips to Disguise Your Scent from Deer & Turkey

– Lots of hunters put their hunting clothes in plastic bags with leaves, conifer cones, etc., from the area they plan to hunt.  The clothes absorb the odors of the plant material.

Wash yourself with non-scented soaps.

– Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages before hunting.

– Some hunters clean the clothes washer before washing their hunting things by washing a short wash with baking soda (as the detergent). This cleans the tub of all detergents, so no trace of UV brighteners will stain their clothing.

– Some hunters swear by “earth scented” dryer sheets.  Others dry their clothing outside.   I tend to err on the side of caution and avoid the dryer, if possible.  If there can be detergent residue in the wash tub, can’t there also be softener residue in the dryer?

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Next Time: More Tips and Washing Soda/ Baking Soda as Washing Products

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Disclaimer: I don’t sell any products I will mention in this series. This is strictly educational information.

~~~

This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics

UV Brighteners in Hunting Clothes & How Deer See

To Recap: By the time of the 1993 study,* China’s take-over of the textile industry was in full-swing.  These two unrelated things turned the world of the hunter upside-down!

Unhappy Hunters with New Hunting Garments

 

j0316902

Looking for Clothes Without UV Brighteners!

 

Suddenly, hunters were hearing that deer could see UV light.  However,  just about all new clothing available in the stores was full of the stuff (UV brighteners)!

What should a hunter do?

Time Out For a Reality Check

The simplest thing I could tell you to do is: Watch the outdoor TV shows and buy the hunting clothes they sell (guaranteed  free of UV brighteners), even though they are very expensive.

Then spend lots of money purchasing washing products that will keep your hunting clothes UV free.

But I’m ‘Old School.’ That isn’t a service to my readers — that’s the path-of-least-resistance.

I’m going to make suggestions along the way that will leave money in your wallet.  If I don’t make a convincing argument for doing what I do, there are plenty of companies ready to take your money.

I have no axe to grind; no profit motive. I don’t sell any of the products I will mention!

Meanwhile, Back to Our Story …

The University of Georgia study had some other interesting conclusions, of interest to hunters.

1) Deer lack the ability to distinguish the color of red.  Thus, hunters can wear red and orange (so hunters can see each other), without warning deer.

2) Deer see blue and green. However, they cannot tell green from red, blue from red, or red from orange.

Blue is a poor color choice for camo — deer see this color.  But red, orange and green are safe colors for camo.

3) Deer can see UV dyes/brighteners in clothes. HOWEVER, seeing UV brighteners IS ONLY A FACTOR IN LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS.

The “bummer” is: Deer are more active in low light conditions.

Why Have UV Brighteners In Hunting Clothes?

The justification for adding brighteners to hunting clothes was:  These brighteners help the fabrics accept the dyes better AND colors stay longer in clothes. Thus, your camo pattern won’t fade as fast.

In other words: Longer lasting clothes = value to the customer.

Boy did they miss the point here!  Hunters are still ‘hot-and-bothered!’

 

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Come Back Tomorrow: What’s a Hunter to Do?

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* The University of Georgia learned “how deer see.” Their studies were verified by other universities in America.

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

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 7:41 am  Comments Off on UV Brighteners in Hunting Clothes & How Deer See  
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UV Brighteners in Hunting Clothes & How Deer See

Last year, I spent several weeks studying this issue for my readers. This problem is complex and is not going to go away soon.

 

j0162960

Can You Get the UV Brighteners Out of Your Clothing?

 

For the next few days, we will be discussing UV Brighteners and the use of special soaps on hunting clothes.

In the Beginning ….

In 1993, researchers at the University of Georgia conducted a study that literally shook the world of deer and turkey hunting. *

I could go into a long explanation:  ‘The difference in our eyes versus that of the deer and turkey.’  However, most folks don’t want the full 50 cent sermon; they just want to know how it will affect them and their hunting.

The 10 Cent Summary

1) Deer and human eyes are the same – in that both use rods and cones.  Rods = are light sensitive and cones = see colors.

Deer have more rods and can see better in low light. Humans have more cones, which means that we can see colors better than deer.

2) Human eyes have a protective layer that protects them from up to 99% of UV rays, but deer do not.  This means that we can see details better than deer.

3) Human eyes see light in the “visible spectrum” – including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Beyond violet, there is something called the  “ultraviolet spectrum.”

Deer can see this “ultraviolet spectrum” naturally.  We can see this range of color only when we use a black light.

Hunter’s Clothing, BC (Before China)

During the past generation, the changes in textile manufacturing have been staggering!

In the beginning, everyone wore cotton.  As a way to sell more white and light colored cottons, some bright bulb created ‘UV Brighteners.’

By adding these UV Brighteners, white  (and brightly colored) fabrics stayed light and bright through many washings.

These additives were not in hunting clothing while American companies manufactured the clothes we wear.

When Textile Manufacturing Moved to China

Over the years, China increased their market-share of the manufacture and construction of clothing world-wide.

However, no one advised the Chinese that UV Brighteners were not used in hunting clothes. Before long, most clothing sold in America had these brighteners.

Finally

Next time, we will learn about some mighty unhappy hunters!

~

* The eyes of turkeys were also studied, and I’ll discuss this later.

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

 

Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 7:15 am  Comments Off on UV Brighteners in Hunting Clothes & How Deer See  
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The UV Collection: Hunting Clothes & UV Brighteners

 

Click for More Info!

What UV Brighteners?

 

This is a fascinating topic – that won’t go away. Why? A clever company has found a way to capitalize on a glitch in the hunter’s clothing market.

Is this a Serious Problem?

I don’t know; it depends on who is doing the talking.  Some folks swear by “UV-Killer” and some swear at it.

So far, I’ve been unable to determine if there’s another way to remove UV brighteners, once they’ve been added to hunting garments.

MDH doesn’t have a single garment that does not have  UV brighteners (in other words, everything he wears has the brighteners, which is supposed to be the ‘kiss of death’ for hunters).

Yet, Richard hauls home at least one deer or elk every year. He seems unfazed by the problem. Is it because he’s always in a blind (thus deer cannot see his clothing)?  No, he stalks game too.

I hear from others who wouldn’t dream of setting foot in a hunting situation without all clothing being carefully cleaned of UV brighteners.

Anyway, the issue is as intriguing as it has always been. Here are the articles relating to this issue, for your reading pleasure.

The UV Brightener Issue

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

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:

DO NOT CONTAIN BRIGHTENERS:
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.

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