Ecover Automatic Clothes Washing Liquid
Ecover is popular ‘eco-friendly’ range of products made from a combination of plant extracts. This was on offer in my local Sainsbury’s supermarket and as I am not loyal to any particular brand, the magic word ‘reduced’ is enough to get me to try a product!
This laundry liquid is biodegradable and not tested on animals. It comes in a white-ish cloudy plastic bottle with a blue coloured top. I paid in the region of £2.50 for a 1.5L bottle. The washing liquid does not carry any particular scent; it smells mildly soapy as opposed to being unscented.
I usually wash our laundry at 30 degrees, 40 for heavier soiling. Being a couple with no children, our laundry is not particularly grubby or food stained, so I rarely need to pre-wash, soak or otherwise treat the laundry.
I was not very impressed with Ecover Automatic liquid. My tea towels were decidedly not up to standard after being washed in this product as the slight stains remained and the white terry cotton fabric did not look entirely clean. It was fine for lightweight laundry such as underwear and lightly soiled clothing, although I felt the washing was not as fresh as I would have liked.
This is not a product I will be buying again.
Well, I can't say I'm too impressed with this company as a whole. For a start, they claim this product is "safe for your skin thanks to plant based ingredients". Then what is sodium lauryl sulfate doing in their ingredients list, pray tell? Not to mention benzyl alcohol, which scores a hazard rating of 7 out of a possible 10 on the Skin Deep database - even higher than the SLS.
- Does it work? -
Well, the clothes looked clean enough. However, I wasn't able to use it for long enough to really tell.
- What's it like on sensitive skin? -
I used this product a few times and had managed to wash most of my summer clothes in it just before going on holiday. I then had the itchiest, most uncomfortable holiday of my life. I mean TERRIBLE. By the time I realised it was down to the washing liquid, I was back on UK soil and every item of clothing was sent straight to the washing machine for a double soaking - in a different product. My partner at the time had no problem with it, however, so I continued to wash his clothes in it until I realised that even if I hung up his clothes as fast as possible, holding them only by my fingertips, I still had itchy, red, painful hands afterwards. I have used all kinds of washing liquids and powders from natural products to the likes of Ariel and Daz and never have I had a reaction that was so extreme!
I have since realised that I began to suffer from chronic contact dermatitis on my hands since starting using the Ecover handwash. Despite not using any Ecover products for years, I do believe it was the initial trigger and I now have to be very careful what I do use. Two other people I know have also found that Ecover products cause skin irritation and itching, although when I asked Ecover about this, they said they had never heard this before. Hmm. Still, if you have remotely sensitive skin, I would highly recommend using something else.
Ecover claim they try to make effective cleaning products that have the "absolute minimal impact on the environment". While I can't account for the environmental impact, I can comment on the cleaning ability of their products.
Ecover non-bio laundry liquid. That sentence sums up why I choose to use it:
Non-bio-I never ever use bio, probably bad for the environment, definitely worse for my skin.
Liquid-I find liquid easier than powder, and I don't like tabs etc cause there's no control over how much you use.
ECOver-I admit I was taken in by the eco part!
I use 1-2 capfuls depending on how dirty the washing is. Usually 1 is enough for me though I don't have kids...parents will understand why it's important to mention that. It is effective at all temperatures, whether 15 or 90, my washing comes out clean and nicely scented, even nicer if I use the ecover fabric softener. It doesn't stiffen or damage, even delicates. Common belief is that eco products wont get out all types of dirt. I have to say that there is nothing I can't get out with this. I have found no residue left on my washing when hanging it out, I used to frequently be left with slimy bits on my fabric which were obvious when dried. Stains (wine, grass etc) obviously require a specific product which ecover also offer.
It costs around £4.50 for 1.5L.
All in all, the only launrdy liquid I'd ever use.
© L Wade 2009 - submitted only on dooyoo.
We try to do our best to be environmentally friendly in our house, so the choice of Ecover products came easily. These products are made from a combination of plant extracts. It is biodegradable and not tested on animals. The washing liquid appears to be relatively unscented. It comes in a cloudy plastic bottle with a blue coloured top. We purchase the 1.5L bottle. This is readily available in mainstream supermarkets including Tescos and Morrisons, as well as smaller "ethical" shops locally, in my area Wild Carrot in Buxton or 8th Day in Manchester, or home delivery from Abel Cole. In these more specialist outlets you can also purchase 5 litre bottles, though I wouldn't be able to carry them on public transport so the environmental advantages of buying them would be lost by driving to get them! Ecover say that there are places that offer a refill scheme, which is more environmental than recycling, but I can't find any within reach. The bottle is fully recyclable plastic though.
So, the two big questions are - does it work? does it cost a lot more? I normally wash at 30 degrees and for normal clothes with day to day wear it works fine. We have reusable nappies and it doesn't consistently get all the stains out, but in the main I feel they are clean, and they are certainly odourless when they come out of the wash. Our whites come out clean, but not dazzling. Items which are stained need additional stain remover. We don't follow the measurements exactly, we just slosh some in the draw, but find that a 1.5L bottle lasts us about 6 weeks of washing every day. An example of the cost of a bottle is £3.89 (Abel Cole)
We live in a time where natural resources are soon going to be unable to support the global population. At present it takes a hinterland the size of wales to sustain london, it would require 3 planet earths for the world to have the same standard of living we have in the uk, and 5 for america. Sustainability is a complex concept with no hard fast definition however the brundtland report, our common future describes it as "the ability to meet the needs of the present, without inhibitng the ability of future generations to meet thier own needs".
One way in which we can move towards a more sustainable future is the use of environmentally sound products in our daily life, more recycled goods and energy efficient appliences- it's the little things that help and this is why i decided to try ecover Automatic clothes washing liquid.
With ordinary cleaning products and some eco-products, the active washing ingredients lose their functionality after use. However, they take a considerable time to break down completely after this into their basic constituents (if at all). As a result, these materials can build up in the environment and cause substantial damage. This means that good primary biodegradability does not reveal everything about the damage which a product can ultimately cause. Ecover however is totally biodegradeable and is safe all aquatic life and kind on skin.
When using ordinary products a residue is often left on your clothes which may be irritable, Ecover is based around plant extracts and any residue left will condition your skin without irritation. Not only this but it is totally vegan friendly!
At a cost somewhat higher than other brands it may be offputting however do not be fooled. Ecover is highly concentrated and very little is required to give an adequate wash so it actually works out cheaper than other brands, this is in part due to ecover not wasting masses of money on advertising campaigns and instead concentrating on producing a good product. The bottles are re-useable also and it is more often to find supermarkets and health shops who offer this facility and whats more it is cheaper than buying a fresh bottle.
The packaging is recycleable and well designed. the bottle has a built in carry handle and a non dip lid which causes excess to flow back into the bottle, the pour section of this can also be rotated to allow easier pouring without mess at your preferred angle.
But what about qaulity? Its cheaper and based around natural ingrediants so chances are it probably doesn't work. WRONG! Due to years of researcha and development ecover is able to match and beat all of the other brands in all areas of cleaning, the results of tests can be obtained from their website but i reccomend trying it out for yourself. My mother would not listen to my environmental reasons for using it but when i demonstrated its cleaning power she soon adopted it as her favourite brand. It works at a variety of temperatures from 30 to 60 so its suitable for all washes including handwashes, personally i prefewr not to use it in a handwash as it means wasting a lot of te product unless you have a fairly large sink, but any brand would be the same in this respect.
In conclusion i have used ecover for 2 years now and have been unable to fault it so far, if i ever do find a problem with it i will update my review. i highly recommend you try it, you will be pleasently suprised.
(www.ecover.com -ecover website)
A long time ago I used Bold for all our laundry. It cleaned well and had a pleasant smell. At the time our elder dog was but a puppy (she's nearly five years old now) and one day I found that her tummy was covered in oozing spots. We saw the vet that morning. He obviously has a prepared set of questions for these occasions. "...and do you wash the bedding regularly with a biological washing powder?" "Of course" I said "the bedding's washed every week and I use Bold". "That's almost certainly the answer then." he said. "Biological washing products are a common cause of skin problems in animals and humans." I changed to Fairy. For some reason I equated Fairy's logo of the baby in a fluffy nappy with a seven-stone Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. There was an immediate improvement in her skin condition and Peter and I noticed that our skin felt more comfortable. Our clothes weren't completely comfortable though and my next stop was Persil non-biological liquid. This was much the same and I was beginning to think that this would be as good as I could get. Trying Ecover was on the basis of "I can say I've tried them all". After all, a laundry liquid which took ecological considerations into account wasn't going to be as effective as one that didn't have to, now was it? Wrong ? I think it's the best of them all, by a long way. Ecover began producing environmentally-friendly soaps in a farmhouse in northern Belgium in 1979. By the late 1980s it became obvious that they needed larger premises and they built their own factory. Even this is ecologically sound, being built as far as possible from recycled and recyclable materials. It's been designed so as to have minimal impact on the surroundings. Importantly for me Ecover are against animal testing. Their non-biological liquid won't stand out on the supermarket shelf,
with its colourless, opaque bottle. I like it though because it has an inset handle, which makes lifting, carrying and pouring easier for me. The bottle and the cap are 100% recyclable, but I wish I had some way of refilling it. The bottle says that it is refillable, but I can't find anyone locally who supplies the contents without the bottle! The cap doubles as a measure and here I have a slight quibble. When the bottle is very full it is difficult not to tip too much into the measure, but this only applies for the first couple of washes, after which the flow becomes more controllable. The cap is designed so that any residue drips back into the bottle rather than down the side of it! It's a clear light-amber colour and is not quite as thick as washing-up liquid. I had come to favour laundry products which were dispensed in the machine's drum. If it's necessary to put liquid or powder into the dispenser drawer of the machine I've frequently found that there was some left there at the end of the cycle, but I've never had this problem with Ecover. The drawer is sparkling clean! The smell of the product is difficult to describe. I think "soapy with minimal undertones of lavender" is the closest I can get! It's very easy to think that if clothes smell clean they are clean and the producers of laundry products play heavily on this. Unfortunately the strong perfumes of most products come from synthetic fragrances which stick to the laundry and are in close and constant contact with the skin. For some people (or animals) this will mean skin irritation or an allergic reaction. Even small amounts of these synthetic fragrances can cause problems for fish and insects when the water is drained away. Ecover doesn't use synthetic fragrances, but only plant-based fragrance. I'll gladly do without the smell of a summer meadow or a pine forest! It also has an excellent level of biodegradability with the least effect o
n fish and insects possible. So, how well does it perform? My normal cycle for the washing machine is at 30°C and I use the minimum amount of liquid recommended ? two capfuls or 60ml. I use this for washing both whites and coloureds. The bottle label does suggest that Ecover bleach should be added to the wash for the best results with whites, but I've never found this necessary. White underwear remains white for at least as long as it did with other products. I was concerned that my coloureds would fade. Ecover doesn't contain optical brighteners, as they attach themselves to the skin irreversibly, but I've found no noticeable fading. Peter's office shirts still look bright and crisp and the golf kit he's wearing this afternoon looks new despite the fact that it isn't. I use a 40°C cycle for more heavily stained laundry, but I've found no need to increase the amount of liquid. The old towels used to dry muddy paws come clean, as do the jeans splattered with mud from the same paws. I spot treat stains such as tomato sauce or curry, but I've had to do that with every non-biological product. Once a week I do a 60°C wash for dishcloths, tea towels, face cloths and the like. The results are on a par with the other non-biological products which I've tried. I'm not big on hand-washing, but I have occasionally used Ecover for this. One capful of liquid in a bowl of water will deal with all those fragile things which you don't want to risk in the washing machine. I haven't felt the need to use rubber gloves either ? something which I would never have risked with other hand-wash liquids. You're thinking that all this is too good to be true aren't you? Well, it does work out a more expensive than other products. I compared it with the Persil non-bio liquid. In Sainsbury's this week the Persil liquid is £3.29 for the same size bottle. The recommended dose for each w
ash is 50ml, so a bottle will provide 30 washes, at just less than 11p per wash. The Ecover was priced at £3.99 and gives 25 washes at just less than 16p per wash. Personally I think that an extra 5p per wash is a small price to pay for a product which is better for me, my family, our dogs and the environment in general. It even stops a spotty dog! Quick notes Approved by The Vegan Society Bottle size: 1.5L Suitable for septic tanks Information on other Ecover products can be found at www.ecover.com
A combination of soap and vegetable detergent / The product can be used at all temperatures and with all types of fabrics / Since it is a liquid product, it is perfectly suited for lower temperatures (e.g / hand washing)