Being a bit of eco-freak, I make my own soap-based laundry gel. I'm very happy with it, however it does need a bit of help when it comes to tough stains. Lazy as I am, a bar of laundry soap would do, but Ecover stain remover is just so much more convenient.
Comes in a 200ml recyclable clear plastic bottle with pink screw-on cap. Simple Ecover logo and design at front, list of ingredients and general info at the back (very tiny letters I must say). Underneath the cap is soft but dense plastic brush that allows easy application.
I know list of ingredients normally comes at the end, however for those buying Ecover for a reason it's rather important part. So: 30%: Water, 5-15%: Non-Ionic Surfactants, <5%: Anionic Surfactants, Table Salt, Citric Acid, Alcohol, Enzymes, Perfume (Type: Lavender; contains: Linalool), Preservative (0.02%): 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol
Well, not a tragedy (if I start thinking it's too much I read Vanish ingredients - that makes me feel better :-) ) but it's not very impressive either - enzymes, unspecified surfactants, bronopol - not what I would expect from Ecover. By the way, perfume is listed to be natural, so no harm there. At the moment, in household of two adults with not many stains I'm happy to use it, however I am not planning to use it when stains become more common after my baby's born.
***Trying & Testing:
Ecover staing remover is a thick gel, that is applied using a brush on the top of the bottle - that means you use exactly as much as you need, it's very easily applied, and you don't need to touch the product (having bronopol in the list of ingredients, that is a plus!). You're supposed to apply it on stain and leave to dry before washing. My plan of action before I first bought it: My husband would come home from work, take his shirt off, apply some Stain remover on the collar and cuffs and throw the shirt in laundry basket where it dries before I wash it during the weekend. Reality 99% of time - my husband comes home and throws his shirt into a laundry basket and I apply some stain remover freshly just before it goes into washing machine, leaving no time for it to dry. Both ways - dry or not - I had 100% success with all sweat, food and oily stains. However, if you're thinking of trying it on older washed-in stain, that most likely won't work (tried & failed few times).
***Value for money:
I'm writing this review after 8 months of regular use (I remember buying it just after New Year's) - having gone through approx. half a bottle. It costs about £3 in Waitrose, I bet it can be found cheaper elsewhere, too - for that, I think, value for money is excellent.
Any major supermarket, most smaller supermarkets if they stock Ecover products, high street drug stores like Boots etc.
Well, looking at the list of ingredients, it's not exactly 100% "Eco" product and if you're trying to eliminate harmful chemicals from your household it's probably not the way to go. However it is very cost-effective and does exactly what it says, and it's much better solution than to add Vanish or similar to every wash! If you don't tackle tough stains every day, and if you just can't bring yourself to pre-wash with laundry soap, then I think it's a good choice.
This product is well tucked away and hidden by so many Vanish products in the supermarkets that you might just gloss over it. Ecover is a brand that I had not come across before though in the cleaning stakes. Vanish would usually be my first choice, but this was on offer so it caught my attention. As I have the knack of ruining most of my clothes by preparing dinner while wearing my best shirts, I am forever sponging out curry stains and ketchup marks. Ugh! If you nip them in the bud quick enough then you can usually get the satin out, but sometimes you will have to put them through a full wash cycle.
This product works best when put through the washer. I tried it a week or so ago on a dubious chilli stain on a white t shirt. The t shirt was removed from my body and I instantly worked some of this stuff into the stain, using the tip of the bottle to massage it over the stain. You can monitor the flow of the liquid as it dispenses which is handy and I found it works into the stain easily. Even at this stage, you can see the harsher layers of the stain disappearing into thin air. The bulk of the stain remains though, so then you need to send it through a washing cycle.
My forty degree wash ran for half an hour and the stain was shifted afterwards. I was rather impressed considering this uses plant based ingredients to do the job. It is less abrasive than Vanish in the ingredients it uses, but does a good job. I have since used it on yellowing on shirts, this half worked, as the yellowing stains under arms were quite firmly wedged in. It has performed well on greasy marks though left after cooking oily foods. I will continue to buy Vanish because I think Vanish is more powerful overall, but this is a gentler option for stains if you can catch them quick enough. It is also well priced at under the three pound mark and the large bottle should be lasting me quite a while.
When my son went from dark green primary shirts to gleaming white high school shirts the instantly grimy collars and cuffs made my heart sink. It's not easy being a modern mum: you try to be green but those hippy lentil-based washing powders just don't have the same dazzling chemically-fuelled results as the big name brands and there's nothing worse than having the grubbiest kid in the playground.
I bought a bottle of Persil biological especially for the job but even that couldn't tackle it and I wasn't prepared to go any further down the road of planet-destroying stain removers.
What a mercy to come across Ecover Stain Remover! It comes in a 200ml bottle for about £2.80:a thick clear liquid which smells gently of lavender. The neck of the bottle is plugged with fine plastic bristles like a big round toothbrush: you tip the bottle and work the stain remover into the dampened fabric with the bristles and wash as normal.
The results have been brilliant on his shirt collars, and also on biro and mud. It's not a miracle cure: I've noticed a couple of mystery stains that might be blood that have faded but not shifted completely, but the improvement is enormous.
I don't begin to understand the ingredients: they sound very chemically but according to the label they exceed the legislative requirements for biodegradadability, have minimum impact on aquatic life and are suitable for septic tanks so I can use it without worrying about poisoning the rivers.
Pleasingly, the stain remover isn't tested on animals, and both bottle and lid are recycleable.
When doing the washing I am prone to adding some sort of stain remover (I.E Vanish) into the wash drawer along with the liquid or washing powder that I am using. However both me and my mate (who I am staying with at the moment) tend to be grubby little devils. We are either in filthy fields doing car-boot sales or house clearing which entails hours in a loft or in an under stair cupboards or in a shed and before that staying we were staying in a caravan that was meant for 2 people but we had with us four dogs that malt, slobber and seriously do things they're best off not doing! For that reason I tend to always have a wash on and so when we saw this priced at £2.49 whilst looking for some stuff in Homebase we decided to get it!
200ml frosted (but still see-through) bottle with a bright pink screw on/off cap/lid to the top of it. On the front of the bottle I am told that it is Ecological Stain Remover Ecover 'Tough on stains, gentle on fabrics and powered by nature' and I'm also told that it is based on plant and mineral ingredients and harnesses the power of nature and there is a picture of a leaf and a t-shirt on there too. Other information stated on the bottle includes being told a bit more about the product, instructions for use and ingredients are listed, the size is stated (as I've stated already) and contact details for Ecover are given. Nice and simple packaging that is that is informative enough and pleasant to look at by remaining simple and functional looking!
A Bit About The Product According To The Information Given On The Back Of The Bottle:
Perfect for shirt collars and cuffs
For whites and colourfast laundry
No chemical residue
Optimum level of biodegradability - far exceeds legislative requirements
Minimum impact on aquatic life
Safe for septic tanks
Ecover has dedicated over 25 years of research into the development of products which use the inherent power of natural plant and mineral ingredients to bring you effective, safe washing. This unique range offers many environmental advantages that benefit humans, animals and the environment.
Well before actually talking about the actual product itself I must address one important point (well it is important to me and my friend and you may wish too know what I found out!)
The reason we purchased a lot of products from this range from Homebase when shopping is because we actually are against using any products tested on animals. We went through all the cleaning stuff we used in the house (and in the caravan) and were shocked by how much stuff in the house is tested on animals or could be (even L'oreal are dubious and animal testing is rife!). So as we needed to re-stock up completely on cleaning stuff and we assumed that this stuff wouldn't only be environmentally friendly but animal friendly too. Pleased with all our purchases and examining them for information (whilst sitting on the loo bored in my case lol) I noticed that no Vegetarian symbol is displayed on many (not all) Ecover products. I jumped off the loo and had a look for information online about this and I'm not going to bore you with the in's and outs of everything but Ecover, in short do animal test alot of the products much to the disgust of many faithful users of the stuff. Basically they have implemented a new 5 year 'roll over' policy which allows them to test if they wish too. So disgusting I am and me and my mate have decided to use the stuff and not buy it again! It's all a very complicated issue anyway and the debate about Ecover rolls on online and no matter what is said I'm not happy to be unsure about a product and no symbol to be shown no matter what!
Anyway as I have said we are using products till we run out and then that is that our relationship with Ecover is over!
When you unscrew the lid you are met by a brush. That brush is set securely to the bottle and is unremovable. You get lots of stiff but long transparent thickish bristles. All you do with this is moisten the fabric first you wish to wash, squeeze the transparent liquid gel through the bristles and rub it in sparingly. It has a wonderful plant smell to it really that is really natural and to me has a menthol undertone to it. It's a unisex and lovely fragrance then once you've rubbed it in slightly shove the item in the wash and select the programme and away you go!
You are meant to be able to use this on wide varieties of stains which are grease and protein related stains. Those stains include blood, egg yolk, mud, milk, sweat and ice-cream. I've rubbed sweat marks off my mates clothes, blood and oily stains (where we have dropped our dinners down ourselves and allsorts!
Easy to use and economical too. The smell is great and as long as you use a hot enough wash and a good washing liquid/powder along with this it works a treat! It isn't a miracle worker so don't think I'll use this stick my dirty item in a 30C with cheap washing powder/liquid and it'll get the item clean it won't You quite simply have to work with it. I have found it though to get out stains and leave no residue behind it. It doesn't seem to remove colour out of things either though I don't see it a good idea to overly rub silks or very delicate fabrics with the brush given though if your worried about this you could just squeeze some out of the gel and use a soft cloth or sponge if your worried about damage!
I rate the product highly and think it's great all round however like I stated previously no matter how good it is I wouldn't buy it again unless the V symbol makes an appearance on it and I would really love that to happen!
Before people try to tell me what the policies mean that Ecover have please realise that I am writing a consumer pointed review! I don't need to know the in's and out's of everything and feel that I shouldn't have to research things at depth or have rocket science knowledge before purchasing things!
Available in all good supermarkets (such as Asda) at about £2.49 a bottle.
I was glad to find that there were environmentaly friendly alternatives to mainstream stain removers out there! Rather than using harsh chemicals to remove stains, ecover uses effective plant based ingredients. This bottle of stain remover also comes with a special kind of brush attached that helps you rub in the stain remover and loosen the dirt and grease.
The stain remover is really easy to apply, then you just pop the clothes in the washing machine right away, and your clothes come out stain free!
This stuff is very effective against all the usual stains like grease, grass and mud. But on occasion I have found myself in need of something a little bit tougher. So I wouldn't say it was the best stain remover I have ever used, but it means you can cut down on the amount of harmful chemicals you are using in your home day to day, and only need to get the old stain remover out when you really have to! Plus it's a great price!
We use Ecover laundry liquid, bit there were some things which came out of the wash with marks still on - time for something stronger, so we invested in this stain remover to boost our cleaning power.
Environmentally it has good credentials - plant based biodegradable components, not tested on animals and a recyclable bottle. The 200ml bottle has a cloudy clear side, pink top and features a brush for easy application. It is available in main supermarkets such as Tescos and Morrisons, as well as specialist shops such as 8th Day in Manchester and online from specialists such as ethicalsuperstore.co.uk. Prices are around £2.39 for the 200ml bottled (ethicalsuperstore.co.uk).
We have used it on stains including sweat (from sport!), grass, oil, curry and biro. Although it isn't the intended purpose, we have used it on our carpets as well as our clothes! On clothes we applied it before the wash using the brush provided. It does seems effective at removing the stains, though it does seem to take a fair bit of liquid to remove them completely.
Over the years I have tried numerous stain removers - some have been better than others but I was really glad when I came across Ecover's Stain Remover. It is made from natural plant and mineral extracts. It has proved to be a great product and works a treat. I have managed to remove even 'washed in' stains at times with Ecover Stain Remover.
My son plays rugby and he frequently gets mud and grass stains on his shorts - including white ones - though they do look as though he has been playing for the 'All Blacks' when he arives home! Ecover helps me get them back to 'pristine' condition....
It comes in a 200ml bottle and is available in most supermarkets. In fact I have recently seen it on offer in Sainsburys.
To use it you just moisten the stained area with a little water and apply the liquid to the stain with an inbuilt brush applicator. You then just add the stained article to your washing load and wash in your usual way. It has also got a very pleasant clean and refreshing aroma to it! It is difficult to say exactly what it smells like as it has a perfume 'of it's own' ...you'll have to try it to see what I mean...
Ecover treats all sorts of stains including blood, grass, egg, milk, sweat, ink etc. However, it is not recommended for use on silk and other delicate fabrics..
* plant based ingredients * suitable for all white and colourfast laundry * very effective in removing grass, mud, blood and all other obstinate grease and protein stains * with handy and efficient brush * perfect for shirt collars and cuffs