Product Type: Febreze household products
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Ariel Excel Gel With Febreze. As Good As They Want You To Think?
Ariel Excel Gel
Member Name: hotrock4
Ariel Excel Gel
Advantages: Does Smell Nice For Longer
Disadvantages: No Better Than Competitors At Higher Temperatures
Produced by Procter and Gamble UK, Ariel Excel Gel with Febreze claims to give good results at low temperatures with easy stain removal and added Febreze freshness. Proctor and Gamble claim that this gel contains special perfumed ingredients that are "attracted" to the clothes being washed. The idea apparently is that these perfumed ingredients are released over time to give a longer lasting freshly laundered smell to your clothes. On the website however it does state that this product covers bad odours which in my eyes means that they are not being removed, and in the same breath says it prevents your clothes from picking up new odours.
This product is supplied in a 667ml bottle which does look quite good with a turquoise hinged lid which it is designed to be stood up on with another cap on top which is removable and designed for the product to be measured into and put straight into the washing machine with the dirty laundry. No need to use the drawer of the machine unless adding separate softener. The bottle also has a see through strip on the side which is quite handy as it allows you to easily see what is left on the container.
This product is a biological washing gel meaning it is not really suitable for use with babies or small child's clothing as non-bio is recommended, and may also be more likely to cause a reaction in people who are sensitive to laundry products. It is also advised that this gel is not suitable for silk or wool garments. I am guessing that the easy stain removal may work the other way and leave a turquoise tint to your favourite silk undies, however saying this I have never used this product with silk or wool so cannot say for sure.
Appearance and Use:-
The bottle itself has Ariel's distinct logo on the front claiming that it is Ariel Excel Gel with the Febreze effect logo around the outside. It also declares that there are 18 washes worth of product inside the bottle. In my opinion I find the design on the front to be a little over-bearing and confusing as I believe they have tried to cram in too much information and does leave you wondering what its meant to do especially when standing amongst all the competing products in the cram packed laundry aisle.
The back of the bottle displays easy to understand instructions as to how to use the gel for either lightly soiled or heavily soiled clothes, and declares this product provides outstanding results even at low temperatures. It also states this product is designed to be used between 15 - 90 degrees Celsius, in small print on the right hand side it says not to soak or wash flame resistant clothing at more than 50 degrees, I thought that this could have been made a little more obvious as this is quite an important factor especially in some work wear.
As mentioned above the gel contained inside the bottle is a dark turquoise colour and once poured into the cap is ready to go in the wash. The gel is quite thick and needs a good squeeze to get out of the bottle and is dispensed from the same sort cap as a shower gel. This means once you have stopped squeezing the product stops coming out. This bit I found a major advantage to normal liquids as it works well and isn't in the slightest bit messy leaving me with zero spillage on top of my machine, and no product running down the side ready to stick the bottle to the shelf next time I require it.
Once poured from the bottle the smell isn't really as strong as you may expect it to be for a product containing Febreze, it is far milder most detergents I have used just smelling very lightly of a normal liquid detergent. Compared to other products I did not sense much of a difference in the odour as I was expecting given that Febreze is advertised on the front of the product.
One thing that does concern me slightly is the big black cross in the orange box informing me that this is an irritant, and advising to keep out of eyes and reach of children which is pretty obvious, however also advises to wash hands after using as it contains Hexyl Salicylate which may cause an allergic. I presume that this is the same chemical that may produce reactions from people with sensitive skin when wearing clothes that have been washed in the same stuff. This is the reason I would definitely not recommend this for washing babies clothes.
Once removed after the wash cycle was complete the smell that greets me from my freshly washed clothes when I opened the door is pleasant and far stronger than when I sniffed the gel in the first instance, but not much more or in fact much different than a normal detergent. Not really much of a promotion for the Febreze contained inside.
As a stain remover I would say this product does have a slight edge over competitors at low temperature if the stain is caught straight away, however my clothes are often stained over the course of a day with, marker pens, car oil, biro pens and the like, which means I usually end up having to put them in on a hot wash. This is where I found that regular detergents caught up as on a hot wash I find that most of the stains are removed by using a competing product without stain removal properties just as well and therefore usually proving cheaper as well.
As for the Febreze side of things I find that my washing does smell fresh for maybe a couple of days longer than usual, both when worn and hung in my wardrobe. Unfortunately smelling nice doesn't keep my clothes clean for a longer period of time, my clothes seem to be subject to above average dirt and grime so when using this product they end up smelling nice but looking grubby. In my eyes I see the Febreze perfume ingredients as a bit of a gimmick as if your anything like me your clothes will end up getting washed the exact same number of times as without the Febreze ingredients. It is a gimmick that works to an extent however I like to both look clean and smell fresh both at the same time.
In My Opinion:-
In my opinion this product doesn't warrant the £4.50 - £5 price tag that it is labelled with in most places for a single bottle containing just 18 washes (In fairness I do usually get this even when washing heavily soiled clothes). Personally I would only grab this when it is on offer as I did and got 2 bottles for £6 around 6 months ago. However I feel that the fact that I still have most of a bottle left this amount of time later speaks volumes in itself.
Performance wise I feel that at low temperatures it is marginally better than standard slightly cheaper products, however as mentioned above any other detergent that I have used has removed stains just as well at higher temperature washes. I suppose that the Febreze is a good feature if clothes are to be washed before going on holiday or business and to be left in a suitcase or hung in a car, but like I said before feel that this is mainly a gimmick.
I feel that when competitors' products are available at much cheaper prices for the amount of washes achieved from one bottle of product it is not worth paying the extra for Ariel Excel Gel with Febreze.
I find it hard to recommend this product for the above reasons of price and the fact it is not far better than the competition. Unfortunately only 3 stars from me and this is simply because it actually does the job that it is supposed to and leaves clothes clean and smelling nice.
Summary: Not entirely convinced by this product.