“ Brand: Ecover / Type: Washing Powder / Category: Laundry „
Ecover washing powder is advertised as being enviromentally friendly, but more importantly, for me at least, it's gentle on skin and produces excellent wash results.
I buy the powder version in cardboard boxed sizes, although a tablet version is available, and you can buy smaller amounts of powder in (recycled, biodegradable) plastic bags. The powder seems expensive for the amount you get, but you can use less than half the powder amount suggested and still get a completely clean wash, which makes it last a lot longer. It saves your wallet and the environment.
Ecover produces good results at thirty and forty degrees, for a standard wash. At higher temperatures it has completely cleaned some fairly heavily soiled clothes (e.g. jeans from hiking across farmland after rain or spilled spagetti bolognaise,) with no need for a seperate stain remover. It's also had to deal with the mud, mess, and fur that come with owning two cats, and does so brilliantly.
As well as being an excellent cleaner, Ecover's main advertised selling point is that it is good for the environment. The packaging is a cardboard box, made of recycled cardboard and 100% recyclable. The ingredients are sourced from renewable resources. Importantly it uses plant-based cleaning agents rather than oil-based ones, avoiding the use of fossil-based resources. The washing poweder itself is designed to biodegrade quickly and completely, reducing its impact of the water supply significantly.
At the time of writing, Ecover has not applied for the EU Ecolabel, allegedly because Ecover does not believe the label is strict enough in requiring responsible sourcing of materials. However it has won a number of awards for washing and the environment.
While it is good for the environment, I use it because I found it was better for sensitive skin and allergies. Fragrances are entirely natural and used sparingly, so less likely to trigger problems, and the product has been tested to make sure it is as safe as possible for sensitive skins. This issue is actually why I use Ecover: my old powder changed its formula, resulting in skin rashes, peeling, and flaking for several members of the household (the manufacturer's 'solution' was to deny it had changed, then admit it and give me a free token for more of the stuff that was causing the problem). When we switched to Ecover, these health problems vanished.
Overall, right now, this is the only washing powder on the market I would buy. Good results everytime, at low temperatures, good for the enviroment and your skin.
I use a number of Ecover products mainly due to having a septic tank, but also I've got sensitive skin. I've used Ecover washing powder for years now. In common with all their other products, it's a very effective cleaner. In particular if I have something which is heavily stained, not just clothes, but, well, just about anything - I'll soak it in this for a few hours or overnight, and it always does the job very well. I've cleaned rugs in the bath with it, for example! Very effective. You don't need an excessive amount either, and the instructions are quite emphatic about reminding you to use as little as possible!
There is only one real downside with this product, which Ecover just never seem to have addressed in all the years I've been buying it. The problem is that you pretty much always end up with small white particles adhering to your clothes after they've been through a wash cycle. Now that had always concerned me, in that I might get it on my skin, if bits of it are stuck to my clothes, and that it might irritate.
I don't think however this has actually ever been an issue though. But it isn't a good look...When I take items out of the machine, I have to give them a good bashing to get all the particles off. It's a pain with sheets particularly. It helps if you can get your washing out on a line in a stiff breeze - however I still end up having to brush them down before I take them off the line. I really don't get why after all this time Ecover can't manage to address this. There's just nothing wrong with it otherwise. But you want your washing to be completely clean when it comes out of the machine, and well, as far as I'm concerned, it isn't.
That's the only bad thing I've ever had to say about any of the Ecover products - but it's something that's always annoyed me quite a lot and I can see it putting other people off using it completely. It means that this isn't going to be a 5 star review. I really don't want to mark it down too heavily, because it's good in every other way, but it is a definite negative and I'd have thought it must hurt sales as most people wouldn't be prepared to put up with this one negative aspect.
I've used various Ecover products, but their non-bio washing powder is what I use most. Ecover as a company pride themselves on producing products that are more sustainable and ethical than most on the high street. Their washing powders are all made with plant based ingredients which are better for your skin and for the environment. Ecover do not test on animals and the ingredients in their products have minimum impact on aquatic life.
What you really want to know, I suppose is how well this stuff washes your clothes, and the answer is absolutely perfectly. I've never had a problem, even with really dirty clothes, they always come out looking spotless. Fabrics come out smelling neutral with a slight fragrance, which I think is a good thing. I often find that many washing powders have overpowering scents. The best thing is that when washed with Ecover washing powder, my clothes don't irritate my skin, which sometimes happens with other detergents. So if you have sensitive skin, I recommend this product. Even if you don't, many ingredients in other washing powders can be carcinogenic, so this is a safe option.
I think this washing powder treats my clothes really well. In the past I've had problems with washing powder leaving white stains on my clothes, but since using Ecover, I've found that my clothes tend to keep their original colour longer. There have been a couple of times when I've found white marks on my clothes, probably because the powder doesn't desolve properly in lower temperatures - but it depends whether you have hard or soft water, which affects most washing powders anyway. I would say that other washing powders probably leave your clothes feeling softer, but if you want that then get fabric softener.
The price is what puts a lot of people off buying Ecover products, but I think it's worth it. I've found that I don't have to use as much powder as they recommend on the box, which means it doesn't turn out so expensive. You can quite often find it on offer or buy it in bulk on the internet. Ecover washing powder has been designed to work with lower temperatures, so you can switch your wash to 30 and save a bit of money on your electricity bill.
You can get Ecover washing powder in different boxes/bags, but I prefer the boxes, which usually have a cardboard box that comes with it to measure the amount you put in. They also come in tablets. Their packaging is generally made of recycled materials. You can get some Ecover things refilled at local health food shops, but I've only ever done it with liquid Ecover products, so you'd have to check with your local shop (if you have one) to see which refills they stock - this sometimes makes it quite a bit cheaper.
I would recommend this product, but I've found that I prefer Ecover's laundry liquid, which smells nicer and is a little easier to use.
Non-Biological Ecover Washing Powder
Inside one of my pregnancy packs was a trial size of this product. I had never heard of it before and was curious to see what it would be like.
**WHAT IS IT**
Ecover is a non biological washing powder which will wash your whites and colourfast clothes. It can be used in the washing machine and for hand washing your clothes.
The particular packet I got was a plastic one with the Ecover logo on the front in blue and green. It is rather bright and will get your attention as it looks crisp and clean. There is a picture of a flower in a blue bubble that says 'its ecological'. The main message going to out to everyone is that this product works with nature.
At the top right hand corner it tells you that it is Good Housekeeping Institute approved 2009. To be honest I have never heard of this before but it looks good.
On the back it gives you more detailed information on the product. It still goes by the same colour scheme of white and blue. There is also a picture of a butterfly and beside it lets you know that there are not any artificial fragrances so the butterflies don't get confused.
When you are buying this product from the supermarket you will find that the packaging is exactly the same the only difference is that the packaging is made out of cardboard. This carton is made out of 97% recycled cardboard.
Zeolite, Sodium Disilicate, Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, Sodium C12-18 Alkylsulfate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Sulfate, Ethoxylated Rapeseed Methyl Esters, Sodium Citrate, Tetra Acetyl Ethylene Diamine (TAED), Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Poly Asparaginate, Magnesium Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Parfum, Limonene, Linalool
This may be useful if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. It says on the packaging that the ingredients are based on plant and mineral ingredients as it harnesses the powder of nature.
There are no enzymes and no optical brightners. This means that there will be no harm done to your skin as optical brightners make an irreversible bond with the skin. So Ecover is kinder to your skin and will not cause it any damage.
This brand tries to make minimum impact on aquatic life and is against animal testing. This washing powder is suitable for septic tanks.
The actual powder just looks like any other washing powder and is white in colour. You can smell a fresh but not overly fragrance smell as soon as you open the packaging and pour it into the washing machine.
If you are hand washing you dissolve 50ml in 5 litres of warm water. Then wash your clothes and rinse them as normal.
Personally I really like this product as it isn't harsh on your clothes and it will get them clean first time around. I have sensitive skin and this product doesn't annoy my skin in any way.
You can buy a 1.2kg box of this washing powder from Tesco's. This will do roughly 12 washes and it costs £4.98. To be honest this is more than I usually spend on washing powder. I feel that it is a premium product and costs that little bit extra.
I have to say I am not a fan of perfumed washing powders as they generally give me a headache or just turn my stomach. This particular one smells lovely and it leaves your clothes smelling very fresh. It is a subtle yet noticeable smell that I really do like. It also doesn't linger for ages, which I do like.
Overall my opinion is that if you want to spend the extra on washing powder then this particular one is very nice and leaves your clothes fresh, soft and very clean.
I love ecover products. However the washing powder is not my favorite I have to say.
Don't get me wrong, it cleans well, but I find that if you don't wash your clothes at a high enough temprature you are often left with patches of white powder on your clothes when you take them out the machine. So you end up using a higher temprature to prevent this, which isn't very good for the environment. Plus many of my friends have noticed the same thing.
It's the same when you are handwashing with this stuff, I just don't think that it desolves well enough in water. That's why I use the Ecover laundry liquid. It not only works as well as the powder, it smells great too. My friend tried the ecover powder for the first time a few weeks ago, but complained to me that it gave her clothes a vegetal smell to them which wasn't very nice.
So my advice would be to stick with Ecover, but give the laundry liquid a try instead of the powder.
I am a massive fan of the Ecover range and so was very excited to switch to the washing powder also. I normally set my washing machine to a 30 degree wash on the eco setting and have found that Ecover really does work to clean my clothes just as well as all the other brands do. But I must outline a small problem that I have noticed with it. I notice that on this particular setting, the powder doesn't disolve too well. I still find speckles of it on my clothes and in the washing machine. It wasn't enough to put me off using it when doing a washing load but after a while I was starting to get fed up of having to shake the flecks off all my washing and so I switched to the Liquid variety of Ecover and I must say that on a 30 degree wash, this is perfect!
I do use the powder, however, for hand washing as it is very gentle on my hands and seems to dissolve better (but then I think that is because I use boiling water from the kettle when I do a handwashing load). I have very sensitive skin and the powder doesn't aggravate them at all during hand washing and doesn't leave flecks on the clothes.
Another use that I have for the powder is to grind it down with a little borax powder and kettle water into a paste and then use a toothbrush to clean my converse trainers with it. I have never seen such great results without wearing away the fabric of my trainers. I guess the same technique can be used for other trainers too.
On the whole I think that the powder is very gentle and does clean the clothes to a very high standard on a very eco friendly wash but I still get a bit annoyed with it leaving flecks of powder undissolved on my clothes so prefer to use it for handwashing and use the liquid for the wash.
I sometimes like to use Ecover to wash especially my jacket(s), trainers and jeans. The clothes are much cleaner looking, feeling and smell cleaner too.
Ecover is unique because it uses only material derived from plants and it is better for the environment too. This helps give me a better conscience both at home and when shopping.
It is also easier on fabrics and I really like using it.
As with all things that are meant to be better for the environment though they do come at a higher price to your pocket as this washing powder is quite expensive but I suppose it is more laborious to process it naturally than the ordinary detergents.
In fact Ecover is quite highly priced compared to other brands and unfortuntaely I can't always afford to buy it especially with the current climate of rising petrol & living costs so I don't use it for some clothes only for main ones like jacket,trainers & jeans as well as my rucksack sometimes.
I have to admit, I was nervous about switching to an eco-friendly washing powder. I automatically assumed that Ecover would be less effective at tackling dirt and grime than other brands, and the fact that I'm a keen gardener, and thus frequently covered in mud, didn't do much to reassure me!
One wash convinced me that I was silly to worry. You can buy Ecover washing products as a powder or as convenient, easy-to-use tablets. In both cases, you pop them into the machine just like normal powder, and let them do their stuff. My washing emerged squeaky-clean, and smelling fresher than many non eco-friendly brands had left it.
So what makes these products better for the environment? Unlike conventional washing powders, they use plant-based surfectants (cleaning agents), rather than chemicals derived from petroleum and other non-sustainable sources. Not only are these more sustainable to produce, but they're less toxic to aquatic life, and they're biodegradeable. So you can wash with confidence, knowing that you're not damaging the earth.
Furthermore, Ecover as a company is run along sustainable lines, so if you're worried about the power of massive corporations, you can sleep a little bit easier at night if you buy their products, which are now available in all major supermarkets, as well as in environmentally friendly local stores.
The major disadvantage of Ecover is the price - twice as much as ordinary washing powder, and more expensive than the new ranges of eco-friendly washing powders that are coming onto the market.
Ive been a big fan of Ecover, their products, and their philosophy for over 5 years now, and feel the greatness of being good to the environment every time I overlook the big brands like Fairy and Domestos to favour these wonderfully ecological products. However, switching my washing powder took me a lot longer and a lot more heartache, though now that I have, its hard for me to see why!
Being slightly sensitive in skin as well as nature, Ive always used the same brand of washing powder and fabric softener. Anything else always seemed to bring me out in a rash and so as soon as I was shocking my own laundry products for my own house (instead of relying on mum to keep my socks clean!), it was the brands Id been brought up on that I chose without really thinking too much about it. In a way, I suppose all these big companies depend on a certain element of brand brainwashing from parent to child in their marketing campaigns. We trust the brands our parents trusted and thats all there is to it. But now I have broken the cycle of trust, and have forged my own path in the choosing of products that fit my ideals, beliefs and lifestyle, and Im really rather proud. I also have no washing powder induced rashes to speak of! So let me tell you a little about Ecover.
Who are Ecover?
Well, they are the revolutionaries who first stood up and said wait, there is another way!
In Belgium, in 1980, Ecover was founded as a pioneering company, selling phosphate free products. As a company, Ecover is very concerned about environmental issues and in 1992 they opened the worlds first ecological factory it has a green live roof! If you read the back of your washing powder box, it will tell you that this product is made at this very factory!
Every part of their business is covered by ecological policy, not just the products and production of them, but everything else, like marketing and sales (for example, they will refill your old bottles of washing up liquid, collecting them and delivering them back, free of charge. You just pay for the actual refill pretty good!)
Ecover now have sites in the UK and USA, and sell their products in over 20 countries worldwide. All of their products are designed and made keeping environmental benefits to humans and animals as well as the planet herself, at the forefront, and for this, I applaud them!
The Thing About Washing Powder.
So you know when you fill your machine with clothes, and pop in a wee tablet, or fill the drawer up top with all kinds of wonderful smelling liquids and powders, do you really know whats in them? And do you think about where those chemicals are going to end up once theyve finished dealing with the stains on your clothes? You see, for a long time, because I was so against changing brands perhaps, I didnt think about the cycle of events (as opposed to the cycle of my washing machine..!), and I certainly didnt think about the chemicals getting out into the water systems, getting out into the oceans, changing the chemical makeup of the waters where our earths creatures have happily floated about for millennia. Nope, I just thought about clean clothes that smelt ice and didnt irritate my skin. And I guess I was much the same as many other folk in that respect.
I cant tell you what made me change. One day I just thought, why am I doing this? Why can I be principled about my loo cleaner, and my washing up liquid, when my clothes washing counts for much more in the way of chemicals than they do. Somehow I found a weenie bit of courage to have a go and run the risk of getting a rash or skin irritation. But guess what I didnt. Wonder why .!
The Clothes Washing Experience!
Ecover washing powder comes in a few different forms, but the one I use is the non-bio washing powder. It comes in an oblong box, which is made of 97% recycled cardboard and very jazzily coloured in green and blue, which are the ecover colours. The back of the box displays a symbol for a UN Award ecover have received, as well as the recycle label and a symbol stating the product is vegan friendly.
This washing powder has no enzymes, no optical brighteners and has a minimum impact on the life in our seas and oceans. It is made using plant and mineral ingredients and is biodegradable. It also won a Good Housekeeping award in 2006, which is very good news!
Using the powder is easy I use the cardboard measure inside the box and measure about 100ml for each load of washing I do. The powder goes into the drawer at the top of the machine, or dissolves into hot water in the sink if I am doing a hand wash. The powder smells lovely, with quite a planty smell. Sometimes I think I can catch the faint whiff of aniseed, but it may just be my pregnant nose picking up non existent smells! I have been using this product for about 6 months now, and have never had to put a load of washing back in again (I did occasionally when I used Persil non bio), and always find the clothes come out smelling lovely. I use ecover fabric conditioner too, but will write about that separately.
At the moment we do a wash maybe 5 times a week, though I know it will be more when the little one arrives. One box of Ecover (1200g) can last well over a month probably about 5-6 weeks, so though the box states it will do 12 washes, I think after a while youll be able to gage exactly how many washes you can get out of each box.
I think for me, one of the main plus points of this product is how gentle it is one the skin I have no worries at all about using it when the baby comes along, and I know my sister, whose husband and 2 children have problems with eczema, uses it without any problem at all. So I can thoroughly recommend it on that part.
The All Important Cost!!
Well, whereas many of the other Ecover products are cheaper or the same price as the top brands, the washing powder is more expensive. The 12 wash box (1.2kg) that I buy costs £4.38, whereas a 10 wash box (1kg) of Persil Non Bio costs £2.50. These are prices from the Tesco website. So there is a big difference in price, but I feel its worth it. Besides, a 10 wash box from Persil would do ten washes, maybe less. I can stretch Ecover powder to do 25-30 washes because I dont need to use as much to get good results. So really, to do the same amount of washing, I would be buying maybe 3 boxes of Persil, which if Ive done my maths right is £7.50. No question in my mind which is the most economical!!
My Final Thoughts.
It was quite a hard choice for me to make, switching my washing powder. Harder than it ought to have been, really. But I did it, and Im ever so pleased. Im glad there is a product out there that can help me to make a difference to the world I live in. People all over the world now are so much more aware than ever before of the impact our choices and actions have on the planet, but sometimes its hard to change, or its hard to find an alternative to what youve used and you parents have used for years. But once youve done it, youll wish you did it years ago. Its not hard at all really. In the end, things are only as difficult as we make them. So go on. Save the world buy Ecover!
Thank you for reading, Kate x
Plant based ingredients. No optical brighteners. Safe for all white and colourfast laundry.