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Now I am a Mum of 2 I have been trying to reduce the number of chemicals I use in the house so have become a big fan of Method products as they use plant based cleaning technology so no nasty chemicals and much kinder on the environment, which after all will also affect our children and future generations growing up.
Method Laundry Detergent Peony Blossom comes in a 300ml pump dispenser bottle and is concentrated so you use less which again means less packaging, less waste etc. The pump is sealed in cellophane and you twist it up to open and then allow 4 pumps per wash. We live in a very hard water area so I use the around 5/6 pumps per wash. Using 4 pumps per wash the bottle should give you 25 washes which at £6.00 per bottle averages at 24 pence per wash. Quite often this priduct is on offer and you can also get a large pouch refill for it which helps with cost saving and the bottle can be refilled which again helps with it's green credentials.
Method boasts of using Smartclean plant based technology to target stains and give excellent cleaning. The product is 95% plant based and is biodegradable so much kinder on you and the environment.
I have been using this detergent on and off for a while now now and have been impressed with its cleaning power and the lovely fresh, not overpowering scent it leaves on the clothes. Having two children under 6 my detergent needs to be good to get their clothes clean and this detergent does just that.
I would recommend this product to anyone wanting an effective laundry detergent which is kind to you and the environment.
Why are you reading a review about laundry detergent? Has your standard selection disappointed? Or are you a detergent tart, flitting from product to product currently, but hoping to chance upon a model that excites, satisfies and never lets you down?
As far as I am concerned, the search is still on for 'The One'. But Method's Peony Blossom Laundry Detergent comes close:
Yes. I have used this for clothes, towels and bed linen. Generally, the washing has not looked particularly dirty, though has sometimes been a bit whiffy and lacking freshness. Smells are removed with this detergent. A shirt which had Bolognese stains on it went through a wash with Persil non-bio and the stains remained. An application of the Method liquid direct on the stain and a wash through with Method led to the disappearance of the stain entirely. I was very impressed by this result.
The jury is out on whether or not this is desirable. Personally I like a lingering fragrance on towels and sheets, but not clothes. If a scent is stated on the pack, I expect to be able to detect it. My Method detergent said it was Peony Blossom scented, and the product itself smells very floral and pleasant. But I have to put my nose right up to the washed laundry to smell anything, and even then it is very faint. So, no prizes in this category.
I have a 300ml bottle that delivers 25 washes. As the pack says, the detergent is "outstandingly concentrated", and consequently the pack is smaller than my current Persil non-bio liquid that contains 18 washes. I appreciate the reduced packaging and the smallness as storage space is an issue in our kitchen.
A distinct feature of this detergent is that it comes in a pump dispenser. It states clearly around the top of the pump that '4 pumps= 1 wash', and through this device they have managed to save the user time since there is no cap to remove and fill. The pump itself works well and so far has left no residual drip: the attractive, conical bottle remains clean, and by comparison with other similar products, rather elegant.
There is, however, a slight awkwardness to using the pump dispenser now that I am halfway through the product. I find that in order to squirt the detergent into the drawer of my washing machine I like to place the nozzle directly over the correct section. This was fine when the bottle was full, but now that it is depleted, I find that it must be held upright in order to squirt efficiently.
Stay with me.
To squirt the pump I need to press the top down with my index finger. To do this with aplomb I need to have my elbow bent. But, if I want the bottle upright and the nozzle close to the washing machine drawer I have to hold the bottle with my arm stretched out straight. This makes it very difficult for me then to get the angle of my hand so that my fingers can operate the pump. This is extremely trying. In consequence I have had to resort to standing further away from the machine, and hoping that I am aiming well when the pump is depressed. As the amount of liquid reduces, so increases the amount of force needed to deliver the required 4 pumps into the dispenser drawer. You can take turns with a partner if you like, and it really livens laundry time up..
I notice now I read the label more carefully that you can also squirt it direct into the drum of the machine. Where's the challenge there? Same issue, less fun if you ask me.
Method are keen that all the detergent be used and so helpfully explain how to squirt out every last drop: "look underneath bottle, locate the pink tube inside, turn top pump spout so it aligns with tube." This seems easy enough. The alternative is to unscrew the whole of the lid, add a little water, return lid, shake and then pour out. Also easy enough.
Expensive! Currently this is on sale on offer in Sainsbury's for £3.99, but its regular price is £6. This equates to 16p or 24p a wash. You can buy an 85 wash pack at £9.33 equating to 11p a wash, and that is much more favourable, placing it as one of the cheaper liquid detergents at Sainsbury's as I write. Their regular price for this refill pack is £14. What did I pay? Why...nothing, it was on a 'try me free' introductory offer when I purchased.
It is easy to see how many washes you get from the pack. What isn't immediately clear is whether or not it is a biological or non-biological detergent. Since this is important for many people with sensitive skin, or babies who are likely to have sensitive skin, you might expect it to be stated and it isn't. The ingredients list enzymes though: protease, amylase and cellulase, which I believe makes it a biological detergent.
Environmental and ethical issues?
The emphasis is on the product being "powered by plant-based smartclean technology" and Method declare themselves to be against "dirty" chemical ingredients. They aim to be environmentally friendly and consequently the detergent contains lots of biodegradable ingredients, the bottle is made from 50% recycled plastic, HDPE to be precise, and so can be recycled where facilities exist. The product is not tested on animals.
Overall this product looks nice, works well and is sometimes sold at a competitive price. Its packaging has some design flaws and it can be extremely expensive.
I brought this product recently as my husband has developed an allergy to most of the household name brands. So I figured that as this is plant based it may not cause a reaction in his case.
We have also used a large amount of Method products in the past and would generally use their products over most other household names any day. They are les detrimental to the environment and do not pollute the water with any toxins either, which is important to us as we both surf regularly.
I was a little wary because of the price, I recall it costing around the £6 mark. However it is definately worth it in my opinion.
The packaging suggests using 2 pumps per load of washing and as soon as I first pumped it into the washing machine the smell was, well, divine. It has a very strong scent to begin with and while it smelt amazing, I was slightly concerned that my husbands clothes would all be smelling like this after the wash. Hwoever, it was already in the machine so off it went.
I needn't have worried, as soon as I pulled his shirts form the machine I was hit with a much lighter version of the initial scent, literally like having a bunch of flowers nearby. They looked immaculately clean and smelt lovely.
Also he has not reacted to any of his clothes since using this product which is great and obviously the main reason I tried the product in the first place.
It may not be the most economical washing detergent, but it is certainly the nicest smelling. Also it is much more environmentally friendly, both from the ingrediants used to the packaging design.
I tried this last month and was slightly worried about the price of it but decided I would buy it and use less than it tells you to - i often do this and sometimes wash with no detergent at all. I generally used 2 pumps worth but i then discovered my husband used 6 so i guess it didn't work out so economical after all. Still i prefer to use a liquid and the small container uses far less packaging than my usual ecover liquid product.
Natural laundry products have, until now, been a difficult choice for busy households, even those with family members who want to be ecological. These days having washing which comes out of the machine still with stains present, is not only frustrating, but can also lead to more waste with repeat washes being required, not to mention an army of stain removing tools, which somewhat defeat the object of environmentally friendly cleaning.
In our house we had resigned ourselves to using natural cleaning products where the laundry just needed freshening up, and there are some excellent products available for this, some even have beautiful scents as well. For the heavy duty washes we had conventional products which worked beautifully. Then I discovered Method, and these conventional products are now redundant in our house as they have no purpose.
Method you may know have been at the forefront of ethical products with respect to household cleaning. I have used their French Lavender kitchen spray for many years now, and many other products they make too, so when I noticed their washing liquid I decided that I should put the liquid to the test. I have to confess I was sceptical as although I do love using environmentally friendly laundry items, I have a strong dislike when garments head for the line still with their tomato marks in place. This is absolutely soul destroying, especially if you have purchased a new top which is in for its first wash.
To be absolutely honest I have been waiting to submit this review, as I have been gathering evidence in relation to how this product handles stains, and, of course, I had to wait until garments acquired them! So the opinion I will submit later in this review is based on actual usage over a three month period, as I feel this is of paramount importance with a product of this nature.
The washing liquid is sold in very small pump action bottles in three different fragrances. I chose the Peony, but there is also one entitled Fresh Air, and one called Free and Clear. The Peony is presented in a bottle which has rose pink base, and when I purchased mine it was on offer at £4. The recommended price is £5.99 and this will perform 25 washes so it works out at around 24p per wash. Currently Waitrose are stocking it for £3.99 making it a superb purchase at this price. The RRP is approximately three times the cost of the cheapest range of laundry liquids such as Surf. So there is no doubt that you are paying more for a product which is designed to protect the environment. For this reason it has to work first time in my opinion.
To use you simply load the clothes into the machine and you squirt two pumps into the drum with the clothes. If you prefer you can put these into the drawer. If the laundry is slightly dirtier, or you have a larger load then four squirts is necessary, and for very dirty loads six squirts is recommended. The liquid is clear and thin, and has a lovely floral scent. However, I could not believe that such a small amount would actually clean the load thoroughly and remained sceptical to say the least.
So I gave the machine several very difficult tasks. Firstly the cherry trees in my garden are in full production now, and it isn't only me that is enjoying them. The blackbirds love to have one or two, and will discard the stone, which often falls onto my laundry which is outside on the line. Added to this my husband enjoys the annual picking and stoning of these, and also manages to get the juice all over himself and the clothes he is wearing. So one load I had was filled with fresh cherry juice stained items, and those included some which had dried on red splodges, and I thought it would be hopeless. I was wrong - the clothes came out spotless.
Then there was the tomato experiment. This time I came home from holiday to find quite a few tops belonging to my son that had very old tomato stains on them. These came up perfect after just one wash.
The fragrance of the clothing is also lovely on removal from the machine, it has a fresh smell which is pleasant and this makes the washing a pleasure to hang on the line afterwards.
The tiny bottle makes the product so convenient to store, in fact it has given me so much more shelf space in my kitchen I am delighted.
So with the extra cost of this you might be wondering why I buy this when conventional products work just as well. The main reason I use this is one of ethics. The product uses less water, less plastic, and requires 33% less energy to create it. For these reasons it is helping to reduce the carbon foot print, and to distribute these small bottles creates a fraction of the waste products generated by the heavy lorries which are used to transport even the newer conventional concentrated liquids, which still tower in size over this new Method liquid.
In addition to this I love the fact that the product contains plant based ingredients which biodegrade, and are non toxic to aquatic life.
Many people may be unaware that the phosphates used in conventional products end up in the rivers and waterways where they encourage overgrowth of algae. This starves other plant life from getting oxygen, and in turn upsets the entire balance of the water. Method is phosphate free.
Many of the major supermarkets are now stocking the product and if you visit the page at www.tesco.com/greenerliving/go_greener/competitions/free_method_samples.page for a limited period only you may be lucky enough to receive a free sample of the product.
As this bottle is really only the size of a large bottle of hand wash it delivers so much, if you don't drive and do the shopping on foot it would be a superb choice. Perfect too for holidays and for everyday use. I have found it to be perfect for all loads too including whites, colours and even woollens, which I have washed in the machine on the delicate cycle using this with no adverse affects. None of us have suffered any skin problems which is also important as my son has a history of eczema.
I can't fault this product except it is on the expensive side. I will stock up in Waitrose for the time being and look for offers in due course, as I feel it delivers on performance as well as leading brands of washing products, and is helping to preserve our waterways and aquatic life in the process. These really are - little bottles of brilliance!