“ Brand: Persil / Type: Washing Tablets / Category: Laundry „
I must admit that the slogan for Persil's new gel tablets didn't appeal to me at first. I could understand the concept but saying 'dirt is good' doesn't really sell the product. However, I have been trying my best for several years now to be as 'green' as I can and so I don't want to pre-treat my washing or use high temperatures on any of my wash, and that includes whites and stubborn stains. So when I saw an offer on Persil gel tablets at my local co-op store I bought a box of 20 tablets for about £3.25 at the time. You can still get some good deals on these by checking on the Persil website which shows where to get the best prices and that's something I haven't seen before. Currently the boxes of 40 can be bought for £4.50 so a good deal.
Living on my own I don't get a lot of washing but when I do it's normally sheets and towels that I would have pre-treated in the past. Nowadays I think about my electric bills as well as the overuse of water and the temperatures that pre-treatment asks for.
My washing machine is fairly new but most programmes have a set temperature so I don't use the white wash option, I use a 40-degree setting and the stronger powder.
As stated these are tablets with compacted white powder and a blue gel coating. It's this blue gel that is supposed to take the place of pre-treatment gels or additives. The tablet is square, which is unusual and is packed in thin bags of two. This is much easier to open than the usual hard plastic and I imagine they are easier to biodegrade.
The instructions say to put two tablets into the bag provided and pop into your machine preferably at the back of the drum. I find it doesn't make a lot of difference but I expect this is different for everyone. The powder will disperse with the water and the action of the machine. Personally I found the blue gel didn't dissolve that well and I had to up the temperature but I did have a full wash to do.
Along with the description of the product is a list of do's and don't that are common sense, but would be helpful to someone not used to gel tablets or washing in general. I won't point fingers here or I'll get told off but certain people are not known for washing savvy. Generally the dos are to use the right dosage, temperature etc and give a table of the dosage for soft and hard water and light and heavy soiling. I did find these guidelines helpful. The do nots are not to overload the machine, don't use pre-wash as well, check the fabric instructions.
When I first used these I was a bit disappointed that the overall smell was mostly of powder and not the usual choices I'd had with other gels and powders. But I told myself that scent is additional and although I prefer it, a fresh, clean smell is just as nice. In fact after my washing was finished and hung out on the line the fresh smell made a nice change. It was more of an outdoor smell and one I associated with childhood and my mother's 'blue bags'. I wonder if the Persil team was thinking this when they came up with the idea?
I'm getting ahead of myself though. I used two tablets for my first trial on two sheets, one duvet cover and two white towels. I set my machine on 40 degrees and a full wash of approximately 30 minutes. I did check every few minutes to start with and saw plenty of suds so knew it was working. Once the cycle was complete I hung them out and did notice the stains on the towels were gone. Like most women I usually forget at some point and wipe my clean face with a white towel and sometimes get mascara traces on it. These were absent so the powder had done it's work. I did find a small residue of blue gel on a sheet though, so had to rewash this one.
The next time I tried a higher temperature and this worked well. I think that I could have got away with 40 degrees on lighter stains or used an extra tablet.
So overall I'd give these tablets four out of five. They are perfect for heavy duty washes at lower temperatures and this is good for the environment, hence my title. You can recycle the cardboard box and the tight packaging makes this better all round. One problem I did have was storage. I kept this under my sink and unfortunately didn't use it for a while after the first few trials, mainly as I didn't have any heavy washes. The gel must have bled slightly into the powder as it felt very soggy and I had to throw it away. I 'm still not sure about that 'dirt is good' though!
©Lisa Fuller 2011.
This time of the year my sons play inside and we bring them out for a walk so they can't really dirt their clothes. So I buy Sainsbury's own branded laundry detergent. When the weather will be better my sons go out to the garden and I often bring them to the playground so mud and grass stains are normal. The shop's own branded detergent can't remove those stains so I have to change washing detergent.
It wasn't me who first bought Persil Biological tablets. My husband was out for shopping and I asked him to bring washing detergent and he choose this one. I tried it and I found that one tablet is not sufficient but 2 tablets really clean my son's dirty clothes.
The tablets are in a grass green cardboard box. There are two sizes available: 48 tablets (for 24 washes) for 6.11 pounds in Sainsbury's and the 24 tablets pack (12 washes) for 3.04 pounds. This means that the detergent for a wash is about 25 pence. I think this is quite expensive. So I buy this product only for the really dirty clothes and I still buy the shop's own branded product for the rest of the clothes.
There are two tablets wrapped together in a transparent foil. The tablets are white and there is a green gel layer on the top of them. There is a web looking bag enclosed and I put the tablets in this bag and place it into the back part of the drum. I usually wash the clothes on 40 degrees. I like the fresh and clean scent of the clothes. When I use this detergent I don't use fabric conditioner. This detergent leaves the clothes long lasting fragrance.
The ingredients are as follows: Persil Biological Gel Tablets contain: 5-15%: Oxygen-Based Bleaching Agents, Zeolite, Anionic Surfactants, Non-Ionic Surfactants, <5%: Phosphonates, Perfume, Soap, Polycarboxylates, Optical Brighteners, Enzymes, Butylphenyl Methypropional.
My younger son has sensitive skin but we haven't found any skin irritation. As this detergent is a biological product it contains enzymes to remove the stains. Although the manufacturer (Unilever UK) suggests using it at lower temperature I have to admit that I never tried. My washing machine has a quick programme which washes the clothes clean and usually I use this preset programme on 40 degrees. For further information about the manufacturer and the product visit: www.unilever.co.uk or www.persil.co.uk.
To sum up I think this is a really effective washing detergent which removed the grass, mud, baby food and nappy accident stains from my sons' clothes. I used 2 tablets placed in the provided bag in the back of the drum and washed the clothes on 40 degrees. The enzymes are really effective in stain removal but I think this detergent is quite expensive for everyday use if your clothes are not stained so much. So I buy a cheap detergent and fabric conditioner for the laundry that is not really dirty and I use these Persil gel tablets for the really dirty and stained clothes without fabric conditioner. It has a lovely fresh scent which lasts long.
November for me sees the last of my garments blowing in the wind on wash days, before they are resigned to the clothes airer, or the tumble dryer, after emerging fresh and clean from the washing machine.
So this time of year affords probably the best opportunity to enjoy the smell of newly washed laundry indoors, so how fresh and clean the garments are really matters, as they are not going to get that outside freshness.
Well that's certainly the case for me here in Essex, but my frequent trips to the Outer Hebrides do see clothes clinging on for their lives on washing lines all year round, some ending up half way to the sea. The wind beats even the most robust of storm pegs! For this reason, and also because of my love of walking along muddy paths, a laundry treatment is needed which can cope with the stains that wayward laundry picks up. I have joined the locals in this quest to dry outside when I visit, and some of my undies have been rescued from the fields with newly acquired grass stains, so the product I am reviewing here has been tested in both areas, which is good because Scotland has soft water and Essex has hard water so it is interesting to compare and contrast the results.
Persil Gel tablets are biological, and you can find them in the laundry aisles of many supermarkets in an apple green box. In the right hand corner are the words "Just Washed Feeling " which on their website means that they are treated with Active Microcapsules - a new technology, which means that they have a freshness which lasts all day after washing.
I bought mine in Tesco and they were on offer at £4 for 48 tablets which does 24 washes, making each wash work out to be just under 17p.This actually works out slightly cheaper than my normal liquid detergent "Surf" which I am mostly loyal to, so this was a bonus for the gel tablets.
Now another claim this product has is that it needs no pre- treatment for any stains at all. This sounds brilliant as it certainly cuts the cost of the laundry job.
Also the product can be used at 30 degrees, which means you can save on power and electricity running costs, but of course nowadays most competitors also have this attribute, as they simply have had to remain up to date, and to hold onto their share of the market.
The side of the box has a photograph of a young boy on a mountain bike. This infers he is going to arrive home caked in mud and grime. The text next to the image explains that no stain removers will be necessary, and that his clothes will emerge from the drum clean and fresh. The final caption I read is "Dirt Is Good"
So with all this positivity literally oozing from the box I had high hopes, and so firstly to my experience of using the product in Essex. Into the washing machine I piled all my husband's shirts, and my son also had a fair amount of laundry to add to this white wash, and I launched it off at 30 degrees, having first placed two of the gel tablets towards the back of the drum in the little string bag provided.
Each of the tablets are plastic wrapped in pairs. They look like giant Alka- Seltzers with a bottle green gel layer at the top, which contains all the stain removing ingredients.
On removing the laundry I was very impressed indeed. The shirts literally sparkled, and all the stains around the collars were gone. In many ways I felt this was probably the best results I had obtained with any wash I had done in the past. The only observation was that there was a small layer of residue from the tablets which had caught in the front of the door seal. This is something I often find when using any powder based product at 30 degrees. I simply don't think the wash generates enough turning power in the machine to fully dissolve the entire product before the end of the cycle. It is why I never use powders for coloured items because I find powdery residues can leave white marks on the clothes. This product is not for coloured clothes so any residue was not visible, and so I was more than happy as the machine itself has continued to smell fresh due to this residue left behind.
I have experimented washing at 40 degrees on a more aggressive cycle, and the product will then fully disperse, but of course this isn't what the manufacturer claims, and so it is slightly misleading to the consumer. Furthermore it is really important to place the tablets at the back of the drum to aid the dispersal process.
If you have very hard water and moderately to extremely soiled laundry it does suggest that you go up to 3 tablets.
In The Outer Hebrides my laundry created more of a challenge. Heavily soiled from a rather muddy wander through the peaty hills to watch sheep, I had a full load of rather muddy things. I wouldn't normally put coloured items in biological powder, but this was a job which needed something powerful. 40 degrees and 2 tablets produced outstanding results, and not a trace of mud or dirt remained. I also did a wash there of white towels and these came up lovely and clean at 30 degrees, but in tune with what I found in Essex a residue remained n the drum seal. A 60 degree wash of bed linen produced again outstanding results, and this cleared the drum of any residue from the less aggressive washes.
I think this product needs to be used with caution if you are using low temperature delicate washing programs with whites, as there will be a residue-it is sweet smelling and clears easily with an aggressive wash but it is something to be aware of.
The laundry comes out of the machine smelling beautiful. I think it mirrors the fresh smell some of the newer Daz powders have, and is certainly a match for my normal brand "Surf".
Certainly this product is not claiming it can match the 15 degrees advertised by products such as Ariel Excel Gel, but my machine does not have the capability to wash at such a low setting anyway, but some of the newer machines certainly do, and this is a consideration if you are trying to be greener.
The laundry I have dried inside after using this gives a lovely scented fragrance to the room, and it certainly lasts. I have noticed garments which I have placed in drawers several days later still have that newly washed scent, and this is despite not having used any fabric conditioner, which I purposely avoided as I wanted to really test the product capabilities.
If you like this product alternatives are available in the form of colour gel tablets for coloured items specifically.
I think this is a good product which is certainly going to be on my shopping list again. It performs well in every aspect and in both soft and hard water areas. It has one fault which is incomplete dispersal at 30 degrees on delicate wash programmes, so expect to see some residue in the door seal with continuous use at these settings.
This fault does concern me if the user has any kind of skin sensitivity to laundry powders. However many people with this do not use biological powders anyway as they tend to pose the most problems.
In conclusion I think this is an excellent product but has one fault which is why I have dropped a Dooyoo star from its ratings. It certainly does,however, save a fortune on pre-treatments, if you have a family who present you with a weekly washing challenge!
This review also appears on Ciao under my user name there Violet1278.