Product Type: Persil household products
Newest Review: ... liquid itself is fairly thick and is a lovely sea blue - I am not sure what name Persil give to the scent but to me it smells fresh, ... more
Small but Mighty Challenging Dosing Ball!
Persil Small and Mighty
Member Name: Verbena
Persil Small and Mighty
Advantages: Effective, reliable product; look out for special offers.
Disadvantages: The dosing ball and cap don't work together well.
Although in life in general I'd rate myself as a pretty faithful kind of person, [married for over 30 years to the same person!] the same can't really be said about my shopping habits. I'm not one to stick to the same brand indefinitely unless there's a good reason for doing so. With washing products over the years there have been some that have been fine and others that certainly haven't. I've never had a bad experience with a Persil product but have often found that a cheaper product cleans just as well so have tended to but Persil only when on a great offer. This is how I came to be buying their Small and Mighty Colour in the 1 litre size. Tesco had it on offer and, as I'd tried the Bio one before, I thought I'd give this a go as we seem to do more colour washes than whites these days. I have a slightly warmer feeling towards them than I might otherwise have as a result of their slogan 'Dirt is Good'. I have worked in Early Years Care & Education for many years, and Persil have had promotions of some sort running to support children's activities, particularly the messy ones, for most of that time. I can't remember exactly what the price was, as it's nearly finished now and I wasn't writing reviews when I bought it. Today in m local Tesco and Lidl it was retailing for £6.40 so I estimate that I paid about £4-£5.
~~ Appearance and Packaging ~~
This product comes in an elegant-shaped plastic bottle with the Persil logo unmistakable in the centre, in a bold shade of red. There's a degree of colour coding for each different product; this colour one has purple colouring at the top, the cap is purple, as is the labelling and the majority of the text on the bottle. This helps you to be sure you've bought the product you intended t buy. On top of the cap is a clear plastic dispensing ball which has measurements of 35ml and 52 ml indicated on the side with accompanying lines. The bottle itself is wide at the base and much narrower at the top, but still plenty wide enough for you to be able to pour the liquid with ease. In shape it's quite flat so it fits into the cupboard differently from a more square shaped product - it's wide rather than deep.
When this product first came out, a lot was made of the space it saved in our cupboards, and therefore it would also be more fuel-efficient in transport to stores. This seems to feature less in the advertising now, perhaps because there are more of these kinds of washing products available.
There is a lot of information on the labelling. The front is clear and concise, saying that this is 'unbeatable in 30 minutes', is part of the Cleaner Planet Plan, and a symbol & the number 28 indicates how many washes it can do. The Persil logo & 'colour, Small & Mighty' with a picture of a cart wheeling child, are all that is on the front. The reverse has much more detail, as you would expect. I'm pleased that, for once, I can read everything without my reading glasses; if you use them you'll know what a nuisance it is in store if you have to keep putting them on & taking them off. [I wonder whether retailers are considering this in the light of the ageing population? Somehow I doubt it!] At the top the 30 minute cycle is referred to again. I must check whether my machine can complete any cycle in 30 minutes! There is mention of 5 new ingredients. I can't see them identified anywhere, although the ingredients are listed, as you would expect. Chemistry was never my strong subject at school, so it doesn't mean much to me, though I do wonder why the 5 new ones are mentioned. Likewise I am less than convinced by the Clean Planet Plan - It just seems to repeat the information about the 30 minute cycle & then inform us that this not only saves our energy bills but has less environmental impact, too. Now I don't think that's rocket science, to coin an over-used phrase; I was half-hoping this Clean Planet thing might have something to do with a wonderful new environmentally friendly ingredient, but maybe not!
Not having the other sorts of Persil Small and Mighty to hand for comparison purposes, I'm not sure what it is that specifically looks after your coloureds. It says 'Vibrant colours; no bleach' underneath the ingredients but I can't see an explanation of how it works. Not important - I'm just curious!
The information on how to use the product and how much to use, I found very clear and informative. Basically you use the 35ml dose for an average wash, and the 52ml for heavy soiling, heavy loads or ----very hard water. OK! Now water doesn't get much harder than it is where I live, so I guess it won't be 28 washes for me then! To be fair that's true of all washing products, and I think someone could make a small fortune if they could invent washing products that dealt with the hard water issue - other than the Calgon-type powders & tablets, I mean.
It's clearly stated that you shouldn't use this on silk or wool, and which products shouldn't be soaked. There's the standard information on washing dark colours separately etc, and the cautionary notices like 'Keep away from children' and what to do if it gets in your eyes. There are also free Customer Care Line numbers given for UK, Northern Ireland & ROI. The website is referenced: www.persil.com but www.persil.co.uk seems to be exactly the same.
The remaining items on the label comprise of the 'By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen' emblem, the information that Persil is part of the Unilever Group, with addresses, a recycling symbol for the packaging and a reminder to store about 15˚C.
~~ The Product ~~
To open the bottle you must first remove the dosing ball and then the cap. The dosing ball fits with a push-down mechanism, the cap twists on and off. For me this has been problematic on several occasions. The dosing ball often sticks to the cap and they come off together, making it almost impossible to separate them. Last night my husband was prising them apart with a knife and it took a long time to win! Now I know I sometimes have difficulties around problem solving in this kind of situation so I thought it was just me to start with, but having seen him struggle I believe it's a genuine design fault and I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had the same problem. Reading earlier reviews of this product I get the impression that the packaging has changed since they were written, so maybe this was a change that wasn't for the better.
The washing liquid keeps up the purple theme. It's of a thick but not gloopy consistency. It pours well into the dosing ball. I don't find the perfume worthy of much comment - it smells like a laundry product should, I suppose, with a whiff of the petrochemical industry. As an aside it tastes like that, too, as I found out when my son stood the bottle on our bread board once, without realising that it had leaked slightly! Not nice! But then you're not supposed to taste it.
These days Persil say you can put the liquid in the dispensing drawer of the machine or into the drum, in the dosing ball. I think when Small & Mighty first came out you were advised to do the former. I tend to put it in the machine, and it's been fine.
~~ Performance and Value for Money~~
The all-important issue is whether it gets clothes clean, and I have to say I've had no problems on that score. As an all-adult household we don't get the heavy staining issues young families get, though when my son has been for muddy walks there are a few challenges, but I've been very satisfied with its performance. There's a fresh, clean smell, too. I'm fully satisfied on that front. Also I'd have to say that it does seem to be kind to coloureds, although I think that's quite hard to evaluate. So will I be faithful?! I'm not sure that I will continue to buy it unless it's on a special offer, as I think there are less expensive products that do a similar job. Tesco's own is selling at £2.00 for 630 ml, and Surf's version is £4.49, for instance. I have used the Tesco product before and find it gets clothes just as clean. It all comes down to price, really. For that reason, and the cap/dosing ball issue, I'm going to rate it at four stars.
Thank you for reading my review, which may appear on other websites.
Summary: Reliable, well performing product, a bit expensive, ball & cap don't work well together.