Like with many things I buy, soap powder isn't something I'm particularly loyal to. Although I will admit to mostly sticking to brands I know, and buying them when on offer. Surf is one of those powders that is on offer quite a lot, and as such it's the powder I'm currently using and will be for a while as I have a box and a half of it :) I like to stock up. Mine are the 25 wash 2 kg boxes of Tropical lily and Ylang Ylang.
This comes in a large pink box, and retails anywhere from £3 on offer to around £6.50, I paid the £3. To open the box it has one of those cardboard pull things on it so the lid will work on a hinge. On the packaging is lots of useful advice for getting the best results, which until today I've never read :). Interestingly it says whilst it is suitable for the whole wash, they don't recommend using it on silk or wool. It's a shame I didn't read that before shrinking my husband's cashmere jumper, but then if I'd been thinking that sad day I'd have read the clothes label and realised it was hand wash only :( On the side is also dosage instructions depending on what type of water you have (soft, medium, hard, hopefully always wet). Clearly I've never read this either. The box recommends using a cup to measure this out and not pouring it directly into the machine. I use an old plastic lid from a spray can (I think it was from deicer) scoop some powder into it from the box, then pour it into the section of the drawer of my machine. I have always felt they should supply some type of measuring scoop. It says you can wash at 15 degrees for great results, I've not tried this as I normally was at 40. There are also instructions on the box to use this for hand washing, something I've just learned today and I would imagine could be quite handy.
**Does it clean?**
Yes it does a good job of cleaning most things. Could I get better results if I followed the instructions and weighed out my powder, maybe, but I'm pleased enough with the results I get. This does a good job of cleaning everyday stains, and in common with most powders I've tried not so good a job of hard stains like engine oil or some food stains. For the latter I have extra cleaning products, for the engine oil I'm not so bothered as it's my husbands work gear and it's just going to get oily again.
In the box this has a pleasant powdery flowery smell. I've just had a good sniff of my washing (both wet and dry), and I can't really smell anything except freshness. I should probably point out here that I do use a fabric conditioner but it's just a cheap one with no particular scent.
**My powdery thoughts**
I quite like this washing powder, it does the job and smells fresh. I don't like it enough to pay full price, but on offer it's a bargain. My only real complaint is the lack of scoop, but I seem to think this is common for this size box of soap powder. I can't really comment on it's suitability for sensitive skin as mine isn't particularly sensitive, my husbands can be occasionally and he's never had a problem with this powder.
In conclusion I would recommend buying this is you see it on offer.
I've been using a large pack of surf tropical lily and ylang ylang biological washing powder this week. It's not the first time I've used this brand or this fragrance variety - I tend to alternate between brands if there is an offer on. Currently (09/08/13) a pack of Surf tropical 25 wash is £4 in Sainsburys and Asda, and £5.70 in Tesco and Ocado.
The product promises outstanding results even in cold water and a fragrance that lasts throughout the day. Use for your whole wash with the exception of woollens and silks. (A lot of biological powders and liquids won't do these delicate fabrics.) The dosage instructions are dependant on whether you have hard or soft water. For a normal degree of staining in a soft water area use 50ml of powder; 90ml for dirtier clothes and for really dirty laundry use 170ml. Medium water area - the figures for slightly dirty are 90ml, 130ml for dirtier clothes and 210ml for the dirtiest. Hard water areas use 130ml on lightly soiled, 170ml on dirtier and 250ml on the dirtiest. (Figures based on a 4/5 kg machine wash) Programmes with a prewash are advised to add an extra 100ml. For hand washing dissolve 100ml in 10 litres of water. After use thoroughly rinse your hands and dry well - avoid prolonged contact with sensitive skin. The product is put into the machine via the dispensing drawer. It should not be placed directly into the drum.
5%-15% Anionic Surfactants, Oxygen-Based Bleaching Agents, <5% Zeolite, Non-Ionic Surfactants, Perfume, Soap, Polycarboxylates, Phosphonates, Optical Brighteners, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Enzymes, Geraniol.
The usual safety warnings are: keep out of reach of children, rinse hands after use, avoid prolonged contact with sensitive skin, keep away from eyes.
Experience of the product:
There's no denying this powder washes well and smells great - even when you're a little stingy with the powder like I am and try to squeeze an extra few loads out of the box. The last things I washed with this product were my bathroom mats and the fresh floral smell made the bathroom much fresher. I have no idea if the 'floral' fragrance smells accurately like tropical lily and ylang ylang as I have never smelled these flowers in everyday life - but there is a scent of the exotic about this powder. My mats are white and came up bright with this powder even on the 30 degree wash I put them on. So, this powder seems to deliver on its promises.
I can't say I've ever used this product for hand washing. I think because it's biological I've always assumed it wasn't for that purpose - and to be frank, I don't fancy the idea of putting my sensitive skin in a biological solution. It is handy to know that it has that dual purpose though.
When it comes to washing my clothes I like to use a fabric conditioner as well. Unfortunately there is sometimes a battle between strongly fragranced powders like this and the smell of my fabric conditioner.
The fact that the product comes in a bulky box makes it that much more difficult to store. You get into the box by pulling on a tear strip all along one side which allows the top of the box to open up. Unfortunately, this means you have to be extra careful when lifting the product to avoid spillage. I prefer powders to have the built in pouring spout on the box.
Overall, this is a good washing powder. I like the scent and it cleans well. That's what you want from your laundry products.
At the moment our washing machine at home is on the blink and as a result whenever I'm at my mums I bring a load of washing to do, and with the great weather normally by time I get home it's all dried from being on the line in the garden! With my daughters clothes I pretty much stick to using Fairy Non-Bio for peace of mind but with my clothes I'm a bit more carefree. So, at my mums she had a box of this Tropical Surf Biological washing powder which looked bright and girly so I gave it a go for washing my garments!
The box is very pink and bright and is decorated with a yellow butterfly and a scattering of flowers I am guessing are tropical lilies and ylang ylang from the description on the box. The box is 800g which usually costs £2.29 and it says it can be used for 10 washes but I am not heavy on the powder so it can definitely stretch to more than this!
I do my washing pretty much at 30 degrees, and this powder works really well at this heat and always leaves my clothes fresh and clean afterwards. The smell of this really is the best feature as it is quite strong, lingers well in the clothes and I always get compliments from people at work asking which washing powder I use! The scent is mildly tropical, not too exotic in my opinion but is is very sweet and sensual with a combination of fruity and flowery but in a nice way. I can't specifically pick out ylang ylang or a tropical lily in any specific way but from the scent of this I get an idea of what these smell like!
Overall, I really like this washing powder and would definitely recommend it. I had finished a box of this at my mums so bought her a replacement one from the 99p store where I actually got a box of this which I thought was a steal! A little goes a long way, and so it's brilliant value for money and is a name brand washing powder that doesn't disappoint. Gets 5 stars from me!
I've been shopping in Tesco a lot more recently, not only did I get the normal clubcard money off and extra point coupons but after a local store got a redesign they sent £6 off £30 spend coupons. I used these in conjunction with their offers and stocked up on normal household things including washing powder.
This Surf tropical washing powder was on a half price offer for the 4kg box, it was reduced down to £5 so I had to pick it up, bargain! It is widely available to purchase in a variety of sizes and prices from supermarkets.
The washing powder comes inside a nice pink cardboard box and also features a carry handle as the box is rather heavy. The box has all the normal information you would find on a product of this type, the product name, dosage information and warnings. Around the top of the box there is a bit of cardboard that you pull on that travels around three sides to make the top of the box into a lid. Inside the box you'll find the white, quite thick washing powder with little red and blue bits mixed in.
When it comes to doing my washing I don't usually follow the dosage information on the box and tend to play it by ear with the amount of soiled washing I am actually going to be washing. Sometimes I only use half a cup where other times I would use a full cup. When I'm getting the washing powder out of the box there is a faint floral scent but nothing over the top. I wash everything on a 40 degree wash and find that when the washing cycle is finished and I've opened the door the same light, subtle scent is still present. However, when I am using fabric conditioner alongside this washing powder, the conditioner scent usually overpowers this one from the powder.
The washing powder leaves my washing clean if it was only lightly soiled clothes. I've put some stained bits in without pre-treating them first and this washing powder didn't do a thing on these so it isn't that great with stains on its own. The subtle scent doesn't really last that long and after I've left my washing to air dry it pretty much disappears unless you stick your nose in it! This is a biological washing powder, me and my daughter don't have particularly sensitive skin and this powder doesn't cause any type of reaction.
As I got a 4kg box for only a fiver, I would say the value for money is great and if I see it at this price again I would pick it up, however and full price I would expect better results. It does leave my washing clean but the subtle scent and not working on stains in the slightest does put me off a little.
Since moving away from home to attend university I am now cooking, cleaning and washing all for myself instead of leaving to my mum! My mum sent me away with a small pack of this Surf washing powder as it what we had been using at home recently and I can often be quit fussy at what my clothes smell like. The powder says it contains essential oils and has a 'tropical lily and ylang ylang' smell which I assume is another type of flower as the box is decorated with them. The box is also bright pink which I like!
The box explains how much to use with a small table that indicates soft, medium or hard water and how badly stained the clothes are and says to add an extra 100ml for programmes with pre wash which would be for me as I am using the washing machines provided by my student halls. I have to admit I have only just read this as I just guessed when using the powder the few times I have done my washing!
So when I needed to do my first wash I took this down with me and I was doing a white wash, the washing machines that are provided for us have a lid with two sides, one for powder and one for fabric softener, I had no idea how much to use so I just tipped in a load and hoped for the best. There is a '10' on the front which I am guessing shows how many washes you are going to get out of the box so I estimated at using a tenth of the box which seemed to work as I came back half an hour later to wonderfully smelling, clean clothes!
The smell instantly hit me when I opened the washing machine, the smell is extremely nice, it's clean and flowery but not overpowering like many other powders can be. I checked the bottom of my socks to check how well the powder had worked as the bottoms of my socks as these are the items that tend to get the most dirty, especially in student halls and they were as good as new. Saving some money I chose not to use the tumble dryer and hung the clothes in my room to dry which left a nice smell around my room and afterwards many of my flatmates said my room smelt really nice! I have since used the tumble dryer when doing my sheets and towels and the smell is still there, slightly less noticeable as the clothes are obviously dry but when actually smelling the clothes they smell clean and going to bed that night my bed smelt really fresh too.
I do not have any preference of which brands to use, apart from staying away from shops own as they can sometimes smell a bit chemically but I would really recommend this at the smell is so lovely and the clothes are definitely clean. The box suggests ways to use the powder in the machine to be more environmentally healthy but unfortunately I cannot do this as my washes are already programmed but I am confident it would work just as well.
After using the capsules of Surf Tropical I decided that I would try the powder because it was the best offer I could find on washing powder/capsules/tablets. I was a little sceptical as I had never actually used powder before, always using capsules and finding these perfect for us. I bought a 25 wash pack which is 2kg for £4 in Tesco. Usually it retails at around £5.70 but it is also available at Sainsburys currently for £4.
Initially I wasnt really sure how to use the washing powder (I knew you had to put it in the drawer but had no idea of quantities etc!). To help me scoop the powder I used an old fabric conditioner cap. Now I use a cap per full wash and half a cap per smaller wash. We live in a hard water area though so it is likely that we need to use a little more.
The powder does a good job. It rinses out well and although initially I did end up with small powdery spots on my washing (I think I used too much!) now I never have this problem. I use this alongside some lenor fabric conditioner and my washing does come out of the machine lovely and soft.
I loved the smell of the capsules of this variety however I find that the powder doesnt give off anywhere near as much scent. You can detect the scent on the clean washing but it is not as powerful as the capsules. You cannot smell it when the washings going either which I did like with the capsules.
The cleaning power of the powder is very good. It removes any marks well and it also leaves my clothes bright and colourful. I was a bit nervous as we got a new bed cover a few months ago which is white but after washing it it looks brilliant white and brand new.
I have very sensitive skin and I am pleased to say I have had no problems with this one and instead find my clothes soft and comfortable.
The powder lasts a long time. I've probably done about ten loads with my box and there is still well over half of it left which is a positive.
I do like this powder however I am definitely a capsule girl at heart! I would definitely buy it again but personally prefer capsules. For £4 though for a well known household name I think this is a bargain.
I have quite sensitive skin and suffer from eczema. Sometimes when my skin flares up washing powders can exacerbate the problem. Surf doesn't at all. This, coupled with the fact that it's widely available, is why it is my preferred washing powder.
I usually buy the 2kg box for £4.50. This is supposed to do 25 washes, though I can usually squeeze a little more out of it and get closer to 30. The box stands out on the shelf, being a beautiful bright pink colour with a yellow butterfly and a scattering of flowers. I'm almost tempted not to tuck this pretty box away in my kitchen cupboard!
Surf Tropical Lily and Ylang Ylang (with essential oils) always cleans my clothes well. I try to keep my washing machine temperature below 40 and have never had problems with hardy stains remaining.
The smell of washed clothes hits me as soon as I take my clothes out of the machine, and fills the house when I can't hang my clothes outside to dry. It really is a beautiful, tropical smell, and I can still smell it on my clothes while wearing them. I find the scent quite strong. This is to be expected from a washing powder that uses essential oils, though it might be too strong for those that prefer a more subtle scent.
Surf keeps my clothes soft and clean, even without fabric conditioner. I really only use the fabric conditioner to further enhance the smell. Who needs scented candles when this enticing aroma can be wafting through the house?!
All in all I'm pretty pleased with this detergent, and won't be changing my brand any time soon.