All Free & Clear Detergent Keeps Allergies and Stains At Bay
Jan 12, 2005
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Cleans tough stains, unscented, great for people with allergies.
Cons:Label claims "Allergen Fighter" and then promptly states it's not, really.
The Bottom Line: All Free/Clear liquid detergent works well, costs about as much as other leading brands, and is free of perfumes or dyes. It's great for sensitive skin.
Right after we moved to our new home my husband broke out with a case of hives on his arms. We couldn't figure out what possibly caused them, so we opted not to take any chances and, at least temporarily, to switch from our regular Tide laundry detergent to All Free/Clear Liquid Detergent.
Recommend this product?
About All Free/Clear
All Free/Clear with Stainlifters is manufactured by Unilever. The package claims that this brand of detergent is the #1 recommended detergent of dermatologists. If this is true then that's quite impressive. The 100 fl. oz. container retails for around $5 or $6 at grocery stores or supercenters like Wal-Mart.
All Free/Clear is listed with the words Allergen Fighter prominently under "Free Clear" on the label. The asterisk next to this statement says that All Free/Clear is not intended to treat or prevent allergies. I find it somewhat deceptive of the company to refer to their product as an "Allergen Fighter" only to state in small print that they won't stand behind that claim.
What All Free/Clear does state, without any caveats, is that it reduces the presence of two major allergens: cat dander and dust mites. Call me crazy, and perhaps in today's litigious society you'd be right, but that sounds to me like this is indeed intended to prevent allergies to those two common allergens. Since my husband and I are allergic to both, and we have two cats, this is a strong selling point for me.
All Free/Clear is free of perfumes and dyes. It also does not contain phosphorous and the ingredients used in all are biodegradable and septic tank-safe. It contains the following few, nonspecific ingredients:
Cleaning agents (anionic and nonionic surfactants), buffering agent, stabilizer and brightening agents.
In one final nod to the environment, the package notes that the bottle contains at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Using All Free/Clear
Using this detergent is just like using any other liquid detergent out there. The label directs you to pretreat any serious stains (after testing for colorfastness of the fabric) by rubbing some of the detergent directly on the stain. After pretreating your fabrics, start up the washer and pour All Free/Clear into the water as it fills. I always wait to add my clothes until after the washer has moved the water around a bit to mix up the detergent.
The bottle has a nice no-drip pouring spout and a clear plastic screw-on cap with two fill lines that doubles as a measuring cup. Fill line 1 is for small loads, fill line 2 is for medium loads. After that, they just direct you to add more detergent for really large loads.
I never add as much detergent as the manufacturer recommends. I have always heard, both from Maytag representatives and a home economics professor whose course I took in college, that you don't need but about half of the detergent that the detergent manufacturers recommend. So I always use about half of what's required.
How Well It Works
All Free/Clear works as well as the Tide I was using before it. It removes tough stains, most noticeably so from our socks. For really tough stains I often use All Free/Clear combined with Oxi Clean to pull out the stain and it's a combination that hasn't failed me yet.
Our clothes don't smell of perfumes when we pull them out of the washer. They smell like, well, nothing. Which is what I was looking for from All Free/Clear. Most importantly this detergent doesn't irritate either of us. My husband has noticed that his collars and wrist cuffs itch less than before.
Summary & More On Those Hives
Turns out it wasn't the detergent causing the hives after all. My husband apparently has an allergy to pine straw, something that is so abundant around here that they use it in place of bark mulch (which seems very odd to me). As soon as we moved in my husband was out and about in the yard, digging through our beds, totally covered in pinestraw. Bad move, fella.
The hives cleared up as soon as we discovered the trigger for them, but because my husband finds his dress shirts are more comfortable in general, we'll be sticking with All Free/Clear for our laundry use. This has proven to be an excellent product for us.
Lever Brothers Co. Customer Service Phone: 1-800-598-5005
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