Perfume and Dye Free Laundry Detergent!
Nov 9, 2006 (Updated Nov 10, 2006)
by Elzora Shaw
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:No dyes and perfumes, hypoallergenic, gets rid of dust mites and cat dander. No phosphates.
Cons:Doesn't do a great job of removing stains. Must pretreat clothing.
The Bottom Line: Bottom line, I trust the Safe Shoppers Bible, and they recommend this product. I am chemically sensitive, and have had no problems.
I try to use products that are safe. I realize that is subjective these days, what one person feels is safe another feels is toxic. That's why I use a handy reference book written by David Steinman and Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. titled The Safe Shoppers Bible. The foreword is written by well known consumer advocate, Ralph Nader.
Recommend this product?
I love this book! Before I found it, I was spending a lot of extra money purchasing safer, natural products from mail order. Not only were these products much more expensive, I had to pay high shipping as well (soaps are quite heavy!). When I found All Free & Clear was highly recommended by The Safe Shoppers Bible, I started buying it. I have been purchasing this laundry soap almost exclusively for the last 6 years.
The Safe Shoppers Bible Ratings
This shoppers guide rates laundry soaps and detergents in seven different categories. They are:
Allergens and Strong Desensitizers
The book evaluates each product as Little or No Risk, Minimal Risk, Caution, and Recommended. I am glad to say that All Free & Clear is a recommended product, and every single one of the warnings listed above were rated as Little or No Risk. Out of sixty five laundry detergents listed in this book, twenty one of them were rated as highly, but more importantly to me, only five of them are available locally. Of those five, a few are ones I don't prefer to use (Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, Ivory Snow Soap Granules, Seventh Generation, and Wisk). I have found that All Free & Clear is the cheapest by far of any of those five.
This book explains that laundry soaps are either made from synthetic ingredients that are petroleum based, or they are made from plant based soaps. If you are a person who is chemically sensitive, it is highly recommended that you choose a detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes. You may have never had an allergic reaction to a laundry soap, but I have. 10 years ago my eyes swelled up from one commonly found brand. I won't go into the awful details, but suffice it to say that started me down the road to finding a product that would not give me an allergic reaction. Other allergic reactions to fragrances found in common household cleaners include asthma, respiratory irritation, and flu like symptoms.
About The Product
All Free & Clear currently has an ad on the front page of Webmd.com, and the front of my bottle states that it is recommended number one by dermatologists and allergists.
I buy the 100 oz. size, but it also comes in a concentrated formula called All Small & Mighty. The cap doubles as a measuring cup, but since we have a water softener, we only use half of the recommended amount.
Since it is free of dyes and perfumes, the company says it is hypoallergenic. Cat dander and dust mites are the two most common allergens and All Free & Clear is proven to remove both of them.
This product contains no phosphates, which are bad for the environment, and bad for septic systems. After spending $12,000 several years ago to replace our septic leech field, this is also important to me. It's also safe for hand washables, and safe to use with bleach.
We have a front loading washing machine, and when we purchased it at Sears, they recommended a low sudsing laundry soap. We have never used anything other than All with our washer, and we have never had a problem with over sudsing or any other issues that would affect the way our front loader washes our clothes.
The surfactants in All are biodegradable and the bottle is made with 25% recycled plastic.
All also contains stain lifters, however I have found that if I miss pretreating a stain on my husbands work shirts, they usually come out of the dryer with the stain set. The detergent all by itself has not removed any stains ... at least none that I know of. We recently had to throw out 3 of his shirts because of the stains that I was not able to remove.
Speaking of stains, years ago a nice shirt of mine was stained blue by the blue colored liquid detergent that I used to wash it. I called the company and they said I wasn't the first consumer to complain about this, and they were so nice about it they refunded my money in full for the shirt. Since that time, I have been very leary of using any colored liquid detergents. All Free & Clear, just as the name indicates, has no dyes in it. It will not leave any stains on clothing, even when it is used as a pre-treater. Rub the liquid right into the clothing, and it will not leave any stains.
Cleaning agents (anionic and nonionic surfactants), buffering agent, stabilizer and brightening agent.
Every product has it's strengths and weaknesses. The one weakness of All Free & Clear is that it doesn't do a good job on stains if they are not pretreated. However, it's strengths are enough to convince me this is the best laundry soap on the market for me and my family. Sure, I could buy expensive "natural" brands by mail order or in my local health food store, but it's not at all convenient for me to do so, and the cost would be significantly higher. If I were more diligent in checking clothing for stains and pre-treating them before washing them, problem #1 would be solved. I feel good about using this product, and I trust that it is safe. I have not had any allergic reactions since I have been using it.
If you would like to read my review on The Safe Shopper's Bible, it can be found here:
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