Arm and Hammer Essentials Laundry Detergent

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An ESSENTIAL tide of change

Feb 20, 2008 (Updated Feb 20, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Many - please see the positives outlined in my review.

Cons:Fragrance may be too strong for some but it doesn't linger in clothing.

The Bottom Line: Many wonderful qualities in this detergent. I'm pleased with the product and will buy it again. No, we won't use it exclusively but definitely frequently.

Hubby was a loyal Tide user for years. (Err, make that buyer.) He frowned whenever he spied the most recently smuggled in different brand of laundry detergent. False claims about the newcomer’s inabilities to completely clean clothes were eventually met with my closed ears so he switched tactics. Only Tide didn’t bother his skin. The others made his psoriases or eczema or whatever act up. I got tired of his whining so stuck with the Tide.

After a decade wedded bliss, I finally told him to shove it - into the washer that is. I figured if I was doing the shopping and the laundry then it was my choice as to the clothes detergent. I assured him that I would stay away from some of his despised brands and still get his precious Tide from time to time but I wanted to experiment with others. I love different fragrances and want to sample different laundry cleaning formulas.

I dabbled here and there with the multiple name and store brands. However, as my addiction to various scents grew so did my interest in all natural products. One of the earliest I tried was Caldrea Citrus Mint Ylang Ylang laundry detergent. I liked it but didn’t like the $16 price tag for a 64oz bottle. Plus, it wasn’t readily available either. I then tried a slightly less expensive BioKleen detergent but was dissatisfied with its scent and results. The search continued.

Positive reviews about Arm & Hammer Essentials started sprouting last fall. I read ones from dev-n-diva and elzora with budding interest. I scoped out my local stores but they always seemed to be sold out. I continued using the stuff I already had as well as a few new Tide detergents. Finally, I caught a bottle of the A&H Essentials on sale and I had a coupon.

I like the green bean colored container. It’s a 50fl oz, recyclable plastic, ergonomic handled, bottle that’s about twelve inches tall. It has a slenderer built and smaller footprint than most other regular bottles of detergents. It has a darker green twist off cap that doubles as the measuring cup. A set of six bars are etched inside the cap at graduated heights. This allows you to select the best amount for the size of load and/or amount of dirt. A white pour spout on top makes for easy pouring of the detergent.

The soap itself is clear and appears to be thick. (I didn’t put my fingers in it as I do with hand soap and shower gels.) It isn’t watery or runny. The scent is pleasant but a little strong – from the bottle. It is a clean, lemon grass kind of aroma. Think baking soda with green grass and fresh mountain air and a tiny drop of citrus. I don’t mind the fragrance but think an unscented version would be appreciated. I believe they’re making or have made a dye and perfume-free Arm & Hammer Essentials.

The detergent cleans does a good job cleaning our clothes. I’m pleased with how well dirt and oils are wiped away. All the laundry has a less dingy look. Best of all, hubby has no complaints about skin irritation. Although, we both felt sniffing the detergent from the bottle gave us headaches, the perfume induced pain didn’t occur while doing laundry. I think our brains were just reacting to the strong kick of fragrance to the nostrils. The scent dissipates in the wash and is very light going into the dryer. I was concerned that my towels and dish clothes would have a lingering scent but they don’t. All of the wash comes out of the dryer wonderfully clean and fresh without any soap residue or fragrance remainders.

So what’s in A&H Essentials? According to the bottle:

100% Naturally Derived Surfactants
Biodegradable Plant-Based Soaps
No Dyes
No Phosphates or Bleaches
No Petroleum-Based Cleaners
Safe for Septic Systems
Boosted Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Ingredients Include: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, ca combination of naturally derived cleaning agents (coconut-based surfactants), natural water softener, water.

The laundry detergent is 2X concentrated and claims to wash 26 medium loads. The fragrance is called Mountain Rain.

Contact information:
Church & Dwight Co.
Princeton, NJ 08543-5297

I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of information on the above mentioned website. There wasn’t a whole lot of information on either but at least I could register for free printable coupons. (Just skip or mute the annoying and loud Jill character while visiting the site.)

I’m very pleased with Arm & Hammer Essentials. Look at all the positives:

+ No phosphates, bleaches, or dyes

+ Safe for Septic Systems and nice to environment by natural stuff and no petroleum

+ Biodegradable within 28 days (according to

+ Concentrated formula = less packaging, easier to lift bottles, and little detergent needed

+ Graduated measuring cup gives better control over amount of soap needed

+ Recyclable bottle, nice handle, easy to pour spout

+ Cleans well, tough on stains, clothes feel and smell fresh

+ Pleasantly scented laundry detergent had power of baking soda in it

+ Affordable

I think my 50fl oz bottle of Arm & Hammer Essentials was on sale at our local grocery store for 2/$4 – maybe it was 2/$5 – I no longer recall. But I know I had a coupon so that took another dollar off the bottom price. I’m planning to buy the detergent again – even if I don’t have a coupon. This stuff is worth the cost.

Besides, after pitching in with the laundry the other week, Hubby actually asked me to get more of that “green bottle stuff” . Yippee, I think it’s high time the tide is turned on Tide around here.

Recommend this product? Yes

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