There are a few reasons why I prefer to use a ‘green’ laundry liquid like Ecover.
Firstly, we have a lot of sensitive skin and eczema in the family, and I want to wash our clothes in something that I know is going to be as kind to our skin as possible. If ever we end up with a cheap or over-fragranced laundry liquid I can always tell, as I start getting horrid itchy patches where my clothes rub the most, like around the waist of my jeans.
Secondly, I care about the environment. It’s easy to try and ignore the fact that everything we use has to end up somewhere, but once you have thought about it, it’s difficult to get it out of your head.
And finally, I’m a Guardian reading leftie, who likes people to see me with a bottle of Ecover next to my sink.
One of the things though that puts some people off switching to an eco-friendly laundry detergent like Ecover, is the thought that perhaps they don’t really work as well as standard washing liquids. There’s something about the green image that, in some people’s minds, equates to meaning ‘not quite as good.’
Personally, I think this is a bit of an old-fashioned view. The green market has come a long way over the last couple of decades, and you can make a lot of simple, effective switches nowadays that don’t mean you have to rub your armpits with a mineral rock or anything like that. It’s no longer a choice between products that are ‘green’ and products that do the job well – you can have both.
So does Ecover work well on stains?
To prove the point, I put Ecover to the test, to see how well it performed on some common household stains. Stain removal is very important to me, as I really can’t be faffed washing things again and again, so a liquid that helps to lighten the laundry load by getting out common stains first time is definitely a winner.
To start things off, I gathered Belle in the kitchen with a brand new, squeaky clean apron, and a selection of food items.
“How would you like to smear these all over this apron?” I asked her.
She looked suspicious. “Just smear them on?” she asked.
“Yep, go for it!”
And so she did.
We used tomato sauce, strawberry jam, hot chocolate, and, to be really cruel, we also squished in a handful of blueberries. Blueberries are, I imagine, something really tough to get out, as the purple soaks right in. It’s the same with blackcurrant. Whenever we had Ribena when we were little it was referred to as ‘the dreaded blackcurrant’ as you just knew that one of us would knock it over and stain the carpet for ever.
We left the stains to soak in for a couple of hours, and then washed the apron normally, at 40 degrees, with a capful of Ecover non-bio.
And then the moment of truth – how well did Ecover remove the stains?
Well, I was actually very impressed! I’m a fan already, but I know that Belle really went at it with the smearing, and that it would be a tough job. As you can see though, the ketchup, jam and hot chocolate all disappeared completely, and even the blueberry stain was only slightly visible in the bottom right hand corner. I was really pleased with this result as I’m always sloshing hot chocolate over myself in the evenings, and knowing any stains will come out first time with Ecover will mean less time spent with the washing machine for me. Hoorah!
(I was actually secretly quite pleased that you could see this a tiny bit, as it proves the other stains really did disappear and that I wasn’t just using a pre-staining picture!)
To be fair to Ecover, blueberry stains are notoriously difficult, and I’m sure a spot of Ecover stain remover would be able to finish the job, as this is designed to treat tougher stains.
I also did a bit of research for you, should you ever find you’ve accidentally taken a handful of blueberries and ground them into your favourite shirt and don’t have any Ecover stain remover handy…
There are plenty of other eco-friendly stain removal tricks you can try, to lighten the laundry load, like using bread on lipstick stains and lemon juice in your white washes, and you can see more of these in my recent post about laundry hacks.
Another great tip, which is about taking care of your washing machine as much as your clothes, is to run an annual hot wash with a bottle of white vinegar. (Pour the bottle into the laundry try, don’t put it full, in the drum. This will not benefit your washing machine.) This gives everything a good spring clean and stops the build up of any yucky residues.
So there you go, that’s my laundry test – I hope I’ve proved that you don’t need loads of horrible chemicals to get things clean! For more information on Ecover’s laundry and household collection visit the website: http://uk.ecover.com/en/products/.
What are your experiences of green cleaning? Please share your favourite eco-friendly laundry tip!
Sponsored post. Original blueberry image from – funnyangel/shutterstock