I've been a fan of Ecover products for several years now so I was rather pleased to be asked if I wanted to review some of their range. I first chose to try the range as I was impressed by the company's eco credentials and then I found that I really liked the products too. Win, win.
First up I was sent a bottle of the Ecover Bio Laundry Gel. Now, I should say that I normally use the Ecover non-Bio Laundry Liquid for all the household laundry and I've been happy with it for a couple of years now, so that is what I will be comparing the laundry gel to.
The first big difference I noticed with the laundry gel was the smell. I'm so used to the laundry liquid smelling just faintly of flowers, yet the gel had a really strong smell that I just couldn't place. Also, I found that after my clothes had been washed they too had the same smell. Yet, interestingly when I asked my husband what he thought of the smell he couldn't smell anything at all. Maybe my nose is just broken! By the end of the bottle I certainly didn't notice the smell as strongly anymore, but I was left wondering if other people did.
In terms of the laundry gel's powers in cleaning my clothes – full marks. Despite the huge amount of tomato based food that both my children manage to cover themselves in at mealtimes, everything came out as clean as it could. It didn't cause any changes to the colour of the clothes and the whites also came out nice and white.
The idea with the gel is that you pour it into a section of the cap and then stick the cap in the drum of your washing machine. Simple enough, but I actually ended up a tad confused by the instructions on the back of the bottle at first and it took a good few minutes of staring at it to make sure I fully understood what they were saying. The language and pictures could do with being a little clearer I felt.
One big advantage that I felt the gel had over the liquid I usually use is that it was much more difficult to spill when putting it in the machine. I know that may sound a bit silly, but when you have a crawling baby trying to climb up your legs and you're supervising a toddler bouncing on the sofa whilst trying to pour liquid into the machine it's very easy to end up spilling some. With the gel – no spillage at all. That combined with using the cap to do measures also meant that you were much more likely to get as many loads out of a bottle as they suggest.
So, would I change which Ecover laundry product I used based on my review experiences? To be honest – no. I much prefer the smell (or general lack of it) with the laundry liquid and I'm afraid that that one thing influences me on this. However, if I were ever to have a problem getting hold of the liquid I would certainly buy the gel as an alternative. And I would strongly suggest you take a sniff yourself before making a buying decision. It may be that, like Mr C, you don't really smell the smell in the same way I do, and if that is the case then I see no reason not to buy the gel.
One thing is clear though – I'm certainly still a big fan of the Ecover laundry brand as a whole and don't plan to change that anytime soon. If you're looking for an environmentally friendly laundry brand then look no further.
Disclaimer: I was sent a bottle of Ecover Bio Laundry Gel for the purposes of this review.