New parents are faced with many choices before their babies are even born and one of them is the type of laundry detergent to purchase. You know that it's important to wash all clothes before your newborn wears them, but do you know what kind of detergent to purchase? Having trouble making a decision? This review of All Free & Clear is designed to help you learn as much as you can about the detergent before making a purchasing decision.Listed as one of the 9 Recommended Detergents for Baby Laundry, All Free & Clear detergent has an incredibly low price, subtle packaging and an equally low-key marketing campaign, which may lead some parents to believe that this detergent can't possibly clean as well as more expensive brands, but are they right?
Let's see how All Free & Clear stacks up against the competition.
What All Free & Clear Advertises
The company states that Dreft is "specially designed for people with sensitive skin." According to the website, it is also the number one recommended detergent by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for sensitive skin because it:
- has been clinically proven to be gentle on skin.
- is specially formulated to help minimize the potential for skin irritation.
- is hypoallergenic.
- contains fewer chemicals and is free of perfumes and dyes.
- rinses clean.
All Free & Clear is also the only detergent to be awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.
Ingredients of Concern
GoodGuide — a site run by scientific and technology experts devoted to providing "authoritative information about the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies." — is one of the best sites I've found for investigating products I use in my home, including laundry detergent. And guess what? They rate All Free & Clear a "10" when it comes to potentially harmful ingredients. If you're a parent concerned about chemicals or skin irritation, you might want to take a closer look at this detergent.
What Parents Have to Say
Parents overwhelming rave about how great this detergent is for eczema sufferers. In addition, parents talk about the ability to use this detergent for everyone's laundry and it's incredible cost per load price; at an average of 52 loads per bottle, you'll pay around $0.12 per wash when using All Free & Clear. It's most common competitor (Tide Free & Gentle) will run you about 40% more. Another frequent positive I hear is that it's great on stains.
Two legitimate complaints I've read or heard about this detergent is that you have to be careful how much you use — particularly in an HE washer. If you use too much, you run the risk of having detergent stains on your clothing. This can easily be solved by keeping a measuring tablespoon next to your washer to measure out each load (at least that's what we do in our house). And that this detergent can fade clothes faster than other detergents; this may be directly attributed to hard water or the brightening agent in the detergent.
Another complaint (though I'm not sure I'd really classify it as such) is that there's no "clean, fresh laundry detergent scent." However, if you're washing with a "free & clear" detergent, the whole point is to avoid the scents from perfumes and dyes, right?
My Personal Experience with Dreft
We've been using All Free & Clear for quite some time now. I have had no problems washing the baby's clothes, the clothes of our teenage daughter or those of my husband who landscapes for a living (talk about dirt and stains). This particular detergent has gotten out tough stains like berries with only a minimal amount of pretreating — and when I say minimal I mean I squirted some pretreated on the shirt right before I threw it in the washer and turned it on.
Our family has not experienced any of the difficulties with fading or extra wear on the clothes or any detergent stains. One thing I will say is that I do miss the "fresh" smell of a scented detergent, but if it means itch-free skin, I'm fine with that.
The Bottom Line
Admittedly, All Free & Clear can sometimes be tricky to locate, but big box stores carry it in ample quantities. As a baby laundry detergent, I find it to be a fantastic choice given it's ingredients (or lack thereof) and it's price point. Since babies are messy little creatures, it's nice to know there's a detergent that will get your clothes clean without breaking the bank.
Share Your Experience with All Free & Clear Laundry Detergent
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Get All Free & Clear Coupons on the company website.