If you read my review a while back on the popular Method Anti Bacterial spray, you would know that I’m trying to work on being more conscious of which cleaning products I use. I still mostly use generic cleaning and laundry products that are on offer but I try here and there to opt for more natural alternatives when I can.
I never used to use fabric conditioner in the past. Is that a shocking admission? Am I part of an uncouth and uncivilised minority who knows nothing about laundry etiquette? Possibly. But for the past few years of my adult life, I’ve mostly just used washing powder and that’s it. Anyways, with the impending arrival of my little one, I received a bunch of laundry detergent samples from the free Bounty and Emma’s Diary packs. There was the standard Fairy Non-Bio, which we do use as our washing powder for the whole family now, some Vanish samples (for those inevitable poo stains) and some Comfort fabric conditioner. I was looking forward to using the fabric conditioner to get super-soft newborn clothes with that new baby smell. However, after some discussions with my sister, I became aware that fabric softeners and conditioners contain many harmful chemicals and I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable using such products for my new fragile little baby. So I left off the Comfort fabric conditioner, but I felt a compelling urge to look for more natural alternatives (despite the fact that I’d gone all those years without ever using it!)
Like I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a bit too lazy to make up any natural solutions myself using vinegar or essential oils, but on a look on the Tesco website during an online shop, I saw that Tesco did their own Eco fabric conditioner which was much cheaper than versions from brands such as Ecover. I went for peony and pomegranate scent, superficially because it was pink and I like peonies! I am unable to link directly to it as it no longer seems available on the Tesco website but they do have the same product in white orchid scent.
According to their website, Tesco’s Eco Active fabric conditioners are made with natural plant-based conditioning agents for long-lasting softness and freshness. They are made with plant-based, non-toxic ingredients and each bottle made with up to 45 % recycled plastic, a bit like Method. And at £1.50 a bottle, it is much cheaper than branded Eco cleaning products.
I was still too cautious to use it on my baby’s clothes but I decided it might be nice to use for bedding and other general clothes. I unloaded the washing machine with excitement, anticipating soft and pleasant smelling clothes. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed as the clothes didn’t really feel much softer than usual and I found the smell overwhelming, despite using barely a capful. It was so strong that I found it almost headache-inducing. Due to the rain in winter, I would dry clothes indoor on the airer in our spare room and I would find it difficult to stay in the room for long without being affected by the smell.
Now several months later, I still have the bottle sitting in the cupboard. I’ve gone back to using washing powder alone, sometimes switching it up with the odd laundry capsule when I’m feeling fancy. I can’t think of using the bottle without feeling the start of another headache. I probably will use it up at some point but I’m in no rush and it is not a product I will be purchasing again. I am really glad to see supermarkets coming out with their own eco plant-based cleaning products, but in this instance, I would be more interested in trying a well-known brand such as Ecover.