A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the cheap (er) Gain detergent at my local Kroger. I haven’t used Gain in years, and not for any particular reason. It just seems that other detergents are more often on sale, so I choose those instead.
So I was startled when I washed my first load with my new Gain detergent. Wow! It’s not heavily scented, it is super scented. It was a very noticeable difference from our normal laundry scent.
Typically, I use the Original Scented Tide or Arm & Hammer, both of which I think have very mild, pleasing, ‘clean’ scents. I’m not extremely brand-loyal when it comes to detergents, so I’ve used practically every good quality laundry detergent on the market (bought on sale with a coupon, of course).
For all of you laundry washers that can’t tolerate dyes and perfumes, there are thankfully quite a few Free & Clear detergents on the market.
So what are your thoughts on scented laundry detergents?
Do you love them because they make your clothes seem so ‘clean’? Because you open your drawer a couple of days after Wash Day and they still smell fresh?
Or do you dislike scented laundry detergents because of…well, their scent? Would you prefer your clothes to smell more neutral?
Make sure to vote in the new poll in my sidebar at the top! I’ll reveal the results in a week or so, once everyone has had a chance to vote.
So do tell in the comments! Tell me what your preference is and the reason behind it. I’d love to read all about what you like and what you don’t like!
(Disclaimer: As my Daddy would say, I don’t have a dog in the fight. I’m just curious as to what people like the most. I don’t get compensated whether you love scented detergent or hate it! This is an extremely informal Mama’s Laundry Talk Poll.)
I like a mild scent that is fresh on my clothes as the climate in the UK is very damp and things can start smelling musty really easily! I only use Melaluca products for laundry and cleaning now though, as we have switched to all natural, chemical free products in our house. They do have an unscented version but I usually choose the ‘fresh scent’ laundry ones that are nicely and lightly scented. Unlike other ‘natural’ companies I’ve tried, Melaluca really get everything nice and clean and get the stains out too! (sorry! Didn’t mean to sound like a commercial! LOL!)
I’ve become pretty brand loyal to ALL Free and Clear. I have a history of breaking out with strong scents (lotions, detergents, etc.), so for me, it’s worth it to stick with one brand that I know won’t bother my skin. Plus, I’ve been able to find some good coupons and combine them with deals at Target (like they are on sale and you get a gift-card back) to make it cheap enough as well. It’s a win-win. PLUS – the hubby really doesn’t like to smell like a flower, so he’s happier with the Free and Clear stuff.
I have a long long history if being made itchy by scented products, so we have moved to unscented for almost everything. We cloth diaper and use that detergent (Country Save) for everything. When my husband accidentally used All, I could not stand to fold the laundry and we had to rewash it all.
It is what you get used to, isn’t it? I use Charlie’s Soap for dipes – I”ve never tried Country Save since I can’t find it in my area. But I’m sure it is like Charlie’s, in that clothes and diapers smell ‘clean’ but they don’t have a scent…if that is possible! 😉
I used scent-free for years but recently tried Target’s lavender scent and I like it. It’s really subtle. I can’t stand strong scents; they make me sneeze!
I prefer light- to unscented detergent. A previous housemate of mine liked to use Gain with Febreze in the Hawaiian Aloha scent. I had to air out the basement every time she did laundry — it was a very powerful and unpleasant scent.
I love the heavy scented ones. Gain and Tide with Febreeze particularly. I love that a week after washing(if they are still clean) they still smell like they just came out of the dryer. My favorite!!! 🙂
3 out of 4 here have sensitive skin of one variety or another, so we are typically a ‘free and clear’ family. However… I love Mrs Meyer’s basil scented cleaners, so I sometimes use that brand/scent of fabric softener. My husband loves plain, old Downy – I credit that to smelling it so often coming from the dorm dryer vents when we were in college, and have to admit that I love getting a whiff of it when I’m walking through our neighborhood, too.
Nony (A Slob Comes Clean)
I once tested a heavily scented product, and was all excited until I started sneezing like crazy. I ended up having to re-wash all of my clothes.
I am an unscented only kind of girl. Years ago, I heard someone say on Oprah that “Clean doesn’t have a smell.” That’s my motto!!!
I love Gain, I am out of the soap and bought a cheaper brand with a coupon, but I still have plenty of fabric softener and dryer sheets of it. I was using the generic stuff in the bucket at Sam’s for a long time, but it seemed like it wasn’t cutting it anymore. I miss the buckets, though. =)
I love the clean laundry smell, especially on bedsheets and towels! However, I have never bought laundry detergent based on smell. Perhaps I’ve become somewhat desensitized to the smell of our laundry, but I always think others’ laundry smells so much more potent (in a good way) than mine.
I love, love, love scented detergents! The one I am using now is Lavender and I love the way everything smells. I love nice smelling clothes!!
I only use unscented laundry detergents. A number of people already use a scented shampoo, conditioner, hair product, deodorant, perfume or aftershave. Added a strongly scented fabric softener or laundry detergent to the mix is very overpowering.
We’re not too picky here either. I find that using scented fabric softeners makes my clothes smell nicer than using scented detergents.
I hang my clothes outside (well, on a balcony type thing) to dry. We live in a city. Often the clothes absorb the yucky outside smells. So I like the scented fabric softeners.
We use Arm & Hammer as it is very good for cloth diapers and baby clothes, and usually fairly inexpensive in comparison to many others. It’s funny to me that we sometimes get hand-me-downs from church members and friends who wash their clothes with scented detergent, and when I get a whiff before I wash them, they actually stink to me even though I know they’re clean!
Amber @ Classic Housewife
I have one preference. LAVENDER! I use lavender scented soap, lavender scented dryer sheets. Lavender, lavender, lavender! Lavender & vanilla is even better. 😉
On the other hand, I despise almost anything with the words “Mountain,” “Spring,” “Ocean,” or “Breeze” in it. BLECH. Makes me want to go throw up. Obviously smell is a big deal for me. I don’t mind just a very clean fresh scent, like Eucalyptus for example. But I so much prefer the yummy scent of the lavender and vanilla. It makes me happy.
On another note. The smell of freshly bleached clothes straight from the dryer also makes me smile. Weird? 😉
We might have been laundry twins separated at birth.
The Downy Lavender and Vanilla?? Yummiest scent they put out, in my opinion!
And bleached clothes just scream ‘clean and sanitized.’ I love it too!
Unscented is the way to go. I bought All Free and Clear one day on sale and never went back. Now once in a blue moon when I try scented laundry detergent, all day I am suffocating. Also, I read an article which stated that the perfumes in detergents and fabric softeners are dangerous and potentially cancer causing. Also, they are bad for the environment. The link is here:
Cindy, interesting read. Thanks for posting –
All those “fresh scent” products contain dangerous chemicals that exacerbate asthma, and cause eczema in many people.
If you want fresh smelling clothes, you need to use a natural detergent with no added fragrance, or scented only with ‘essential oils’ (natural fragrances extracted from plants), and if you can, hang them out in the fresh air. Baking soda in the wash helps too.
“Fresh scent” added to products, is actually a conglomeration mostly unspecified chemicals that are designed to mask odors, and they do this by disrupting your sense of smell. The more you use them, the more need, like an addiction. Ever notice someone who wears really strong perfumes? They usually can’t even smell it anymore.
Pay attention as you walk past a laundromat, or someone’s dryer vent. Also when you smell ‘fresh scent’ try to spot the person whose clothes smell like the detergent aisle in the supermarket. Fabrics such as fleece tend to hold on to these in a concentrated way, but most other fabrics also carry these persistent chemicals for long periods of time.
The chemicals are being absorbed into your system through your skin, and worse, through your breath. This is a source or toxicity and air pollution is something you hear too much about but needs to be dealt with, and soon. I have sensitive sense of smell, I can smell the stuff on someone’s clothes 10 feet away. It’s getting worse all the time!
Thank goodness I’m not the only one who can smell the stuff on someone’s clothes 10 feet away! Yes its getting worse all the time because when you don’t use all this scented stuff your sense of smell is better than if you did use it !
I hate the smell of Gain scented products. I have become allergic to the smell and find it very overwhelming from my colleagues who have been using this line of products. I actually have developed a chemical induced bronchitis from it.
Hate it! I can smell people’s laundry from outside their house sometimes. That is ridiculous. I think the main culprit is fabuloso. What weird body smells are these people trying to hide?
Oh, i hate the smell of dryer sheets polluting the outdoor air. Give me fresh and clean with no perfumy smells. I never use fabric softeners or dryer sheets whether i use a dryer or hang the wash out to dry.. I do , howeer , love the smell of the sunshine in clothes.after drying in the open air outside. When i have the luxury to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, birds butterflies and freshness outdoors.. warm sunshine, gentle breeze…yes the peace and joy that goes with the privelege of hanging my wash outside and bringing it in to fold, enjoy the fresh smell and put away. It can make me feel wonderful to be alive. It’s a miracle.
I hate hate hate it! Sensitive person here. I found this page because I was looking for ways to wash out the scent. It’s impossible to get rid of… I’ve tried everything and now it’s on my hands! My electrician pinched my enjo cloth and returned it washed and highly scented. I suspect there is also fabric softener in it but I just don’t know. Ive tried laundry powder, dish detergent, bicarb and vinegar.
A trick nurses use to get smells off hands, that might work for you, is to wash first in cold water and then hot. It works wonders. Also washing soda usually really helps remove unwanted smells from clothing. I find it works much better that baking soda. I hope it helps. Happy washing!
I was a nurse for 10+ years, and I’ve never heard of this trick!! I must try it! Thanks for leaving it! 🙂