seventh generation 4x detergent - not impressed

izeveApril 29, 2012

My local Stop & Shop started carrying Seventh Generation 4x liquid laundry detergent and had it on special for $9.99 last week. I've wanted to try it for a long time now so at that price I got the Geranium and Vanilla scented one. I have done a couple of loads now and have to say I am not impressed. There is no way that the recommended dose will get a load of laundry clean. I actually had to rewash a load of darks yesterday because it still smelled like dirty laundry after a wash using the recommended amount. I have tried a variety of natural detergents in the past and have never had that happen! I will definitely not buy it again and I'm not even sure if I will use up this bottle. And I had such high hopes for it :-( I guess it's back to Vaska, Chlorox Green Works and Method. They work well.

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I too, was not impressed with the Seventh Generation 4x. Honestly, I do not really care for any 7th products. I found this detergent did not clean that well, and my laundry was not left smelling fresh, looking perfectly clean and it made items feel very rough without softener. I did kind of like the smell, didn't love it, but liked it!

I LOVE Clorox Green Works, but since it is for both he and non-he suds like crazy in my Miele W4842. I can rinse 6 times, and the water still foams up and suds horribly. Total shame too, because it works and smells SO, SO good.

I love Tide he Powder and Persil Color Gel. They just work EVERYtime, and rinse and perform without fail!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Larsi, I am having trouble finding a go to detergent for dark colors. I need a detergent that washes and deodorizes really well since my dark loads include sweaty gym clothes but doesn't fade blacks, burgundies, etc. So far the right combination seems elusive but I know that SG 4x did not make the cut ;-)

I liked Green Works but got tired of the scent by the time I finished the bottle of it. It washed reasonably well and did not produce suds for me. I really like Method in the pump bottle. I just finished a bottle of Lavender Sandalwood - it washed very well and smelled good. That may be the winner although the jury is still out as to fading - Method has optical brighteners and I was hoping to find a detergent without them. And Vaska is just great but I feel it's better suited to delicates, and it's not heavy duty enough for gym clothes. I really like it for washing wool and cashmere items.

So my search continues.... And by the way Tide HE powder with bleach is wonderful, but I would not use it on really dark loads. I have a bottle of UK Persil for Colors and am saving it for special occassions like it is gold or something. Ha, ha! I should just use it up and get myself more next time I go to the UK (in less than 3 weeks :-)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:47PM
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It's weird. I really want to like Seventh Generation products but with the exception of the kitchen cleaner, I am always disappointed. Great company, disappointing products. My laundry was clean enough to the eye but had an odd sweaty funky smell no matter how much detergent I used.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:18PM
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An odd sweaty smell is exactly what it was!!! After I rewashed the load with a full cap of the detergent (well over the recommended dose for a full load) and some borax, the smell was gone and the load smelled fresh. There were no suds even with the increased dose. So basically, the 4x claim is bogus. It washes decently, but not at the levels recommended.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:23PM
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I've been using the Seventh Generation Free and Clear laundry detergent in my Speed Queen top load washer and my laundry is coming out totally fresh and clean, without any laundry additives or pretreatment. I garden and am active outdoors, so my clothing can get pretty ripe. I use hot water though. Can't say I had the same results with ANY detergent in my front load Duets.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:44PM
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I need a detergent that washes and deodorizes really well since my dark loads include sweaty gym clothes but doesn't fade blacks, burgundies, etc.

Have you tried Tide w/Febreze? Some friends use this for the type laundry you mentioned, and love it.

I love Tide Total Care for that type laundry. It works great for me. When I wash dark colors, I always turn them inside out (then turn them right side out to dry). This is also helpful when washing gym clothes, as the odor is usually strongest on the inside.

If your water is hard, you might add baking soda (1/2 cup to 1 cup) to your detergent, as it's good to kill odors. I recommend its use in warm or hot water. You could dissolve it in a quart jar of warm water, then add to a cold water wash.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Thanks Mara, I haven't tried Tide with Febreze or Tide Total Care because of their scents. Especially Tide Total Care - I really dislike the way that detergent smells. Also, I find liquid Tide very difficult to rinse.

I usually wash my darks on Hot without draining the water pipes first which results in a wash temp of about 95-100F (so I view this as a solid (not ATC) Warm wash). I add some borax along with the detergent which really helps with the smells. The best detergent for deodorizing and washing ability I found so far is Tide HE Powder with Bleach, but I hesitate to use it on dark clothes because of fading.

I need to do a dark wash tonight so I will use my treasured Persil Small & Mighty for Colors and report back ;-) I'm pretty sure that it will work better than SG 4x!!! I will definitely get another bottle of Persil when I go to Scotland in a couple of weeks!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 3:37PM
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next time I go to the UK (in less than 3 weeks :-)

Try some Ariel for colors powder. It comes in the purple box. The German version received top scores for soil removal, color preservation and preventing bleeding. Now, I don't know for certain if the UK and the German versions are the same but they should be close. Both have this ActiLift technology.

One thing about Brit detergents in general is that they seem full of fillers! recommends 112 ml for a small washer, light soil and soft water. German Ariel recommends 45 ml. Maybe that's why our Ariel is called Ariel Compact.

I tried Method free & clear on shirts and like it so far. Five shirts, one squirt of Method, set to Quick Wash and 30 minutes later everything is clean. :)


    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Thanks Alex, I will check out Ariel for Colors. I have some regular Ariel powder with ActiLift that my daughter got for me and it works very well. But I like the scent of Persil better ;-)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:26AM
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izeve - Persil colorperls are great for dark clothing. I also like the super cheap Costco Environmental detergent but not as much as Persil. Both have enzymes, no optical brightners. My children's clothes are too much for Vaska but I love it and use it on sheets and towels. Method seemed to fade my black cothing but it could be that it just didn't prevent our chlorinated water from doing so.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 2:30PM
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So I did a couple more loads with SG 4x. I used a full cap (so above the recommended amount for even the largest load). I really don't like this detergent. The scent is truly bad, like old sweat and dirty laundry.... Especially if you don't dry your load all the way through but hang it to dry instead. Oh well, I guess I won't be buying this detergent any more...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Interesting. I've had really good results with the Seventh Generation 4X detergent - it's one of my favorites, actually. It cleans well for me, leaves a nice fresh scent (I use the geranium and vanilla), and it leaves my clothes super soft.

Tide with bleach powder leaves my clothes so stiff and scratchy I can hardly stand to wear them, although it does a good job of cleaning. Tide Total Care works well but I worry about the amount of chemicals it contains. There's no perfect laundry detergent, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:20PM
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stbonner, I'm wondering if it has to do with water chemistry? I have city water that is fairly soft (1-2 gpg). Tide w/bleach powder (HE concentrated version) leaves my laundry soft, super clean and smelling good but I don't use it on darks because of fading. I can't stand the smell of Tide Total Care so I haven't tried it. I suspect that individual scent preferences also play a very important role in our detergent choices and how we perceive their performance;-) The best natural detergent I have tried so far is Vaska, except it is not adequate for sweaty gym clothes.
I got a very small trial bottle of Wisk Spectrum Clean over the weekend and washed a load of just gym clothes on Hot (extended wash time, heater engaged) with it and some borax. Finally, they came out smelling fresh!!! I don't know if it was the Wisk or the true HOT wash, but it worked!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:54PM
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