Ok, I pretty much hate my new The Laundress products

larsi_gwApril 7, 2011

I was pretty sure yesterday that I did not think The Laundress products were so great (the Classic scent in the bottle is so great though). After trying again today, I know they are total sh*t! Once items are dried, they do not smell clean at all (and are not very soft).

Even my spouse asked yesterday why we don't have clean sheets (Wednesday is usually clean sheets day). They were washed with The Laundress Classic detergent and softener!! Nothing smells clean after washing and drying! What a waste of like $35.00!

Also, I did a load of cottons today. Mainly darks and work out t-shirts and shorts. Seriously, after drying...the clothes did not even smell laundered. I had to re-wash.

SO...I really like and highly recommend:

Persil Color Gel

Vaska Herbatergent

Clorox Green Works

Mrs. Meyer's Geranium

Seventh Generation 4x

Avoid The Laundress. In my opionion the brand is nothing more than pretty packaging, clever marketing and hype. So disappointed!!!

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That's funny. For the most part it gets good reviews.

I only have the wool & cashmere one and it is great. It gets really good reviews (9 reviews on Amazon a perfect 5/5).

Lovely cedar scent and leaves wool soft and clean.

I thought the others were WAY too perfumey for me so I've never tried them.

They even make some items for J Crew.

This is the background of the founders of The Laundress. You would think these two might know something about fabric care.

Lindsey Wieber Boyd and Gwen Whiting, co-founders of The Laundress
Lindsey and Gwen were both educated in Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design at Cornell University. Their extensive professional experience in retail management and product development in the luxury-brand business merged with their educational backgrounds has created a unique knowledge and passion in fine fabrics and garment care.

Here is a link that might be useful: J. Crew - The Laundress

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Ford, GM, BMW, Volvo, etc, etc know a thing or two about building great cars...but they have made disasters in the past!

Kraft and Nestle know a thing or two about making tasty foods, but they have had their share of disasters as well...

I think The Laundress is just really slick (NYC) advertising and marketing. With or without J.Crew...the items I got suck!! Maybe using some of their specialties for Cashmere or silk is fine, but their "basic" detergents left my close feeling worse than Sun detergent from the Dollar Tree Store!!! :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:10AM
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I'm surprised to see another laundress non lover. I junked mine for the exact same reasons. A few peeps I know, who have to deal with textiles, swear by their gentle washes. I keep seeing their stuff in local shops (Village Apothecary) here in NYC that I usually love. Maybe it's the fabric or washing method b/c the everyday stuff from the machine approached uncomfortable. Blech.

I'm not often persuaded by Amazon's reviews either; too mass and some complain about packaging rather than product. When I was a publicist we placed a lot of stories that were about building personal or corporate brand equity. It's my own fault but I'm jaded about marketing, lol.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 8:18AM
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westvillager, I worked in advertising in the "prestige" fragrance industry for more than 10 years. I know all about "fluff" ... lol.

I do like the cashmere and wool wash. I was told by a local "upscale" shop that it's the best selling item from The Laundress. Maybe it's the one that works the best ... who knows.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 9:49AM
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I am officially done with these pricey "boutique" brands that do nothing. Look at Consumer Reports review of Martha Stewart's laundry detergent... they said it's just as effective as water! I've tried Le Blanc, another boutique brand, and it doesn't live up to a fraction of what is said about the product. In fact, I wrote to the manufacturer about the strong perfume scent and they basically said that nobody else is complaining so too bad.

These companies just want your money and will say anything to get it. Stay away from these "luxury" detergents - they don't work. Say what you will about P&G and other "mainstream" manufacturers, but at least they put their resources into formulations and research. How much research and product testing do companies like The Laundress, Le Blanc, and other similar companies do?

Products which I've tried and dislike:

  • Charlie's Soap - doesn't clean
  • All Small & Mighty - too many suds
  • Everything Le Blanc and L'Amour - strong perfume scent and doesn't clean
  • Country Save - doesn't clean
  • Method Squeaky Green - too many suds
  • Persil Universal Powder - not concentrated and must use ridiculous amounts
  • EcoVantage - cleans OK but "eco" claims are suspect

Products which I've tried and like:

  • Persil Megaperls
  • Vaska Herbatergent - my current fave
  • Tide HE Liquid w/ Bleach
  • Bi-O-Kleen Premium Powder
  • LanoSoft
  • Clorox Green Works
    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 2:12PM
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I agree 100% with Sstava! Designer/boutique detergents are just a bunch of hyped up fragrances and claims of greatness, and almost always yield crappy results.

I love, love, love Persil Color Gel, Vaska Herbatergent and Clorox Greenworks.

I really like Seventh Generation 4x and Method Peony Blossom.

I have been Downy free now for 2 complete wash cycles...and so far, so good. I really, really like Mrs. Meyer's Geranium Softener and Ecover Sunny Day softener. Both soften as well as (or close to) Downy. And NO animal fat!!! :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 6:21PM
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Do you (Larsi/Sstava) not think Vaska was a "boutique" brand?

A very small company started by a single person who worked in the fashion industry. Sounds a lot like The Laundress. She created a very different product and I do like it a lot.

Also, BioKleen was started by one guy who worked in the chemical industry. It too would have been a small brand before gaining larger distribution.

For anyone interested, here is BioKleen's story:

Jim Rimer founded Biokleen in 1989. As a previous sales representative of cleaning chemicals in the commercial and industrial industry he became more and more aware of the dangers of the products he was selling and the ingredients they contained.

He saw first hand his chemicals were creating health problems for his customers, causing negative effects - including cancer - on families and pets in the homes and businesses where these supplies were being used. Jim was selling poison and this realization shook him to the core. Jim's drive to take a stand and make a difference helped motivate him to study chemistry. With his newfound knowledge and driven passion he formulated his first cleaner using natural, non-toxic ingredients. Today Biokleen continues to develop and create innovative products, which still measure up to Jim's beliefs and standards.

If you're not using a product produced by one of the "biggie" companies, chances are it is or started as a small independent brand. I don't think you can make a blanket statement that all small brands are crap. I'm sure some are but some go on to become pretty large companies.

Method and Seventh Generation were once small guys trying to get attention too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Larsi, meant to ask ... how do you like Mrs. Meyer's detergent?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 8:00PM
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I think the Mrs. Meyer's Geranium detergent is very good actually. No obas and it has enzymes! Of course using it with the Geranium Softener leaves my clothes fragranced with a spicy Geranium/Rose scent that is really soft, yet there & I LOVE it! I tried it with a load of my 4 years old's preschool clothes (ketcup, paint, grass, dirt, pudding, cheetos, juice, markers....). The clothes were stain free, soft and fluffy!! I was surprised actually!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 1:12AM
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@livebetter... I think there are brands out there like Le Blanc/L'Amour, the Laundress and others who are specifically trying to capitalize on this notion of a "boutique" detergent without really having a superior product. Seventh Generation, Bi-O-Kleen, Method, etc. are all brands that not only have a statement to make, but they also work. The same can't be said for some of these other brands that I feel are trying to cash-in on the high priced detergent bandwagon.

I can make my own detergent using readily available products, call it the best thing since sliced bread, put it in a fancy bottle or slap a trendy label on it, and charge ridiculous amounts for it without delivering any performance at all. Oh wait, Martha Stewart already did that.

As far as Vaska is concerned, I don't consider it a boutique detergent and here's why. It's most recently been available at Albertson's, Target and Sam's Club. It's also not priced in the stratosphere like some of these other brands. A 52-load bottle of Tide HE Liquid w/ Bleach Alternative costs $13.64 after discount at SOAP.COM. That's 26 cents per load. A 64-load bottle of Vaska Herbatergent costs $13.48 after discount at SOAP.COM. That's 21 cents per load. Vaska is cheaper than Tide, and as such does not meet my basic criteria for a "boutique" detergent - high price.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 2:12PM
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Wow, you have serious laundry challenges :)

I think Mrs. Meyer's works well too. I just don't love the lavender version. I'm tempted to try the geranium. Maybe I'll start with the FS and use it with unscented detergent.

FWIW, Mrs. Meyer's was also a small "boutique" brand once. Started by Monica Nassif (who started Caldrea first and then introducted Mrs. Meyer's). Mrs. Meyer's is named after her mother (who raised 9 kids!).

"MRS. MEYER'S CLEAN DAY household products were inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine. It all started when one of her daughters (Monica Nassif) was walking down a cleaning aisle, eyeing all the products with their harsh, stinky chemicals. Right then and there, she had an idea: "Let's make cleaners that smell nice, like a garden, but still work like the dickens on daily dirt and grime." She named the product line after her very practical mom and the common sense values she passed along to her kids."

Another interesting "boutique" brand is the Good Home Co. The founder, Christine Dimmick was only 25 when she started the Good Home Co. in the kitchen of her New York City apartment in 1995. Today (2004) the company's 25 products are sold in high-end hardware stores and specialty shops like Restoration Hardware and Gracious Home, and its annual sales exceed $4 million.

You can read about her and Monica Nassif in this article from Time, "The Smell of Clean".

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,993833-1,00.html#ixzz1J95Wn5ZR

Here is a link that might be useful: Mrs. Meyers - Meet Thelma

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 2:20PM
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sshrivastava, I was just pointing out the fact that all the brands that are not part of the big boys (P&G, Henkel, etc) started out small.

Vaska didn't start out with distribution in these large chains. They had to work themselves up there. Her pricing is (I'm sure) part of their "stategy". Her earliest distribution was as a diaper wash so high cost would have been an issue (I think).

Same with Method. "it's hard to believe that 10 years ago, this week, two guys walked into a grocery store and sold the first bottle of method, launching our little revolution into the world." (see link)

They didn't start with huge distribution or a large product offering. Two guys had an idea and went for it.

I was arguing against that point that all boutique/designer brands are crap. Obviously the ones with legs go on to become large brands. They clearly have to have a product that works or people wouldn't keep buying it.

The only way to know is to try. None of us would be using and enjoying Vaska if we didn't give it a try.

Sometimes we try it and hate it (Laundress) - oh well.

I think each brand can be given the benefit of the doubt until you try it. That's all ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Method 10 year Anniversary

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Yes, you are right. If we don't try some "off" brands, we will never know if they are good or not. I do agree with Sstava that many, many designer/boutique brands are sadly just fancy labels on un-tested or un-proven detergents.

If it wasn't for you guys (especially you)...I would never have tried Vaska, and you might never have tried Green Works.

It is all basically trial and error. And while it annoys me when I feel I wasted $40 as with The Laundress...for a laundry junkie like me, waiting for FedEx or UPS to deliver a new box of holy grail laundry products is sometimes worth "wasting" $40!! LOL

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 1:17AM
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Larsi, you're the only reason I tried Clorox Green Works. Having this forum has been very helpful. On the whole I've tried more good products than bad based on the feedback here.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Sstava...happy I got you and others to try Green Works. I think it is a very good combo and compromise of nature vs. science. No OBAs and it has enzymes. It cleans, IMO, almost as well as Persil...and I really love the clean, herbal smell!!

:) :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Larsi, based on your glowing reviews I have also tried Green Works. I like it a lot! I did a few loads in it over the weekend and I agree that it cleans and rinses very well.

But as to cleaning as well as Persil, I don't think it does. I performed (completely by accident) a very unscientific test;-) I meant to wash a pair of grimey (formerly) white socks with the rest of my extra hot white wash but they got separated by accident. So one sock got washed on Sanitary, Extra Rinse, with Dixan Classic (Italian Persil) and the other on Perm Press (Warm), Extra Rinse, with Green Works. The sock washed in Persil was visibly cleaner. As I said, the experiment was unscientific and I suspect the length of the wash and the water temp played a significant role in the final results, but the sock washed in Persil was much whiter. Having said that, I am very happy with Green Works and will continue using it. Clothes and towels came out clean, soft and smelling fresh.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:36PM
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how come no one tried nature bright by shaklee ?

Vaska Herbatergent seems to be the best in the green detergent world ?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 1:34AM
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