Shaklee Soft Fabric Concentrate - New & 'improved'

livebetterSeptember 16, 2011

Yikes! My worst fear coming true ...

@Larsi, when you got your Shaklee FS did it have a green box that said "New! More Softness!"?? I'm curious which version you tried.

I knew they were revising the FS to incorporate a new vegetable based softener that is supposed to soften even better.

My fear was it would not work as well as previous but my BIGGER fear was they would mess with the fragrance which I absolutely adore!

My new one arrived today and it smells totally different. Irritated Shaklee doesn't say it has a new scent as well as new formulation.

Going to reserve judgement until I can try it. Thank goodness tonight is kids' laundry night. I'll give it a good try.

FYI (Larsi) FWIW, a few Americans told me they just love the Shaklee powder. Wish I could get it here.

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Sigh ...... Isn't that always the way? How frustrating. Hopefully they won't "improve" it like Downy.

Interested to read your observations. And, fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 5:18PM
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I know ... I was worried when I read about it months ago but I had hope.

They say the new version: "Improved performance, rivals Snuggle and Suavitel in softness and static reduction".

I don't know about the scent though.

Previous version smelled "fresh" and clean. This new one has a heavier less "fresh" smell (hey Larsi - maybe more up your alley now ... lol). Almost "perfume" like - not fresh to me at all.

I have a load in the dryer now. I used unscented detergent so I could get the full FS effect.

When I was transferring to the dryer I was thinking, "I don't know about this". I'm having a Downy April Fresh moment that others on the forum described.

I'll report back after I've had a chance to really assess the final dried outcome.

My next load was with the previous version and I knew right away I prefer that scent SO much more.

The question is, will the new one be acceptable or will I just hate it. :(

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 10:40PM
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Well ... wiping away tears ... its' official ... I really dislike the new scent. Why oh why do companies do this??

I will say that items felt noticeably softer (although I was fine with softness achieved with previous version).

The scent is not overwhelming at all but I REALLY dislike it.

I worked in the fragrance industry for years and I'm having a hard time describing the scent. It's heavier, almost "sweet" ... so upsetting. There is NOTHING "fresh" about it at all.

I'm SO disapointed. Shaklee didn't mention anything about changing the scent. If they had, I would have stock piled more of the original. I only have two bottles of it - it will be like gold to me.

The only hope for me now are the only three green products I haven't tried. Seventh Generation unscented (I have used lavender/eucalyptus - was a "no"), BioVert (I have smelled it in the past (Spring Fresh fragrance) - wasn't better than Shaklee but now ... I guess I'll try it) and Method (not holding out much hope for it).

HUGE sigh ...

Failing those, it will be back to Downy Free for me ... larger sigh ...

Here is a link that might be useful: BioVert - fabric softener

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:01AM
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OK ... forget what I said about Downy. I did some quick reading and was reminded why I gave it up several years ago.

Must find a brand without unpleasant chemicals that are normally used. Things like quarternary ammonium compounds and imidazolidiny. These are common ingredients that can release formaldehyde and are also suspected carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Traditional fabric softeners work by leaving a residue on the fabric that never completely washes out and can cause severe allergic reactions through skin contact and inhalation.

I did a quick search and there are a few more unscented "green" brands I can try.

I have hope ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: e Hard Truth about Fabric Softeners

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:16AM
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The first ingredient in the Bio-Vert softener is "soy-derived esterquat". Esterquat is a quaternary ammonium compound, the same compound you identified in your criticism of Downy. If quaternary ammonium compounds are bad, then it doesn't matter whether they come from plant or animal based sources. Bad is bad, right?

Look, I use fabric softener because I like my clothes to come out of the dryer soft and fluffy. I get exactly that with Downy F&S (Free & Sensitive). I don't get the same results with any green/natural product, except when I use Vaska FS with [only] Vaska detergent. I am pretty much done with "green" fabric softeners. There is nothing "green" about the Bio-Vert if you are looking to avoid toxic ingredients, however they may consider themselves "green" because they derived those toxic compounds from plants. We can make ethanol from sugar cane, but that doesn't mean we can drink it.

I use half or less of the recommended dose of Downy and my fabrics never feel like they are coated with anything. They just feel incredibly soft - just the way I like them! Towels retain all of their absorbency even after many years of washing and using fabric softener. And you won't find a single "musty" smelling towel in my household. In fact, house guests almost always comment about how soft and fresh my towels feel.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:50AM
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You mistake the term "green" for meaning non-toxic (a mistake many seem to make).

While being non-toxic is definitely on my wish list what primarily makes them green is being derived from RENEWABLE resources and not petroleum.

Soy, canola, coconut are renewable while petroleum is depleting.

As Jeffrey Hollander of Seventh Gen said, people mistake being good with "less bad".

"Green" products are not necessarily "good" they are just "less bad".

I'm sure softness (like scent) is subjective. I was a loyal Downy user for YEARS. I've lived without if for 3 years and find my things perfectly fine.

I would never use FS on my towels (even in the Downy days) so that's an irrelevant discussion to have.

I've never had any musty smells either - not now or in the Downy days.

I will look into the ingredients in BioVert before I try it though. It actually wasn't top of my "next to try" list anyway. I do prefer safer ingredients that get the job done if possible but I'm happy to make "greener" choices either way.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Livebetter: You should share your opinion of the new scent with the shaklee folks, or request an unscented version? Also, maybe you could try and locate distributors who might still have the original scent on hand? IDK, just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 3:01PM
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@covingtoncat, already did email Shaklee. We'll see what they say. Probably no different than P&G when they messed with April Fresh.

Weird thing to me is that the new smell is NOTHING like the old smell. I could see if it still smelled fresh just different but ... it's not fresh at all.

Maybe I'm crazy ... maybe others will love it ... who knows??

The load of dark kids' clothes I did last night was "bugging" me today.

My youngest son had on a shirt I'd used the new Shak on and ... yuck. Every time he was close I could smell it and it wasn't a pleasant smell.

Even my husband (who could really care less about this stuff) commented it didn't smell very "fresh".

Onwards and upwards ... if I can't find an unscented green version to use I'll just go back to Downy Free. We can only do what we can do.

Since @sshrivastava once commented that Seventh Gen worked well, I'm hoping their unscented may do the trick. I did not like their lavender/eucalyptus version.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 6:20PM
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Were you the one who thought vaska FS was fishy-smelling? I really love it, myself. YMMV

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 9:25PM
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No. That was @Larsi.

I like the Vaska FS when used with Vaska.

The Shaklee was for all the kids' clothes and stuff. It made their stuff smell so nice, light and fresh.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:04PM
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Yeah, The Vaska Softener was awful!! Smelled fishy to me, and did not soften.

@Livebetter...I think I had the old, original bottle. It did not say anything about more softness. And I disliked the version you Love. We are all so different.

Downy Free & Sensitive mixed with equal parts Downy April Fresh give me soft, fluffy clothes that smell almost like the original and beloved (and missed) April Fresh Downy. I have ALWAYS used FS on towels, and they are always fluffy and absorbent. When our family is visiting from Germany & Sweden, they always say how wonderful our "American" towels are!! ;)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 11:35PM
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@Larsi, I was thinking to myself, "Larsi would probably love this new version since I hate it so much" ... lol.

It really did make things feel softer ... just the smell.

If you lived close, I'd drop them off for you.

I'm going to have to get a refund from Shak because I REALLY dislike the scent. I gave it a go hoping I would be ok with it (even though not like the one I loved).

I actually dislike the scent of it that much, it's got to go.

I feel like all you April Fresh users who felt betrayed :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:32AM
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I could not agree more with these comments! So glad I am not alone. The smell was a horrifying shock-- even worsened after I discovered what it was.

For over 20 years I have used and loved this laundry softener, and it doesn't irritate any allergies in my family. The wonderful fresh scent was even commented on by others.

Just yesterday I opened a new bottle and did some wash. After washing TWO loads, the children began complaining of a "terrible smell" coming out of the dryer vent. We searched and interviewed all family members to find the source of the unusual odor! My 9 year old son, determined to solve the mystery, finally traced it to the new bottle of Soft Laundry Concentrate. HORRIFYING!! The only indication of any change was "now, softer than ever", but none of a fragrance change.

Like the others, even the slightest unexpected whiff irritates me. I'm with you-- why did they have to change it? It IS softer, but for some reason, I didn't like the way my socks felt. It felt like a commercial softener, kind of coated. Maybe I'm just inflexible... not like the good old days... :)

This was the basic content of my letter to Shaklee. None of the above was commented on in the response, only "the amount of XXX was credited to your account". I hope LOTS of people write or call in!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:16PM
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@Petunia44, THANK YOU!! I was feeling alone in my despair (lol ...). Shaklee told me the new scent was being well accepted in the US and Canada and I just could not believe it (I don't believe it actually).

How could anyone in their right mind like it???

I tried it a few times but just cannot tolerate the smell.

It is SO far from fresh smelling.

I'm really sad too. I've been happily using it for 3 or 4 years. I have tried almost every brand available and it was (by far) my favorite.

I just don't know what I'll use now.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:31PM
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@ livebetter

Maybe you can try what Larsi does... mix it 50/50 with Downy unscented. Maybe that will help tame the scent to something more acceptable?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:43PM
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@ sshrivastava, I could try but I really dislike the scent enough that I'm not sure that would help.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:02PM
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@ livebetter, you made me smile =D I felt so much better when I read your experience, especially "Every time he was close I could smell it and it wasn't a pleasant smell." That made me laugh, because I kept doing the same thing, except perhaps more melodramatically :)

I have grown up on Shaklee, and have had the highest respect for their products and supplements, but I am also distrusting their assertion that everyone is "accepting it." **FACT-- we are not loving it, neither did my distributor, and the telephone customer service lady TOLD me the product was discussed at their "conference" and they are "working" on the scent/product further.

In addition, my letter received what SEEMED to be a sarcastic/condescending reply, QUOTE "While we're sorry to hear that you do not like the new natural fragrance in Soft Fabric Concentrate, it seems rather _ironic_ that you would choose the old synthetic fragrance over the natural one." Hmm. Tell that to my nose. My nose isn't very smart, I guess.

This may be a single-person response, and not a company-endorsed one, but still, a response like that leads me to suspect that they are becoming annoyed- by backlash??

I'm with you. I don't know what else to use. I just ordered two bottles of the old stuff (still available until stockout, they say), but I am hoping they don't substitute the new. In perspective, this isn't an earth-shattering situation of course, but it IS so nice to know that we're not just batty for reacting this way, lol!

May your day be filled with "good scents" !

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:40AM
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livebetter, I am so sorry to hear about Shaklee's change. I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, I can not be of much help as to what may work becaase I have never smelled Shaklee, but I know what didn't.

I have tried 7th Generation. It didn't dissolve well and pretty much just sat in a congealed form in my dispenser. Amway Softner turned into something like liquidy, platic looking stuff after only a couple months, so that was a no go. Method only made clothes stiffer and I was better off with vinegar.

Melasoft and Ecover were okay. They definitely softened the clothes in the drier and left behind a light pleasant fragrance, but I had to use twice as much. They did little to help with air drying, though, which I try to do when weather permits.

I have been using Downy free with lavendar essential oil added, and that has been working.

Once again, I am so sorry this has happened. It sucks when companies mess with what doesn't need to be messed with.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Guess what! I'm so excited! The Shaklee Fabric Softener is back to its original good scent. I was one of the big complainers to Shaklee about it, and they emailed me and told me they changed the formula back to the original scent. They even sent me a free sample to see if I approved, and it was indeed the original old good smelling scent that we all know and love. The link below is where I order mine from.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shaklee Fabric Softener Soft Fabric Concentrate

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:12PM
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CamilleMomma, thank you for posting this! I'm very excited about it too. I stopped buying the Softer than Soft because they changed it to that god awful scent that I was also allergic to. When I went to purchase the last few bottles of the old stuff they sent me the new scent. I returned four bottles and told them why. I still have two bottles of the old formula stock piled, I'll put some on my next order and let them know I'm happy about the change. Thank you for your work in getting changed back! :-)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:32PM
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