Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Allens Naturally Laundry Detergent

Something that you may or may not know about me is that I am a cloth-diapering Mommy. I don't talk about it much or have a lot of posts about cloth diapering, because in all honesty, I'm not an expert in that subject. Not yet anyway. I have 3 young children, but I've only started cloth diapering my 3rd child who is now 1-year-old. I went into this whole new world of cloth diapers with lots of research in tow, but at the same time, I was still a bit apprehensive and nervous that I didn't know what I was doing. It didn't take long to learn the ropes and although washing them occurs more often than my regular laundry, it didn't become a problem...not until the diapers started to have the ammonia smell that every cloth diapering parent dreads. At the time this first started, I was using another laundry detergent that is very popular in the cloth diapering world. After researching what parents did to remove this offensive smell, I found myself hunched over our master bath tub, stripping the diapers, trying my hardest to "scrub off" the top layer of any residue that could have been on the diapers. Those were hours of what felt like endless torture only to have the smell return a few weeks later. In the meantime, I continued to research different ways to rid of the smell, reading articles, browsing through testimonies, and watching videos. Many parents who tried detergent after detergent and stripped the diapers more often than I have finally just gave up and went back to disposables.

I came close to being one of them. When I was first starting to research cloth diapers, I had come across several cloth manufacturers that mentioned Allens Naturally as a detergent they would highly recommend for their diapers, and in general, for their laundry. Sadly, when I was looking for personal reviews from the many blogs I read everyday, most of their props went to the detergents that were synonymous to nappies. I went ahead and added Allens to my baby registry, but unfortunately, I didn't receive it at my baby shower. I did received another detergent, and although it may work flawlessly for many other crunchy mamas, this newbie wasn't impressed. I had won another popular detergent from an online giveaway, and even though it has been praised for working remarkably for hard-water areas, I still found myself with leakin' and stinkin' issues. I was just about to throw in the towel when help was delivered at my doorstep.

For review, I received a ginormous gallon of Allens Naturally liquid laundry detergent and a dispensing pump for easy measurement. Honestly, when this product arrived, I was literally jumping up and down to try it. I was praying that it was going to be the miracle I have been looking for to relieve me of the misery of stripping the diapers. You know what? IT IS!!!

I have been using this detergent with no bleach or softner for about 5 months now, and it is probably one of my most favorite cleaning products. EVER. Biodegradable and fully concentrated to give you clean, residue-free clothes that will leave you wondering, "what is in this stuff?" Rather, the question should be - what is NOT in this stuff? NO alcohol or phosphates, NO perfumes or dyes, and NO common allergy inducing ingredients. Perfect for even the most sensitive skins. Containing only 5 ingredients (Water, Alkylarylethoxylate, Triethanolamine, Linear Alkylaryl Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride), it can't get any simpler.
Allens Naturally was born about 30 years ago in cooperation with a Store Front Cooperative named Stone Soup (which has since closed), whose members wanted home care products free of dyes, perfumes, and fragrances. Many of the members were involved in the Feingold diet. Dr. Feingold’s theory was that children were hyperkinetic because of the dyes in food. It was the belief of the co-op members that the dyes in national brands of laundry detergent might leave a residue that could possibly migrate through the skin into the body. Other members had MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) and believed perfumes or fragrances to be a major culprit. 
In time, Allens Naturally has been commended by animal rights groups such as: Peta, Antivivisection Society, Humane Society, Beauty Without Cruelty, and other animal rights groups for not testing on animals, and not using animal ingredients. Allens Naturally has been certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics to use the Leaping Bunny logo on our products.
Each gallon cleans roughly 512 loads of laundry in HE machines and 128 loads in other machines. With the dispensing pump, measuring the correct amount makes it easy enough for even my husband to do the laundry. He can no longer use the line "I never know how much detergent to use" ever again. The pump comes with a restrictor clip that when attached gives you 1/4 ounce of detergent. That is all you will need for cloth diapers in any machine or for the rest of your laundry in an HE. I made the mistake when I first used the detergent, thinking there was a misprint, so I put more than the 1/4 ounce of liquid it said to put. I mean, seriously, can such a small amount really do the job? Especially on stinky cloth diapers? Sure enough, it really was supposed to be no more than 1/4 ounce. Oopsie! When the restrictor clip is removed, it gives you the full 1 ounce for other regular loads in regular washing machines.

Allens Naturally. 5 months into using this gallon (every other day for cloth diapers and every 5-6 days for about 4 loads of the other laundry), and it feels like it still has a few months more to go. It truly is perfect for ALL your laundry (except for military uniforms), and I wholeheartedly 100% recommend it for cloth diapers. And if you are wondering about the ammonia smell, it hasn't come back. No leakin' or stinkin' problems in this hard-water house!

The liquid laundry detergent runs $39.60 for a gallon. That's about 10 cents or less per load. Initially, it costs more than the detergents you will find at your big box or grocery stores, and yes, it does cost more than the popular cloth diaper detergents, but considering you will only need this one bottle to do ALL your laundry, and it'll last for 6 months or more, I'd say this is the better deal! This detergent also comes in powder form and in a 4-pack travel size.

Aside from laundry detergents, Allens Naturally also offers automatic dishwasher detergents, non-toxic glass and surface cleaner, biodegradable fruit and veggie wash, among other safe and Earth-friendly products. And new to the Allens Naturally family is Allens Stink Out. Added to the wash at the same time as the detergent, this additive will help fight odor problems from cloth diapers, sportswear, cleaning rags, work uniforms, gym clothes, etc. It wouldn't surprise me if this product was inspired by Mums who use cloth diapers and can't stand the nasty ammonia residues. I haven't had a problem with just using the detergent alone, but hey, if this helps with more offensive smells, definitely give it a try.

As you have probably figured out from some of my past reviews and posts, I'm a big advocate for local products, or at least produced in the same country you are residing. Finding out that Allens Naturally is made here in the USA, I am even more in love with their products. You can purchase any of their items on their website, or find a retailer near you. I would call the shop or boutique ahead of time though to see if they are still carrying Allens Naturally. I don't think the list online is up to date, as I found out when I emailed one of the retailers here in Texas, and they informed me that they don't sell Allens there anymore. 

If you're a cloth diapering parent and have had bad luck at removing leaking or ammonia issues with your current detergent, give Allens Naturally a try. It's great for the rest of your laundry, too, so you'll need just this one detergent to clean all your loads. Connect with them on Facebook to get updates as well as to read what customers are saying about the products. 

BUY:  You can purchase the Allens Naturally liquid laundry detergent on their website for less than $40.  Check out the rest of their environmentally, non-toxic products for the rest of your household needs.

WIN:  Allens Naturally is giving one (1) lucky The Green House follower one gigantic gallon of Allens Naturally liquid laundry detergent and a dispensing pump.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Andrea said...

Would LOVE to try allen's stink out on our cloth diapers & towels! :)

Anonymous said...

I would like to try Allen's Biodegradable Dishwashing Liquid.

Lindsey said...

I received a trial of their Stink Out and LOVED it. I would love to have more of it!

Lindsey said...

I received a trial of their Stink Out and LOVED it. I would love to have more!

Heather! said...

I'd like to try Allen's Biodegradable Heavy-Duty All-Purpose Cleaner!
h4schaffer at gmail dot com

Raising My Padawans said...

I would also love to have the Biodegradable Heavy-Duty All-Purpose Cleaner.
-Heather S

Maribel said...

I would like to try Allen's Biodegradable Dishwashing Liquid.

Small Footprints said...

I'd love to try the Biodegradable Dishwashing Liquid. :-)
Sml Footprints

Tracy said...

I'd like to try the Stink Out!

heymissvirginia said...

I would love to try the fruit and veggie wash!
(Virginia Rowell)

All Natural Katie said...

I would love to try the dishwasher detergent.

Chelsea @ Garden-Me.com said...

I think the travel size detergent is a great idea!

The McGills said...

stink out would be my next pick:)

The McGills said...

stink out would be my next pick:)

The McGills said...

stink out would be my next pick!

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