Purex Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Product Review

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Photo: MML

Almost every commercial for laundry detergent promotes the idea that their laundry detergent will bring the smell of mountain rain or lilacs or lemon trees to your clothes. However, for some of us the smell of clean means no added perfumes or scents.

If you are someone who likes to avoid smelling like a lemon tree or has allergies and sensitivities to perfumes, Purex offers Purex Free & Clear Laundry Detergent.

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Purex Free & Clear Laundry Detergent

Purex Free & Clear Laundry Detergent contains no perfumes or dyes to irritate sensitive skin. It is hypoallergenic and tested by dermatologists to ensure its quality. The detergent is safe to use in all water temperatures in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is safe to use with septic systems.

Product Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Alcohol Ethoxy Sulfate
  • Sodium Carbonate
  • Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Alcohol Ethoxylate
  • Sodium Polyacrylate
  • Fatty Acids
  • Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Methylisothiazolinone

The product comes in a 75 fluid ounce bottle (50 regular-sized loads) recyclable bottle that is made from 25 percent or more post-consumer recycled plastic. Usage instructions are included on the label in English and Spanish. The product is made in the United States. Purex Free & Clear is available online and in the laundry section of most retail stores.

The Henkel and Purex Laundry Story

Purex offers a full line of laundry products including liquid laundry detergent, single dose laundry detergents, laundry detergent powder, liquid fabric softeners, dryer sheets and Purex Crystals in-wash scent booster. The products are manufactured by Dial Corporation of Henkel North America based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Other Henkel products are Magic Release, Purex color safe bleach, Zout, 20 Mule Team Borax and Sta-Flo Starch.

Henkel is an international company that produces adhesives, cleaning products and personal care products around the world. Many familiar United States brands - Loctite, Soft Scrub, Dial Soap, Right Guard, Soft 'n Dri - are products of Henkel.

The name Purex was coined in 1923 for a chlorine bleach developed by Lionel and Ray Precourt. By 1946, the Purex company added their first powdered laundry detergent, Trend. In 1975 liquid laundry detergents hit the shelves and the Purex brand has continued to grow and offer new products.

Product Review and Recommendations

I tested Purex Free & Clear several tries with our normal family laundry in all temperatures of water - hot, warm and cold - and with different levels of soil. I also used it to wash muslin squares that were prestained with grass, mud, ketchup and cooking oil. As with most detergents, the measuring cap lines are difficult to read. It is important to remember that for high-efficiency washers, you should use no more than one tablespoon of liquid detergent to prevent oversudsing.

For the loads of lightly soiled clothes, the laundry came out clean and fresh.

For our laundry that had stains and the stained muslin squares, the results were not as good. Traces of stains remained - especially the grass, oil and mud stains. Even after pretreating with a bit of the liquid, traces of stains were still left on the clothes and squares.

Purex Free & Clear is a mid-priced laundry detergent that relies on surfactants for cleaning and does not contain the enzymes and quantity of stain fighters that are needed to remove heavy soil. It can be used for lightly soiled clothes to save some money but you will need to pretreat stains with an enzyme-based stain remover for best results. I cannot recommend it as an effective detergent for heavily soiled laundry.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.