I typically use liquid Tide laundry soap, liquid Downy fabric softener, and Bounce dryer sheets. After seeing commercials for a month or more, I decided to give the new Purex 3-in-1 product a try. I had never used Purex detergent before, but a good friend does, so I trusted that they would at least have a chance of working. I also considered that if they did the job, they might save me a few bucks a month, and hopefully this product is a little better for the environment. I mean, at the very least, there is less packaging involved. So, let's get down to it.
The 3-in-1 sheets come in 3 scents right now. They are described on the Purex website as follows:
Spring Oasis - a nature-inspired fragrance with fresh citrus and flowers, like a clean morning breeze
Tropical Escape - Island-inspired watery clean scent with a hint of exotic fruit freshness
Pure & Clean - 100% hypoallergenic with a subtle fresh, clean scent. Perfect for people with sensitive skin
I wanted to try Tropical Escape, but my local Target only carries Pure & Clean and Spring Oasis. So, I went with Spring Oasis. Keith said the Pure & Clean smells like Dial soap, and I have to agree. That's not a bad thing; it's just an observation.
From the photos on the website, it appears that the Spring Oasis and the Pure & Clean sheets look exactly the same. They both have a blue detergent section with a blue fabric softener strip. However, the Tropical Breeze appears to have an orange fabric softener strip. The storage containers don't have the scents anywhere on them, so I was a bit worried as to how you could easily remember which scent you prefered, when it's time to buy the refills. I guess the different colored strips will help with that.
You have two options of how to buy these sheets. The first is a starter kit that comes with 20 sheets and the plastic container to keep them in. Since they obviously can't get wet before use, this is your safest bet on how to store them. The starter kit costs around $5.50 at my local Target store. The second option you have, is to buy a refill pack. The refill pack includes 4 more sheets, for a total of 24 sheets. The refill pack is the same price as the starter kit. On the Purex website, they explain why they have packaged them in this manner. The 4 extra sheets in the refill pack make up for the lack of storage container.
For an all-in-one sheet, I say that the Purex brand does a great job. When doing a typical load of laundry, I have no complaints at all. The fabric softener and dryer sheet portions of the 3-in-1 sheets seem to do an excellent job. My clothes always come out smelling great and are just as soft as they were when I was using Downy and Bounce. As far as stain fighting goes, it doesn't score quite as high. It just doesn't cut it as stain fighter. But, I guess that's why it's not a 4-in-1. I will stick with my liquid Tide as a pre-treater for tough stains.
On the website, they do state that some spotting from the fabric softener strip of the 3-in-1 sheet can occur if the dryer is overloaded or has a bulky load, such as bed sheets or blankets. I have not tried washing sheets or blankets with this product yet, so I can't comment on this. I have washed a large load of bath towels, and did not have any issue at all with this. As for the spotting, the website goes on to say that it is not permanent and would simply require another washing to remove.
These sheets can be used with an HE or standard washing machine. They are not reclyclable yet, but the company is supposed to be working on finding a material they can use, that can be recycled. The container and packaging are recyclable.
I read somewhere else online, that you could use the used sheets to wash windows and other glass in your house. I tried cleaning a mirror in the bathroom with Windex, using one of the spent sheets instead of a paper towel. This did not work well at all. The sheets aren't absorbant, and so they just smeared everything around. I haven't tried using them to clean with soap and water, but I really can't see that working any better. They might work well as a scrubber, using Comet or something similar. I haven't tried that yet, but I can see it working quite well. The only other suggestion I have for using the depleted sheets, would be to use them as closet fresheners, or drawer fresheners. Our upstairs hall closet tends to get musty pretty easily. I've got one of the used sheets in there now, to see how long it will freshen that space. It's been about a week, and I can still smell the nice fragrance when I open that door.
In summary, I've been using this product for approximately 3 weeks as of this writing. These sheets are not highly effective as a stain fighter, but do a good job of cleaning, freshening, and softening a standard load of laundry. I will continue to use the Purex 3-in-1 sheets for average loads of laundry. For deep set stains, I will use Tide liquid detergent as a pre-treater.
For more information, you can click on the following link to get to the Purex 3-in-1 website. You can also click a link at that website, to get a $1 off coupon. The coupons really do work. I used one at my local Target store, to purchase my starter kit.
Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets
Now on to the fun part. Leave a comment in this post before 8:00am on Friday, August 14, 2009, and I will choose a winner at random, using Random.org. The winner will receive a free starter kit of the Pure & Clean 3-in-1 sheets.
Updated to add: Just to clarify for everyone, the deadline to leave your comment is FRIDAY, 8/14/09 before 8am. Today is Monday. That gives you 4 whole days! YAY! And I will post the winner around lunchtime on Friday afternoon.
Updated again, to add this awesome video, for Mary: http://www.purex.com/thissheetworks/