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This is my review of Clorox Green Works laundry detergent. There is a survey link at the end of the review; please fill it out and give Matchstick your opinion on my piece! Not only does it generate a $2 donation to a Toronto women's shelter, but it also improves my credibility with Matchstick and encourages them to send me more free stuff (and if you know me at all, you know how desperately I need free stuff).

* * *

Objective: Wash my clothes.

Constants: My boyfriend's kind of sketchy/stinky university dorm washing machines; no fabric softener in dryer; dirty clothes (both mine and his); soy sauce stains.

Variable: Clorox Green Works laundry detergent.

Okay so maybe I didn't really conduct this as a totally thorough and rigourous scientific experiment. The truth is, I've been used to using Tide in my parents' magnificent space-age washing machines, carefully separating all my clothing types from each other into ultra-specific micro-loads (subdivided by colour type, regular/delicate/hand wash — yes their machines have a 'hand wash' option — silk, wool, or 'heavy duty'). I was a laundry princess, laundering with abandon even a load as small as a single pair of panties that solely constitutes the WHITE HANDWASH pile.

But I've been staying at my boyfriend's dorm a lot. All my clothes are here. And I work full-time in the city and I can't afford to spend a day commuting to the 'burbs for a laundravaganza, the way I'd been used to doing.

I had to use the stinky, dollar-per-use, washing machines that he shares with the other students on his floor.

They don't even have DIGITAL READOUTS, people.

I almost didn't have the nerve to do it, until I was sent a bottle of Clorox Green Works detergent to review (not to mention that I was going to have to go naked the next day because I had no clean clothes left.)

So maybe this wasn't scientific rigour, but it was certainly making the new product run the gauntlet. In already barbaric conditions, would my clothes feel clean?? The odds were stacked against it, especially since it was a purported "green" product using mystical things like "coconut-based cleansers". How was that going to work?

I have to tell you, people, I'm a believer. That big fat orange Tide detergent bottle is going to be green Clorox from now on. Just look at it. It's adorable.
J-M and our bottle of Clorox Green Works

The bottle's actually bigger than it appears in the photo, relative to a regular human. It contains 1.33 L. My boyfriend just happens to be an enormous man.

Also make special note of the giant arthritic-hand-friendly cap on the top. I am a person who is easily influenced by the tactile qualities of packaging, and the satisfying twist on that cap gives it huge points on the want-to-purchase-again scale.

But on to the chemical formulation contained within:

My position on 'green' products is the following: "it probably doesn't work as well as the tasty tasty carcinogen-rich non-green counterparts, but I should do my bit for the environment". I mean seriously, coconut cleansers?

But — and I am not shitting you — this stuff works better than Tide.

Anecdotal proof:

I go out for sushi with my choir every Wednesday night after rehearsal (SHOUT OUT), and the Wednesday before my first fateful experience with Clorox Green Works, I got a spot of soy sauce on a white t-shirt. (GASP! I know right??)

I wish I could show you photographic proof of the fact that the stain is gone but you know, a picture of a plain unblemished white t-shirt probably isn't going to be persuasive.

No, seriously.

In my Tide days, I was accustomed to just saying my sad farewells to soy sauce stained t-shirts. But no longer!! No longer!!

But what, you must be asking me, about the scent? The liquid itself smells kind of nice, you know, standard laundry detergent fare, but does it adhere to the clothes?

Scent is a major factor for both J-M (my enormous boyfriend) and I. One look at our shared domicile should tell you, it's not as important for things to actually BE clean as it is for the parts touching us to FEEL clean. (Well sometimes we don't even meet that standard, but you see my point.) We enjoy living in a world of illusions. If the clothing has a pleasing scent, it must be quite sufficiently clean. Yes?

Both his mom and my mom have always used Tide, and thus it is the scent of Tide that we associate with clean clothes.

Pulling our cleaned clothing out of the stinky washing machines in his dormitory laundry room, we were both snorting our various garments with a puzzled and slightly let-down expression on our faces. No smell! No clean? We am confused!

It took a moment for me to steady myself and realize that it was merely Tide brainwashing (Tidewashing!). These artificial scents were merely superfluous additives, designed to train our olfactory bulbs into submission to our orange overlords!

The vanishing soy sauce stain convinced me that my clothes were actually quite squeaky clean. And if you snort your clothing deeply enough, you may catch a faint whiff of…

Yes, coconut. From the coconut-based cleansers.

I shared a sample of Clorox Green Works, generously provided by Matchstick, with my friend Michael (of the aforementioned choir). Michael is a man of refined taste and delicate odour-sensitivity. True story: I once spent approximately twenty minutes with him in the shampoo aisle, assisting his choice in how his hair should smell. (The considerations were that it should not be too girly, nor too manly; merely pleasingly gender-neutral, clean, and sophisticated.) Upon using the sample of Clorox Green Works, Michael got back to me with excitement, eager for the associated coupons that I also have available for distribution. His sense of smell must be much more sensitive than mine or J-M's, because he couldn't stop enthusing about how much he loved the smell of this detergent. Not too strong, but clean, and sweet, and different. So there you go.

Finally, let's compare the warning labels on the back of Green Works and Tide:

Tide:
CAUTION: MAY IRRITATE EYES. Do not get in eyes. Do not reuse this package for dispensing beverages or other liquids. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. FIRST AID TREATMENT: Contains biodegradable surfactants (anionic and nonionic) and enzymes. If swallowed, give a glassful of water or milk and call a Poison Control Centre or doctor immediately. Do not induce vomiting. If in eyes, rinse well with water for 15 minutes.
Green Works:
CAUTION: IRRITANT. MAY IRRITATE EYES. Contents may be harmful if swallowed. Do not get in eyes. Do not swallow. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. FIRST AID TREATMENT: Contains sodium salts of sulfonated fatty acid methyl esters, alkyl polyglucosides, sodium citrate, glycerin, oleic acid, boric acid, and lauramidopropylamine oxide. If swallowed, call a Poison Control Centre or doctor immediately. Do not induce vomiting. If in eyes, rinse with water for 15 minutes.


If that means something to you then... good. To me it it's a comparison of "gibberish" and "gibberish that sounds like it describes salts and maybe also parts of lemons". Nice to know that you don't need to drink milk to deweaponize Green Works after you accidentally chug it.

Some further stats:

- The 1.33 L bottle is enough for thirty loads because you need to use so little each load. J-M watched with trepidation as I very precisely followed the little lines on the inside of the cap; he did not believe it could be enough for clothing as filthy as ours. But lo! It was.
- Clorox Green Works can, in fact, be used in High Efficiency washing machines.
- It calls itself "95% natural". This term is not governmentally regulated.
- They are against animal testing.
- It is phosphate-free.
- The bottle is made of recycled high density polyethylene.
- J-M reaches for the bottle of Green Works now even though he has TWO huge bottles of Tide sitting in his room.
- Yes J-M does my laundry sometimes because he is the sweetest boyfriend ever.


So there you go, I hope that was useful to you. Either way, please fill out this survey.

It will generate a $2 donation to a women's shelter in Toronto and also give Matchstick feedback on how AWESOME my reviewing skills are.

Also if I know you IRL, I have plenty of samples to give away, and coupons for a free no-strings-attached full-sized bottle of the stuff. Which is totally no-lose. Kind of like filling out the survey.

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December 2016

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