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Aargh! Someone explain Ecover washing powder to me

(14 Posts)
ThisIsANiceCage Sat 06-Aug-11 13:35:06

Just bought box of Ecover powder. Jolly good, less manufacturing than tablets (or am I deluding myself there?), no plastic wrappers, and easy to use less for smaller washes and soft water.


Powder box is full volume and weighs 1200g, yielding 12 standard washes (100g per wash).
Tablet box is about 3/4 volume and weighs 960g, yielding 16 standard washes (60g per wash)

So the powder is at least 65% more fuel-expensive per wash to ship from Europe where it's made.

WTF? Is there some reason powder can't be made of tablet stuff, just loose? (God knows it reverts to powder fast enough in an opened wrapper.)

tak1ngchances Sat 06-Aug-11 15:37:02

Did you buy them from the same shop or two different places?

Himalaya Sat 06-Aug-11 15:46:31

Interesting question - could you email and ask them? And tell us the reply!

PlentyOfPubgardens Sat 06-Aug-11 15:47:19

I've never found the tablets or powder very good. They don't seem to rinse that well. I was using the ecover liquid until recently when it seemed to get suddenly a lot more expensive. The co-op does a good eco liquid and conditioner but it's probably not as eco - it smells too nice!

Sorry, that's not at all what you asked, is it?

nannyl Sat 06-Aug-11 15:51:24

seems mad!

perhaps email ecover and see what they say?

I have never noticed that before but only ever bought loose powder, and use a teeny tiny amount

tak1ngchances Sat 06-Aug-11 15:55:05

NiceCage can you tell us the cost of each? It is surprising that the powder was more expensive.
With detergents, you can pay more for many reasons.
Normally with tablets you pay a premium for convenience (i.e. they are pre-measured).
However sometimes you pay a premium for buying detergents in a smaller store such as a Tesco Express or Sainsbury's local, as there again you pay for convenience.
So if you bought the powder at a smaller store, you might have paid more for it...otherwise it is just odd that it was more expensive than the tablets (if I am reading the OP correctly).

ThisIsANiceCage Sat 06-Aug-11 15:59:14

Sadly no Co-op within reach. Although I like Ecover, and anyway need to super-rinse sheets/bedcovers whichever powder I use.

(Oh god, I sound like a woman in an 80s advert. Shoot me now for even caring.)

But I should email, shouldn't I? I can pretend I'm just interested in the science and greenness. grin

ThisIsANiceCage Sat 06-Aug-11 16:10:16

Oh I'm not talking about money cost, tak1ngchances

I'm talking about the cost to the environment. "Greener" should mean "less impact on the environment" or "more sustainable.".

We can affect the environment in lots of ways, like
• pouring unsuitable chemicals into water courses
• using materials which aren't being recycled and don't degrade (eg plastics floating in oceans)
• using up materials like oil of which there's fundamentally a limited supply.

It's hard to know which factor an "eco" product is claiming to be better on - and sometimes an improvement on one factor can create a bigger problem elsewhere. You have to do the whole calculation.

Hence my puzzlement!

tak1ngchances Sat 06-Aug-11 16:19:02

Oh I see. Well if you want to be environmentally conscious when it comes to laundry then you can take these steps:
- Turn to lower temperatures on your machine. This is the first priority. If you look at the environmental footprint of a wash cycle as a pie chart detergent packaging is the tiniest sliver. The in-use phase is over 75% purely because of the energy required to heat water.
- Buy concentrated liquids as they wash better than powder at lower temperatures and in additional contribute less packaging waste, and require fewer trucks to cart them around the country/countries.

Olddough Sat 06-Aug-11 16:24:44

Ecover doesn't get things clean, though.

timidviper Sat 06-Aug-11 16:30:49

Agree with Olddough Ecover is not efficient in any cleaning sense as you usually have to rewash everything in proper washing stuff to get it clean.

It's only positive effect is not on the environment but on salving the consciences of people who want to think they are being green!

ThisIsANiceCage Sat 06-Aug-11 16:40:06

Hot water well catered for here! I feed in water from the solar-thermal panel and have to be careful it doesn't get too hot!

But it's not the packaging disposal I'm looking at (apart from the little plastic wrappers). It's the delivery-fuel-per-wash, something consumers often forget but supermarkets and distribution companies have a very good grip of!

ThisIsANiceCage Sat 06-Aug-11 16:44:27

No re-washing here! Perfectly happy with Ecover - I use the bio one, tho, so can't speak for others. (It biodegrades in the sewage system.)

tak1ngchances Sat 06-Aug-11 16:47:01

Yes. Delivery fuel per wash is worst for powders as they are not compacted. The best is concentrated liquid, I am not sure if Ecover does one of those or not. Persil Small & Mighty and Ariel Excel Gel are both good, most supermarkets have own label versions as well.

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