Welcome back to another week in Laundryland, where we continue our journey through the world of eco/ethical laundry detergents vying for our hard-earned cash. This time around, I've put eco-mate's Sandalwood and Cedarwood laundry liquid to the test. A few weeks ago, an Instagram ad piqued my interest with its attractive bottle (above - please ignore the mid-assembly peanut butter sandwich, the maker of said sandwich hid behind the box #skills). I decided to give eco-mate a go. It sat in my cupboard, infusing the air with its delightful scent, building up my expectations. But, dear reader, did I discover my perfect laundry partner? Let's find out...
Eco-mate’s eco claims
Eco-mate proudly boasts being 100% plastic-free. The bottle, made of paper, with a bamboo neck and cap, not only feels amazing but also exudes its fragrant contents due to the absence of a plastic lining, granting it a six-month shelf life. Fortunately, the scent is divine! The bottle and cap are compostable, and the laundry liquid itself is biodegradable. Moreover, it's vegan-friendly and comprises 100% naturally derived plant-based ingredients. Yes, I'm in love!
Does eco-mate smell nice?
The liquid in the bottle is a sensory delight. I practically forced anyone who stepped into our house to take a whiff. Throughout the week, I used eco-mate for clothes that weren't overly soiled but needed a freshening up. It did the trick, leaving them with a beautiful, light fragrance. My better half even commented that it smelt of how Ecover used to smell in the good old days.
How well does eco-mate laundry liquid clean?
The ultimate laundry test for any detergent in our household is the school uniform challenge. Not to be outdone, our ten-year-old contributed grass-stained jogging bottoms, with the stains stubbornly ingrained into the fabric.
Sadly, as you can see below, eco-mate didn't quite rise to the occasion.
Then came the infamous white wash. As expected, our six-year-old managed to create a lasagne sauce masterpiece on her white school polo shirt.
Unfortunately, eco-mate couldn't entirely eliminate all the sauce stains. I contemplated giving it a second go, but by then, I had exhausted the bottle.
However, during one lunchtime, I accidentally squirted tomato juice on my plain white t-shirt, and eco-mate managed to fully remove that stain. Phew!
How much does eco-mate cost per wash?
Now, let's get down to the numbers. I purchased a single bottle for £4.80, plus £4.50 for postage, and inexplicably, £1.47 in taxes—quite surprising for a UK company. Nevertheless, I did receive a 10% discount as a new customer, bringing the total to £8.82. I managed to get 7 washes out of the bottle, doubling up the amount for two particularly dirty loads. So, if your children are relatively clean, it'll cost you about 98p per wash for a one-off purchase.
Eco-mate offers bundle and subscription options that seem to save you a pound per month, based on my calculations. However, those mysterious taxes keep popping up at checkout, which raises some eyebrows. If anyone from Eco-Mate could shed light on this, I'm all ears!
I initially thought I had found "the one" in eco-mate. I was ready to subscribe and hand over all my laundry-related funds to them. This brand gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings, except for the perplexing extra taxes at checkout—what's the deal with that? The shop doesn't mention VAT being included or excluded, so not sure what's going on. Okay, I promise to stop harping on about those taxes!
However, regrettably, despite my affection for eco-mate, our family is simply too dirty for it. It didn't quite meet the challenge of our little muck monsters. Will I use it again? Yes, but only on clothes that aren't that dirty to begin with.
Join me next week in eco/ethical laundryland, when I'll be trying out Miniml laundry liquid from our local refill shop.