Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Love of Laundry: First Street Brand Vs Competitor Comparison


I love the smell of Laundry. Its fresh, clean and makes me feel happy. Its the one chore I don't mind doing. Maybe its because the machines do most of the work. I love seeing and smelling a fresh load of laundry. I like folding it too. Seeing colorful piles of neatly stacked clean laundry makes me happy!

My husband and I many times have had the discussion of store brand versus name brand when it comes to products of all sorts. Just the other day we had the Laundry Soap discussion. I said its nice to be able to have a light scent in the laundry. He said no it needs to smell like laundry soap to be clean. My reply was but it might not even be clean, just have a scent on it. I told him its like using perfume instead of taking a shower lol. We both laughed and I bought the soap I wanted.




To prove a point even further about the smell of laundry I went to Smart & Final to buy two types of laundry soaps and fabric softeners to see what my family would say. I purchased the store brand First Street and Gain laundry soap along with Bounce fabric softeners. I like to save money on items like laundry soap that are used often and I will need a lot of. Having a toddler boy he is always getting into something and using his shirt as a napkin.




Once I got home I made a plan to wash two blankets that are identical but each in separate soaps and softeners. I thought if my husband did not know which one was washed in what brand he would finally be able to know what I mean about name brand soaps.





The first load of laundry I washed was blue blanket #1. I used the First Street brand of liquid soap. I liked the scent of the soap. It smelled light and like clean rather than some that are flowery or over powering. It would be fun if the soap was orange like the bottle. Like how Gain has green soap and a bottle.  It made decent suds but as long as it gets clean I will be happy. For the price I am hoping the First Street will be better.



Next I washed the blue blanket #2 in the Gain liquid Laundry soap. I loved that the soap was green but it did smell pretty strong and I did not like that. There was a weird sweet to it. The suds were great, lots of bubbles. I thought maybe this might clean the blanket better since it was name brand but I was open to seeing the results of the comparison.



Now that I was washing the other blanket I put the 1st blanket in the dryer with the First Street Fabric Softeners. I like the scent of them. Its fresh just like it says Fresh Scent. I let my son help me load the dryer. He likes to be helpful. He will gather laundry and help me make piles according to color. I am lucky that he likes to clean and help me. He loves to use the trash can, putting things in the sink is a fun one for him too.




I bribed the dog with treats to guard the results of our secret comparison test while we went back inside to watch the Muppets movie with my son while we waited on the laundry to be done.


Next I took blanket #2 from the washer to put in the dryer with the Bounce fabric softener sheets. I smelled the blanket hoping it would not be as strong as the soap but it still sort of was. Bounce is definitely a strong scented sheet. They are useful to put at the bottom of a laundry basket.




The blanket test would be for scent and softness but I knew I needed to test stains too. My sons clothing is perfect for it. He is always a mess. I did a wash with each of the brands. The First Street got out chocolate and grape juice from my sons dark color clothing without fading them. I was great, looked clean and smelled clean. The Gain did get out stains from a light color pair of shorts but still had a strong scent to it. I prefer a clean smell rather than a distinct smell of a specific brand of soap. My husband and I laugh about Tide and our neighbors. I yell to him quick close the windows the "Tide" is coming in, we oddly find it funny lol. Any time they do laundry we have to shut our windows and the garage door. The scent of Tide coming from their garage is so overpowering its terrible.






Now that both blankets are done we started the Comparison test. We smelled them, touched them and even wrapped ourselves in them, for the full effect of a blanket of course. I thought the First Street ones smelled much nicer, more subtle and clean feeling. The Gain and Bounce ones seemed too over powering of a scent. The Bounce was softer but had a heavier feeling to the fabric like it stayed in the blanket more than the First Street ones. My son liked the Gain Bounce ones, which surprised me since he normally does not like things that smell flowery. I think it was the softness that won him over (Although at 2 he is not quiet a laundry expert like me lol). *Note: My son and I got a little itchy from the Gain soap after a few days of using them. We both have sensitive skin so I think it was just too much for us. It did go away once we stopped using the soap.



The real test was the secret comparison with my husband. He did not know which one was which like I did. I had him smell them and feel them. He told me he liked the First blanket I gave him better since it smelled fresh like it was clean rather than the Second blanket that just smelled like laundry soap. He picked the First Street one! I was so excited to tell him that I was indeed right that store brands can often be better than name brand. He was surprised and assumed the over powering one was the store brand.

After the comparison it looks like we will be making the switch to Smart & Final First Street and saving lots of money too.
 
Smart & Final is having a special promotion for their customers:

1. Visit any Smart & Final store from April 18 to May 15, 2012
2. Purchase any two First Street products and a unique code will print on your receipt
3. Enter your code here for your chance to WIN!


What can you WIN?

(1) One-year supply of First Street Pasta (based on a family of four)
(10) $100 Smart & Final SmartCash Card
(10) First Street Bag full of your favorite groceries (value over $50) plus a $50 Smart & Final Gift Card


You can read my Google+ Story about my shopping trip to Smart & Final for Laundry care products.



*This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.
All opinions expressed in this shop are my own and your experience may vary. #Cbias #CompareandSwap
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