Xtra Detergent Review - Good For The Price But Scent Doesn't Last
Melissa has provided a Xtra detergent review, of the Tropical Passion Scent and Mountain Fresh Scent.
Okay, I am going to admit I am a product "switcher" when it comes to laundry, especially since I have lost my job. A year or so ago I would have told you I prefer Tide and Gain to all other detergents, but that is not the case anymore.
I buy what I can afford that performs well. But, sometimes I am skeptical and have avoided some brands thinking they won't be worth carrying home. And, honestly Xtra detergent was one of those brands.
So, about a month ago I was at the grocery store, and I needed some detergent, but everything was so high priced. I thought, "I am going to wait and hit the dollar store on the way home." Then I turned the corner to an end-cap and there was Xtra. The store had it on sale, two 75 ounce bottles for five dollars and they were offering a 1.00 dollar off coupon so that made it actually two for three dollars. I stopped for a minute and thought "I will give it a try, and worse case scenario I will use it only in towels and sheets." So I picked up 2 bottles, one was Tropical Passion and the other was a Mountain Fresh scent.
One of the first things I noticed was that Xtra detergent is made by the Arm and Hammer folks (Church & Dwight). That made me feel a little bit better.
I got the detergent home and decided to use it. I loaded my washer, and added the water, detergent and fabric softener.
I noticed there weren't many suds. That usually tells me the detergent is weak and not going to work well. I was thinking I wasted my money at that point. But, I let them finish washing. Much too my surprise, when I took the laundry out and examined it and put them in the dryer they looked clean and smelled clean.
I was very happy. I can't say it left any fragrance when they were dry. The clothes had no scent at all coming out of the dryer. I was a little disappointed then. However, for a buck fifty a bottle it will be okay and I will spritz on a little perfume if I want scent.
While, I might not recommend Xtra for heavily soiled clothes full of grease and so on, but I think for general laundry this detergent is a hidden little gem. It performs fairly well, it doesn't seem to fade your clothes and I had no allergies to it. I would say it would do the trick. It does seem a little thin and watery, and doesn't suds well but I don't think that affects the performance that much.
I say give it a try for yourself. It is not expensive and costs a whole lot less than Tide.
***Update: A couple of people have shared their comments with me about the fact that the scent of this detergent does not last, so I thought I would share them with you here.
First, an SR101 reader stated:
I don't like too much detergent perfume anyway. Personally, I like a laundry soap that comes out with no smell. Between soap, softener, dryer sheets, and all the things like shampoo, etc. we end up with way too many scents on us.
Further, another reader, Jill, shared this experience with the detergent. Jill said:
I had an allergic reaction to this detergent. I had terrible itching allergy to this detergent, and had to see a doctor. That seems like its too much perfume to me!
End update ***
In addition, you can share your other laundry detergent reviews here, telling me which detergent you find to be the best. I am especially interested in low cost detergent reviews, since I know money is very tight in this economy right now for many of us.
I bought Xtra liquid laundry detergent to try because it was much cheaper than my regular brand and I needed something to fit my budget this week. The local store I shop at had it on sale for $2 a bottle, otherwise it is usually $3.19 for the 68oz bottle.
The Tropical Passion scent smells good but the scent did not stay on the clothes after washing and drying, just like another reviewer mentioned.
I noticed when I was pouring the liquid in the measuring cup that it looked like mostly water. It did not have the creamy thicker look like my usual brand.
I did not have any stains on my clothes so I don't know how this detergent works for that but my guess is not very well.
I think this product is mostly water and not a good cleaner. I would not recommend it and I would not buy it again.
Thanks Michelle for your Xtra laundry soap review.
I purchased your product because of the price. Never again.
You need to know it ruined a new pair of slacks, husband shirt, summer tee shirt & 4 kitchen towels! All have large white spots on them!
There is no mention of Clorox on the bottle. I will tell others to be aware! I feel I should be reimbursed for this damage, especially for the brand new ladies slacks!
Joan, I am sorry you had this bad experience with Xtra detergent. I know it is never a good feeling to ruin perfectly good clothing.
I would like you to know, however, that I am not in any was associated with the manufacturers but run an independent website which collects reviews of laundry detergents. Therefore, you should definitely call the customer service number on the back of the bottle of detergent and share this problem you've experienced with the real manufacturers. They should know about this.
Adequate For Basic Laundry Needs, But May Fade Clothes
(Vinton, IA, USA)
As with many other reviewers, cost is what primarily drove me to try Xtra. I've found that, although it is suitable for cleaning my everyday work clothes when they are lightly soiled from general wear, it does not work well for stains or heavier-soiled clothing. In those cases I not only had to use more Xtra, I also had to add some Clorox 2, which pretty much eliminated the cost advantage.
Although I have tried both the Calypso Fresh and Tropical Passion scents, I cannot fairly comment on how good the "after" scent is because I always use liquid fabric softener (a necessity because I air-dry all of my laundry), which I've noticed tends to overpower or replace any lingering detergent scent on my laundry regardless of what type of detergent I use.
Ultimately though, I had to stop using Xtra after it started making my laundry fade. I switched to Tide Coldwater, and haven't turned back since.
So, if you do decide to use Xtra, make sure you keep an eye on your laundry to make sure it doesn't start to fade. Also, you might want to keep a jug of Clorox 2 or similar on hand for more heavily-soiled laundry that the Xtra can't handle by itself.
Xtra Detergent Good Value Up Front But Only With Oxiclean Version Worth It
Oxiclean XTRA - the only value here
Jared shared his review of Xtra detergent, including sharing a review of a version of this laundry soap I didn't realize that the company had before -- one with Oxiclean in it.
I used to buy XTRA all of the time when I was on my own as a bachelor. My dad used XTRA as well and I figured it was a pretty good value for the money.
Well, now that I'm married and I've wisened up a bit as the "laundry guy" of the house, I've started trying the more expensive brands - Era, Gain, Cheer. I've bought XTRA a few times in between then when it is on sale.
I have generally found XTRA to be a good value up front, but I'm reminded every time that my clothes don't smell nearly as nice compared to when I'm using Gain or Cheer.
The detergent is also more watery. And while you don't need much detergent for basic loads, soiled loads require more cleaning power. With XTRA, you are required to use a cap full or more, which results in less of a value. This takes the number of loads from 50 down to about 30. (This is how they make their money.)
The only XTRA that I have been consistently impressed with (and haven't seen for awhile) is the OXI Clean XTRA. It comes in a blue bottle with a yellow cap. It smells great and is a very good detergent.
Forget the Scent-sations, the smell doesn't last outside of the bottle. And the normal XTRA is just flowery water.
If you are going to go with a budget detergent, Era is the best value on the market! Period! If you can't get Era, then All, Sun, Purex, and this Oxy XTRA are great values as well.
I had never heard of Xtra with Oxiclean in it before, but it makes sense, since this detergent is made by Church & Dwight, the same company which makes Oxiclean and Arm & Hammer detergent.
Looking on Xtra's website though, I don't see this detergent listed. I don't know if that is because they've phased it out, or it is so new they haven't added it yet to the list. Since you say you can't find it anymore I am guessing they've phased it out. That's too bad, but the Arm & Hammer brand still has Oxiclean added to several versions of their detergent, and they are also pretty low cost. You can read reviews of Arm & Hammer detergent plus Oxiclean here.
***Update: I believe they still make it, and that the company's website is just not very up to date. An SR101 reader wrote in with their quick thoughts of this particular version:
The only place I find Xtra with Oxiclean is at the Dollar General store. Walmart doesn't carry it.
I do agree that it is way better than the other Xtra varieties. I use it quite a bit. Era with oxi is my favorite but this gets the job done too!
Xtra Detergent: Recommended For Limited Purposes Because It's Cheap
Dave has shared how he uses this detergent in his home, and what he does and does not use it on.
Not surprisingly, in this price range, one can't expect much. That being said, this detergent definitely has its uses.
I'm the sole caretaker of an elderly parent, and as such my washing machine is seldom idle. My meager income demands that I spend as little as possible whenever possible, and that makes Xtra a good choice for someone in my position...that is if you understand the limitations of the product.
First, never use this detergent on anything particularly important or delicate. It will, as some other reviewers have mentioned, cause discoloration if you breathe the wrong way, or the barometric pressure changes.
It's also woefully inadequate when it comes to heavily soiled items, like my grease stained post auto repair garments. For that sort of thing, stick with Tide, Wisk or Target's "Up and Up" brand. "Up and Up" is as effective as Tide at half the price (Consumer's Reports).
I recommend Xtra (but only if your budget demands it) used in combination with household bleach for cleaning towels, sheets, blankets and pillows. Unfortunately, its not good for much else.
Thanks Dave for giving us these tips on how you use this detergent.
I've been meaning to try Up & Up myself since I read that Consumer's Report article. I'll have to get it on my list of detergents to try soon, thanks for the reminder!
I have used the Tropical Island scented detergent on my clothes in the past and it seemed to work well. I like using hot water with this but I used warm water to soak some dingy clothes and it really works. I don't find that the Spring Sunshine scented one is thin at all rather it is kind of thick.
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