The Good: Easy to use, Good scent, Delivers on claims
The Bad: Expensive, Somewhat pointless.
The Basics: A good, but somewhat expensive and unnecessary, product, Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets offer a convenient alternative to messy or heavy laundry detergent options.
It might be obvious from the fact that I have not written any reviews of laundry detergents that doing laundry is not my favorite activity in the world. Still, I try to come to each experience with a sense of contained eagerness and when it comes to laundry, I do occasionally give in to the temptation to find an easier way to do things. On my last cross-country trip, that took the form of using some Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets. This is a product that has the intent of making life easier and I suppose, it does that, but at a price, which makes it less of a value than the Purex Complete 3-in-1 Spring Oasis Laundry Sheets (reviewed here!).
Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets are essentially designed to make washing and drying laundry in washing and drying machines even easier by providing pre-measured amounts of detergent and a dryer sheet all in one. This is like the Cascade 2-in-1 Action Pacs in that it takes a task that is not terribly complicated to begin with (in that case measuring out dishwashing powder or liquid) and seeks to make it even easier. While laundry detergents can be annoyingly messy in their heavy bottles, I've never had a real problem with measuring out laundry detergent and doing laundry. The Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets are probably ideal for those who have had difficulty. As such, they are ideal for families where there are children learning to do laundry, young people in cramped apartments or elderly people for whom lifting a bottle of laundry detergent is now difficult.
The principle behind this product is very simple: Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets are put in a washing machine where the detergent is washed out of them and cleans clothes and then one transfers the laundry sheet to the dryer where it helps prevent static cling! The Fresh Scent leaves clothes smelling clean and slightly like detergent.
The Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets come in a pack of twenty sheets in a plastic box with a flip-top dispenser opening. Unlatching the hinged plastic top gives the user access to the laundry sheets. Purex Complete laundry sheets are approximately six inches long, four inches wide and about an eighth of an inch thick. They are made of a white fibrous material reminiscent of a dryer sheet or air filter for a furnace. The sheets have a green strip at the top and for the five inches below that strip, the laundry sheet is actually blue. This is because it is coated with a concentrated version of Purex laundry detergent.
The Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets come out of the box feeling remarkably clean; they do not leave detergent on fingers, clothes or other surfaces. This is not like a gel or liquid-soaked cloth that might transfer the detergent to other surfaces easily. Instead, one places a sheet in with a load of wash and when the water begins to flow, the detergent is washed out of the cloth.
Proper usage of the laundry sheet dictates that with toploading washers, one start the water, then drop the laundry sheet in, then add clothes and this is a good idea. Mixed in with clothes dry, this can leave a residue on clothes that then gets cooked into the clothes during the drying of the load. However, used properly, the Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets do exactly what they claim and they wash out the detergent into the water and clothes get clean. Clothes are then transferred to a clothes dryer, with the laundry sheet in them and the laundry sheet prevents static cling and it adds a fresh scent to the load. In my experience, it lives up to both promises.
Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets may also be used in the high efficiency washers, but in those the sheets are added with the laundry before the cycle starts. I recommend placing the sheet near the jets which fill the washer with water to get the most out of the laundry sheets.
After some objective testing, it is hard not to like these. The reason for that is as simple as the product itself; these do exactly what they claim they will. First, the laundry comes out clean when it is washed using the Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets. Soiled clothes, like a t-shirt I put through the wash that had chocolate ice cream on it (I kid not, it's cliche, but it happens!) came out spotless. As well, these laundry sheets deodorize - though those who want clothes left with no residual scent whatsoever will find this product is not ideal. There are a few different scents and even the Fresh Scent leaves clothes smelling fresh by leaving them with a slight detergent smell, much like original Purex liquid laundry detergent.
Finally, the sheets live up to their claim of preventing static cling from dryers. We put a blanket and socks through a cycle with only one sheet. The blanket went into the wash smelling of the dog at the place we were staying. The blanket had been unpleasant to smell and coming out of the wash, it smelled clean and the white socks looked clean. Coming out of the dryer, the blanket smelled wonderful (like fresh air and detergent) and the socks did not stick to the blanket at all from static cling.
In other words, these do exactly what they promise to do.
The problem, in addition to being hardly necessary, is that Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets are not reusable. Because the detergent washes out and the deodorizing action is activated by the heat of the dryer, these are truly only good for one load each. That makes this a very expensive product. Moreover, the environmental impact of these sheets is hardly known yet and frankly, I doubt is good. It was when I considered that that I realized that my final recommendation would be to commend this product and provisionally recommend it.
The provision is simple; this product should be used by those who need it, not by everyone. Until Purex and the Dial Corporation (who own Purex) make an obviously recyclable or biodegradable product, this is utterly unnecessary and leaves an irresponsible environmental footprint for a product (laundry detergent) that otherwise does not have to be as bad for the environment, at least the landfills. Outside the plastic container they come in being a difficult-to-recycle #5 recyclable plastic, these laundry sheets are generally wasteful.
For other laundry-related reviews, please visit my review of the Whirlpool WGD5200 Gas Dryer by clicking here or the Frigidaire GLER331A Electric Dryer, reviewed here!
For other home and garden product reviews, please click here to visit my index page!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.