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Woolite Extra Dark Care Laundry Detergent - About.com Laundry Product Review

Not Just For Delicates Anymore

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Woolite Extra Dark Care Laundry Detergent - About.com Laundry Product Review

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I remember Woolite as the "special" detergent from my childhood that Mother used to hand wash sweaters and her special unmentionables. I can still remember the delicate smell of the detergent and the wet wool. Woolite has come a long way since then and now comes in several formulas for every type of fabric.

Woolite Extra Dark Care

We all want our clothes to look their best and last as long as possible. One of the top questions in laundry is how to keep colors from fading - especially dark colors. Woolite offers Extra Dark Care detergent as an answer to keeping those blacks looking black. It promotes itself as "specially formulated to effectively clean and care for your dark clothes. It won't cause fading so it keeps dark color clothes looking and feeling like new."

Woolite Extra Dark Care is safe to use in both standard washers and high-efficiency (he) machines. It can be used in any water temperature and on any washable fabric.

A full listing of product ingredients is available on the Reckitt Benckiser website. Woolite Extra Dark Care ingredients and their purpose with the product:

  • Water - Diluent
  • Alkylbenzene Sulfonic Acid - Anionic Surfactant
  • C12-16 Alcohols Ethoxylated 7EO - Nonionic Surfactant
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate - Anionic Surfactant
  • Sodium Hydroxide - pH Adjuster
  • Coconut Acid
  • Triethanolamine - pH Adjuster
  • Sodium Chloride - Filler
  • Fragrance
  • Proprietary Inert Filler
  • Ethenylpridine-N-Oxide Homopolymer
  • BHT - Preservative
  • Benzisothiazolinone - Preservative
  • Methylisothiazolinone - Preservative
  • CI 61585 - Colorant

    Woolite Extra Dark Care is available in 50 ounce, 100 ounce and 133 ounce bottles at grocery stores, mass merchandisers and online retailers. The cost per load is around 40 to 50 cents.

  • The World of Woolite

    Photo: pricegrabber.com

    Woolite is manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser, a global consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, United Kingdom. It is one the world's largest producer of household cleaning products and a major producer of consumer healthcare and personal products. North American brands include Dettol (the world's largest-selling antiseptic), Air Wick, Easy Off, Lysol, Calgon, Clearasil, Mucinex, Old English and Woolite. The corporation has operations in more than 60 countries and its products are sold in over 180 countries.

    The company rose from humble beginnings in the United Kingdom and Germany in the 1800s. Today's conglomerate was formed by a merger between Britain's Reckitt & Colman and the Dutch company Benckiser NV in December 1999. Reckitt Benckiser has implemented an environmental initiative called Carbon 20 since November 2007. It aims to cut the total carbon footprint of company products – from creation to disposal – by 20% by 2020 by reducing packaging and waste, using greener production practices and planting trees.

    The Woolite brand was acquired by Reckitt Benckiser from Boyle-Midway in 1990. Woolite has been a leader in fabric care since the 1960s. The product is now available in the United States in four formulas: Woolite Complete, Woolite Extra Color Care, Woolite Extra Dark Care and Extra Delicates Care.

    I found it interesting that when comparing the ingredient listing for Woolite Complete and Woolite Extra Dark Care that there were very few differences. And, Woolite Complete is several dollars cheaper than Extra Dark Care.

    Laundry Guide Recommendation

    As I mentioned, I remember Woolite from my childhood. At that time, it was used only for hand washing. Now, Woolite recommends that you use it in your washer for all types of clothing. For best results, they suggest that you use the lowest water temperature that will clean your clothes and use the least amount of agitation possible (gentle cycle) to clean the clothes.

    All of these tips help prevent washing related damage that occurs due to repeated chemical exposure, temperature related or mechanical wear on your clothes during the wash and makes your clothes look older and worn. Even with Woolite, you should follow recommendations for preventing fading in dark clothes.

    Woolite is a gentle laundry detergent without more powerful cleaning ingredients. It is not formulated to remove heavy stains like set-in mud, grass stains or grease. It can handle normal body soil on clothes worn in an office or light-use setting.

    I found Woolite to be a very good laundry detergent for lightly soiled and delicate clothing like handknits, washable silks and washable wool blends. I would not recommend it as the lead detergent for an active family.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

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