Thursday, February 16, 2012

White Brite - Product Review

Before I begin, let me state that I have not been contacted about reviewing this product nor am I being paid in any way or form for this review. It is simply a Pinterest pin that I had marked to try out and am passing along a review to help you decide if it will work for you or not.

I stumbled across a Pinterest pin in which a blogger raved about White Brite by Summit Brands. This product is a laundry additive to help, well, whiten and brighten. I thought if it did half of what she said, then it would be worth buying to save me time (from making my own).

The product packaging promises to make "your dingy whites bright!" and "removes yellowing & rust stains from white laundry." As a homeschooling mom grading this product, I would have to give White Brite a C- with the potential to go higher.

It should be noted that I have not tried this product on colors to "brighten". My express purpose in trying it out is strictly from a whitening standpoint.

CON: White Brite is not widely available. I grew frustrated trying to find it in grocery and mass merchandising/drug stores and thought I would have to order it through Amazon. I decided to try the local Wal-mart (which I rarely go to) and it was there.

(BTW, if you are interested in trying this product, click on the hyperlinked name above the photo and you will be taken to their website. The last time I was there I found a $1 off printable coupon.)

PRO: The pricing is a plus. It is on par with--if not better than--other laundry whitening products. One single packet of RIT (which is a small to medium load in your washer) cost $1.69 at my walmart (only sold in liquid) and I would need two packets of that for one load. The 1lb 14oz. bottle of White Brite was $3.99 (pre-coupon). It does not state how many loads that bottle will do, but after doing a load, I would say between 10 and 15 loads if you use the standard 1/2 cup dosage.

CON: One moment of confusion. On the package label (back) it says, "Use with your regular non-bleach alternative or oxi detergent." If I'm using another one of those, why do I need to use this product as well or vice versa? I'm also not sure if that means it will only be 100% effective if you do use it in addition to using other additives.

CON: Dosage does not consider load-size. Unlike RIT which tells you how much product to use depending on your load size, this bottle has a generic 1/2 cup usage per load. I ended up using 1 cup for a super-sized load of whites with stains. PRO: It does tell you that if you have stubborn stains, to "increase dosage and/or contact time."

The directions recommend that you fill the washer/add White Brite. Then add clothes and let them sit for five minutes (before the machine cycle starts). After that you can add your detergent and any other additives. I let the clothes soak for ten minutes (which would be recommended for stubborn stains). I added a mix of newer whites, older whites, stain-free and stained whites.

PRO: Easy to use. The bottle is fairly easy to grip and pour from. Being in powder form, you can easily pour and measure it out.

CON: Bad Smell. (It should be noted, my clothes did not smell, but the contents did). It was strong and pungent. I can't describe the exact smell, but it had a hint of the expel stuff we use to keep critters from our garden mixed with chemical soaps. Not as strong as the expel stuff, but strong enough that I could still "smell" it after an hour. I have to admit that at this point I almost panicked and quit the experiment because I was concerned about what I was adding to our clothes--items that would touch our bodies. Braved through it, opting to do a second rinse cycle for this one time.

And the results...

White Brite performed best on newer, unstained items that have not had a chance to get very dingy. I did notice a brighter white on those items. If most of your whites are new or already pretty white and bright, White Brite might help you keep them that way.

White Brite did poorly on whitening older items and dingier items. I did notice a shade of whitening, but not enough to make a difference to my pocketbook or sense of smell. Now, it could be that with repeated uses it makes them whiter (kind of like OTC tooth whiteners do with teeth, one application doesn't do it). I just don't think I can bear the scent to do it each time I toss a load of whites to find out. It also did not remove the stains, even with extended "contact time" as recommended. In some cases, stains were not as bright but still there and noticeable.

My final opinion is that while the idea is great, I will stick with my standard bleach or homemade whitening additives. They do the same job this product does for a fraction of the cost and without the offensive smell.

That said, if you cannot make your own or use bleach White Brite might be an alternative to consider. It says it is safer than bleach and you can use it on a lot of materials and cycles (delicates, whites, colors, etc.).

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