First off, let me say that we have used Downy in my family for as long as I can remember, so when I heard that Downy was making a product similar to Purex Crystals, I was happy (except for the fact that Unstoppable is misspelled, but that is another post altogether)! I liked the downy fragrance and it always worked well for me.
I do not consider myself any sort of “softener snob”, it really is not that hard to please me. It should have a fragrance that is not overbearing, but does last long enough to put the clothes on. My clothes should not feel like they have been pulled off the line, all stiff, like they have been ironed with starch, even though they were pulled off the line. They should be soft and easy to fold. Here is the kicker, I do not have a dryer (yes, I do live in MN). I am either crazy, poor, or too green for my own good, but I still don’t have a dryer. So I have not used anything but Purex Crystals for quite some time.
I noted that in the store Downy Unstopables was $6.99, whereas Purex was $3.69 for the same amount, big negative for me. Even with stacking coupons, I could not find the Downy as inexpensive as the Purex, though if the Downy had performed far and away better, it may have been worth the higher price. I looked around for a while, then found a free sample offer and I signed up for it. I ALWAYS sign up for free samples, especially when such a high price is involved. I got the sample about 3 weeks later and prepared to try it right away. The package said to use the entire sample, my gut reaction was to not listen to the package and to split the sample in half. I decided that I wanted to give it a legitimate try, to be able to honestly tell people about it, so I followed the directions. The sample also said to shake it up before putting it right in with the clothes (not where softener usually goes, or even where I put Purex). I did not really like that idea, but then again, old school softeners went right on the clothes, so this should be fine, right? Against my better judgement, I shook up the little pellets and poured the whole package on my clothes. It did not immediately strike me as overpowering, so I figured everything was fine and I was going to have wonderful smelling laundry in 55 minutes.
I waited until the cycle was complete, and opened the washer to remove the clothing. I was accosted by the most cloying fragrance you can imagine. It was like being dunked in a huge Downy bottle then have the cap screwed on behind you. I could not get away from it. I thought to myself, self, at least you don’t have a dryer to bake this awful stuff on your clothes. I took them outside where they could air out while they were drying off. I wish that had worked. I went out to get them off the line and had a headache by the time all of them were off and in the basket. By now, I was a little angry with myself for not putting in only half of the package. Then I thought to myself that I would leave it in the basket for a week, the package said it would last for a full week. Now, I also learned that I have to quit talking to myself, or at least quit ignoring myself, because after a week, we were running short of clothes and those in the basket still stunk to high Heaven.
I am really not sure what in the world they use to keep that fragrance on the clothes, but I will tell you I left those clothes for another week, I am a bit stubborn, it can’t be helped, I’ll blame genetics. At the end of two weeks, I honestly could not tell that I had not just pulled them off the line. I tried to wear one of the shirts and had an awful headache within 20 minutes. I decided to wash a few of the clothes yesterday, I picked 8 pieces of Zach’s size 24 month cloths out of the basket (yes, that is important) and put them in a full load of other clothes with no softener, just detergent. I did just as I did before, wash, hang, remove, and fold. Interestingly, all of the clothes smelled of Downy, even though I had only put in those 8 pieces of Zach’s little clothing. It was not overpowering in the slightest, and much more of what I had expected.
1. When Downy says unstoppable, believe them.
2. I would use maybe a fourth of the recommended amount.
3. If you are a person that does not mind A LOT of fragrance, this product is definitely for you.
4. If you use the recommended amount, this product is absolutely not a value, however, if you only use a fourth, it would be an even better value than Purex (especially with the current coupons).
I am not saying that I will ever buy it, it seems a bit too touchy for my taste and with my disability issues, doing laundry over and over to get just the right amount of fragrance is not something that I relish, nor am I really able to do. However, I can’t really give this product a negative either, because it does do exactly what it says, it has an unstoppable fragrance, and the clothing is very soft. I don’t usually get too bent out of shape over fragrance, I don’t have much trouble walking through the make-up section of any store, so I was not expecting it to bother me, I guess I never expected a fragrance that would last a long time, would necessarily have to start out so strong. Overall rating: Average.