Just The Basics Laundry Detergent: Living Dye-Free

Just The Basics 2x Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent – Free of Perfumes and Dyes – in the 100-Ounce Bottle

005See it at CVS

(4.5/5)

Pros: Contains no dyes or perfumes.  Works well.  Great sale price.  Made in the USA.

Cons: CVS house brand products may pose an availability issue.

Clean, fresh-smelling clothes will always prevail when using dye and perfume-free detergents.
Clean, fresh-smelling clothes will always prevail when using dye and perfume-free detergents.

I enjoy a clean residential environment – but the pathway to such a laudable goal puts a serious crimp in my dedicated fun time.  For aesthetic reasons, I would prefer to wash windows than either dishes or floors – though “none of the above” would more often get my vote.  Aside from having comprehensive laundry facilities on-site, I have amassed sufficient clothing, sheets and towels to provide for those extended periods of washday procrastination.

Suds ‘n’ Duds

Clean jeans are hard to find, since they are the wearable paper towel!
Clean jeans are hard to find, since they are the wearable paper towel!

When the mood arises (or unexpected visitors are due), I can go on a cleaning jag that’ll put things right in a hurry.  Since laundry doesn’t fit this “quick fix” profile, the eventual lack of clean socks will work wonders upon my motivation toward laundrification.

I, Allergen

I’ve become so sensitive to a strong fragrance that a simple stroll down the laundry aisle will have me in respiratory discomfort.  Add this plus dye to my clothing in the laundering process and my allergies become a totally tactile experience.  During a visit to my local CVS Pharmacy, I was compelled to purchase Just The Basics dye and fragrance-free Laundry Detergent.  Several brands of “free and clear” laundry products exist, but none are priced on-sale at less than a dollar per quart.

Just The Facts

Low-sudsing HE detergents rinse thoroughly and reduce wash times.
Low-sudsing HE detergents rinse thoroughly and reduce wash times.

Just The Basics 2x Concentrated Laundry Detergent is the generic house brand sold at CVS.  As described, it is absent of irritants such as artificial dyes and fragrances.  None of the problematic petrochemicals are listed – rather, the appearance of “Anionic and/or Nonionic Surfactants” act to lower the surface tension of wash water to facilitate the removal of foreign substances from clothing.  Containing biodegradable cleaning agents and no phosphorous makes for a septic-friendly detergent whose hypoallergenic properties double-down on happy.

Some towels become unbearably clean using Just The Basics.
Some towels become unbearably clean using Just The Basics.

Just The Basics is recommended for all high-efficiency machines.  The 100-ounce bottle supplies enough product to wash 64 loads – as per the directions provided.  An internet search poses the question as to which manufacturer provides the product to CVS, but furnishes no definitive answer to same.

The retail price for the 100-ounce bottle is $4.99 (US).  On-sale for $2.99 at regular intervals, the (reduced) price-per-wash load is approximately 4.6 cents.  The Swanson Healthy Home hypoallergenic laundry detergent – which uses plant-based surfactants – costs nearly 12 cents per load.  Both detergents have compatible claims, do not irritate the skin or respiratory system and clean clothes to an equal degree.

In The Field

Even the filthiest sock bottoms come clean with a standard wash and Just The Basics.
Even the filthiest sock bottoms come clean with a standard wash and Just The Basics.

Just The Basics works well in my front-loading Samsung washer – its low-suds claim is consistent with the HE labeling.  Due to the comfort of my home’s in-floor radiant heat, I go about the house in stocking feet throughout the winter.  As expected, this custom creates a challenge for any detergent when it comes to the discoloration that occurs from even the cleanest floors.  After a run through the wash with either detergent, my white crew socks return to like-new condition when laundered on the standard wash cycle.

Cleaning Up

When the sales run, I usually stock-up – who knows when CVS will wise-up and price their product accordingly.  When compared to the name brands, Just The Basics does the same job at one-third the price.

The CVS policy is one of “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back”.  In my experience, they have always maintained a courteous and hassle-free return policy in this regard.

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Distributed by:
CVS Pharmacy, Inc.
One CVS Drive
Woonsocket, RI  02895
1-800-shop-CVS

Made in the USA

All images generated by the author.

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