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I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy fairly large jugs of laundry detergent, which end up taking a lot of precious space in a fairly tight laundry room. And they’re pretty unwieldy at times. So, when the PR folks who rep S2O Laundry Detergent Sheets asked if I’d like to try the product, I thought I’d give it a go. 

S2O Sheets

I consider my laundry needs to be uncomplicated, but I am a stickler for clean, fresh laundry. However, I’m not a snob about it; I don’t need to use only Brand A laundry detergent, for instance. Truthfully, I go for a low (not the lowest, mind you) price and an appealing fragrance. And, naturally, it should work well.

So, in putting S2O to the test, I didn’t want to simply run a regular load of laundry, instead I wanted a side-by-side comparison. To do that I needed two identical pieces that were soiled the same. That way, I could see if S2O cleaned better or worse than my liquid detergent.

First, I sacrificed a dog towel. It was already grungy from cleaning damp dog paws, and all I had to do was get it even nastier. I decided to channel my inner Jackson Pollock, and streak it with mustard, pasta sauce and red wine.

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Luke seemed to enjoy the pasta sauce best.

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Then I let the towel bask in the sun for an afternoon to get the stains nice and set.

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As you can see, the stains faded quite a bit when they dried.

Before washing the towel, I marked each side with a permanent marker, then cut it down the middle.

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That’s one horrifically dirty towel.

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And so is this one, which will be washed in regular liquid laundry detergent (Sun Triple Clean).

I should mention that I didn’t expect the towels to come out perfectly clean. But this would give me a good idea of how well the S2O laundry sheets worked compared to my detergent. I didn’t pretreat the stains, nor did I use bleach.

For the next sample, I used two white cotton hand towels – same brand – with a little smeared makeup. In this case, a bit of foundation and black mascara. Neither of which were waterproof. And both towels were laundered while the stains were still fresh.

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This is the towel that was going to be washed with S2O.

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And, this time, I pretreated by rubbing the makeup with the saturated S2O sheet, as directed on the label.

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This towel was going to be washed with a liquid detergent. I went ahead and “pretreated” the stains with a little bit of the detergent before laundering.

So, how did S2O fare next to traditional liquid laundry detergent? My review follows.

S2O Laundry Detergent Sheets Plus Stain Remover Booster, Fresh Scent, $19.99 for 100 sheets. Available online, Bed Bath & Beyond and most drugstores.

First look: The sheets come in a large plastic tub like the ones that hold baby wipes.

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The label suggests using one sheet for small to medium loads, and two sheets for large loads. It also mentions that S2O can be used along with conventional detergents or soaps to enhance their cleaning performance. But, really, what’s the point in that?

To pretreat stains, simply rub S2O on the fresh stain before tossing the sheet into the wash. When the wash cycle is done, add the wet sheet to the dryer.

The sheets are saturated in a bio-degradable, plant-based cleaning agent. S2O can be used in conventional and high-efficiency washers.

Good news: I’m all about fresh smelling laundry, so I really appreciate the clean linen-like fragrance of the S2O sheets, which lingered after I pulled the towels from the machine.

Here’s a look at the dog towels after washing:

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I had no illusions that these would come out spotless, but this was a good way to see if one detergent performed far better than the other. It’s not easy to tell from the photo, but it’s pretty much a draw. Both detergents removed all of the tomato-based pasta sauce, which was the center stripe. While the mustard (bottom stripe) looks a lot darker on the S2O side (on the right), it’s really not much different in person. I have to call the dog towels a draw.

And now, the towels with makeup:

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This towel, washed with S2O, still has some foundation stain, but no evidence of mascara.

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As you can see, this towel washed with liquid detergent has even more foundation left behind. The mascara is gone, however.

While there’s not enough of a difference in how S2O cleans to make me switch to the sheets forever, I do think that some consumers would find them appealing.

For instance, they might come in handy for elderly consumers, or those with arthritis or similar ailments, who can’t easily lift or handle heavy containers. Folks who have to lug their laundry to a Laundromat could simply toss a couple of S2O and dryer sheets on top of the laundry bag rather than juggling laundry and a bottle or box of detergent.

S2O would be convenient for those who holiday in snug motor homes; and I might put a few in a plastic bag when traveling, just in case. 

Bad news: As you can see with the makeup-soiled towel, the S2O stain remover booster was a bust. S2O is a bit on the pricy side, especially if you do a lot of larger loads, in which case that 100-load canister can turn into a 50-load for about $20. A little rich for my laundry needs. Not everyone likes scented products, so I’m surprised there isn’t a fragrance-free version.

Last words: S2O Laundry Detergent Sheets work as well as your average liquid detergent. I see them as a clever niche product.

An aside:

While I didn’t care about saving the dog towel, it was not my intention to ruin a pair of perfectly nice white hand towels. Because both towels still had some makeup on them, I didn’t place them in the dryer. Instead, I washed the towels again with an S2O sheet and bleach. Surprisingly, they still came out with makeup on them. I’ve sprayed the towels with a laundry stain remover and will wash them again. I think I’ve created two more dog towels.

Anyone out there know how to remove makeup from white towels?