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Ariel Gel – A tale of bank holiday boredom.

So, it’s a Bank Holiday. I’m bored and a bit of a geek. I see the Ariel gel ad on TV talking about how good it is at low temperatures and I want to try it for myself.

So I take an ordinary white t-shirt (A freebie I won at a Davis Cup match at Wimbledon).

The before shot.
The before shot.

I add to this the traditional laundry detergent ad stains: Red Wine, Tea, Mustard, Ketchup and Blackberry Smoothie.

Freshly stained

I leave to stain for a couple of hours.

Letting the stains set.
Letting the stains set.

Here’s the t-shirt, ready for a wash.

Ready for a wash
Ready for a wash

I now put it in the washing machine with a full dose of the gel (as recommended for heavy soiling).

Loading the machine
Loading the machine

The lowest we can get the machine to is 20, 5 degrees hotter than the adverts, but I go for it anyway.

As near to 15 degrees as we could get it
As near to 15 degrees as we could get it

After a standard wash I have my results –

The results - FAIL
The results - FAIL

and I’m sorry Ariel, but I’m not impressed. The only stain that seems to have gone is the ketchup – and that had hardly made a mark in the first place. The tea is almost gone, but still there. The wine and smoothie have left horrid dark stains and the mustard is still bright yellow.

Now I should give a disclaimer – this was as scientific as I could get it in my kitchen – but this probably wasn’t a perfect experiment. I had no control group to compare it to, for example.

But i’m not impressed. To be honest, I was never convinced that washing things at 15 degrees would ever get them clean, and this test has confirmed it for me.

Perhaps I should complain to the ASA.

  • You could try washing it at 40 now and seeing if it was just an un-cleanable shirt.


    May 25, 2009

  • Ah, thank you for this. I just came across your blog and I love it! Well done!

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    June 12, 2010

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