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Tracy Frank, Published April 04 2012

Thursday review: Vaska a good choice as a greener cleaner

FARGO – If you’re looking for an eco-friendly or hypoallergenic laundry line that works, Vaska is a good option.

Vaska is an all-natural, botanically based laundry care line.

The company’s website says the formula cleans clothes without dirtying the planet, leaving chemicals behind that can irritate skin or damaging fabrics and is pure enough to drink.

Vaska makes laundry detergent, fabric softener and an oxygen brightener.

According to their website, clinical tests show Vaska meets or beats the leading chemical detergent nearly 75 percent of the time on stains, grime and odor.

After testing out the “perfect scent-free laundry detergent” on several loads, I would say that’s probably accurate.

The detergent is made of plant-based surfactants, vegetable conditioner, water-soluble degreasing agent, lavender extract and filtered water. The bottle is also made from up to 50 percent post-consumer material, according to a news release.

Although it’s called scent-free, the first thing I noticed is the detergent has a nice, light citrusy scent. But after I washed the clothes, there wasn’t an overpowering scent of detergent left behind. They just smelled clean.

It worked pretty well in cleaning my family’s clothes, and it did a decent job on stains if allowed to set on the stain a few minutes before washing, but if I didn’t pre-treat the stain, Vaska didn’t get it out.

Vaska didn’t do quite as well as Tide, which we typically use, on deep set-in stains and odors, but overall I would say Vaska is a nice alternative, especially if you’re looking for a laundry line without pollutants, irritants, toxins or dyes.

Vaska was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment Program, a news release stated.

Vaska’s laundry detergent is available in lavender or scent-free and costs $12.99 for a 42-ounce bottle, which washes 56 loads, and $7.99 for a 21-ounce bottle, which washes 28 loads.

The liquid fabric softener is $6.99 for a 42-ounce bottle, which softens 42 loads.

The “Amazing Oxygen Brightener” is a chlorine-free bleach that whitens whites and keeps colored garments bright, according to a news release. It sells for $5.99 for a 42-ounce bottle, which brightens 42 loads.

No local stores carry Vaska, according to the company’s website, but you can buy it online at Amazon.com, www.drugstore.com, which waives shipping fees on orders over $25, or www.alice.com, which waives shipping fees on orders over $40.

Prices and sizes may be a little different online because Vaska recently introduced new sizes and a concentrated formula.