I try not to be too Pollyanna-ish about things, but when my five-year-old wrote her name in felt-tip on her sister's white school top it was hard not to be filled with glee.
Yes glee! Of course, I did a stern "I'm disappointed in you" talk to the errant child who is very proud her new writing skills.
But this misdemeanor meant the new washing gel I was trying out would get a decent work out. Not that our usual detergent doesn't anyway but that normally just has to battle with paint, mud and chocolate smears.
The first thing I like about the new Ariel with Actilift is that it comes in a gel. The small cup you squeeze this into comes off the top of the packet so there is no hunting for the one you got in a promotion or having to phone a free number for a replacement.
But what's so special about this detergent? It has Actilift technology, which took ten years to develop and which apparently not only removes stains but prevents them from setting in so it doesn't matter that you can't wash junior's spaghetti splattered school shirt straight away.
According to Ariel this technology is effective straight away but it's after four to eight washes that you really see the benefit.
So, did it work? The answer is yes. The felt-tip came out (although to be fair it was pink and not black, thank goodness) and the clothes, despite sitting in the machine overnight, still smelled lovely.
I know there are some people who don't like the manufacturer's scent but if I have to do never-ending piles of laundry I want the clothes to smell nice.
The label did say it could remove dirt at 15 degrees but my machine, only a couple of years old, didn't seem to go this cold. I washed the clothes on 30 and they were fine.
I have to say I don't thoroughly inspect all items of clothing for stains when they come out of the washing machine – too much stuff is going through my washer woman hands for me to be that fussy.
But it shifted the stains I was searching for and made the clothes smell lovely which is all I ask from a detergent.
ParentView score: 4.5/5