If I am perfectly honest with you, when it comes to cleaning I have never been that fussed really. Which is why, when the pregnancy hormones / weirdness kicked in and I started manically cleaning everything in sight my husband was overjoyed! I think however that it is one of nature’s cruel jokes that being pregnant can make you want to clean and keep everything just so, and that having a newborn baby to look after means that you have no time. I get so frustrated when I don’t manage to clean the house each week. My husband tells me to relax and not worry about it so much but what he failed to realise (I have put him right on this now) is that this is where I spend all my time. So if it is untidy, I feel untidy. If something is dirty it bugs me all day every day. So now we have an arrangement where he takes Piran out for a couple of hours on Saturday morning and I blitz the house and then I can relax and enjoy our weekend together.
This is all a very longwinded way of saying that when I saw a request for people to test out and review Ecover’s new range of cleaning products I was quite keen to have a go. I have used this brand of cleaning products for the past couple of years as much as possible around the house so I already like their products but have been frustrated in the past at the effectiveness of some of them.
I was sent a lovely green trug full of cleaning products and even some cloths and gloves thrown in for good measure. Over the past three weeks I have been using the Ecover products and the conventional brands, which they had sent for comparison.
The blurb says:
“Guaranteed to leave your home sparkling clean, this hard-working range harnesses the power of nature through pioneering ingredients called Eco-Surfactants.Developed exclusively by Ecover’s ecological innovators, these new ingredients mean the new range is proven to clean as well as – or better than – the UK’s leading conventional brands.
The range consists of two new products: Ecover Power Cleaner and Ecover Window & Glass Cleaner; as well as two new formulations of household favourites, Ecover All Purpose Cleaner (previously known as Ecover Multi-Surface Cleaner) and Ecover Multi Surface Spray Cleaner (previously known as SquirtEco).”
Ecover Multi Surface Spray Cleaner – RRP £2.84 (500ml) – Up against Flash multi purpose spray they both seemed to do a perfectly adequate job. However I found the Flash to have a fake chemical like smell and the added bonus of the Ecover is that you do not need to put gloves on to have a quick wipe round the kitchen because it is PH neutral and therefore kinder to your hands.
Ecover Window & Glass Cleaner – RRP £2.69 (500ml) – Flexing its credentials against Mr Muscle Window Cleaner I found again that this had a much nicer smell. One squirt went a long way, and the windows were left sparkling clean. So sparkling that I was heard to remark yesterday that I could now see the bags under my eyes reflected in the kitchen window! The Ecover again came out on top with the smell as well.
Ecover All Purpose Cleaner – RRP £1.59 (500ml) – This was up against Flash again, and again they both seemed to do a perfectly good job. It is hard to tell in a domestic setting I guess because both clean very well but the Ecover made my taps sparkle more than usual after a quick wipe over with a dry cloth.
Ecover Power Cleaner – RRP £3.99 (500ml) – Up against Cillit Bang (which is the one cleaning product that actually scares me, think it is the shouting man on the advert!) this claims to clean ovens, cooker hobs, pots and pans etc. I must admit I am not a fan of oven cleaning because the chemicals make me choke so I was very interested in this. But, I decided to give the two the ultimate test, the plate from the bottom of our combined oven & microwave. I even took pictures!
The results: Well, the left hand side looks a bit better in the pictures, but to be honest I would say they worked about the same. However, on a later test I discovered that the kitchen smelt like rotting fish when I used the Cillit Bang so I will stick to the Ecover from now on.
In all cases I found that the products seemed to be as good as their chemical counterparts. The best bit about the Ecover is obviously the fact that they do not contain chemicals – a bonus to me with a baby in the house, they do not affect my asthma as the chemical smelling ones can and most of them have a nice subtle fragrance. Plus, they are PH neutral and therefore no gloves are needed and your hands don’t get cleaned as well! When it comes down to it though I started using the Ecover when I found out how long the chemicals that we use take to decompose (a lot longer than we are on this planet) and these new products are even more environmentally sound (see the science bit below for details). Yes, in most cases you do have to pay for your principles and in this case I am happy to. These new products will be added to my cupboard along with my old favourites. Now, if they can only make a toilet cleaner that stops lime-scale appearing in my toilet I will be a very happy cleaning lady.
The science bit:
The pioneering Eco-Surfactants make the hard surface cleaning range unique. Not only are these pioneering new ingredients made with fully renewable plant-based ingredients (rapeseed oil, yeast and glucose), they are also produced using a totally biochemical process – similar to the process of brewing beer – as opposed to a chemical one as many of Ecover’s competitors use.
What’s more, because Ecover only uses sustainable plant-based and mineral ingredients, you don’t have to worry about leaving behind residues of nasty (and unnecessary) chemicals when you clean. And thanks to its pH neutral formula, it won’t irritate skin like some other products can – so feel free to forget the rubber gloves.
Clare Allman, marketing manager, Ecover UK says: “Historically, the assumption has been that green cleaning products aren’t as effective as conventional petrochemical-based products but at Ecover we have always challenged this perception by creating effective ecological cleaning solutions. Thanks to our pioneering new Eco-Surfactants, our new range is supremely ecological, and cleans even better than before.
The new range has even better ecological credentials than ever: excellent biodegradability and lower aquatic toxicity as well as reduced transportation. As the ingredients Ecover use to make Eco-Surfactants are sourced in Europe, much closer to our ecological factories, they take half the CO2 to transport than the previous ingredients. We’re really excited about the range as it offers a truly effective ecological solution to the cleaning needs of people across the UK.”
The new hard surface cleaning range is available in health food stores, with a limited range available in major supermarkets. For a full list of stockists visit our ‘Where to Buy’ page on www.ecover.com