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Easy on the Environment (Ecover Multi Surface Cleaner)
Environmentally friendly, easy to find in the stores, not too pricey .
There are better environmentally friendly cleaners out there, but they're hard to find .
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~*~The company~*~ Ecover has been around since the 70’s and most people now recognise the brand name. They are one of only a very small handful of companies who produce environmentally friendly cleaning products such as washing up liquid, washing powder, surface cleaners etc. that you’ll find in the supermarkets.
~*~The Product~*~ The Ecover Multi-Surface Cleaner is designed (like most are) to be used on most of the hard surfaces around the home from the kitchen to the bathroom and beyond. The difference between this and most other multi-surface cleaners is that this is a product that mostly contains plant and mineral ingredients, and has very little impact on the environment. It’s available in 500ml containers or 1 litre ones - the 500ml bottle costs £1.25 in my local Tesco store.
~*~The Packaging~*~ The plastic bottle that this comes in is semi translucent and has lots of information on it about how environmentally friendly the product is. It is fully recyclable, and also refillable if you’re lucky enough to have a refilling station nearby to you (these is a section on the Ecover website here: http://www.ecover.com/gb/en/Products/Dishes/Refill.htm where it gives details of where your nearest refill point is).
~*~Environmental Claims & Information~*~ It’s often hard I find to tell exactly what is meant by the claims on products. For example some products will say ‘degradable’ while others say ‘biodegradable’ The two have distinctly different meanings, but many people get confused over them and in the case of these two degradable means broken down mostly by heat, moisture and/or UV exposure whereas with a biodegradable product it’s micro organisms that break it down. In terms of the environmental impact, degradable products are much slower to break down into their component parts than biodegradable ones.
There are a number of points detailed on this cleaner that should be noted: • It is perfumed with plant based ingredients • It cuts through grease & dirt naturally (plant & mineral ingredients) • It’s suitable for all surfaces • It will quickly and completely biodegrade • It has minimum impact on aquatic life • Bottle and cap are both fully recyclable and it comes in a refillable bottle • It is suitable for septic tanks.
So all these things are good as many products for cleaning surfaces contain lots of harsh chemicals that aren’t as safe as we may think they are, aren’t biodegradable, and do have an impact on not just aquatic life, but the rest of us too. For me personally the really important facts are knowing that the ingredients are natural not chemical and that it breaks down completely in a quick and safe manner and is safe for me to use.
~*~Using the Product~*~ Like with most surface cleaners there are a couple of different ways you can use this. You can use it neat or you can add it to water. I believe they recommend two capfuls per 5 litres of water. Personally I prefer to use this mixed with water at a lower ratio of about 1 capful to 5 litres and then dip my cloth into it before wiping down surfaces. I don’t think I’ve ever found it necessary to use it neat, but if you did, then you would probably want to do so only on small areas, and then wipe the area again with water to remove any residue.
When you mix it with the water, it doesn’t really look very different from the plain water. A few small bubbles, and a fresh sort of slightly lemony smell. I’m very anti using anything filled with chemicals and find this perfectly adequate for wiping all my surfaces down when I require something more than just water, and have used it around my house on work tops, tiled surfaces, sinks, bath, window glass, for wiping down doors, floors, and everything else. About the only thing I don’t use it on are my wooden surfaces, though it is apparently perfectly fine to use on these, it’s just that I prefer not to.
~*~Cleaning Results~*~ We don’t have a really dirty house, no kids or pets, so I can’t say how it would cope with the sort of mess they can create, but it does very well for us in helping to keep the place clean and dirt free. One thing I am very much in favour of is that it doesn’t leave any chemical smell around after using it. I do hate that chemical smell it actually burns my nose so for me using chemical free products is important.
~*~Other Thoughts~*~ Bearing in mind that I use a cloth and dip it into the water mixed with the cleaner, I obviously put my hand into the solution too. I’m not one for wearing rubber gloves, and I do have reasonably sensitive skin, so I am pleased to say I don’t get any bad results from using this product. I do tend to moisturise my hands afterwards as I do when washing up, but if I have my hands in water with no products in for that length of time I tend to want to moisturise them afterwards too.
I will say that I’ve used other cleaners that are also environmentally friendly some of which I’ve preferred because they last longer, are cheaper, or smell better, but this one is easily available in a way that the other products I’ve used and preferred aren’t. This means that this tends to be one that I do use fairly regularly because I can get it in my local supermarket rather than having to send off for it from online or go hunting in a specialist shop, and as far as cleaning power goes I can’t say I find this any worse than any of the others I’ve used.
Such a well written review; very much appreciate the run through of the environmentally friendly ingredients/uses. I have used this and find your post spot on. Such a practical point about moisturising hands, despite the more gentle components within the product. Love the formatting too. E from me xXx
ryeb 23.07.2011 20:06
Good well informed review!
catsholiday 23.07.2011 13:22
I rate this too - and very handy explanation of the degradable and bio degradable meanings.