Monday, 28 September 2009

Review: Ecover Cleaning Products

I occasionally get asked to review products on here, but only do so if they are of particular interest to me. The only items I've reviewed on here so far have been the Disney blu-ray films courtesy of Think Parents, but I'm happy to do more if they appeal to me.  Just in case there are any PR people reading this, I'm up for anything involving chocolate, copious amounts of wine and weekends in posh hotels - preferably all at the same time.  Ahem...

When I'm not touting for freebies, I try to be ecologically sound.  I recycle as much as possible; I take old clothes to the charity shop rather than throwing them away; we turn off all electrical items at the mains rather than leave them on stand-by and when I buy new goods I try (financial limitations withstanding) to buy the most energy efficient ones I can find.

So when I recently saw a request on British Mummy Bloggers for people to review the Ecover cleaning products this seemed like a good one to do. I've used Eco cleaning products in the past but found many of them to be a bit hit-and-miss, so I was interested to read that the Eco products I would be reviewing have been found to be 'as effective as the petrochemical alternatives'.

Last week, after a frustrating few days when the delivery company kept ignoring my instructions to leave the goods with a neighbour, I opened the big package to find a green plastic trug (made from recycled bottle tops no less) full of cleaning products. There was also a pair of Traidcraft rubber gloves to use when testing the chemical products which also came in the trug, and eco cleaning cloths. Now I was ready to test.

  • First up was the Ecover Power Cleaner versus the Cillit Bang Power Cleaner Degreaser. I thought it might be an idea to test this on a dirty, greasy oven hob and by sheer coincidence found an absolutely mingin' one in my own kitchen. Fancy that?! (Kim and Aggie would have been agast...) To make sure it was a fair test I used the same type of cleaning sponge for each products, and spent 5 minutes only on each side of the hob - even though it needed longer...oh, the shame.  The Cillit Bang was used on the left hand side, and the Ecover on the right hand side. I've never been tempted to buy Cillit Bang products in the past because the ads always put me off with their boast of  being so powerful that I imagine plants, animals and small children will be damaged by its fumes. That didn't happen thankfully, but I can confirm that the Ecover product performed as well as the Cillit Bang cleaner. Not only that, but the eco cleaner had a pleasant smell unlike the chemical smell of Cillit Bang.
  • The Ecover Window & Glass Cleaner also matched the effectiveness of the Mr Muscle Window Cleaner, although perhaps the Ecover product had the slight edge.  It was less streaky and again, the odour was preferable to the chemical cleaner.
  • The Ecover Multi Surface Spray Cleaner was also as good as the Flash Multi Surface Spray.  It worked well on kitchen worktops, paintwork and sinks.
  • The Ecover All Purpose Cleaner v the Flash All Purpose Dilutable.  I cleaned the kitchen floor with these (my house has never seen so much cleaning in one weekend).  Once again the Ecover product was the winner for me, as not only did it clean really well but I knew I wasn't emptying a bucketfull of nasties down the drain and into the waterways afterwards.  No contest.
Plus points of using Ecover products? 
No nasty chemicals - all the cleaning properties are from plant and mineral ingredients with a handfull of fairy dust thrown in for good measure.  OK, I made the last bit up.
Kind to skin - I get eczema on my hands, and usually have to wear rubber gloves for cleaning but when testing the eco products I am pleased to say I had no adverse reactions to them.  I did have an adverse reaction to the cleaning though, and had to have a sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
They actually work!  - I like to do my bit for the environment but like most people still I want the eco options to be as good as the standard ones.  Well, these are.  Result.


lunarossa said...

I've tried a couple of these problems. What I'm not sure about is the price/effectivness/duration relationship. I see that I use more than the ordinary ones to obtain the same purpose (and so they finish more quickly).What do you think about this? Ciao. A.

That Girl39 said...

Great review! I use Ecover stuff and the de-scaler cleaner is amazing - it works better than all the chemically stuff on my kitchen sink and shower. I think being a SAHM is turning me into Monica from Friends... when I saw your parcel I got a tingle of excitement... oh dear!

see you there! said...

Don't think we have these products here in the US but we do try to use not toxic and ecological products to clean.

Good old vinegar comes in handy.


Kelloggsville said...

You ever tried the ecover washing up liquid - my it's crap!

and again the reason why ecover matched Cillit bang is because cillit bang is (yep you guessed it) crap!

I generally use vinegar,bicarb, lemon and if they can't do it I go straight for the big guns. I reckon I cancel myself out instead of pouring lots of mildly bad stuff down the drain regularly, I use a small amount of very bad stuff occassionally!

I do recycle lots though

notSupermum said...

Lunarossa/Antonella - actually, I don't know the prices of these products but it's worth checking. Do you mean the chemical ones run out more quickly than the eco ones? Can't say I'd know about that, up to now I have only regularly bought Tescos own brand eco washing up liquid, and that lasts a while.

That Girl - thanks! I'm worried you might be turning into Monica too - I don't think I've ever used a descaler....

Darla - I don't think you can beat vinegar for cleaning windows to be honest. And lemon juice and bicarb are also great cleaning agents if you know what to do with them!

Kellogsville - that made me laugh! Yes, I've tried their washing up liquid (a long time ago) and wasn't impressed, but I now use Tescos own brand washing up liquid which is really good. Honest!

Discontented Little Mummy said...

Kim and Aggie would not want to see MY bathroom right now...

lunarossa said...

No, I mean that the ECO products run out quicker because they are a bit weaker and you need to use more of them. I agree that KIm and Aggie's home-made remedies are sometimes better than eco and non-eco products! Ciao. A.

notSupermum said...

DLM - thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

Antonella - I haven't found that to be the case actually. The ones I've tested have done the job using the same amount of product as I would usually use. As I said, in the past I found them to be a bit hit and miss, but these ones did really well.