Monday, 21 September 2009

A greener clean

The nights are slowly drawing in and as the nights draw in it urges me to want to create and settle into a warm and secure refuge. I suppose you could call it nesting except I am not pregnant. The desire to have a lovely warm, clean and orderly house is prevalent.

I always like to have a neat and tidy house but there are a few jobs that I always have to put off due to the fact that the products I use cause me to suffer with terrible migraines. Anyone who suffers with migraines will understand the torture that makes you fearful of anything that might trigger one. I just accepted that these would be jobs that I could never do but as I was browsing the supermarket aisles the other day I spotted the new range from Ecover and decided I would partake in a little experiment.

EXPERIMENT: To test the effectiveness of ecological brands against conventional brands.

This experiment was spurred on by:
  • suffering with migraines when using conventional products and wanting to find an alternative.
  • overpowering smell of conventional products
  • wanting to be kinder to environment (after all we spend enough time talking to our children about recycling, global warming etc).
So I decided to test my conventional products:

against the ecological brand.

I was very dubious about how effective the Ecover products would be but my sensitivity to the conventional products left me with little choice.

To do this experiment I tested:
  • Ecover power cleaner against Cillit Bang
  • Ecover window & glass cleaner against Mr Muscle window and glass cleaner
  • Ecover multi surface cleaner against Flash multi surface
  • Ecover all purpose cleaner against Flash all purpose cleaner
I was very dubious about the effectiveness of the ecological products but thought it would be worth a try as my migraines always seemed to be exacerbated after using the conventional products.


To start the experiment I sprayed one window pane with the Ecover and one with the Mr Muscle. To be fair I couldn't see much difference as they both provided sparkling clean windows, however the Mr Muscle had a much more overpowering smell and I felt that I had not only sprayed some very harsh chemicals on my window panes but also in to the air.

RESULT: Ecover wins for sparkling results AND providing me with a nice non-toxic household.

Next, I tested the Ecover power cleaner against the Cillit Bang on my cooker hood and inside my oven. This is always a job I put off doing as whenever I have cleaned out the oven with conventional cleaners, when I next put on the oven all I can smell is the cleaner. I then worry whether this is polluting the food. I rinse it off time and time again but the smell remains for some time. I tested the Cillit Bang inside the top oven and the Ecover inside the bottom oven.

RESULT: Ecover wins for totally degreasing the oven but leaving no overpowering toxic smells.


Worktops and windowsills needed cleaning next so I used the Ecover multi-surface against the Flash All Surface. This is becoming a recurrent theme but in my opinion they both cleaned as efficiently as each other but the Ecover had a much lighter smell.

RESULT: Ecover wins for sparkling worktops and for leaving a very natural smell behind that disappeared quite soon after using.


Lastly, I tested the Ecover All Purpose cleaner against the Flash All Surface cleaner. Both provided gleaming floors but (I think you know what I am going to say) was much less overpowering to the nostrils.

RESULT: Ecover wins.

VERDICT: Initially I had my doubts that anything based on plants and minerals could clean the greasy grime from my house, but it has and so I thought I should find out a little out about how the products actually work. After visiting I found out some interesting facts. The pioneering ingredients are actually made with fully renewable plant based-ingredients. The ingredients being rapeseed oil, yeast and glucose, they are produced using a biochemical process - a process similar to brewing beer. This is excellent as many of the conventional products use a chemical process.

If you are keen to care for the environment and set a good example - here's an interesting fact for you: all the ingredients Ecover use are sourced in Europe so it takes half the CO2 to transport the ingredients.

Because of the fact that Ecover only uses plant and mineral based ingredients you don't have to worry about leaving behind nasty chemicals when you clean. I must be particularly sensitive to the chemicals as they always leave me with migraines but after using the Ecover products I am really satisfied that they aren't at all detrimental to my health and unfortunately has proven that perhaps I should pick up my mop and bucket a little more often - hmmph maybe I should have stuck with the chemical products! No more excuses. Ha ha!

OVERALL RESULT: Ecover's the winner!!

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