When I started this site, back in 2011, I posted lots of articles about cleaning products. Indeed my preoccupation with sorting the good from the bad in the world of eco cleaning, was really the kicking off point for the blog.
Since that time I have written about a wide variety of eco products from roof tiles to sunscreen, mattresses to chicken broth. But now I find myself coming back to the heart of the household: laundry and cleaning.
I am pleased to report that more and more people have begun to use green cleaning products and, as markets have grown (at over 20% per annum in north america), so has innovation.
That’s great news for consumers, and, hopefully, for the environment. Innovation, at is best, will enable us to leap rather than to edge forward in our quest for more sustainable lifestyles.
So, in that vein, I wanted to share with you details of three companies that are hoping to break the mould and alter the way we buy and use cleaning products. Two are in the UK and one in Canada.
First there is Splosh, a small, Herefordshire-based company that sells a full range of cleaning concentrates by mail for you to dilute at home. Splosh does its best to make things easy for you: it sends you reminders, has an app for ordering and makes sure that its refill boxes fit through your letter box so they are ready and waiting when you get home.
By using Splosh you drastically cut down on the needless shipment of liquid from factory to supermarket to the home. And by refilling bottles you use less plastic. You also save money (products typically cost about half of what an equivalent eco product would cost at the grocery store).
Delphis makes eco cleaners primarily for trade use (though it does have plans to move into the retail market soon). But Managing Director, Mark Jankovich, wanted to do more and worked with a nearby school to design a cheap and sustainable dispensing station which allows schools (and other institutions) to purchase bulk concentrates and on-sell them.
As with the Spolsh system, the manufacturer ships concentrate, which is diluted by the customer. The interesting angle here is that kids can adopt the system and in so doing become sustainability advocates and actors themselves. They can also make money to finance school projects or charity causes.
Full details of the filling station and its economics are provided here.
Finally, my favourite product discovery so far this year is a box of laundry strips, made by the Canadian company, Dizolve in Moncton, New Brunswick.
These are fabulous things: perforated sheets of eco-friendly laundry detergent, with or without fragrance.
You tear off a strip (if you are wondering, the texture is something akin to a floppy communion wafer) and place it in your detergent dispenser (assuming we are all on front loading machines here…otherwise throw it in with your clothes), then your wash is ready to go.
I was worried the product would not dissolve properly, but it did (the name rings true!), and the cleaning power was good too. My guess is that the sheets might not dislodge the very harshest stains, but for everyday laundry they are super.
I love the sheets for the neatness of the dosing (no guessing or sloppy measuring out of liquid), for their lightness (a 64 load pack weighs about 180g whereas a recent purchase of concentrated washing liquid weighed in at 2.5kg for 60 loads) and for the fact that sales also help support food banks and charities. This is a business that seems to be serious about doing good.
Like Delphis, the company also has a fundraising possibility on its website. Like Splosh the product easily fits through your mail box.
Dizolve sheets are not presently available in the UK, but fingers crossed. In Canada and the US you can buy online at a cost of $12.99 for 64 loads or about 20 cents per load (before tax and shipping) which is comparable to other eco laundry solutions.
With that, I am going to sign off for a while. It has been great writing these reviews over the past three years and I have learnt a lot. But, like many other blog writers, I find it hard to fit this extra activity into my busy life.
Thanks to everyone who has read the blog, and even greater thanks to anyone who has begun to make more sustainable choices. I still believe that each one of us can make a difference.