Saturday, January 26, 2008

Clorox's Eco-friendly cleaning line

Ok, so I'd be a bad green blogger if I didn't mention that Clorox (who recently bought Burts Bees) has released a line of green cleaning products. They're called "Green Works" and the company brags that unlike other eco cleaning products, they work! (Er, if you go through this blog I haven't found many products that don't work fairly well. I'm still marveling over how clean my shower is if I spray it with Seventh Gen every time I use it.)

They have a separate website for the new products here. There is a section specifically and seriously devoted to defining what they mean by their terms "natural" etc, which I appreciate. I was laughing at the description under the bathroom cleaner of, once again, "coconut based cleaning agent". I've mentioned many a time how funny I find it that cleaning companies tiptoe around admitting to using "SLS" and "SLES" for foaming power, because of a sense that these ingredients have been linked to skin irritation and even cancer (provable or not, there is a green consumer bias against these ingredients as well as parabens, etc.)

I don't know. I like lemon essential oil (used in most of these), but I'm not swayed. These're not as cool sounding as some of the products I already use. Plus, Clorox is not generally a company I want to support. Aside from making generally non-eco friendly products, they still test on animals!
I'd rather people buy these than most mainstream cleaning products, but I'd also rather people support some of the brands linked to the right in this blog than Clorox.

I learned about this because Natural Health magazine gave the line a mention in their last issue.

Wipex Natural Wipes

I recently spotted a new (to me) brand of cleaning product in the natural section of "Wipex" cleaning wipes (link to company site). These claim to be made only with ingredients like vinegar and essential oils. Sure, you could make such a thing yourself using an old t-shirt and the same ingredients, but I was curious. I ordered the "floral rosemary" all-purpose wipes. Actually, I ordered them twice because the first time the canister arrived broken and I wound up with a free replacement.

Anyway, I use these in my bathroom on every surface you can imagine. They're not overly damp or soapy and they're very mild in scent (this may or may not be something you appreciate). They're a much better alternative to things like Clorox or Lysol wipes, and come in a canister rather than a packet like the Mrs. Meyers do. Wipex wipes also are available in Rosemary/Vinegar floor wipes (I use a weak vinegar solution spray to clean up my dog Mei's floor pees) Lavender/Vinegar glass wipes, and furniture wipes with orange oil.

I had trouble tracking down any real info on this product, except that it's made in Israel and doesn't test on animals.

I scrutinized the ingredients on these products and they look pretty good. It just comes down to how you feel about disposable wipes.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oooh, new mop head

You know you're a cleaning nerd when this sort of thing excites you. My trusty Casabella Flex-Neck Scrubber, which I use to scrub my shower stall (glass walls, tile walls, and plastic floor) and my tub (plastic?) now has a new replacement head available for it. The heads last forever, and the sponge can be removed to let it dry out.

Anyway, the new head is called the "TNT" head because it's extra scrubby and claims "The abrasive synthetic fibers work well on mildew."

Can I hear an "Ooooooh!" ;) ?

$14.99 for a two-pack. I like to get them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Whole Foods.

Mrs Meyer's Surface Wipes

I am still using up my gingerbread Mrs Meyer's products from last Christmas (I overstocked), but if you haven't tried them they're on 50% off clearance on Mrs Meyer's site!

Anyway, this is about the surface wipes, which sadly are no longer stocked by my Whole Foods. I guess they're trying to encourage people not to use disposable wipes, which is admirable. For me, they're a bathroom product. I know I could simply clean with water and microfiber cloths in the b-room but my current microfiber cloths seem to leave more lint and dirt behind than they pick up. That's a problem for another entry. They might be ready to be replaced. :)

Anyway, while I have often found Method's disposable wipes to be too soapy, Mrs Meyer's have just the right amount of cleaning-product-to-wipe ratio. They work equally well on my laminate bathroom countertops and the toilet seat. I've been known to wipe up messes on the floor with them as well. The wipes come in Lemon Verbena (I like this one), Geranium (so-so) and Lavender (when I am going through a lavender phase). Alas, the seasonal gingerbread and honeysuckle offerings haven't made it to disposable wipe form.

I know someone with a young kid who used to keep these in the glove compartment of her car. She used them to clean all sorts of car messes up, because they don't leave sticky residue behind.

I think of disposable wipes as the lazy-person's cleaning product, and I am definitely inclined to be lazy when I clean if I can.

These are made with essential oils, but I don't know if they're biodegradable like Method's claim to be. They aren't flushable like the Method bathroom wipes, but I really don't mind. Aprox. $4.99 for 24 in a resealable pack that really does keep them moist.