Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Ecover

Thank you to Ecover for participating in the Goodie Goodie Gumdrops Earth Week Event!

As I've made the switch from common household cleaners to the environmentally-friendly variety, I've found this often means paying more for less product. It's a frustrating debacle. I want to do well by the environment but I also don't want to go broke doing so. Thankfully, with Ecover, everyone has the opportunity to go green without breaking the bank.

Ecover, a Belgian company, was founded in 1980, marketing a phosphate-free washing powder even before phosphates were considered problematic. Since then, they have grown to become the world's largest producer of ecological cleaning products.Their progressive environmental policy is not only demonstrated by the products they sell, but their entire process from production to marketing. Ecover was responsible for the world's first ecological factory, complete with a grass roof. Ecover has received numerous awards and recognition for its achievements in sustainable development. One of the most prestigious was being named to the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the U.N. Environment Program in 1993.

Ecover generously sent me two of their esteemed products to review.

The Grapefruit & Green Tea Dishwashing Liquid (ARV $2.56-4.25) uses plant and mineral ingredients, including green tea extract, to clean, deodorize and degrease dirty dishes. Only one squeeze is enough for a full sink, and its low-sudsing formula cleans effectively without excessive bubbles. There are no artificial fragrances and there is minimum impact on aquatic life. The bottle and labels are made of polyethylene and polypropylene, which are 100% biodegradable and recyclable, using a low-energy process. Ecover dishwashing liquid has minimum impact on aquatic life and is safe for septic tanks.

I was a bit disappointed initially to find that this dish liquid contained SLS, which is often linked to human carcinogen 1,4 dioxane and can cause skin irritation. However, after reading the company's stance (and finding that many of my eco-friendly dish detergents also contained this questionable ingredient), I felt that the ultra-low exposures were highly unlikely to cause any long-term damage.

I first tested the product in a sink full of day-old, food-encrusted dishes. It really did cut through the grease from our baked chicken and left our pots and pans clean and sparkly. The scent was very light and pleasant - not strong and overpowering like the artificial versions can be. While the bubbles did not last long, I knew this was because it was rinsing clean. It did make my hands a little dry but, all in all, I was pleased. Because Ecover is a bit more expensive than my usual Palmolive Pure+Caring and the performance was about equal, I am not sure I would switch unless I had a coupon or a discount that would make the price comparable.

In addition to the dish liquid, I was also sent the Ecover Cream Scrub (ARV $3.17), which uses plant-based ingredients to degrease and remove tough stains without scratching. This cleanser is suitable for all types of surfaces - cookers, fridges, enamel, stainless steel, tile, chrome, etc. It cleans with the power of nature, leaving behind no chemical residue. Like all of Ecover products, the bottle is recyclable and biodegradable. There is minimum impact on aquatic life and absolutely no animal testing.

It is notoriously difficult to get rid of hard water rings. And because my tubs and sinks are often stained yellow from our lovely well water, I thought I'd put my scrub to the ultimate test.

I was amazed at how well the Ecover Cream Scrub worked! Normally, I have to spray a ton of fluid and use an unbearable amount of elbow grease to rid the stains. But I just squeezed a bit of the cream onto a sponge, scrubbed firmly (but not forcefully) and rinsed. The tub was magically transformed back to a pristine white! This is the best natural product I've found that performs just as well as - if not better than - the harsh stuff. I will most definitely be buying this product again.

Bottom line: Ecover products are not only natural and effective, but also affordable. Now, you can't afford to NOT go green.

BUY IT: You can find Ecover at select retailers nationwide using their handy dandy store locator or online at

Disclaimer: I received the two products mentioned above from Kathy at K2 Public Relations Group to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are mine and mine alone. Your experience may differ.


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