Category Archives: Cleaning Products

the sponge a breeding ground for germs

Did you know it takes around 100,s of years for a sponge to decompose, so after its use it just sits in a landfill for all that time and lets not forget the negative effect from all those chemicals as well. The sponge is very effective at its job, it can clean the dishes, the side the car window and has so many applications. However what actually is a sponge made of, well i did a bit of digging and found that a sponge is made of a mixture of petroleum, bleach, assorted sulphates and a mixture of chemicals, as a product it cant be recycled because we cant melt it, we cant burn it because it produces very nasty chemicals.

A sponge is also a feeding ground for bacteria, in fact it is estimated that there are more germs on a sponge than a toilet seat, however you can buy anti bacterial sponges, which you would think great problem solved, but no this just adds different problems. To make a sponge antibacterial we add a substance called Triclosan, this is a harmful pesticide which is a very effective antibacterial and anti fungal agent, this substance is linked to many health conditions and when you wash your dishes you also add it to the water you are washing up in, it then goes down the sinc and is washed away and thats the last you will need to worry about it right?

Tricoslan

Tricoslan cannot be removed by water treatment, when in the water supply it destroys the fragile aquatic eco system in our oceans and some times it ends back with us. So not only is it poising our seas and water potentially it could be also poisoning us as well. Research has shown that there are links between Tricoslan and many health conditions it can interfere with the thyroid and cause skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis, but also there are links between Triclosan and Dioxin. Dioxin weakens the immune system, decreases fertility, increases the chance of miscarriage and birth defects, you would think that based on even the slightest evidence of the potential risks that the government would say “stop wait a minute lets check these findings first, just to make sure there safe” but no its a case of carry on using them until proven the negative effects, the problem is by then its to late, the damage is already done.

It is a crazy world we live we call ourselves intelligent, yet we are slowly destroying the very world we rely so much on to survive, we cut down the trees that produce oxygen and remove carbon, we poison the water we need to drink , we pump toxins and and chemicals in the air we breathe, slowly and surely we are killing ourselves and for what, because its convenient because it cheeper.

So what are the options here what else can we use, well over the past couple of weeks i have been trying a few alternatives i bought a loofa which is grown from a plant i bought a scrubbing pad made from coconut and i bought some scourers made from coconut as well, out of all the products i tried i found the coconut scourer did a better job, the ones i bought are produced by a company call EcoCoconut you can find a link below and I have added a link to there products on the vegan products page. My findings are below.

Loofah

The Loofah Sponge is grown on a plant called the Luffa Gourd, which produces long fruits that when mature can be harvested, the skin is removed which leaves a long Loofah sponge which can be dried and cut into smaller pieces, the problem i found with this product is much of the dirt got caught up in the loofah sponge and when washing anything oily it would stick to the individual fibres, i believe this products is possibly ideal for the bathroom but would advise against using it in the kitchen.

Safix Scrub Pad

Now i picked one of these up in the Clean Kilo and tested it out there was not much to it, it was made up of coconut fibres and was no larger than the regular sized sponge just not as thick, however it seemed that there was not much to this product, i felt that it would break apart quite easily and would not last to long, i also felt it did hold onto the grease a little as well.

Eco Coconut Scourer

Of all the products i have tried so far i have found this to be the best so far, it is made from coconut bristles, its easy to keep clean and durable so it should last for some time, i fits well in the hand and strong enough to get rid of many stubborn stains, also it does not hold onto the grease like the loofah sponge. It is made from natural resources, naturally anti bacterial and biodegradable so less germs, there is a small amount of metal in the centre but it can be recycled

Summary

So if you are looking for a strong long lasting durable scourer for your dishes i would recommend the EcoCoconut Scourer they are not to expensive and last for ages.

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Wave Goodbye to Wet Wipes

There everywhere in the bathroom the kitchen, the car we have wet wipes to clean our faces polish our furniture and polish our sides, but why do we depend so much on this one product and what are they really made from.

Wet wipes are made from small plastic fibres they are actually one of the biggest headaches to the water industry, as many of them get flushed down the toilet and end up clogging up the sewers making what they call in the industry fatbergs. Even the so called flushable wipes 99% of the time are not actually biodegradable and the country spends millions each year getting rid of them. Currently we in the UK use around 11,000,000,000 wet wipes all these wipes ether get flushed down the loo or end up in landfills the problem is because they are made of plastic fibres it will take a long time for them to degrade, like all single use plastics we only use them for a short time, in this case seconds and then they take many many years to degrade down.

It seems that we have become creatures of convenience, and most of us do not even know or are aware of this fact that wipes contain plastic, but hopefully by reading this you to can make that decision to stop buying wet wipes, this situation has got so bad that in London there is even a new river bank just made up of these things. We do not have to use wet wipes if we reflect back most families wiped there sides with a cloth there face with a cloth, amazing a cloth that can be washed and used over and over again, however if you would prefer that disposable wipe then why not just make your own, take some strong kitchen towel separate it from the roll and place the towels into a container that you can seal, how about recycling some plastic container you find around the house, when we went through our cupboards we found a good 3o types of containers with lids. Then take some coconut oil, distilled water, baby shampoo and liquid fragrance, follow this link to the video i found How to make baby wipes! | DIY BABY WIPES the video is by “do it for a dime” so it is not only better but cheaper as well and only takes a couple of seconds to make.

The fact is we don’t need to buy wet wipes no more than we need to buy plastic carrier bags, we do so because it is convenient but by just making a few simple changes to our lives then we can make a big change to the world. Follow this link to a petition to ban the use of plastic from friends of the earth Help reduce plastic in oceans, just remember time is fast running out and the decisions you make today we decide the future we leave for our children and those after them, we can ether be the generation that destroyed the world or the generation that saved it.

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The Mighty Soap Nut

I would like to introduce you to one of the most amazing nuts in the world and no i am not on about myself lol….. THE SOAP NUT.

Soap Nuts have been used for many centuries going back as far as the as ancient asians. The nuts themselves come from the Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi) found in the Himalayas. What makes them so special is that each nut can produce a substance called SAPONIN. Saponin is a surfactant and has the amazing ability to clean many things around the home, it can also be used as a screen wash for your car, boil some water and flax seed and you can make a chemical free shower gel and shampoo.

The thing we love about Soap Nuts, is they are 100% natural and when done with them you can add them to a compost pile. They are not irritant to the skin and so ideal if you suffer from some sort of skin condition such as eczema, which makes them as far as we are concerned, the most valuable and amazing nut on the planet.

So far we have made washing up liquid, car screen wash and have used them several times to wash our clothes, the key to getting them to work effectively is you have to get them warm so try adding 1 cup of soap nuts to 5 cups of water, bring them to the boil for around 20-25 minutes, part way through we find it best to use a potato masher but anything will do, crush them this will help release some extra Saponin we also added a cut up lemon and orange, firstly for the smell and secondly because the lemon helps cut through grease.

When washing clothes we find a small handful of around 10-12 nuts works best, tie them up in a muslin style bag and then just pop them in your washing machine, with white washing add a cup of bicarbonate soda and to soften the clothes a small amount of white wine vinegar, you can also add a essential oil at the same time, dont worry your clothes wont smell of vinegar it will be gone by the time you take your clothes out of the machine, if you would rather not add the nuts to your washing machine then you could always just add some of the liquid soap you have made previously. We also found that they can do around 3-4 washes so dont throw them straight in the bin, we spread ours out after each load to allow them to dry. One important thing you should remember with this is due to the water involved, you should not make to much liquid in one go, however if you do want to make a large amount you can always freeze some, just pour the liquid soap into ice cube trays and take them out as and when you require them.

We as a family give this product a 5 out of 5 for good environmental impact and a 5 star for practicality. We would recommend anyone trying to live a life free from a negative environmental impact to get these as they will not only reduce your global footprint but also save you many hundreds of pounds on cleaning products and toiletries throughout the year.

I use this company on amazon for mine you get 1kg for £9.95 and let me tell you that will last you for ages Salveo

Please let us know how you get on with this product yourself.

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If you have any products you would like to suggest please leave a comment below.

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