great green product review

this summer, ecostore USA contacted me about sending some of their products for review. since we are in the process of replacing our chemical cleaners with natural alternatives, i was definitely interested. their website revealed their motto, which i appreciated:

*NO toxic petrochemicals, NO phosphates, NO nitrates, NO ammonia, NO enzymes, NO chlorine, NO EDTA, NO optical whiteners, NO synthetic dyes or perfumes.

i realize a lot of people think, "who cares? if those ingredients (and others) really weren't safe, we'd know, right?"

not necessarily. companies can put almost anything they want into cleaners, personal care products, toys, fabrics, electronics and anything else. new chemicals are created every day and go right into products. there's virtually no regulation, and it's hardly in the fiscal interest of any company to run the research to prove that their ingredients are safe for long term use and exposure.

essentially the onus is on the consumer to prove that something is harmful and has no place in our homes or on our skin, to get absorbed into our bodies. supposedly, the average woman slathers herself in about 200 different chemicals before she even leave the bathroom in the morning. that's astounding, and the fact that i can be passing chemicals to my baby makes me even more wary. as incidents of cancer, allergies, and other health problem rise exponentially, i'd rather err on the side of nature and caution when it comes to chemical exposure for my family.

while it's generally been my experience that "green" cleaners (whether store-bought or simply using baking soda for household chores) perform just as well or even better than their chemical counterparts, i've not had much luck in the dishwasher. seventh generation's liquid and powder detergents both left me unimpressed, and i was back using traditional detergents.

i'd heard that opening your dishwasher while it's running exposes you to more harmful toxins than anything else around the house. i also don't like the idea of what kind of residues might be lingering on our dishes that we may be ingesting, so i picked to try ecostore's plant-derived auto dishwash powder, even though i was a little skeptical of its potential.

as it turns out, it worked great. it left no powdery residue or funky lingering smell--just shiny, clean dishes. the bottle said i could use vinegar as a rinse aid, but it performed equally well without it. i consider it a great find. at $12 for 35.5 ounces, it's pricey, but a little goes a long way: it only requires 1 Tbsp per load. i've been using it for much of the summer, and i still have half a bottle. i still want to try making homemade detergent, but it is nice to know a good, green commercial alternative is out there.

i also tried ecostore's laundry powder, which also is super-concentrated and requires a tiny scoop per load. (detergents that utilize a large scoop or cup are typically loaded with additives.) it worked really well--even on dylan's diapers, but at $11 a box, it costs a whopping $.44 per load, which is significantly more than the charlie's soap we currently use, at under $.14 a load. so although it performed well, i wouldn't buy ecostore's powder myself. we will probably continue to use charlie's for diapers, and i'm still planning to try making laundry soap.

(i just had a funny/horrifying recollection of brad pitt and ed norton "rendering the fat" in their soap making ventures in fight club. that is not what i have in mind! making laundry soap basically requires grating a bar of soap and adding washing soda and borax--no stolen fat required;)

ecostore USA carries a number of safe, quality products. in addition to a variety of household cleaners, they also sell natural bath and body items. shipping for orders of at least $25 is always free, and they are currently running this promotion: if you spend $50 and type in "2for1" discount code at checkout, they will send you double of everything you ordered--for free. it's a great time to try out their line of natural products.

(the company sent me these items for review. the opinions are mine, and i was not otherwise compensated for writing this post.)


O'Brien said...

Im glad you liked the dishwasher because, like you and everyone else, i can make most everything myself, with on success on dish soap. I will look into getting their dishwashing product.

Penny said...

OOOO ecostore - is that the US branch of the NZ company... think it might be. I use a lot of their products, including their dishwasher powder. The only thing I have against them is their use of palm oil in some of their products. I know they source it from the consortia that claims to harvest sustainable palm oil but I'm not convinced that consortia really, truly is sustainable.
But still - love their stuff. Their lemongrass soap is delicio.

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