People have become accustomed to buying what they see on TV or what is on sale in the local supermarket. Due to this, their buying preferences are highly skewed towards more established brands with extensive funding capabilities.
Sadly enough, these brands are often more interested in how they can create products in the cheapest way, rather than caring for the environment and creating sustainable products.
Here, we would like to share our experience with natural organic cleaning products over the past few years.
We’re quite sure that when you read this heading, an image of a popular brand of dish soap came to mind.
That’s to be expected, since they are advertised for in TV commercials several times a day. And the supermarkets often carry a wide range of products from these popular brands of cleaning products.
In the Netherlands, one of the most popular brands of dish soap is called Dreft. We have used this brand in the past and it really gets the job done. It’s a perfect product if all you’re looking for is something to clean your plates, but it’s not that great for your skin nor for the environment when washed down the drain.
Hence, we were looking for a more sustainable alternative.
About three years ago we switched to a brand called Ecover. Their products are organic and we have used a variety of them ever since.
The local supermarket we go to, however, recently rebuilt their store. Previously, they had quite a wide variety of products from Ecover. But now they are all gone, and the supermarket currently stocks no organic cleaning products of any kind.
However, at that time, when our dish soap bottle was depleted, we decided we preferred to use biodegradable alternatives from that point forward for any detergents that would be rinsed down the drain. Preferably ones that do not come in plastic packaging.
For us it did not matter that the regular supermarket doesn’t stock sustainable products anymore, because there are other places where we can get them. These are however less known by most people, and it just goes to show how little attention is paid to alternative products like these in the mainstream supermarkets.
We took our bikes to a different store and found the brand Sonnett. They produce natural, organic dish soaps that are 100% degradable.
We have found both brands of natural and organic dish soaps to be amazing. The only difference we have come across is that they tend to produce less bubbles than their chemical counterparts. This doesn’t affect their function whatsoever though.
In our experience, these environmentally friendly soaps work just as well without having the need to damage our environment. We would definitely suggest giving a less popular and more environmentally friendly brand of dish soap a try!
Stuff for your hair and body
We used to buy shampoos and shower gels in bulk, when they were on sale for buy 1 get 1 free. These would include Dove, Nivea, Aussie, Syoss, and other popular brands.
Not only did these products mainly contain chemical ingredients, the companies also heavily rely on animal testing. Which makes sense of course when you’re testing new chemical non-natural compounds.
We’ve noticed over time that these shampoos and especially shower gels caused Marijke’s sensitive skin to start itching. Additionally, we also saw that most brands give you quite a dry skin afterwards. This then creates the need to use their lotions and such!
We no longer felt comfortable using these products.
We slowly used up all of our old products, and gifted some we hadn’t yet opened to a friend of ours (who wasn’t, sadly enough, going to change their habits anyway due to monetary reasons).
One by one, our chemical products were replaced by environmentally friendly alternatives.
We both bought a small bottle of shampoo and loved the quality, so Jordy decided to take home a large bottle of shampoo and shower gel. In Germany, products like these are so much more affordable than the Netherlands so we couldn’t resist buying a liter of each.
Additionally, larger bottles have a smaller surface area in comparison to small bottles, so it saves a bit of single use plastic!
We have used half of the bottle of shower gel now and it’s lasted both of us for three months already. It’s safe to say that a little goes a long way! The scent of this particular shower gel, coconut and vanilla, is amazing. We keep saying that to each other once a week or so.
We haven’t had the need to open up our large bottle of shampoo yet, we’re still emptying our smaller bottles that we first bought back in April. Because we just need a small amount to clean our hair, it lasts us quite a long time. Jordy has such short hair that we sometimes wonder whether he even needs shampoo, but Marijke can make do with a very small droplet as well with her long hair.
Pearly shiny teeth
Shampoo and shower gels aren’t the only personal care products we have exchanged. As far as cleaning products for our body goes, we have found alternatives for every single thing.
We’ve used a number of natural toothpastes for about a year now. Although some of them really take some getting used to – some of them taste differently or have a very odd texture – they were great once we did.
Oftentimes they have a less minty taste and since that’s something most people have tasted since childhood, it can really put them off. However, doesn’t each brand taste different and take some time to get used to?
We have alternated between using Splat and Dr Organic toothpastes over the past year and we really like both of them. They are quite minty and taste, in our opinion, really good and even comparable to other non-organic brands.
Since we are using environmentally friendly brands of toothpaste, we haven’t found them to work any less than other brands. We’ve both visited the dentist twice in the time using them and haven’t had any cavities or other problems with our teeth!
We think it is safe to say by now that these organic toothpastes work just as great!
Currently, we are even waiting for something totally new. Tooth brushes based on charcoal together with charcoal powder to clean your teeth, as well as solid toothpaste in biodegradable paper packaging.
We are really curious as to how these will please us and we surely will write about them in the future. So keep an eye out if you’re interested!
All purpose cleaners
The brands we introduced earlier on also offer amazing all purpose cleaning products for our interior. We are currently using Sonnett all purpose cleaner and Ecover bathroom cleaner.
We also used the all purpose cleaner to clean the inside of our van and it worked really well! It has a great scent and we feel like we don’t have to use more of this product compared to a chemical alternative.
We use the Ecover bathroom cleaner to remove lime stains from the chrome in our bathroom, shower, and kitchen. It works perfectly and just like it should. It creates a thick foam that can sit on the object and after rinsing or wiping it off, the lime stains are easily removed.
Simple change can have massive impact
Writing this, we realized that the products we use are just as efficient as their popular chemical sisters. It’s a shame that regular supermarkets often don’t stock a wide range of environmentally friendly options, but that shouldn’t limit us from trying to improve our choices.
When your current bottle of cleaning product runs out – be it dish soap, toothpaste, or shampoo – try to find a natural replacement. It might be a bit of a challenge to find a suitable product, but once you do, you won’t regret buying it!
Change can be so simple and we often forget that it starts with us. If we don’t make a change, who will?
Is there a product you have exchanged with an alternative that is better for the environment? What is your favourite eco-friendly brand of cleaning products? Tell is in the comment section below!