I’m taking a step away from cooking today at Kitchen Witch Wednesday . Recently, I have been testing out a “natural” cleaning product as a BzzAgent and I thought I might just talk about that for a bit.
I am a big proponent of natural, and simple, cleaning products in the home. The Naturally Powered products sold through Tescos in the UK are promoted as being “a new range of environmentally-conscious cleaning products that have been developed with the help of environmental experts, tested in the laboratory, and approved in the home”.
I tested a range of the available products, mainly because I had coupons for money off buying them. I also received a sample of the dish washing liquid.
All-Purpose Cleaner – Antibacterial
Cleaning power: 4/5
Animal testing: unknown
Let’s clear something up real quick, I don’t like anti-bacterial cleaning products. I don’t think they are necessary. I do believe that they contribute greatly to rapidly growing problem of bacterial superbugs, and they certainly won’t directly prevent colds, flus, or other illnesses caused by virii as they are not anti-viral. Plain old soap and water will work for that.
This product is laden with chemicals which are technically “natural” but I wouldn’t call them eco-friendly, or safe. You can read a comprehensive rundown of the substances to be found in this cleaner at Family v2.1.
Frankly, it might get surfaces clean, but I obtain results just as good using a spray bottle filled with a mix of vinegar, water, and a few drops of tea tree oil.
Washing Up Liquid (Dish Soap)
Cleaning power: 5/5
Animal testing: unknown
The actual ingredients in this product aren’t listed. All the packaging tells me is that the dish soap contains “plant derived” chemicals. A quick look at the website linked to above (which wasn’t available 2 weeks ago) tells me this product contains :
Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (coconut and palm derived), Lauryl Glucoside (coconut, palm and vegetable derived), Coco-Betaine (coconut derived), Parfum, Citric Acid, Benzisothiazolinone. D-limonene.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is what makes soap sudsy. It’s a foaming agent. You don’t actually need this to get dishes clean, but people associate the presence of suds with cleaning ability. SLS is considered to be a poison and is known to cause skin irritation, eye irritations, and protein denaturation (breaking down proteins). It is also thought that this chemical is carcinogenic and can cause hormonal changes.
Lauryl Glucoside is a surfactant. At this time, it is not listed as being hazardous to humans and can be found in many skin care products.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is another sudsing agent and foam booster found in many cleaning products. It is associated with increased skin irritation and contact dermatitis. It is a known to be toxic to the human immune system.
Parfum is simply perfume. It is not stated whether this is natural or synthetically derived. Like suds, this serves no purpose other than to make the consumer feel better about the product.
Citric Acid – used to add fragrance to the product
Benzisothiazolinone – an anti-microbial agent and preservative. It is known to be damaging to the immune system. It is a skin irritant. And it is thought to be hazardous to the environment.
d-limonene – added for the lemon scent. It’s a known skin irritant, and may be toxic to the immune system.
Okay, it gets the dishes clean, but do I really want to be putting all this on my dishes, or be putting my hands in water containing these ingredients? I don’t think so.
I won’t be buying the dish soap again either.
So, my verdict – if you want to do more for the environment by using more eco-friendly cleaning products, stay away from Tescos Naturally Powered products. The packaging may be recycled, or recyclable, but what is contained inside, while plant-derived, is not what I would consider to be safe or environmentally friendly.
Going Green the Easy Way : How to Go Green Without a Lot of Effort