I am fully aware that I use a lot of chemicals in my home cleaning and I am open to ways of sometimes avoiding chemicals and using home-made remedies such as white wine vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. A new report from e-cloth, Do you know what you are breathing? exposes the serious health and wellbeing dangers behind the everyday chemical cleaners that live under the kitchen sink. With toxic cleaning products affecting our wellbeing such as irritating the skin and exacerbating allergies and asthma, not to mention the environment, is it time to ditch the bottles and switch to chemical-free cleaning using only water?
So after reading the report it was time for me to find out more about the e-cloth range. Recently I have tested out quite a few of their different cloths and believe me there is a huge range. They have thought of a cloth to clean absolutely everything.. The average UK household spends four hours and seven minutes a week on housework and £200 a year on cleaning products, which are spritzed and sprayed routinely on surfaces and in the air around the home. And though we may think we are looking after our own, and family’s health by using these types of cleaning products, experts are warning that we could actually be putting our health and wellbeing in danger.
Let me start by telling you about the Stainless Steel e-cloth
As you know I love to use a bit of baby oil to buff up my stainless steel as it gives me such a perfect finish and shine. But this cloth is a bit of a game changer. In the pack you get 2 e-cloths. A cloth with stiffer fibre stripes for the actual cleaning with just water and a polishing cloth that is used dry for buffing and shinning.
I tried this Stainless Steel e-cloth on our Stainless Steel cooker, toaster, sink unit and all the taps and accessories in the bathroom. I was very surprised how well this worked. The strippy side of the cloth did remove the dirt and grease and left my stainless steel taps, tops and kitchen accessories looking sparkling.
I have some really big mirrors in my house plus a big conservatory so its important that I have this looking streak free with a great shine. I tried this mitt with very low expectations if I am honest with you. I started with the mirrors that to be fair are clean and just get a light covering of dust of them if they aren’t cleaned daily. I sprayed was water liberally and used the mitt in an up and down motion. The mirror was cleaned very quickly and was left sparking and lint free. I shall definitely be using this again.
This includes a bathroom cloth that is extra thick and fluffy for optimal absorbancey and a glass polishing cloth. The bathroom cloth claims to remove greasy grime, soap scum and bacteria. To test this out I made my bath as dirty as I could which wasn’t easy!! Left the grim sit for 5 hours and then I used the e-cloth alone with water. True to its word the dirt did come off very easily and I will left with a shiny surface. My concern here though is are the germs all gone? So I did spray some product to finish off. In this instance I would use the cloths again but really reduce down the amount of products I use in the bathroom. So although I wouldn’t be chemical free in the bathroom I would now be using less chemicals. So overall a good result.
In the bathroom range I did also try the shower range too. The shower cloth comes with a little suction hook so you can keep it in easy reach of the shower. I always wipe the shower doors over when I have finished and this little cloth certainly did work a treat. The cloth also claims that it helps reduce the build up of limescale. We all hate limescale so I would definitely recommend you get one of these.
After I tested the majority of the e-cloths I washed them straight away. They all washed well and the washing had no effect of their subsequent performance. The glass cloths produced an excellent shine and left my glass with a streak free finish. The Tea-Towel was very absorbent and gave a fabulous shine to my glassware. The general all purpose cloths produced great results on all surfaces.
New research from e-cloth shows that consumers are waking up to the issues associated with chemical cleaning, with 54 per cent of respondents concerned about the effect of chemical cleaners and almost a quarter (21%) of adults who use household cleaning equipment preferring to use cleaning cloths and scouring products that can be used without chemical cleaning agents.
And it’s no surprise people are looking for effective chemical-free methods, with evidence showing that there is a clear link between household cleaners and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the umbrella term for bronchitis, emphysema and other respiratory issues.
In fact, professional cleaners, who are regularly exposed to chemicals such as ammonia, which are known to irritate airways, have some of the highest rates of COPD of any occupation. A study which examined health records of 5,000 people involved in the European Community Respiratory Survey found that occupational cleaners had 17 per cent greater loss of lung function than average, and those involved in cleaning at home had a 14 per cent greater loss of lung function over 20 years.
Family GP, Dr Gill Jenkins says: “The prevalence of asthma sky-rocketed from the 1950s up to the 1990s, with, depending on the statistics you look at, a two- or three-fold increase in the number of people affected. And while it is true that correlation does not necessarily mean causation, it is telling that sales of household cleaners soared over the same period.
“Many theories have been put forward to explain the increase in asthma and other allergies, but one obvious factor is our increased exposure to harmful fumes from household chemicals.”
She adds: “The Health and Safety Executive stresses the importance of good work techniques to minimise contact with cleaning products, the use of protective equipment such as gloves and good hand care to remove contamination and use skin creams. But there is a much simpler way to minimise the risk of health issues associated with cleaning products — stop using them.”Even the so called greener, eco-friendly products that consumers may purchase due to chemical cleaning concerns may not be what they seem. Indeed, the consumer magazine Which? has warned that shoppers are being “green-washed” with clean, green claims, and a check of ingredients show that many well-known ‘eco’ brands still include known irritants such a sodium laurel sulphate.
Chemical-free cleaning with e-cloth and water
Until relatively recently, consumers have been forced to choose between efficacy and efficient cleaning with chemicals, and the health of their family and the environment, but now there is a third way — thanks to the marvel of microfibre technology. One that only requires water and not a thousand different types of toxic chemical cleaners.
e-cloth products, which use microfibre technology, allows you to clean and sanitise almost every surface in your home with nothing more than water and a wipe. And though no chemicals are being used, this method still eliminates almost all bacteria, proving chemical-cleaning is no longer a must.
And e-cloth’s efficacy has been proved in a number of studies. Independent tests have been carried out by laboratories based in U.S.A, France and Brazil, with data reviewed by an American microbiologist who pioneered research into salmonella and other harmful bacteria, to confirm the highly efficient antibacterial action of e-cloths.,
In the tests e-cloths were used to clean hard surfaces which had been contaminated with E-coli, Listeria and Aspergillus — three of the most common bugs associated with gastric upsets and respiratory problems — and laboratory tests proved they eliminated over 99 per cent of these bacteria.
Similarly, the e-cloth Deep Clean Mop Head eliminated 99.8 per cent of the E-coli, 98.1 per cent of the Listeria and 99.4 per cent of the Aspergillus. Perhaps more importantly, once the e-cloths and mop head had removed the bacteria, it remained trapped in the microfibres until it was rinsed away.
Biochemist, Dr Chris Etheridge explains: “The secret is in the structure of these high-tech fabrics. As the name suggests, microfibre is made up of literally millions of tiny fibres which can be split and woven in different ways to enhance specific cleaning qualities — and the greater the concentration of fibres per square centimetre, the greater the cleaning power.”
But how does it work? The secret to their super absorbency and almost magnetic cleaning power lies in microfibre technology. The microfibres in e-cloths are at least 100 times finer than a human hair, and each fibre is then split in 16 miniscule fibre filaments which are processed in different ways to provide difference cleaning characteristics.
The majority of e-cloths are made up of 80 per cent polyester and 20 per cent polyamide, a clever combination which works differently, depending on the way the fibres are split, whether they are woven or knitted, the weight of the cloth, and whether the e-cloth is used wet or dry.
While all microfibres have the ability to attract and trap dust and dirt, and absorb fluids, far more effectively than conventional cotton cloths and plastic polymer sponges, it is the density and design of the fibres which ultimately determines their cleaning power and how long they last.
e-cloth’s microfiber products offers cloths with a fibre count of 480,000 fibres per square centimetre, for phenomenal cleaning power which breaks up grease and dirt without the need for toxic and costly chemical cleaners.
Simply drawing this volume of cleaning fibres across a surface breaks up and removes grease and dirt and achieves a much deeper clean than is possible using chemical cleaners. When it’s dry, the microfibres are positively charged and this static energy attracts and holds dust and bugs, dirt and bacteria. And when it is wet, millions of tiny pores on the surface of the fibres use a capillary action to draw up and trap grease, dirt and bacteria.
Family GP, Dr Gill Jenkins, says: “Sadly, familiarity breeds complacency, and many people routinely under-estimate the risks associated with household cleaners. Many contain ingredients which are highly irritant to both the skin and respiratory system. A number of studies have shown that fumes from cleaning products exacerbate asthma and undermine lung function, and a growing number of scientists and medics believe they are to blame for the explosion in asthma which began in the second half of the 20th century.,
“Now dozens of studies confirm this high-tech and ultra-hygienic approach using microfibre not only eliminates the risks associated with chemical cleaners, but also provides more effective cleaning and sanitising than costly conventional products.
“But it’s also clear that not all these products are comparable and their cleaning power is determined by the density of microfibres, and way they have been woven or knitted together.”
For more of my honest opions and product reviews take a look here