* Prices may differ from that shown
Ecover All Purpose Cleaner Lemon
500ml all purpose surface cleaner in a strong squirty bottle
What it claims:
Simply give the bottle a quick shake and either spray directly onto the surface to be cleaned or for tricky areas, apply onto a damp cloth or sponge, wipe off with a cloth, no need to rinse off, but for added shine buff up with a dry cloth.
The bottle is a nice shape to hold, an ideal size and weight in the hand. The trigger spray is easy and efficient to use.
One of the first things you notice about this product is the smell, it has a clean crisp citrus fragrance that inspires confidence that my home is clean. Easy and quick to use. I really cannot fault this product. Simply spray and wipe. 10 out of 5 from me!
I use it to clean all around the home, it brings up kitchen worktops and fascia's a treat, I use it on leather upholstery and window ledges, indeed window frames and paintwork around the home.
Quick and easy to use
Ecological product from a trustworthy ethical brand
Cuts through grease and grime
Quality reusable container
Leaves surfaces clean and bright
None - it delivers
Available in supermarkets, health food shops, SCATS, and promotional stands at shows
Ecover 500ml Spray bottle costs about £2.70 depending on where you shop. Refills and dilutable versions are available and some health shops offer a re-filling service whereby you take along your empty bottle and refill from their bulk tank.
While I always prefer more natural cleaners such as lemon juice and white vinegar, with three cats tearing about the place and a partner who takes clumsiness to a whole new level, I do something needs something a little stronger. However my distaste for nasty chemicals means that I always chose eco-friendly products where necessary.
The Ecover All Purpose cleaner comes in a shaped bottle with a squirt head. Some of the bottles (like the one pictured) come without the locking mechanism on the nozzle nose. This means the squirt is non adjustable so what you get is a strong mist. However you can get the same product with a different head that comes with the lock and allows for the adjusting squirt.
The grip is comfortable and the packaging pretty basic with the bottle being of a pale translucent plastic that allows you to see how much is left.
Good for kitchen surfaces as it has a nice spray range. Lightly scented but not so overpowering, which I find particularly useful since I have allergies that seem to trigger at heavy scents. It is also not harsh on the skin if you catch yourself with it so no real need for wearing rubber gloves while you spray like some cleaners need.
Cleans well, may need a stronger burst on really stubborn stains but mostly a quick squirt and the surface can be wiped immediately.
I also use All purpose cleaner for my floors - in the kitchen I have white (not a good colour for a kitchen I know) floor tiles and as I said with three cats who are great at knocking over their food bowls I am needing to mop often!
Using the refill bottles with the wide mouths I find just 2 capfuls into the mop bucket of hot water really does the trick, however again for stubborn floor stains I will often add the cleaner neat to the stain first while I am filling the bucket. Then by the time I get to it, the marks come off easily.
This is not a harsh cleaner so good for all surfaces but in the same sense for any stubborn stains you need extra squirts or a bit of elbow grease and a rough scrub brush/sponge to held release it.
I found it lasts for ages as you really don't need much to get surfaces or floors done which is an added bonus and they do have refill bottles that are pretty good for your money so you don't need to keep buying new spray bottles.
~Points to consider~
* I would recommend you purchase the spray bottles with the lockable nozzles, not only is this safer if you have children but to remove the spray head completely is a nice twist neck that doesn't end up with the squirt head pointing off at an angle - the one in the picture I found leaked a little around the neck.
A good all round cleaner that can be used on any surface, not too harsh on the senses or the skin. I would definitely recommend this to others, especially those who want to move away from harsh chemicals or those who have allergies.
I started out using almost all the Ecover products, except for the washing up liquid as I make my own essential oil and vinegar mix for that, and I use good old white vinegar and newspaper for the windows. This is partly because Ecover products don't pump dangerous chemicals into the environment, and partly because I have a few allergies to strong chemicals and perfumes.
I quickly discovered that while the other Ecover cleaners would run out, but I'd still have lots of the all purpose cleaner left, as it stretches so far. So I ended up cleaning everything with it - work surfaces, kitchen cupboards, the sink, even the bath and the inside of the toilet- and I have found it to be a very practical and powerful cleaner, which is also eco-friendly, inexpensive, and smells lovely! Bleach will never need to enter my home!
When it does run out, I replace Ecover all purpose by purchasing a new bottle from the local health food store - though the local Sainsburys does stock it too.
I have so many cleaning products and have also tried alot in my time and Ecover all Purpose Cleaner is now one of my favourites.
The packaging is basic and its simple but you can read what you need to read, and the squirt nozzle is just the same as other leading brand names and gives a nice even coverage of the area you are spraying.
What I love about this spray is it smells nice, like lemons but is actually described as plant based. The smell is fresh and does not smell harsh like other surface sprays. Some products are full of so many harsh chemicals I can feel them on my lungs. This is pleasant to use.
With this being an all purpose spray you can use it on anything; I use it for my worktops, and my babies highchair I also sometimes clean my windows with this! And it works a treat.
This product is safe around food, and chrome friendly and the packaging is completely bio gradable but I tend to recycle my plastic containers anyway, but it's nice to know that this product has a lot of "green" qualities about it. You can also buy a refill version although I didn't even know about this till looking at the packaging at the back.
I am not sure how this goes with germs, I tend to use another Dettol spray for my surfaces with have had food on them, as I feel these are better for killing harmful germs, or If I feel they need a real good clean, I tend to spend a lot of my time cleaning every day so my kitchen is wiped several times a day anyway.
This product is against animal testing which is another positive thing and the ingredients are as below:-
30% water, 5-15% Alcohol, 5% anionic and non ionic surfactants and perfume (floral)
Overall I am pleased with this product, its good quality, smells nice and does not seem as harmful as normal surface sprays although I don't think it's at good at killing those harmful germs and does not seem to state that it does on the packaging either.
This seems a product to make things look clean
You can find out more information at www.ecover.com
RRP £2.49 from most supermarkets 500ml
If you read my review on the washing up liquid by ecover you will have seen that I am not an eco nut and by all means I am not preaching or anything it is just my opinion plain and simple.
It cost me around £2.40 for 500ml, now compared to cheap cleaners available this does seem a lot but it is eco friendly and a little goes along way. Also I have seen offers around every now and again so I stock up when I can. Also compared to other eco friendly brands its a good deal.
Its a standard ecover design really, plastic type clear bottle with a squirty nozzle which is green and bold lettering of ecover on the front, also when you buy refills you can just get the bottle instead of the bottle and the nozzle. The bottle can be recycled too.
The smell is a pleasant, fresh and clean smell with no chemical or overpowering herby undertones.
I use this to clean anything you would use multi purpose for- the worktops in my kitchen can be a pain to clean as they are black but with this its a breeze a squirt and a wipe, no scrubbing needed. It cuts through mild grease wonderfully. Although I wouldn't use it on a very heavily soiled cooker a mildly spattered one comes up well as do tiles, kitchen table, fridge etc, it cleans fingerprints well and doesn't smear badly.
I use this now as a regular cleaner and am very happy with it
I think it can be safe to assume that as a cleaner in part time jobs, most cleaners have a strict regime when it comes to cleanliness. Now, from where I'm coming from, I use expensive to cheap priced sprays and potions; sometimes chemical laden and sometimes home made traditional measures such as natural lemon juice and vinegar - something I used when I was a student the first time around ten years ago. I have bought products from premium brands such as Lakeland, Amway, Kleeneze, John Lewis and the cheaper end of the market such as supermarket brands, mass produced brands, Betterware and pound shop brands.
When it comes to cleaning up surfaces as well as a general degreaser, there is only one brand of cleaning liquid I prefer. It's a non-toxic formula, now available in orange as well as the original and is called Elbow Grease, marketed and sold by 151. Priced at £1 I find it extremely economical and have often recommended it to friends who have been disappointed by the mass produced names such as Cillit Bang or Flash which cost a lot more than a mere pound. Lately Elbow Grease has arrived in shops such as Poundstretchers, Pricewise and Co Op so its market reaction is beginning to get more of recognition nationally.
So how does Ecover's all purpose cleaning spray fare? It's more than non-toxic of course coming from an all natural additive free company. Out of all the supermarkets available it was only at Tesco that I managed to find the full range, sat into its own niche by the many different cleaning products as opposed to dotted about shelves according to purpose; my local Somerfields only sell Ecover's washing up liquid for example and its hidden away between "Mr Muscle" and "Mr Sheen" products.
What I like about the Ecover spray isn't the fact that it may well hold the claim that it is "the world's greatest clean cleaner," or perhaps the fact that it has a frost unpressurized spray function, or even the frosted look bottle which is recyclable! It is the scent that I adore and it's what attracted me at the time of purchase - a wonderfully fresh scent, void of most known chemicals to my snorters - and let's be honest here, despite the numerous products available, why does everything which is mass produced end up smelling like Flash liquid? Ecover's All Purpose Cleaner is quite different though - a very enjoyable mild scent, non-sneeze inducing scents of washing powder but closer to the rather excellent original scented fabric refreshener made by "Febreeze". The bottle states that it is floral, so if Febreeze is floral, the scents between both agents are remarkably similar and to my mind, Ecover's All Purpose contains shades of lemony freshness too.
If you want the history of Ecover you can find that on other reviews as well as Ecover's rather excellently covered website. Briefly if you have a local supermarket like mine (Somerfields) to find the product, it has a light blue sticker on its frosted clear plastic bottle (with green spray mechanism) which states that it is "the cleanest cleaner," with a little picture of a green frog. It's the Greenpeace of all purpose cleaners and it is not known as "All Purpose Cleaner," either but simply "Squirteco," on Ecover's website. H ow it works however is more important...
On white tiles for example (our kitchen table) I found that Ecover's spray failed on the smear test. After it had excellently managed to get the tiles shiny and bright, the shininess only lasted for a couple of minutes and thereafter showed plenty of smears which was disappointing to say the least; the product claims that it leaves glass smear free and to an extent this is true; white tile is not glass but then again they do possess similar properties - so on clear glass I found it was a great wonder on double glazing - where after all, it's a surface most viewable for streaks to the naked eye. However I initially thought that the streaking on white tiling was perhaps down to the flannel's fault (terry cotton cloth) and I then tried a new dry microfibre cloth with the same amount of spray applied to the table for the comparison; although slightly better, smears were still apparent in the daylight but not as much as with the used terry cotton cloth. Kitchen towel (a very rare thing I keep unless its for microwave baked potatoes) however faired to give a slight improvement over microfibre cloths too, although there was more of a problem of the paper roll leaving scards of paper whilst the cleaning solution became more saturated with the agent involved.
Next up - a kitchen floor - well it is an all purpose cleaner after all. Now with the use of my Hometek steam mop, I spray the Ecover onto the microfibre pad directly and switch on the machine. Not only is the kitchen filled with washing powder scents, but the general stains come off just as well compared to 151's "Elbow Grease", although coffee marks made by powder seem to take that little bit longer to erase the stain of our vinyl floor completely. On marble however, stains shift easily but it's the grouting on the floor which this cleaner doesn't do so well on.
On porcelain bathroom sinks and the toilet I was intrigued to see how Ecover would fare. After a couple of sprays on both the top of my cistern cover and around the taps on my bathroom sink, I left it for a moment before getting a cloth to pick up the dirt. Unsurprisingly it came off in one swipe including dreaded toothpaste marks which can be tricky and stubborn to lift off in one application with other cleaning agents. Dust pick up, which is notorious on white porcelain cistern covers, came off in one wipe too.
Overall and so far Ecover's All Purpose Cleaner has been quite impressive. Where it fails against 151's Elbow Grease of course, is its natural degreasing ability. Unlike a couple of other reviews I found I have to literally apply some muscle/your own elbow grease to get the most stubborn of stains out; it does claim that it can "cut through grease and grime," and I would say that this works - to a point - on the lightest of grime and dirt on most surfaces. But around the rings of my cooker, I gave up through tiresome scrubbing.
For most consumers however they will adore the fact that this product costs only £1-49 with a further optional plastic seal pack at 99p for a refill. Other plus factors state that this product can be used around food, but this does not automatically justify whether this product is antibacterial; for that reason only and simply for personal reasons, I refer back to using simple lemon juice and vinegar. These ambiguous claims however point more to other thoughts I've currently had;
In terms of its contents the lists on the back of the bottle state that amongst the 30% of water, between 5 to 15% includes the plant based natural contents and that also includes Ethanol, which is human consumption-able at best but mixed with water can produce a flammable effect. Although you can't use this product in electric hard floor cleaners, it can be applied to steam mops which allow similar products to be added to its clear water tank. So it's a mystery to why Ecover can't be precise with the ingredients; if for example as it would appear 45% of the contents have been listed, what has happened to the remaining 55%? Yes, a floor product does exist from the Ecover range, but since this is an "All Purpose," type cleaner, it is better to know rather than to find out.
To ease peace of mind, Ecover would do well to improve this formula's content so that it naturally (sic) puts consumers at ease with all of its contents not just whether it is flammable. It would appear that Ecover are banking on a rather large proportionate of consumers who will buy this product and firmly believe that it is 100% safe because it has 100% natural plant based ingredients. More worringly, there are no warnings of what to do if this product is accidentally consumed either - not good for any company product who are trying their level best to produce something different and novel, never mind ease environmental concerns. A great cleaner then, Ecover's Squirteco is a good cleaning spray which will leave most surfaces gleaming, but its not as natural as lemon juice and vinegar - or as safe. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
** Update **
A recent email to Ecover has revealed the following info. When asked why instructions weren't on the bottle; the following info has been given:
"...The information on the products are regulated by legislation and we have to put certain things on in a certain way
There are criteria that you have to meet for different levels of a product in order to carry warnings on that product
Squirteco doesn't reach those levels and is not classified as a dangerous product..."
However unfortunately for Ecover, they also sent me a PDF note regarding the contents in this bottle:
For the purposes of hazards, Ecover Squirteco is not classed as a dangerous product. However if it is swallowed drinking a lot of milk or water will help. Do not induce vomitting and if inhaled, to rest and breathe properly.
However if this product is heated up, FLAMMABLE vapours can emerge.
How difficult was that Ecover?
The thought of ingesting the plethora of noxious chemicals found in coventional anti-bacterial sprays has always distressed me. So a couple of years ago I informed my family that I wanted to launch an entirely natural surface cleaner.
It seems I was beaten to it - Ecover All Purpose Cleaner offers a natural solution for those who share my concerns - for the environment, as well as my health. Though I wish I had been quicker off the mark with my little planned enterprise, Ecover has honestly revolutionised my kitchen cleaning routine (sad as that is).
Firstly, the spray action is excellent - superior even to the most popular branded cleaners - with greater coverage from a single spray. Cleaning is thus faster, and, of course, more fun...! Less product is also needed, which is again better for both the environment and the pocket.
Most of all, the cleaner leaves surfaces wonderfully clean - usually with a single wipe. Grease and grime pose no challenge for this powerful product. It does not taint, and leaves glass surfaces or windows smear-free.
The natural ingredients mean there is no need to wipe clean - even around food-preparation areas. Whilst it's obviously always advisable to keep cleaning products out of the reach of children and animals, it's good to know that furry friends and little ones should not be injured in the day-to-day use of this product. Nor will fish and other acquatic life be injured should the cleaner find its way down your kitchen sink: the contents are fully biodegradable.
A final real plus about the All Purpose Cleaner is that refill versions are available. Again, good for the environment and your pocket.
Safe to say I shall not be going back to the your standard anti-bacterial cleaner. Ecover's All Purpose Cleaner may attract a premium of around 70p on your average branded surface cleaner, but it is worth every penny. You really can't beat this for performance as well as peace of mind - and it's good to know that if you're eating or inhaling any of it, at least it's all plant-based...
I have been using Ecover products for years now, and find their cleaning capabilities quite satisfactory and their ethos exemplary, so when I noticed this during a weekly shop, I thought I'd have a go. Now I have always been one of these people convinced that our general overzealousness in the area of home cleanliness is probably a contributing factor to the rise in allergies these days, but with a new baby in the house I wanted to have that balance between keeping things hygienic and being obsessively clean in the area of kitchen surfaces. So, Dettol and Bleach OUT, Ecover IN!!!
Who are Ecover?
Well, they are the revolutionaries who first stood up and said "wait, there is another way!" and when it comes to cleaning your home, for me, they are really my only choice. I feel even more strongly about their way of producing and marketing their products now that I have my 4 month old daughter to consider - parenthood really does make you think more deeply about things.
In Belgium, in 1980, Ecover was founded as a pioneering company, selling phosphate free products. Phosphate free is good, by the way. As a company, Ecover is very concerned about environmental issues and in 1992 they opened the world's first ecological factory - it has a green "live" roof! If you read the back of your fabric softener bottle, it will tell you that this product is made at this very factory!
Every part of their business is covered by ecological policy, not just the products and production of them, but everything else, like marketing and sales (for example, they will refill your old bottles of washing up liquid, collecting them and delivering them back, free of charge. You just pay for the actual refill - pretty good!)
Ecover now have sites in the UK and USA, and sell their products in over 20 countries worldwide. All of their products are designed and made keeping environmental benefits to humans and animals as well as the planet herself, at the forefront, and for this, I applaud them! They also make me feel noble and goddess-like, and for this, I thank them.
I love squirty bottles. They have a playful-ness about them that makes me feel quite youthful, and they're much more fun and take less time to use than a bottle you have to take the top off (and not loose the top off...), pour onto cloth, wipe....it's all too much! Squeeze trigger, wipe, done. No fuss and palaver, job's a goodun! The great thing about these bottles is that you can buy refills (the bottle bit) and re-use your squirty bit, thereby helping that little bit more to protect the environment and your pocket (the refill is cheaper coz you're not paying for the squirty bit. Good, eh?!)
The Stuff That's in The Cleaning and Would You Want To Eat It?
The thing that has always troubled me about surface cleaners is the idea that once you've cleaned, you might have a germ free (and who said germ-free was a good thing anyway? If there are no germs then how does are immune system know how to work properly?) - surface but anything you put on the surface is going to pick up the cleaning chemicals. You make a sandwich, and the bread soaks up all that lovely bleachieness and guess what? You eat it. Call me old-fashioned, but bleach sandwiches are not, how shall I say...my cup of tea. I've always figured a bowl of hot water does the same - heat killing bugs and all. Never had food poisoning, and always manage to stay healthy (though not wealthy and probably not wise either!) Add a baby to the equation though, and me as a first time new mum, and we have a different story. However, I know that the stuff in Ecover is powerful against germs but in a natural way - even the fragrances in it are plant based. I doubt I'd enjoy a whole bottle, but it certainly doesn't give me the heebie-jeebies to think of it in the vicinity of my cheese and tomato (with red pepper relish) sandwich.
The Eco Squirt Experience (ooh aaah!)
Well this is one of those products that does what it says on the box. Point, squirt, wipe, move on. The handy thing I have found is that you can use this one handed. That is to say that if you happen to be tidying the kitchen with the baby on one arm, there are no tops to unscrew, lids to loose, caps to put back on. You just pull the trigger and away you go! Easy as pie. The smell is lovely - makes me thing of flower borders on a summer morning - really early when the sun is just coming up. Marigolds and such. The ingredients say it has plant based floral perfumes added to it, and I am willing to bet a whole 20p that somewhere in there are some marigolds! Anyway, whatever it is that makes it smell - it really does smell lovely. Clean. Fresh. Florally!
The Monetary Value of Squirt Eco!!
I get my Ecover stuff from Tesco, as I haven't yet been able to source it locally. It costs £1.98 for a 500ml squirt-topped bottle. A single bottle of this will last a good month in our house - we don't go overboard on how much we use and we don't have very big benches on account of our tiny kitchen, but you might use it a bit faster if you have (trying not to be jealous here...) really long surfaces....!
I have long ago stopped trying to brute-force people into being green. The way I see it, people can choose to help save the planet or not - I'm happy doing my own little bit and trying the best I can. I do feel more strongly about things now that my baby girl is here - and I feel incredibly proud of myself that one day in a history lesson or some such, she, or maybe even her own daughters will think about the efforts we have made to make things better for the future. I know there are so many things out of our reach - so many things we feel we can have no real impact on as long as other people have their way - landfill sites, gas guzzlers, bloomin aeroplanes, nuclear power stations, that kind of thing - but this is one place I can truly say I know, through consumer power, I am making a difference. And that pleases me greatly. It's a good product. It does what it says it will do. And in buying it, I raise my voice to the chemical based crap, stick two fingers up to the non-recycled bottles, shout hallelujah for cleaning products that will save the world. I can choose to eat my cheese and tomato (with red pepper relish) sandwich without a coating of chemical mess. Can you?
Thank you for reading, Kate x
Cuts through grease and grime effectively using the natural power of plant based mineral ingredients.