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I don't like to use over use chemicals or have ones that leave vapours or traces / odour in the air as it is obviously harmful to some degree. I always have all my doors open for ventilation and fresh air.
I saw a documentary once about the royal cleaners who clean Windsor Castle, and the head House cleaner said all she ever used to polish was a duster, chamois leather ( can't remember which ) and some water never any polish as the furniture was to valuable and nothing else worked as well. This was taught to her and she had done this for 40 off years !
I tried it but couldn't quite get the hang of it, I use a chamois for my car when I can be bothered as it is nice and smooth. For indoors I discovered these microfibre cloths that have a closer knit cloth than normal cloths so they can make surfaces shine better.
The E-cloth Polishing and Glass Cleaning Cloth that I have is blue I have had similar ones that are other colours , they sell them on Ebay for £4.50. The size is 40cm x 50cm and it is made up of 480,000 fibres per cm2 which mean it can kill 99% of germs without any cleaning chemicals or product.
They also sell packs of 2 cloths on their website, and have a range of packs no doubt as a result of the success of this cloth.
All you need to do is damp the cloth with some water then polish the surface. It will polish / clean wooden tables, kitchen worktops, glass shower screens, windows, taps, door handles etc.
What I have noticed is that if the table is dirty you don't want to use this cloth to wipe it down after a snack, you clean it with a dishcloth and whatever surface cleaner you use to get rid of the jam, crumbs, split milk etc then give it a polish with the cloth.
The same applies to windows, if they are dirty because you are near a road, or you just haven't bothered to clean them, and have noticed they look dirty and someone is coming round, a clean with Flash or Mr sheen then a polish will save the cloth from needing another wash. It may be defeating the object of having it, that would be up to you.
It can be stuck in the washing up bowl and squeezed, but it dries a funny shape, , it says to put it in the washing machine at 90 degrees. I found it lasts a couple of years at least, if you don't lose it or ruin it by not washing or drying it properly. I have used these for cleaning my car, and one got black in seconds from the dirt on the window and was never the same again. At least the windscreen was clean !
They are good for polishing but too expensive to use as a cleaning cloth and keep washing.
Although I have been (very) vaguely aware of microfibre cloths for a while it is a sad reflection of my knowledge about cleaning that I had never heard of an E-cloth until I bought one in Tesco's recently.This Glass and Polishing cloth seemed a good idea, as I have recently acquired a new cooker with a glass door that I am trying to keep nice and clean, so that I can see how things are coming along in the oven without having to open the door. Using a nice cloth or product seems to make a routine job more pleasant, so I bought one although the price was a bit high, at around £5 if my memory is correct.
Surprisingly the pack informed me that I need use no chemical cleaner at all with this cloth, just water. Although on the oven door I had only been using a weak solution of washing up liquid anyway, I felt a bit sceptical. I know things change all the time, but to do cleaning without a cleaner seems a bit odd. Anyway, I tried it, and it seemed to do a good job, the glass looked sparkling clean,and there was a brown residue on the cloth which rinsed out easily.Each time I have used it for the oven door, I have had a good result like this.
The science behind these cloths is that they are made with millions of tiny fibres that "pick up dirt which normal cloths just leave behind" Each fibre is about 1/100th the width of a human hair.When used wet and damp as a pad the cloths effectively remove dirt, if used dry the cloth has a natural positive charge which attracts dust.
The glass and polishing cloth can be effectively usedfor windows, mirrors, and light cleaning, according to the manufacturers, Enviro Products Ltd. The address of Enviro products is East Barn,Furnace Farm,Furnace Lane, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8LE.Tel 01892 893191,website www.e-cloth.com.
I decided to use the cloth on some windows, and had a good result, amazingly without using window cleaner. I have always had a difficulty with smeary windows, now they are fine. My mirrors are also looking good. Because the cloth is so succesful, I also bought an General Purpose cloth, for some heavier cleaning duties, also with good effect using water only.
I am very impressed with these E-cloths, not least because they reduce the use of chemicals in the home. Toxins must build up especially in the winter months when we shut the windows to keep the heat in. Apparently bacteria are effectively removed from surfaces.(Biomedical Centre, Sheffield Hallam University) Its no surprise that the cloths have won an Allergy Consumer award,and a 2008 Good Housekeeping Consumer Award. According to the (recycleable) packaging they are recommended by NEFF, Electrolux ,Miele and Hotpoint.
The cloths are set to last for ages. They are made from a polyester/polyamide mix. Usually a good rinse will clean them well, but they can be washed regularly at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer, though you cannot use fabric conditioner, or bleach, which can damage the microfibres.
I cannot praise these cloths too highly, they are fab. The only thing I miss about using cleaning products is the perfume which is usually quite nice, but I can do without that. I think there are some really dirty areas where I'd rather use a bit of disinfectant eg around drains or the toilet, but I think the cloths are wonderful, and well worth 5 stars.
Cleaning glass is one of my least favourite jobs. I spend ages rubbing and polishing, only to find that when I step back and view my handiwork from a new angle, the surface that I thought was pristine is covered in nasty smears of cleaning product and I have to start all over again!
Not any more!
The e-cloth is a godsend. Its main advantage is that you don't actually need to use any cleaning products with it. Simply dampen it down and the fabric does the work for you. I was skeptical about this claim at first. Being a bit of a clean freak, I wondered how could something that used nothing stronger than water could hope to work on coffee stains or sticky food? But the idea of not having to buy separate cleaning products, or, spray chemicals all over my home was so appealing that I decided to put my qualms aside and buy one.
The cloth comes packaged in a simple plastic box, complete with the Good Housekeeping Approved Products logo. It's about 50 x 40 cm and blue in colour. If you look closely at the surface you can see the small bunches of microfibre that allow it to work its magic.
I decided to use the cloth dry at first. And I wasn't very impressed with the results. Although it did attract dirt and dust to it, I felt more that I was moving this around than actually removing it from the surface.
However, when I dampened the cloth a little, it was a revelation! There are more than a thousand microfibres per square centimetre of this cloth, and when wet, they get to work with remarkable efficiency. The result was like something I'd expect a scourer to achieve, only without the harsh and abrasive scratching that this would produce - and without needing any cleaning products at all! And - best of all - absolutely no smears! Just a lovely, pristine, shiny surface.
One word of warning: there seems to be an optimum point at which the cloth works most effectively. It's great with a bit of water, but too much and it just becomes a big soggy mess. Fortunately, however, it dries out super quickly, so even if you do go a bit overboard with the H2O, you can simply wring it out and it's virtually ready to go.
When the cloth gets dirty, you simply shove it into the washing machine. A forty degree wash brings it up brilliantly, but it can withstand a 90 degree wash if you need to sterilize it, and comes up pristine afterwards. It's probably best not to use fabric conditioner with it, though, as this affects its absorbency.
What's more, the cloth also works on other surfaces, including stainless steel (which comes up brilliantly!), plastic, granite, tiles (fantastic results) and wood.
The only downside is the price - a fiver for a cloth seems quite a lot. However, when you think that a bottle of spray cleaner can cost £2, you realize that you could actually make quite a saving using one of these for a year. And not only is that economical, it's also environmentally friendly too!
I now have one for my car as well as my home, as my windscreen is always getting sap from trees all over it. Works a treat!
After putting up with consistent smears on my glass items, the tv and so on I could stand it no longer and gave into the E-cloth phenomenon, I shall be honest and say for a long time the price had put me off but it was a last shot at cleaning perfection.
I got a twin pack with the green cloth in it from b and q for £8.99.
I was and still am absolutley thrilled with the results it gives time and time again. I very lightly damp it and wring it out until lmost dry to clean the TV screen and windows that get mucky handprints on and they come up a dream with no smears or anything. The mirrors get the same treatment and I am yet to be disappointed. I also use it to polish my stainless steel sink and that comes up sparkling not bad considering it is battered and bruised from very heavy usage.
The good thing is when you are done you can bung it in the washer and it will be as good as new however you cannot (seriously) use fabric softner on it- I did and it just didn't clean the same so I washed it again in a non fabric conditioner wash and all is well.
I do have several of them now to stow away in different rooms and for several different uses and you couldn't pay me to get rid of them! However it can be a bit addictive you try and see what it can't clean and thats not much.
No matter what product I used, I always ended up with smears on my glass-topped tables and mirrors. I was moaning about this to a friend when she suggested I buy an E-cloth from Lakeland (formerly Lakeland Plastics). She had one and said it was wonderful. As I prefer to go on personal recommendation, off I trotted to my nearest store to buy one as I was intrigued by the glowing report she gave it.
Like me, you may wonder what an E-cloth is. It is a blue cloth 50 x 40 cms and contains 1054 clever little micro fibres per sq cm. The cloth does not contain chemicals and should not be used with any cleaning products. The wonder of this cloth is you only need to use it with water, thus saving you the expense of buying any other cleaning agents for glass. This saving will help you get over the cost of the cloth which is currently £4.88. My initial reaction was it was a lot of money for a small piece of cloth but I have since saved loads more with not having to buy other cleaning products.
When used damp, the cloth cleans all surfaces especially glass but can also be used on stainless steel, plastics, granite, chrome, wood and ceramics. Alternatively, if you use it dry, the natural positive charge of the cloth attracts dust. I have found that for best results, spray water on the surface to be cleaned, fold the cloth and wipe. It leaves you with a smear free surface - just what I had always wanted. However, I have noticed that if the cloth becomes too damp the effectiveness of the cloth is reduced. I also found that it also works well on shower screens. I use the shower head to spray water over the screen and then a quick wipe down with the E-cloth removes all the soapy scum that tends to build up.
Looking after your E-Cloth
To make sure your cloth continues to perform correctly, it is necessary to wash it regularly and I just stick it in the machine when I'm doing a load of washing. The packaging claims it can be washed up to 300 times before its effectiveness disappears. It can be washed at 60 degrees but the packaging says it should be washed at 90 degrees to release all the dirt particles. I never wash anything that hot, so always wash it in a cooler wash and I've found it comes out okay. Do not use fabric softener or bleach on the cloth as the softener removes the static effect when using the cloth dry and bleach breaks down the clever little micro fibres. It can be tumbled dried or hung out to dry. I would advise not using too much washing powder as this can block the fibres and the performance of the cloth is reduced. If this happens, just wash the cloth a few times without any washing powder in order to remove the excess soap.
A tip for those of you who wear glasses - it's great for cleaning them too. Just sprinkle a little water on the lenses and wipe them clean. It removes all those greasy fingerprints we seem to get all over them.
We aware that it is only the e-cloth from Lakeland that I am reviewing and recommending. I did purchase a cheaper version from my local Homebase but I have seen them in other stores too. They are usually just called microfibre cloths. However, they are not a patch on the e-cloth from Lakeland so you obviously pay more for a reason!
I cannot praise this little cloth highly enough. I have since recommended it to other friends and they are now singing its praises to others too.
Use wet or dry for gleaming bathrooms, kitchens and wonderfully clear windows