Tips AU

These eco friendly cleaning products are under $10, and they work

By Claire Mueller

Updated: November 18th, 2018

It's time for a green clean.

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What’s in the cupboard under your sink?  And more importantly, have you read the ingredients list on those 17 half empty bottles of Spray and Wipe?

The average household has 62 toxic chemicals on hand, and domestic cleaning products are one of the main culprits. They release volatile organic compounds, can irritate skin and get washed into waterways – not great for our health or the environment, so why are we still so keen to spray them around our homes?

Nature gave us options to keep our chic stone surfaces, stoves and Netflix dinner trays so fresh, so clean, and there are a growing number of eco friendly cleaning products available that claim to provide the same sparkling clean without the toxic side effects.

We’re sure it’s time to retire the bright blue spray and wipe and move to a more sustainable alternative, but do these green cleaners actually work?

We put these five environmentally friendly cleaning products (readily available in supermarkets around Australia for under a tenner) to the test to find out.

The method:

We tasked five people to clean common surfaces with these eco cleaning sprays and review the effectiveness of cleaning, ingredients, smell and cost of product. Find the results below.

Product 1: Koala Eco Multi-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner

Koala Eco natural cleaning spray with mandarin

Price: $10.90 (ok, this one snuck in just over ten dollars, but it’s worth it)

Available from: Koala Eco, IGA supermarkets and independent retailers across Australia

Ingredients: 100% pure Australian Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) and Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oil, Australian filtered water, sugar-based biodegradable alcohol, vinegar, plant-based biodegradable surfactant (soap), plant-based food-grade biodegradable solubiliser.

The clean: Before

Koala Eco kitchen sink clean before

The clean: After

Koala Eco kitchen sink clean after

The review: Koala Eco

Ingredients: The Koala Eco range is derived entirely from natural ingredients, locally made, the bottle is recycled plastic and even the ink used to print the labels is biodegradable. Can’t ask for better than that!

Effectiveness: The multi-purpose kitchen spray is an effective all rounder, perfect for that after-cooking cleanup when you’ve managed to somehow splatter the stove, and the bench top, and a bit of the wall. The product doesn’t leave any residue when wiped.

Smell: The Eucalyptus smell is strong and distinct, but not unpleasant. The lemon undertones help balance out the gumtree vibes.

Cost: This one comes in at $10.90, which is edging towards the higher end of the scale for a multipurpose cleaner, but I think it’s well worth it for the ecological merit. The Koala Eco range is locally produced Bondi and stocked online and in independent retailers.

Definitely recommended!

Reviewed by: Claire M.

Product 2: Organic Choice Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Organic Choice eco cleaning spray tom dixon brass candle

Price: $5.50

Available from: Coles supermarkets, Woolworths supermarkets

Ingredients: Water, Coconut based non-ionic surfactants, Sugar/corn based alcohol, Citric acid, Organic Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) essential oil, Organic Cymbopogon flexuosus (lemon grass) essential oil, Organic Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Fragrance.

The clean: Before

Organic choice eco cleaning kitchen stove before

The clean: After

Organic choice eco cleaning kitchen stove after

The review: Organic Choice

Ingredients: We like the idea of having an organic product. We feel relief using it in our kitchen, assuming it contains less harmful chemicals.

Effectiveness: The product helped us to clean, but its very liquidy consistency made me feel that it must contain a big percentage of water. I would prefer a product with a thicker consistency, but it cleaned about the same as Sard Wonder which we usually use.

Smell: The smell is very light, this gives me the feeling that the product is not as strong as others. Combined with the organic label, it makes me feel that this is not necessarily the best option for heavy duty cleaning.

Cost: The price of this product is the best advantage. I think $5.50 is a very fair price for this type of product.

This eco cleaning product worked the same as what we usually use (Sard Wonder) so I would recommend it for an organic alternative.

Reviewed by: Fred E.

Product 3: Glitz Green Antibacterial Eucalyptus Spray

Price: $5.70

Available from: Bunnings

Ingredients*: Eucalyptus oil, Ethanol, Alkanes C3-4

*Note from editor: Glitz Green did not list the ingredients on the product, but we found them by downloading the Materials Safety Data Sheet.

The clean: Before

Kitchen stove chrome cleaning before

The clean: After

Kitchen chrome stove cleaning after

The review: Glitz Green

Ingredients: They are about the same as the antibacterial sprays that I usually use, aside from the eucalyptus oil.

Effectiveness: Overall, this eucalyptus antibacterial spray does the job well and is able to remove stains and disinfect surfaces. It is the same as other sprays I’ve used, such as the Woolworths antibacterial spray. This product doesn’t stand out of the crowd but it also isn’t any less effective than the others.

Smell: The eucalyptus scent was slightly overpowering. Personally, it smelled worse than other surface sprays I’ve used. Some people may find the smell overpowering and as a person with a sensitive nose, the scent definitely was too strong for me. However, in saying that, the strong smell gives me the feeling that the surface is cleaner (but doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is).

Cost: The cost was $5.70 for 200g at Bunnings. As a comparison to other brands on the market, there isn’t much of a difference in price.

Overall, this eucalyptus antibacterial spray does the job well and is able to remove stains and disinfect surfaces. Some people may find the smell overpowering and as a person with a sensitive nose, the scent definitely was too strong for me. However, in saying that, the strong smell gives me the feeling that the surface is cleaner (but doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is). This product doesn’t stand out of the crowd but it also isn’t any less effective than the others. Ultimately it boils down to whether you like the eucalyptus scent or whether you’d prefer something less intense.

Reviewed by: Julien L.

Product 4: Earth Choice Multipurpose Spray

Earth Choice green eco cleaning spray with lime

Price: $3.20

Available from: Woolworths supermarkets, Coles supermarkets

Ingredients: Water, Ethyl alcohol (derived from wheat or sugar cane), Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfo Laurate & Disodium 2-Sulfo Laurate (derived from coconut oil), Sodium coco sulfate (derived from coconut oil), Glycerin (derived from coconut oil), Sodium citrate (derived from corn), Fragrance, Benzisothiazolinone*, Cl 19140, Cl 42090.

*Note from editor: Benzisothiazolinone is an antimicrobial and preservative chemical and is considered by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety to be a skin sensitiser that may cause irritation over time.

The clean: Before

Earth choice kitchen floor cleaning before

The clean: After

Earth choice kitchen floor cleaning after

The review: Earth Choice

Ingredients: I like the ingredients of this product. It’s free from Ammonia which is good for the stove top and kitchen sink.

Effectiveness: I sprayed it on the stove and floor and wiped after 1 minute, the result was good, not too much work needed to clean. My opinion is this is a good product but not as great as my what I normally use – Dettol multipurpose spray. But since the price is cheaper than Dettol, I don’t mind using this for my general cleaning activity and where there’s kids or animals in the home.

Smell: The smell is not too sharp.

Cost: This product is cheaply priced.

My overall review is that I am happy with product and would definitely recommend, but the packaging is not really good since it leaked.

Reviewed by: Indri P.

Product 5: Probiotic Solutions – All Purpose Cleaner – Anywhere Anytime

Probiotic Solution eco cleaning spray with pink grapefruit

Price: $9.99

Available from: Harris Farm supermarkets and online (Probiotic Solutions has recently rebranded to Counter Culture – Probiotic Cleaning Tonic)

Ingredients: Purified water, Proprietary Mother Culture (Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacteriumanimalis, Bifidobacteriumbifidum, Bifidobacteriumlongum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus [synonym: Lactobacillus bulgaricus], Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis [synonym: Streptococcus lactis], Rhodopseudomonaspalustris, Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Brown sugar, Mineral powder, Sea salt, Essential oils (lemongrass, lemon myrtle, rosemary, pink grapefruit, coconut).

The clean: Before

Probiotics Solution bathroom sink clean before

The clean: After

Probiotics Solution bathroom sink clean after

The review: Probiotic Solutions

Ingredients: I have used many other natural and chemical products before and found one thing to be true. Nothing can do everything. Probiotic Solutions – Anywhere Anytime is a great general purpose product made from natural ingredients.

Effectiveness: I found it to be adequate on all surfaces in the average household. It struggled on heavy oil build up in the kitchen and heavy soap/make-up grime in the bathroom. I did find it very good on most lightly soiled surfaces and was impressed with its effectiveness on both glass and stainless steel.

Smell: I was expecting a slightly stronger aroma. I found it to be so close to neutral that it was verging on almost non existent.

Cost: The cost, I believe, is comparative to what is in the current market, but more expensive than any of my other cleaning products.

Overall I found the ingredients to be more environmentally friendly than most of my cleaning products. The products effectiveness differed from worse on the built up oily grime to similar or better than my products when used on stainless steel and glass. The smell of the product was very subtle, but better than most of my normal cleaning solutions. Overall proved to be a very good cleaning product as an “anywhere anytime” household solution.

Reviewed by: Cameron J.

The verdict?

All these products did the job and our reviewers would use them again (as long as they could stand the eucalyptus smell), so there’s no excuse: next time you’re cleaning, make it green. Do you have a favourite eco friendly cleaning product? Let us know in the comments.

Product photos by Claire Mueller, before and after photos by reviewers.

Need an eco-conscious cleaner to help green clean your home? Find one on Airtasker.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire

Creative, runner and startup enthusiast. Claire is passionate about sustainable innovation and loves a good Instagram Story.

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