Green Cleaning Misconceptions: Why Make the Switch to Eco?
New year. New cleaning products. New concerns. The internet is always a bit of a bonkers place when trying to work out fact from fiction, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to set the record straight surrounding the misconceptions of eco cleaning.
💸 Myth 1: “Green cleaning is more costly than traditional cleaning”.
The most common question we see floating around the digital sphere is the presumption that eco cleaning is more expensive than traditional cleaning products. And while this may be true in some cases, the combination of technological advances with the desire to rid harmful chemicals from the industry has resulted in green cleaning product manufacturers being able to lower their prices. Nowadays, they’re much more comparable to their supermarket own-brand and mainstream options.
When doing a side-by-side comparison at your local store, standard cleaning solutions may appear cheaper than their green counterparts and competitors. This is mainly down to the fact that truly eco products tend to be created by start-ups and small businesses looking to challenge the status quo within the industry. But, these eco cleaning products actually tend to have higher concentration levels. This means you’ll be able to use a smaller amount of the solution to equal, if not exceed, the performance of mainstream brands. Size doesn’t always matter – is that a collective sigh of relief from half of the UK’s population we hear?
Here at Homethings, our effervescent cleaning spray refill tabs are super concentrated, providing you with a powerful eco clean each and every time. Bathroom blunders? We’ve got a thing for that. Kitchen nightmares? We also have that sorted. Hell, each and every thing in our range from our Dishthings to Laundrythings has been pre-measured and designed to provide maximum efficacy and impact, without the faff and waste.
And on the topic of waste, you may actually be wasting away your money on “cheaper” cleaning options without even realising. On a per litre basis, Homethings cleaning tabs are more affordable than most other market leading brands, including Method, Ecover and Bio D when bought on subscription. For a full breakdown, you can read our previous price comparison blog post here.
🦠 Myth 2: “Green cleaning products don’t kill germs and bacteria”.
Another point we’ve seen online is people asking whether eco cleaning can fully kill bacteria and germs. The answer to this one is actually quite complicated, as it’s both a yes and no. Hmm… slightly confusing, right? So, we’ll offer our personal beliefs.
Here at Homethings, we don’t claim our products are antibacterial, because in order to claim your product is anti-bac, you typically have to use ingredients that fall under biocides regulation such as Benzalkonium Chloride (which I’m sure you’ll agree, doesn’t sound very eco-friendly!). We’re really careful about the ingredients we put into our cleaning tabs and products, as we want to make sure that they fit with our brand ethos.
We believe that in ‘normal times’, a completely sterile home environment is not necessarily the best thing for you. Studies have shown that there is a lot of good bacteria, and through using harsh anti-bac ingredients in your cleaning routine, you’re killing these same ones that are actually beneficial for your health.
Antibacterial agents are also often only effective if the ‘contact time’ with the surface is long enough. For example, the product might need to be sprayed and left for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that the ‘promised 99.99%’ of germs are killed. In the typical UK household, however, we often spray and wipe straightaway (guilty as charged). We do it, you probably do it, there’s no shame in it – we have things to do, people to see and places to be. But, this means that the majority of us are using harsh chemicals in our homes without any real reason.
Homethings products do contain some natural antibacterial agents such as Citric Acid, and are effective at removing bacteria from your surfaces using surfactants. They’re just not necessarily biocidal in terms of killing all of the microorganisms present.
To keep it short,, yes – our eco cleaning tabs remove the all-important bacterias from your surface, but not the ones that are actually good for you. We also go into further detail about why it doesn’t feel ‘natural’ for us to join the bandwagon and label our products as natural here. It’s a real ‘mic-drop on the industry’ type of a blog post.
🌱 Myth 3: “Green cleaning does not actually help the environment”.
Greenwashing sadly continues to be a big problem moving into 2022. It also remains a topical issue within the cleaning industry. All eco cleaning brands share the same aim of wanting to provide a powerful eco clean with as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. But, we think it’s fair to say that eco cleaning doesn’t always get it right.
From manufacturing and importing products from China, requiring mega amounts of CO2 emissions, to contributing towards the industry’s pollution problem by packaging eco-friendly ingredients in single-use plastics containing up to 95% water, other apparently “eco” brands seem to have dropped the ball and lost sight of what it means to be actually eco. It makes as much sense as a hippo commuting to work on a tricycle.
That’s why we want nothing more than to make the world a little cleaner, and to tackle the major issues plaguing our industry where we can. As a small UK-based start-up founded in 2020, we’re on a mission to have you Rethink What’s Under Your Sink® through providing a sustainable solution to cleaning. Our non-toxic eco cleaning tabs, when added to tap water, turn into mighty cleaning solutions. They save 94% of the emissions involved in transporting a regular cleaning product due to our compact design, as well as eliminate 100% of the single-use plastic.
In addition to having scored a ‘low risk’ for all our products in a ‘toxicology risk assessment’, from the beginning our things have always been cruelty-free and vegan – being certified from both Cruelty Free International and The Vegan Society to accredit this. Again, is that another collective sigh of relief from all the UK’s natural wildlife?
✨ Myth 4: “Every green cleaning product is safe and non-toxic”.
Generally speaking, green cleaning products are safer for the environment and people’s health than their ‘traditional’ mainstream equivalents. But why is that, you may be wondering? Some research suggests that there are various “risks” associated with using harsh chemical cleaners, such as:
- A negative impact to the quality of indoor and outdoor air through ingredients like ‘volatile organic compounds’;
- Enhanced pollution through disposing unused chemicals into our waters;
- And eye, skin or throat irritation from specific ingredients or overexposure to harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, nonoxynols, and phthalates, to name a few.
So what about green cleaning in comparison? Going eco is actually not just a smarter idea for those wanting to have a positive impact on our ecosystems, but also for people who suffer from allergies, those with respiratory conditions due to the lack of harsh chemicals, and even pregnant women.
The most important thing is to familiarise yourself with potentially harmful ingredients and avoid them when doing your regular shop. To get you started, we have a ‘banned list’ of ingredients that we have never, or will never, put into our things on our blog. This includes ammonia, chlorine, phthalates, animals and animal byproducts, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (bet you can’t say that five times over!).
💡 Myth 5: “Traditional cleaning has always worked well for me, so why should I switch now?”
As the old proverb says, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But the question is: should big cleaning brands continue on as they have been for decades?
In our opinion, the simple answer is: it’s time to shake things up. By switching to eco cleaning (or even better, Homethings) you’re voting for the planet every time you use one of our cleaning products. Whether you want to feel great about yourself for saying goodbye to single-use plastic, champion the fact you’re saving heaps more space or just enjoy the fact that you’re supporting a small, British business – we’ve got a Thing for you.
Since launching over a year ago, we’ve offset 78 tonnes of CO2 emissions, with plans to do even more, as well as saved a whopping 17 tonnes of single-use plastic from ever being produced. That’s the equivalent of 7 black rhinos. We’re all about being held accountable, making a splash, and providing you with the most powerful eco clean. So at this point, it’s best to try it for yourself and let us know what you think.