I was recently given the opportunity to review some environmentally-friendly products from Ecostore USA. As a mom to three, including one little lady who is putting everything in her mouth, I was intrigued. I try to avoid chemical cleansers where I can (I have a steam mom to wash my floors and I use vinegar and baking soda for many cleaning jobs), but I don’t exclusively purchase “green” cleaning supplies.
Ecostore was founded by Melanie and Malcolm Rands over 15 years ago. The couple was living in a New Zealand eco village and sought to produce cleaning products using plant-based ingredients. From the company’s website:
“Our eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products are as effective as the leading supermarket brands, and our body and baby care ranges are gentle on your skin and are simply beautiful to use. All of our products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce our carbon footprint. Our products also help to ensure value for the dollar for our customers. Our super-concentrates means that a little really does go a long way – saving you money by cutting down significantly on cost per use.”
Since I was given my choice of products, I picked the Auto Dish Powder and the Natural Lemon Rinse Aid. I chose the dishwasher detergent because I thought it would really be a test. We live in a rural area and rely on a private well for our water supply. The water is not treated with anything, and this has its good and bad points. One of the negatives is that our water is very hard, and soaps do not produce a lot of suds. Often I need to use more soap than is generally required. So maybe I was putting the dishwasher powder to a challenge that was too difficult.
Auto Dish Powder
The Auto Dish Powder retails for $12.00 and is described as “a high performance blend of simple mineral salts, citrus and Coconut oils.” The ingredients are:
- Palm and coconut based non-ionic surfactants
- Silicates and carbonates including sodium meta silicate (simple mineral salts)
- Citrates and natural citrus oil
- Cellulose (plant based)
- Fatty acid derivative
I wanted to love this product, I really did. The packaging is appealing and I love the way it smells. It has a light lemon fragrance that isn’t overwhelming, but still smells clean. Unfortunately, it was just not up to the task. Sunday night I loaded the dishwasher with our tomato sauce-stained plates and bowls, as well as coffee mugs and various other dishes. When the cycle was complete, I excitedly ran into the kitchen to check on the dishes and many of them had to be rewashed. Even though the bowls did not have time to sit, a few still had a lot of sauce stuck to them.
I gave it a second shot this morning thinking that perhaps I had overloaded the dishwasher last time. The next test included a few dishes from last night that weren’t terribly stained, the usual coffee and tea cups, and breakfast dishes. I also put in a baking dish that had been soaking all night and was still wet. Surely this would be no problem. Again, I was disappointed. The mugs were not clean. The baking dish looked little more than rinsed, and the boys breakfast plates were still dirty (they’d had waffles and sticky maple syrup). My usual brand of dishwasher detergent cleans these dishes without a problem, even if they’ve sat there for a couple days while I wait for the dishwasher to fill up. Maybe the natural ingredients just don’t work well with our hard water. I don’t know. I really wish I could recommend this product but it didn’t work well for me.
Lemon Rinse Aid
The second product I tried was Ecostore USA’s Lemon Rinse Aid, which retails for $5.50 Its description states: “The Lemon Rinse Aid is that final touch to the cleaning of your dishware. Formulated with NO NASTY CHEMICALS, it will leave a subtle fragrance of Lemon Verbena. Use in conjunction with the Auto Dish Powder and see how it assists in drying as well.” The ingredients are:
- Plant based non-ionic surfactants
- Citric acid
- Lemon Verbena
This product also has a lovely lemon smell and I think it is extremely comparable to a product such as Jet-Dry. While the dish detergent might not have cleaned my plates and mugs, my clear glassware did not have many spots or streaks. They were “squeaky clean.” I think the aid also helped speed drying because on my second load, I unloaded the dishes immediately and the only standing water was in those little “pools” created by mug bottoms. That’s something that happens regardless of what you do.
I would not rule out Ecostore USA’s entire line of products based on my experience with the Auto Dish Powder. I’ve read many other blog reviews singing the praises of their other products, and I think their Lemon Rinse Aid is great. I believe their other products would be worth trying. I admire the company’s commitment to producing products that contain “No Nasty Chemicals” and are both environmentally friendly and safe for families to use. Here on the east coast you can purchase their products exclusively at Duane Reed drug stores. Elsewhere in the country, Meijer sells them. Of course, everything is available online at Ecostore’s website: www.ecostoreusa.com. You can also visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter to find out the latest information.
Disclosure: ECOSTORE USA sent me two free products for review purposes only. I was not compensated in any other way and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.