01 June 2010
Steenbergs Has Improved Our Range Of Household Cleaning Products
Did you know that one of my first jobs was in the Pets & Cleaning Department in Fenwick's in Newcastle? And ever since, I have had a strange and haunting obsession for Household Cleaning products. Well, I am not really that fascinated in them, but we have been keen to get our Household Cleaning products right, i.e. good for the environment and vegetarian and alternative.
Our biggest problem has been that Ecover has the largest and most easily accessible range, but their products are everywhere from Tesco through to small health stores, plus they do add some less than brilliant things into their products and are not vegan anymore. We're down to a few pots of Ecover Stain Remover and then we're done with them as a brand. Finally and this is a big one, the performance has to be decent as I have found some of the green Household Cleaning products pretty rubbish so you may as well not bother with them - your clothes go grey, your floor never gets clean and they sometimes even curdle in the bottle!
Steenbergs has now got a good range of alternative brands that we feel gives you - our customer - a decent choice of green and ethical alternatives. You may not like all of them or might find some do not perform as well as you would dream, but you must remember that our choice of Household Cleaning products will never be as aggressive in their action as the traditional high street brands like Domestos or Flash or Cif as these are packed full of industrial chemicals that we just don't want. But we use these greener products at home and some of them - for example the Alma Win range - got me positively excited as the floor cleaner actually worked as I worked my mop around on our tiled floor.
The range is now based around cleaning kit from Alma Win , Earth Friendly and Ecoleaf (Suma's brand of cleaning products). In addition, we've got natural incense based fresh smells from Colibri (incense sticks, shoe odour neutralisers and wool protectors), soap nut washing balls and dryer balls from Ecozone , natural fibre nailbrushes, vegetable washing brushes and washing up brushes and scourers made from luffas and coconut shells that do a pretty good job, plus recycled scourers and clothes pegs from Ecoforce - the clothes pegs are brilliant and come from recycled plastics while Traidcraft's Fair Trade rubber gloves really got me jumping up and down for joy - loved them but then I am a bit sad about these things. Then there's Veggi Wash to get all those nasty chemicals and waxes off your fruit and veg that you didn't manage to grow in your allotment or garden.
For me, it was Alma Win that got me truly excited and finally happy that our range had become pretty much sorted. A few samples just came randomly in the post, so I tried them at home and found that they were better than most of the other brands we had come across and their range slotted in nicely, allowing us to drop Ecover dishwasher tablets that we had been finding a sticking point in our range.
Alma Win is a range of German products - in fact some of the things we're selling only come with German labels so apologies there - and they're biodegradeable and suitable for vegans and vegetarians unlike Ecover, and they're kind to the skin and should over time help to reduce the UK's high rates of allergies like hayfever, asthma and eczema. They're also certified as organic by EcoGarantie in Belgium which none of the other ranges are yet, being based on organically grown plant ingredients and not made in a massive chemical plant in Ellesmere Port or somewhere like that. So their products don't have any of the following nasty gunk in them that you will find in many of the high street brands - optical brighteners, parabens, petrochemicals, phosphates, chlorine, bulking agents, silicone, borium, colour additives, ethoxylated raw materials and genetically modified enzymes.
Please tell us what we are missing in this range and we will see what we can do.