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Plant-power wipes out dirt and germs

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Earthwise cleaning products get a consistently good rap from householders — this was backed up last month by NZ Consumer magazine and by Australasian consumer ratings and research companies CANSTAR and CHOICE last year. But have you ever wondered how plant-powered, environmentally gentle cleaners can be so tough on dirt and grime?

We decided to share a few of our secrets, so we asked Earthwise environmental chemist, Gill Worth to talk to us about the cleaning power of plants: 

Effective but gentle

“The Earthwise philosophy leads our selection of ingredients and we’re committed to creating products that are effective but gentle for you, your family and the environment. We take great care to choose plant-based components that are tough on dirt and germs but safe for use in grey water and septic tank systems. And of course, all our products are biodegradable, breaking down over time to carbon dioxide and water.”

Plant-based surfactants

Earthwise multi-surface, kitchen and bathroom cleaning products use a plant-based surfactant, supported by soap and some alcohol, as well as a combination of powerful essential oils. So, what is a surfactant? Gill explained:

“Surfactants basically make water ‘wetter’ by breaking the surface tension on water molecules, causing them to spread further. Surfactants also get under dirt and grime on surfaces and lift it up, so that it’s much easier to wipe off. The surfactant we use in Earthwise products is glucose-based and it works in combination with soap and alcohol to tackle dirt and grime as well as disinfecting cleaning surfaces.”

Essential oils

Essential oils have powerful cleaning and deodorising properties that Earthwise puts to good use across the product range. Tea tree, pine and eucalyptus oils all have antiseptic, antifungal, disinfectant properties — we use these in combination with other essential oils in our multisurface sprayshower and bathroom cleaner, disinfectant and toilet cleaner. Tea tree oil can also help to slow the growth of bacteria, so it’s particularly good for cleaning smelly bins and other grimy corners — and it also acts against mildew.

Pine oil and tea tree oil are the powerful combination at work in our toilet cleaner (which beat 23 other products to the top spot after extensive testing by Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group CHOICE).

Eucalyptus is combined with thyme oil to create Earthwise’s disinfectant, a product that is one of our best-kept secrets. Thyme oil has a pleasant, stimulating smell that insects and bugs hate, with great deodorant and cleaning properties. This safe, powerful disinfectant wipes out 99.99% of bacteria yeasts and moulds like salmonella, e.coli, staphylococcus and pseudomonas — an environmentally-sensitive and effective alternative to harsh bleach-based products.

Safe for families and the environment but the sworn enemies of dirt, grime, bacteria and germs – our plant-based cleaning range rocks! If you’d like to take a closer look, just click here.

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