The Allergy Lifestyle Guide
"e-cloths are great for allergy sufferers as they only require water for effective cleaning. They are also suitable for those who wish to avoid or eliminate the use of chemicals in the home. They don't contain chemicals nor do they need to be used with any added chemicals providing a natural and easy way to clean the home."
Lindsey McManus deputy CEO of Allergy UK
If you suffer from allergies you’re not alone. Twenty one million people in the UK have an allergy that’s nearly one person in every other household battling with sensitivities on a daily basis. You might not be aware of it but the chemical cleaning products you use in your home might be problematic for you and your family with forty per cent of allergy and asthma sufferers triggered by chemicals.
With mums of 0-4 year olds reporting spending up to three hours longer cleaning their homes each week (Mintel July 2013) and kids often being particularly sensitive to harsh chemicals this issue becomes all the more important for those with young children.
These concerns are reflected in consumer attitudes to cleaning products in recent years with a quarter of buyers saying they think products that clean just using water are important and 48% of people stating they feel ingredients in many cleaning products are unhealthy (Mintel July 2013).
As part of this guide e-cloth has worked with the green cleaner a company which helps householders find cleaners trained in chemical-free methods to provide some simple but effective tips on removing chemicals from your cleaning routine.
Co-founder of the green cleaner Vicki Bates said: “If you've ever cleaned a home without rubber gloves you'll know just how much regular cleaning products dry out and damage your hands. The effect of absorbing those chemicals or breathing in the fumes from them has been the subject of a few studies in recent years and its now widely accepted that they can contribute to asthma skin conditions allergies and longer term health issues.”
The science bit: 2010 study from Dr Jan-Paul Zock
An expert in occupational asthma Dr Zocks study at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology Barcelona showed that cleaning sprays chlorine bleach and disinfectants may be contributing to the rise in asthma at home and work. There is growing evidence that exposure to some cleaning products can provoke respiratory disorders and make existing asthma worse but that it is preventable. Bristol University (2004)
A study at Bristol University found that frequent use of household cleaning products and other chemicals in the home were linked to cases of asthma among Britain's children. It showed a clear connection between breathing problems and their mothers use of a range of common products such as bleach paint stripper and carpet cleaners.
Imperial College London's National Heart and Lung Institute and Asthma UK (2013)
A 2013 study by Imperial College London's national Heart and Lung Institute and Asthma UK found strong evidence of a link between cleaning jobs and adult onset asthma - even more than the cases attributed to smoking. The study attributed the link to exposure to chemicals on a daily basis.
The possible link between chemical cleaning products and disease is the subject of many ongoing studies and while currently no categoric link has been proven between diseases such as cancer and cleaning products it is known that carcinogenic causing ingredients such as formaldehyde is often used in these products. The Silent Spring Institute Massachusetts (1994)
The institute found an association between high cleaning product usage and increased risk of breast cancer. Although this was a well-designed case control study as the researchers highlight recall bias may have affected the results as participants were required to report their historic behaviour and product usage and so ongoing research was recommended to further evaluate whether there is a definite link. Silliker Group (October 2010)
e-cloth commissioned the Silliker Group an internationally accredited food testing organisation to conduct research testing the cleaning power of water and e-cloths on hard surfaces that had been contaminated with different common
bacteria. Using just water the results showed that the cloths remove over 99% of bacteria locking them away inside their special fibres until rinsed. Further tests showed that after a rinse with warm water e-cloths only re-introduced 0.01% of bacteria back onto a sterile surface. See the full study here
. Easy ways to green clean your home:
You only need a few basic products to be able to start green cleaning most of which youll already have.
When looking for alternative cleaners nature often has the answer. Lemon and other citrus fruits or lavender for example all have natural properties that kill bacteria and smell much nicer than the average multi-surface cleaner.
When it comes to looking for a cleaning cloths and mops e-cloth’s range of award winning products out perform and outlast traditional cloths. The products can help you achieve a deeper clean thanks to millions of clever tiny fibres that break up trap and absorb grease dirt and remove over 99% of bacteria using just water.
These award-winning smart products are perfect for families and smaller households. Not only can you save money by not using expensive cleaning products but e-cloth can save you precious time by reducing the effort required to remove stubborn dirt. For parents who are wary of using harsh chemicals around small children or those with allergies the “just add water” mantra of e-cloth is ideal.
Here are some top tips to make green cleaning an absolute doddle…
Perfect for the kitchen
· The NEW 2 Wash and Wipe Kitchen Cloths
(£2.99) are really versatile and can be used to achieve sparkling home appliances worktops or even washing up. The cloths are antibacterial and remove thick grease dirt and bacteria so they’re ideal for all sorts of household chores from washing up and wiping down around the kitchen.
· To clean drains make up a solution of 8floz vinegar with 3oz/75g of baking soda. Pour directly into the drain leave for 10 minutes then run clean hot water down the drain to clear grease and debris.*
· One of the two original e-cloths the e-cloth General Purpose Cloth
(£4.99) is perfect to clean all manner of hard surfaces while the Glass & Polishing Cloth will leave all shiny surfaces sparking when used dry. The cloths are newly available in Alaskan blue raspberry rose daffodil yellow lime punch and dark tangerine to help add some colour to the cupboard under your sink alongside the existing gold coral mint green violet and cornflower blue hues!
· To remove cooking smells from the kitchen boil a cup of water with one tablespoon of vinegar.*
· Invest in the correct tools for the task of brushing the cobwebs away with the e-cloth Cleaning & Dusting Wand
(£9.99). It is super flexible making it perfect for cleaning hard to reach spots such as tops of doors high beams or the back of appliances with its 60cm reach.
· Whether your kitchen floor is laminate stone tiles or wood the simple design and light aluminium base of e-cloth’s Deep Clean Mop
(£19.99) will make cleaning effortless. The mop’s special weave and long fibres break up and hold grease and dirt which ordinary mops leave behind. Meanwhile the head attaches with Velcro and can swiftly be detached for a quick rinse or wash.
Perfect for the bathroom
· Bathroom floors can be difficult to manoeuvre a mop around and reach those difficult nooks and crannies. Try the NEW e-cloth Bathroom and Tile Mop
(£14.99) – it is ideal for smaller floors walls and hard to reach areas such as over the bath.
· Try using a quarter of a cup of white vinegar as an air freshener.*
· To clean tiles rub the surface with undiluted white vinegar. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.*
· For a sparkling shower try the e-cloth Shower Pack
(£9.49). The durable and highly absorbent cloth effortlessly lifts traps and removes water marks soap scum and grim from shower screens and tiles and even features a handy hang-on suction hook! Used regularly it can also prevent the build-up of limescale.
· To clear a clogged shower head dismantle it soak the pieces in a bowl of white vinegar for 2-3 hours and clean off sediment with a stiff brush.*
Perfect for bedrooms
· Keep your bedroom well dusted and vacuumed and wash curtains as well as bedding.
· Many people are slightly allergic to feathers and down so look into allergen-resistant bedding.
· The ability of e-cloth’s Dusters
(£4.99) to attract and hold dust will surprise you! Made with the brand’s special fibres their unique natural positive charge attracts and locks in dust making dusting faster and easier that with conventional dusters.
· Use an air purifier to reduce dust and pollen.
· Use a humidifier in winter to fight scratchy skin and respiratory ailments; and air conditioner or dehumidifier in summer when heat makes it hard to sleep.
Perfect for windows
· Having shining windows can make your entire room feel brighter and fresher! The Glass & Polishing e-cloth
ideal to get windows glittering in no time leaving them lint-free smear-free and sparkling. Simply spray a gentle mist of water on the surface and polish clean with the dry cloth. For dirtier windows the 2 Cloth Window Cleaning Pack
is perfect at RRP £9.49.
Green cleaning recipes
Co-founder of the green cleaner Vicki Bates has tried and tested just about every home-made cleaning recipe out there. She says: “Making your own cleaning products sounds harder than it actually is. To start you’ll just need four main ingredients - lemon juice white vinegar bicarbonate of soda and citric acid – and some spray bottles and washing up
bottles which you can either buy or recycle from finished products. When making up your own cleaning solutions just ensure the containers are labelled and always spot test each one to be doubly sure.”
Here are Vicki’s four key ingredients for making your own cleaning products: Lemon juice
The natural qualities of lemon juice make it the perfect substitute for bleach. Use neat on a cloth as a kitchen/bathroom cleaner or to naturally disinfectant surfaces and chopping boards etc. Once the lemon has been squeezed you can use
each half as a cleaning product – great rubbed round taps or on sinks baths and draining boards. Use an e-cloth and hot water to wipe down the surfaces afterward. And if you’re feeling lazy you don’t even need to squeeze them you can buy bottled lemon juice! White vinegar
White vinegar has acidic levels that are mild enough to be a safe cleaning agent but powerful enough to cut through many types of dirt and grime. It works amazingly on limescale – just wrap a soaked cloth around the limescale area and leave it
for a few hours to soak - and has shown its magic on toilets too! A few drops of white vinegar on a soft cloth is perfect for cleaning and shining stainless-steel sinks while a water and vinegar mixture is all you need to get a perfect clean on windows mirrors and other glass surfaces. Alternatively it can be mixed with olive oil for a natural wood polish too. Just don’t however be tempted to replace white vinegar with brown unless you want the house to smell like a chippie! Bicarbonate of soda
An all purpose non toxic cleaner bicarbonate of soda removes stains and scours brilliantly. Simply sprinkle it on to a damp sponge or cloth and use. It acts as a mild abrasive and is great for cleaning sinks toilets and baths without
damaging the surface. A thicker solution can be used on cookers ovens and other areas subject to tougher grime. A solution using water white vinegar and baking soda is great for cleaning toilets and drains. Sprinkled dry onto carpets and left for a few moments then vacuumed up – it is also a brilliant carpet cleaner and deodorizer. Citric acid
Citric acid is commonly used as a preserving and flavouring ingredient in fizzy drinks and sour sweets – that’s how the cola turns a two pence coin back to looking new – and is also the active ingredient in many eco-friendly cleaning products.
It can be used on its own to increase effectiveness on stubborn limescale or just sprinkle a tablespoon into toilet bowls or into a kettle of warm water to magically descale!
Lots of people also choose to add pure essential oils to their cleaning mixtures for their properties and smells:
- Lemongrass oil removes the smell of vinegar and is naturally antibacterial
Index e-cloth’s awards
- Tea Tree Oil has a great disinfecting power with its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
Winner of Good Housekeeping Good Buy 2007 Award (Green Product of the Year)
Good Housekeeping Consumer Awards 2008 (Household Timesaver)
SHE Cleaning Award 2009 (Special Award) and Allergy UK Consumer Award (2008)
Good Housekeeping Institute Accreditation 2012
For all stockists visit www.e-cloth.com/stockists
Main stockists include: John Lewis Lakeland Sainsbury’s
Wilkinson’s Tesco and many other high street stores and independents
For more information on the e-cloth range contact firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
/ 020 7240 2444 or visit www.e-cloth.com
. You can also follow us on Twitter @eclothuk
and like us at www.facebook.com/eclothuk
* Information provided by national charity Allergy UK (www.allergyuk.org) The Green Cleaner
With thanks to the green cleaner Ltd. For more information on the company visit www.thegreencleaner.co.uk
or for help finding a green cleaner in East Sussex get in touch with Vicki or Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 01273 726886.
Please note for all of the included recipe for home-made cleaning products:
- As with any shop-bought cleaner always spot check your homemade cleaner on any surface and take special care with surfaces that might need delicate cleaning such as limestone kitchen surfaces or ceramic bath tubs – these surfaces can be damaged by anything acidic or abrasive.
- Label all your products and keep out of reach of children. While most of these natural cleaners are not poisonous some can be harmful if swallowed by children or pets.