You know how when you’re young you do things which are foolish and which you later end up regretting? Well, blogging-wise I am young. This blog is 6 months old on Sept 26th. And back in the early days – long before I’d found my blogging “direction” – I got tempted by the lure of “product review” i.e. getting free stuff in return for scrabbling together some kind (or not so kind) words. Of course, I’m ashamed of all that now. Today I know the true purpose of my blog (moaning about my kids and having spur-of-the-moment feminist rants). But back then – i.e. three months ago, so absolutely ages – I just thought “ooh! Some random stuff would be nice!” So anyhow, I’ve since received said random stuff and am obliged to review it, presumably in a non-ranty feminist manner (hmph!). So yeah, I’m really mortified and … Well, actually, I really enjoyed writing this, as well as using the free stuff. But I won’t be doing this again.*
End of preface
ECOVER! ECOVER! ECOVER!
(I think you’re meant to mention the brand name lots)
So the things I’ve been sent to review are from Ecover, the environmentally friendly cleaning products company. I was actually rather pleased with this; I’m totally crap at cleaning but hoped that the pressure to write a good review would force me to get my arse in gear. I had visions of ace “before and after” shots of my hob and bathroom tiles. But then I opened the delivery box and discovered that I’d only been sent things for doing the laundry and washing up. Pah! I might be a lazy sod but even I do those things already. So yeah, that bit was a disappointment. But then once I’d regained my composure, I realised that well, at least I’d be sure to use the whole sodding lot – washing-up liquid, non-bio liquid, conditioner – rather than just give the bathroom one or two squirts for reviewing purposes before then sliding back into total squalor.
I have used Ecover before, but only on and off. This is why:
- The products are more expensive than bargain ranges
- The washing up liquid has always seemed less viscous than other brands (not that I really know why viscosity should matter – perhaps I’ve just been conditioned to think it by the patriarchy)
- I am an all-or-nothing person and given that I, as a car-driving, energy guzzling westerner, am completely failing to live responsibly anyhow, I look at things like Ecover and think “oh, what’s the sodding point?”
Only the first of these reasons has any validity. Even so, given that I get through half a gallon of own-brand washing up liquid in no time because it’s so rubbish, this could well be a false economy (both financially and <serious face> environmentally </serious face>).
So anyhow, what are the products actually like?
Products I am reviewing
- Ecover ZERO Laundry Liquid
- Ecover ZERO Fabric Conditioner
- Ecover ZERO Washing Up Liquid
i.e. lots of stuff with ZERO in MASSIVE, SOMEWHAT AGGRESSIVE CAPITAL LETTERS (which you might not expect from such a Waitrose-esque brand).
The good news
- They have 100% – 100%!!! – no fragrance or colouring. Quite why such items should have colouring added is beyond me (although to be fair, I rather like stuff if it smells of apple. But then if it did smell of apple, I’d expect it to be green, hence fragranced and coloured. But I digress).
- There aren’t any phosphates in these things, either. I don’t really know what phosphates are – reckon it’s something to do with phosphorous? – but anyhow, we can all do with fewer of them.
- The washing up liquid does make lots of bubbles and bubbles, for some reason or other, are good for cleaning. Just get a load of the bubbles on that:
- The washing-up liquid, washing liquid and conditioner all pass the sensitive skin test. This is important if, for instance, you have old, cracked, wrinkled witchy hands like mine. Or if you have a nan who, as mine did, believed bubble bath was a pointless indulgence when you could use perfectly good Fairy Liquid (I would bathe in Ecover. But I’d still probably wish it smelled of apple).
- You only need to use a small amount of the washing liquid and conditioner for a full load of clothes. To be fair, this is true of most washing liquids. But the other benefit with Ecover is that it goes into the wash itself. So many of the gels I’ve used just gunk up the drawer – it’s a nightmare, I tell you, a nightmare <mops stressed housewifely brow and pours more gin>
- To accompany the washing-up liquid, Ecover have produced a dishcloth and teatowel. They are both off-white, which feels more environmentally friendly, regardless of whether or not it actually is. But the dishcloth is nice and scrubby. The towel, meanwhile, is waffly (like me).
- Placed side by side, the washing liquid and conditioner look like a superhero and his sidekick. This is very cute (unless I’m the only one who sees this – it’s not just me, is it?):
The bad news
- Zero? Zero?? <splutter> I’m sorry, Ecover, but I would have much preferred it if you’d used “nought” <sniff>
- The products are still significantly more expensive than bargain ranges. BUT they last. I mean, I reckon they last. I’ve not had them for very long and anticipate it’ll take me ages to get through them. In the meantime the environment will, like, totally recover from all the Asda-produced chemicals I’ve been chucking its way.
- The bag in which the products came gets a bit carried away, really (not quite Persil “dirt is good” nonsense, but getting there):
This is good, wholesome stuff washing-wise – but expensive. I’d use it again. I’ll bloody well have to given how long I’m likely to be stuck with it.
I don’t know whether I’m now meant to say where you can buy it. Is that the rules for this type of review? I haven’t a clue. Well, in any case, I’d suggest supermarkets. Or the Ecover website. Or I’ve got some going … Only kidding. That stuff’s mine.
* Unless it’s for actual money. I’m sure I could write a great anti-capitalist review of some money. And then spend it on shoes.