At the Sustainable Living Expo this past weekend, one of the booths that we stopped to explore was for E-cloths. E-cloths are micrifibre cleaning cloths that don't use any chemicals in order to clean. We spoke at length to the person manning the booth. To be honest, it all sounded like something that should have been on an infomercial late at night, but of course I couldn't help but be interested, because if you're reading this blog, chances are good that you know how I feel about chemicals and my somewhat optimistic goal of being able to minimize the chemicals that I use in my personal care regime and in my household.
There are some (perhaps many) things that probably cannot be cleaned properly without some sort of chemicals, and for all of those things I use Live for Tomorrow products. These products are as natural as you can get, vegan, and biodegradable. Not to mention they are sold in glass bottles that the company encourages to be returned to the place of purchase, where they are collected, rinsed and reused by the company. They don't distribute outside of the Lower Mainland at the present time as they want to keep the environmental impact of distributing their products minimal. They really have thought of everything, so I am happy to support them by using their products. Their line of products is also focused mainly (but not exclusively) on the things that you would need to use products for: laundry and dishwashing, but they do also have multi-use cleaners.
As for the situations where you don't need to use a cleaning product, that is where the E-cloth comes in. I've read many reviews of the products that they carry (I was particularly interested in the sponge cloth for the kitchen and the mop for all of our tiled and laminate flooring), I have been using the sponge cloth in the kitchen now and I must say, it works better than the cloths that we were previously using. I have a hard time with kitchen cloths because they always start out nice and clean and they do a good job but then after a while they start to stink and even when you wash them they just never seem to get clean again. I am hopeful that this will not happen with the E-cloth, but it is too early to tell. On the bright side, none of the products were overly expensive, given how much of your cleaning regime you can give up once you start using them (this is particularly true with the mop pads, which will be discussed further below)
I do find that the sponge cloth picks up (as opposed to just smears around) a lot more of the stuff that ends up on our counters, even just with water. I haven't used the mop yet, but I am optimistic that it will have a pretty similar effect. You can either buy the entire mop assembly if you want, or if you already have something (I already had a Swiffer), I just used the one I already had and just bought a replacement pad. The pad is too long, but can be folded over the top and I will find some way to secure it. It sticks to the Velcro just fine. I'm excited to use it, as I've been avoiding using my Swiffer because I don't want to throw away the used pad at the end. Plus, the cleaning fluid smells so chemically, it's just not a pleasant experience.