Another way to avoid problem ingredients is to use microfibre cloths which are made from millions of polyester and nylon micro-fibres and clean with just water, no detergents or chemicals.
Manufacturer Ecozone, who appear on the score card above, state
These high-quality cloths reduce your use of household chemicals by up to 90%. You only need to use minimal amounts of water and you can reuse them up to 300 times. Removes dirt, grease and over 99% of bacteria, including E. coli and Listeria.
Probiotic cleaning – good enough to eat
A new addition to our 2017 guide is the Libby Chan cleaner from My Living Water. Libby Chan was created by Miki, who wanted to detox her home after illness. Looking into her cultural background, and how older Asian generations had cleaned, she decided to use the power of micro-organisms. The product is made from fermented soya, yeast, yogurt and fairtrade sugar (or in the vegan version, Libbys V-concentrate, soya, sour salt, and organic brown rice and soya milk).
The cleaner is 100% edible and comes in a concentrated format. One cleaner does all cleaning jobs.
My Living Water’s website states, “During the fermentation process the friendly bacteria produce active impact mircro-organisms that are wonderful odour eaters, grease eaters and most importantly keep the bad bacteria in your home in balance.”
It also states that a similar approach was used by Thai relief crews to clean up environmental pollution after the tsunami in 2011.
The company also has an ethical policy, choosing to use organic and fair trade ingredients, non-PVC bottles with water-based adhesive for the labels, and no palm oil.
Libby Chan is available from a number of shops around the UK, or from its online shop.
Three brands in this guide are owned by palm oil free companies – Libby Chan and Libby V-concentrate and Earth Friendly Products.
Bentley Organincs, Sodasan, Sonett and Ecoleaf are owned by companies that get our best rating for palm oil because they use sustainable palm oil.
We have rated all the companies for their toxic chemicals policies. The companies which received a best rating had a policy because they had banned the use of parabens, phthalates and triclosan (see our feature on toxic chemicals for why we have chosen these chemicals) were:
Greenscents, Bentley Organics, Bio-D, Faith in Nature, Earth Friendly, Ecozone, Libby Chan, Lilly’s Eco Clean.
In October 2015, the UK Government banned the testing of ‘finished’ household products on animals and introduced a ‘qualified ban’ on testing the ingredients on animals. But it’ll make little difference to animal welfare. This is because no animals have been used for testing ‘finished’ household products in the UK since 2010. It’s usually the ingredients not the ‘finished’ products that are tested on animals.
Ethical Consumer rates all companies selling cosmetics on their animal testing policy. Companies will score a best rating if they have a policy not to test on animals, have a fixed cut-off date (a date after which none of their products or ingredients will have been tested on animals), and are not selling to markets, such as China, where animal testing of products is required by law.
Libby Chan, Greenscents, Bio-D, Faith in Nature, Earth Friendly, Ecozone, Ecoleaf, Lilly’s Eco Clean, Astonish, Method, Dri Pak and Ecover all received our best rating for animal testing.
Ecover has been targetted for animal testing in recent years.