“That smells nice,” said Mrs Adams as she pulled a load of washing out of the washing machine. The smell was courtesy of Radiance fabric conditioner from Ecozone, one of a range of household laundry and cleaning products we’ve been using recently.
I’m always keen to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to the harsh, chemical products found on many supermarket shelves. Ecozone’s range is just the latest that we’ve made use of as a family and with many people no doubt having made New Year’s Resolutions about leading a greener life, now is the ideal time to tell you about them.
An introduction to Ecozone
Ecozone is a UK-based company established in 2000. It makes a very broad range of household, laundry, cleaning and electrical products.
Its cleaning and laundry products are biodegradable and use natural formulas with no plasticisers or phosphates. The company has also been certified by Allergy UK, the Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International.
That hopefully gives you an idea about the company’s ethos. Here’s what you need to know about the products we’ve been using.
Ultra all-in-one dishwasher tablets
Years ago, when Mrs Adams and I first got a dishwasher, I only agreed to it on the basis that we’d use environmentally-friendly dishwasher tablets. Several years later I confess we haven’t always lived up to this ideal, but eco-options are much more widely available now and I’m pleased to see these Ultra all-in-one tablets are a part of the mix.
They are completely plastic free and designed to work on short and long cycles (if you use them on a short cycle, the advice is to put the tablet on the floor of the dishwasher, not in the dispenser). One other point, you do not unwrap the tablet. The casing is soluble.
I was very impressed by these dishwasher tablets. They definitely outperformed similar products we’ve used in the past and that’s on both short and long washes. The results were superb, time after time.
I was supplied with a box of 25 tablets. You could expect to pay about £5.29 for a box of that size. You can, however, make significant savings by buying a box of 72 tabs which were being advertised at £12.49.
Oven cleaning gel
Ecozone’s oven cleaning gel contains non-abrasive pumice stones to cut through burnt on stains and grease. It is also suitable for use on barbecues and gas grills.
It’s odourless and non-caustic. It’s just as well it’s non caustic because I accidentally spilled it all over my left hand! Just to be clear, I suffered no ill effects as a result of the spillage at all.
My clumsiness aside, how did the oven cleaner perform? I have to say, our oven was in desperate need of a clean (as the photograph above shows). It’s a job I had been ignoring for ages but the arrival of this cleaner into the house meant I had no excuses.
If you need to do a deep clean, the instructions state you should apply cleaner across the inside of the oven and then place a dish full of water in the oven at a temperature of 100˚c for 10 minutes. Despite the appalling state of our oven, I didn’t do this. I stuck with using the gel in combination with a scourer and (where necessary) a wooden spoon.
After about 15 minutes of effort, we had an oven that was in considerably better shape. I was incredibly surprised at how quickly the oven cleaner worked and at £2.99 for a 500ml bottle, you really can’t go too far wrong. The results were very impressive indeed.
Non-bio laundry capsules
These little cuties have been designed to work at 30˚c. You put one in the washing machine drum for an averagely dirty load or two if it is heavily soiled.
I have gone out of my way to use these on low temperature washes and the results each time have been superb. The orange jumper pictured below was washed at 30˚c and you can see the results for yourself.
Expect to pay around £5.39 for a pack of 20 capsules. They’re maybe not the cheapest, but they are very good.
Radiance fabric conditioner
The Radiance fabric conditioner is tallow free and also free of petrochemicals and synthetic dyes (surprising considering its bright purple colour!). It’s also been created so as not to irritate sensitive skin. The fragrance is violet, vanilla and chamomile.
As I said at the start, the fragrance is what caught Mrs Adams’ attention. Fabric conditioner is a difficult thing to review because you really have to use it for a long time to notice the effects on your clothing.
What I can tell you is that none of us had a negative skin reaction to either the laundry capsules or the fabric conditioner. The fragrance is pleasant but subtle. It comes in one litre bottles which should be enough for about 37 washes. If you wish to try it yourself, expect to pay around £3.99 a bottle.
Final thoughts, availability and pricing
All prices quoted in this post were correct at the time of writing and were sourced from the Ecozone website (which you will find here). Ecozone products are widely available and can be purchased from Ethical Superstore, John Lewis and Robert Dyas, to name just a few stockists.
I can’t tell you that all of the products I tried out were the cheapest. Ethical shopping does often come with a price tag unfortunately but do shop around as I noticed a significant difference in prices from different retailers.
One further point I would mention is the packaging. The dishwasher tablets came in a cardboard carton, but everything else came in plastic packaging. I did ask Ecozone about this and it is looking to make improvements to the packaging by using recycled products. Other environmentally-friendly household goods manufacturers are ahead of the game on this so Ecozone does need to catch up.
Packaging aside, the Ecozone products all performed very well. They’re clearly well produced and I have no issues with suggesting you try them out and make your household run in a more environmentally sympathetic way.