This week I met with a chap who can only be described as a hero of house cleaning. Who is this cleaning god? Eric Ryan – the founder of Method products. For the uninitiated to these products, Method along with Ecover revolutionised the way we clean our homes. Introducing non-toxic products to UK supermarkets that are cleaner and safer to us but also affordable.
However, why the problem with every day cleaners? As Eric wrote in Squeaky Green – the method guide to detoxing your home – ‘We used to live in draughty homes where the air could more freely circulate, keeping homes breezier and healthier. But after World War II, we started sealing our homes up nice and airtight – gas central heating had become popular and energy efficiency became an issue. At the same time, a whole bunch of chemicals came onto the market to help us clean…Home sweet home is certainly not the breezy, healthy place it used to be. Instead it’s a vacuum-sealed hotbed of toxins.’
Also consider this: Studies have shown that women who work inside the home have significantly higher cancer rates than those who don’t. Repeated exposure to cleaning products is one of the contributing factors.
It’s been 4 years since I first read Squeaky Green and it did dramatically change the way I clean my home. And for all of us approaching a spring clean it’s worth considering – how to do it more toxin free? As Eric says, ‘Everything you put in your home, would you put on your skin? There is always a little residue that goes into skin, which goes more quickly into the bloodstream than food we eat.’
My main question to Eric however is how can eco friendly cleaning products work as effectively? Eric explains, ‘The big cleaning brands rely on one major cleaning agent that tend to have toxins but prices are kept low by making the product this way. Method, like Ecover, uses a cocktail of natural ingredients to get the same result – which is slightly more expensive but healthier for us.’
But do know I would be the last to resort to lemons and vinegar (very good natural cleaners – but time consuming and expensive) no, I’m busy and need quick spray products that effectively clean and give me a healthy tidy home. And for the additional 80p these natural cleaning sprays tend to cost I’m happy to pay the extra…
Next time – the latest products and tips to Spring-clean room-by-room.