In collaboration with Seventh Generation
As a family of four with two little ones we go through a lot of washing. Our machine’s on at least once a day, usually more. That means we go through a lot of laundry detergent – but it doesn’t stop there. There’s the daily wiping down of surfaces, cleaning the high chair after a messy breakfast, washing dishes and cleaning the bath ready for the nightly splash. It’s non-stop and can end up feeling like a chore and a hassle.
When Seventh Generation got in touch to tell me about their range arriving here in the UK I thought it’d be the perfect time to see if I can take back control of our cleaning and make it easier. They’re new to the UK but have 28 years’ history in creating plant-based solutions for the home and family, like multi-purpose cleaning sprays and laundry detergents. They very kindly sent me a hamper featuring some of their plant-based cleaning products and over the last two weeks we’ve been trying them out at home.
New to green cleaning
Until now I’ve not been a very conscious shopper at all when it comes to cleaning products. If I’m honest I find the range of options, products, chemicals and fragrances a bit overwhelming. I have a list of things that I look for (non-bio when it comes to laundry products, kid-friendly cleaning sprays, cleaning power of washing up liquid) but beyond that I tend to pick up whichever is on offer.
I’m very new to the idea of green cleaning too, so it’s been nice to sit down and understand more about it and why it’s a great alternative to harsh, chemical-based cleaning products. Seventh Generation’s products are plant-based and among them feature no dyes, artificial brighteners, VOCs, or harsh solvents. I love the idea of using less chemicals, especially when it comes to areas the children use or clothes that’ll be close to their skin.
Apart from the ingredients of the cleaning products themselves, the packaging has been designed to be eco-friendly and green too. More on that later!
The company also doesn’t test products on animals, and is a Certified B Corporation – meaning they are certified as being better for workers, communities and the environment. So when you’re buying Seventh Generation products you’re investing in products and a company that’s environmentally friendly – which is always a plus point if that’s something which is important to you, or it’s an area where you’d like to become more eco-friendly.
No compromise on cleaning quality
We’ve been using these products in our home for the last two weeks now and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the cleaning power of them. I thought that they might somehow be less powerful (with having no nasties or harsh chemicals) but they really are just as good or better than the cleaners we were using before.
I’ve been especially impressed with the Glass & Surface Natural Cleaner which I’ve been using on our mirrors – it brings out a lovely shine with no smears or marks. I must admit cleaning the mirrors is some way down there on my list of things to do but I do feel more motivated since adding this and the other surface spray into my cleaning routine.
Easy to use and family-friendly
Talking of the other surface cleaning spray, one of my favourite things about it is that it’s kid-safe. The All-Purpose Natural Cleaner is probably the product I’ve been using the most and it’s become part of my daily cleaning routine.
Before I would grab a handful of antibacterial cleaning wipes and wipe away the mess from breakfast, lunch and dinner but now I reach for this spray instead. It’s kid-safe so perfect for using on the high chair and bathroom sink, without worrying about whether the kids can touch the surface afterwards. It’s synthetic fragrance-free too, so no distracting or overpowering smells. I feel much better about being less wasteful too, as those antibacterial wipes are expensive and not as environmentally friendly.
Something else that I’ve found really handy is the guide on the back of the sprays which tells you the surfaces it is and isn’t suitable for use on. It’s nice and easy to understand, so if you’ve got a dining table that means a lot to you or you’re worried about damaging the surface of your ceramic cooker (that’s me!) you can check and see which product’s safe to use. This helps me to no end as I’m sure my other half’s fed up of me asking “can I use this one on the cooker?” or “which one should I use on the worktop?” about our usual cleaning products. With these it’s simple.
Less waste, more recycling
As you’d expect from an environmentally conscious company, Seventh Generation have designed their products to be just as green to throw away and recycle as they are with the ingredients.
Most of the range is packaged in plastic bottles that can be recycled with your usual household collections, and there’s a packaging guide about every product on their website too. A particular stand out for me though is their 4x Concentrated Natural Laundry Detergent which features this interesting repurposed fibre shell in a design which features 66% less plastic. I’ve never seen laundry products packaged like this before – I wonder if it’s something we’ll see more of in the future?
Kind to the skin
When you do a LOT of washing up, cleaning and laundry having products which are kind to the skin is essential. We always look for things which are marketed as being gentle on the skin and suitable for babies, so it’s good to see that Seventh Generation’s laundry range is made for sensitive skin. We discovered recently that Ottilie’s developed eczema, so it’s really important to us to wash her clothes with something that’s gentle and suitable for her skin.
The dish soap (or washing up liquid for us Brits!) is gentle on the skin too. With some of the cleaning products and wipes we’ve used before I notice if I do too much cleaning all in one go my fingertips start to become sore. I haven’t experienced that at all with this range, which means I can cut down the time our cleaning routine takes – leaving more time to spend with the little ones. I’m all for that.
Campaigning for transparency
Not the transparency of their Free & Clear range (although I do love that!), but transparency when it comes to the ingredients that are in the products we use. Over in the US, Seventh Generation are running the #ComeClean campaign to raise awareness of the importance of clear, easy-to-understand labelling on cleaning products.
I think we’re more fortunate over here in that our product labels do contain ingredients, but often they’re hard to understand and you’d need to go away and look up each name to find out what it is. It’s even easier with Seventh Generation’s range though as they’ve included alongside what each ingredient is or does – you can see that in action here.
Where to buy
If you’d like to try out Seventh Generation’s cleaning and laundry range you can find them at Tesco, where you can use code ‘GRXN7Y’ for £3 off until 15th July.
WIN a hamper of Seventh Generation goodies
If you’d like to try and win a hamper of the products we’ve been enjoying, make sure you head over to the blogs below and enter their giveaways. And while you’re there stop and read a few more of their posts too – you might just find a new favourite :)
Thank you to Seventh Generation for collaborating with me on this project and introducing me to the world of green cleaning.
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