Did you know that a few months ago, I tried to make my own dishwashing detergent for our dishwasher? Yep, I really did. I love that we can effectively mix up our own cleaning solutions with ordinary household staples like vinegar, and thought I'd extend that to the dishwasher. Unfortunately, I found that that wasn't nearly as effective and have gone back to using storebought dishwashing detergents.
Still, using ones that are less toxic are still important to me (which is one of the key reasons why I prefer anything homemade). So when the New Zealand-based company ecoSTORE USA asked me if I'd be interested in receiving a couple of their products for review, I was more than happy to give them a whirl!
ecoSTORE USA has a large variety of cleaning supplies (more than 100) for practically every need you might have, from cleaning your dishes, laundry, countertops, floors, furniture, toilets—nearly every surface within your home—and even your baby and pets! All of their products make use of plant-based ingredients (rather than man-made chemicals) to keep your home clean. That means there are no phosphates, no nitrates, no ammonia, no toxic petrochemicals, no chlorine, no EDTA, and no synthetic dyes or perfumes.
As I mentioned, I selected two of their dishwashing products to test out: Auto Dishwash Powder and Dishwash Liquid. One of the things you'll notice about many of ecoSTORE USA's products, is that they come in smaller sizes than traditional, chug-a-lug storebought ones. That's not because you're getting ripped off, but because each product is "super-concentrated" so that you only need to use a little for each use.
To this end, I've been using both products for about a month. When using the auto dishwash powder, you only have to use a tablespoon for each time you run the dishwasher. (As it turns out, the cap perfectly holds a tablespoon's worth of powder, so that has made it easy to measure out the required amount.) I run my dishwasher about once every day or day and half, and I've only used about a quarter of the 35.3-ounce bottle they provided. That means that one small container will last me all winter! Since it takes up less space under my sink, I really appreciate this element of ecoSTORE USA's philosophy.
Conversely, the dishwash liquid comes in a larger-than-normal bottle (32 ounces). I only use dishwashing liquid for handwashing, so this will last me an incredibly long time! And since it will be sitting on my countertop for an extended period, I love that it features a cute black-and-white photo of neatly stacked tea cups on its label, making it much more attractive than some of its overly-branded counterparts.
While you can find ecoSTORE USA products in some grocery and convenience shops throughout the country (including Meijer, Duane Reade and Plum Market), you can also find these items and more on their website, where, currently, most are on sale. (For example, both the autodish powder and the dishwash liquid I tried out are currently on sale for $8.50 each.) This is pricier than traditional market dishwashing products, but you can save by having it delivered straight to your home (shipping is free on orders over $25) and by knowing that, as their guiding mantra goes, "The end product must not only be good for the user, but good for the planet."
Visit the ecoSTORE USA website at www.ecostoreusa.com for more information. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and on their blog, where you can read their latest news and sign up for their e-newsletter.
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