Monday, July 28, 2008

birthday suit

Those folks over on have a review of method's go naked all-surface spray cleaner (just FYI, this is a UK review!)

"This is not one of those all-purpose surface cleaners you spray onto an infested worktop, leave for a second and "Voila!" it all sparkles. It's more one of those sprays you have to leave on the surface for a couple of seconds and scrub with a sponge to get the grime off.

We actually don't mind scrubbing, though, since it reassures us that the product isn't packed with toxic chemicals. We like that it leaves the surface degreased and feeling clean as if we had just cleaned it with water and a bit of non-foaming washing up liquid. No nasty, synthetic or chlorine-infused smells hang over us after a good clean around the house -- just a slightly sweet smell, which comes from the surfactant and which we don't mind.

The ingredients look fine -- especially considering this is a cleaning product: corn and coconut derived surfactants, soda ash, potassium hydrate and purified water. The potassium hydrate could potentially be a baddy and harm aquatic life, but it only represents 0.1 per cent of the product and reacts with the other ingredients in a harmless way (method disclosed the recipe to us, but we've promised not to publish it).

Method makes a big deal out of the 'cradle to cradle' design -- originator Michael Braungart checks every single product before they go into circulation. The company also works with its factories in the US and UK to be energy, water and material efficient and to make sure its labour standards are up to scratch.

Although there are no vegan or vegetarian labels on method's products, it does operate a no animal testing policy and it is investing in alternative, animal-friendly testing methods. This earned co-founders Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan the joint award of PETA's Person of the Year in 2006.

At £3 for 828ml (£3.63 per litre) it's marginally less than Ecover's Squirteco all purpose cleaner, which is £3.98 per litre from Ocado. But whereas Ecover's Squirteco can be refilled, to the benefit of environment and wallet, the Go Naked bottle can just be recycled (the pump cannot). However, as a major milestone, this particular method product comes in a bottle made from recycled plastic and according to Lowry, method plans on introducing recycled bottles for the whole range, which we like the sound of.

Despite the fact we really, really like method and everything the company stands for, we tested the Go Naked surface cleaner against baking powder mixed with water and the resemblance was uncanny, which is obviously not a good incentive to spend £3 on a cleaning product. But the bottle makes cleaning way more convenient than spreading baking soda all over the house, so we would still recommend it.

Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)
+ 7.1 Quality
+ 7.0 Value
+ 7.5 Ethics
+ 8.2 Green"

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