A review of Shaklee Cleaning Products
|By Matt Mayer in Green Products | December 4, 2006|
One area that sorely lacks an environmental focus in my household is our cleaning products. For some reason we just had never given it much thought. I was recently given the opportunity to bring some products into the house for a product review and what follows are my thoughts on the products after about 6 weeks of use. The products we obtained are from the Shaklee group of cleaning products. They can be found at www.Shaklee.com .
Our first opportunity to review the dish soap product that was supplied to me was on Halloween. I thought I had a great opportunity to test it’s grease fighting and cleaning ability because we would have plates and dishes sitting around as we hurried out the door to do some trick or treating, and also because I had cooked a whole chicken for dinner so there was quite a bit of grease available.
I was right. It was quite the test. By the time we returned from our candy fueled adventures the dishes were quite a sight. Following the direction on the bottle I added a couple of drops of dish soap to my dish pan along with some hot water (we keep our water heater at 120 so our water isnâ€™t really that hot) and I started to wash the dishes. And the dish soap worked beautifully. In fact, it worked just as well as I could have expected from a non-environmental cleaner. I never did add any additional soap to the dishpan and the soap worked fantastic.
I really liked how they told me on the package how much to use. Iâ€™ve never seen a recommendation on other soaps to use as little as possible. Normally I just throw in a big olâ€™ squirt. I did notice that as I washed the dishes the soapy suds went away from the water, but it was still cleaning the dishes without the suds. I assumed this difference was because I hadnâ€™t used very much soap in the first place, but that’s OK. No sense using more than you really need anyway.
All in all I would say that the dish soap did a fine job and when you figure in its concentrated power a bottle of it should last a long time.
Since Halloween weâ€™ve been using the soap for every set of dishes that we wash by hand and it has held up great. Things are just as clean as they were before, and by following the directions I spend less time rinsing because the soap bubbles arenâ€™t all over the place. The cleaning power of just a few drops is, quite frankly, amazing.
Our head laundry expert (aka, My Wife) decided to do a comparison test between normal laundry soap and the Shaklee liquid laundry soap. After some washings the red sweatshirts we purchased to compare for usage patterns look exactly the same. Granted, we havenâ€™t washed it 100 times like they do on TV, but I can at least say that the Shaklee laundry detergent doesnâ€™t wear out the clothes any faster than normal detergent. It seems to get all the dirt from 2 little boys out of the clothes just fine. And it smells good too. Gotta like that.
I have also noticed less lint in the lint trap on the dryer. I’ve been told by repairpeople that the lint that accumulates in the dryer is not lint as much as it is excess soap that is pounded out of your clothes. I’ve never decided if I actually believe that or not, but after seeing how the lint in the trap decreased as we switched our soap perhaps they are correct. This scenario tells me that this soap is more gentle on our clothing and it also comes out in the wash better than our other soap.
My chief complaint is that the required usage amount, 1 oz, makes the bottle contents disappear pretty quickly. Iâ€™ve taken to using Âľ oz with no noticeable difference in cleanliness so the bottle will last longer. The bottle also didnâ€™t come with a measuring cup. It wasnâ€™t hard to find a shot glass in this old boyâ€™s box of fraternity stuff in the basement to use to measure out the soap though, so thatâ€™s a small complaint. (I canâ€™t eyeball an oz as well as I use to be able to)
Basically, I didn’t notice a difference between this laundry soap and our normal laundry soap.
Yes, we do still use the dryer. Call it lazy if you wish, but we prefer our wrinkly clothes to come out of the dryer so we donâ€™t have to iron them. Not to mention the whites with all the socks. It just takes too long to hang them all up.
Anyway, the dryer sheets were pretty sweet. They are recyclable so when the sheet is used up you can put it in your recycle bin. On top of that, they recommend you tear the sheet in half (it has a convenient fold in the middle to tear along) and place one piece on the top of the clothes and one on the bottom of the clothes for better static fighting. I havenâ€™t seen that recommendation on any other sheets Iâ€™ve used before.
Also, itâ€™s commonplace in our family to use dryer sheets more than once before disposal and these sheets held up fine. They still did their job after multiple uses just fine, and my pocketbook likes this very much.
Get CleanÂ® cleaning solution
We really enjoyed the Get CleanÂ® cleaning solution for a few different reasons. We liked how the Get CleanÂ® solution was a very multipurpose cleaner that could be used for a ton of different things just by varying the strength of the product. It would do windows, counters, floors, wood, showers, etc. The only difference was the dilution setup with the water we added. We also liked how it was a concentrated product that allowed us to make our own bottles. No sense paying for the water thatâ€™s in a standard product or shipping that water all over the country in the bottle.
Another aspect of the cleaner that was very important to us was its impact on my wifeâ€™s asthma. Normal household cleaners are extremely difficult for her to use and required us to heavily ventilate the bathroom while cleaning it so she can even breathe. But this wasnâ€™t the case with Get CleanÂ®. She was able to clean, and clean just as well, without even having the put on the duct fan. In fact, she could clean the bathroom in a few minutes whenever she had a moment because of the lack of fumes, ease of cleaning and gentleness of the cleaner. This was obviously great for me because it meant even less time that I had to spend doing this.
Along that same lineup we were able to expand how much our kids could help us do around the house. Our kids like to do housework, and we encourage it even at their young age, but we didnâ€™t feel that the standard household cleaners were safe to use. The only thing we would even let them touch was glass cleaner. But because these cleaners are so gentle we are able to expand the amount of things that they can do around the house. Without the fumes we didnâ€™t have to worry about their little lungs and this was great for us. Now our oldest can clean anything he wants without our assistance. This is great for busy parents who are trying to teach their kids responsibility, but itâ€™s also good for them because by being helpful they develop good self-esteem and see their value to the household. These are important traits for parents to develop in their children.
Our only complaint was that the cleaning solution was basically unscented. I need a little scent in the air for that “just clean” smell, for both myself, and any company that comes over. As far as complaints go though that was a pretty small complaint.
My final assessment of the products is that you should check them out. Shaklee’s website has a ton of great general environmental information on it and you can order their products from the website or from a local distributer. I’m convinced the products work at their job just as well as non-ecofriendly cleaners so I don’t see any reason not to give them a try and see how you like them in your home.
There are fewer things that you can do to make a quick, immediate, easy difference in the environment than changing what you use to clean your house and what you put down your drains. I should have thought about making a change like this a long time ago.