Below are some common questions we get about our products.
If you have other questions, please just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Product Enquries
- The Eco Cloth
- Reusable Bamboo Towel
- Refill Cleaning Tablets and Spray Range
General Product Enquries
Firstly, any untreated wood that comes into contact with water is in high risk of mould.
There are, however, things you can do to prevent and/or delay this.
For wooden dish brushes, when using every day:
- The brush head and the bristles are the ones mostly experiencing wet conditions and so are at the highest risk of getting mould.
- After use, leave it sitting in a well-ventilated place with the bristles upwards, so the water runs down and away from the bristles.
- Ideal place to leave it is in the window sill, and even better if the sun shines on it.
- You can leave it lying down in the sun. This is the absolute best way to finish off as the sun kills any last bacteria.
If you have started using it and you can see some dark patches starting to form on the wood:
- Use Distilled Vinegar in a cup with a dash of dishwash liquid or liquid soap.
- Then rinse with hot water.
- Due to the natural anti-bacterial properties of wood you don’t need harsh chemicals like bleach, as this will interfere with the natural anti-bacterial benefits.
After cleaning the brush or when you first buy your wooden dish brush:
- Treat your brush
- You can go all out and add wood oil or a natural wax to seal it
- You can also use Olive oil or coconut oil, which might be good if it’s for wooden salad utensils for example. This will seal it a bit and also prevent any wood cracking (although we have not had any issues with this).
- Do this every 2 weeks or so to keep your brush treated.
As it’s untreated natural materials it will age naturally, so part of the aging process is just unavoidable – sorry I’m sure you already know this and don’t mean to preach to the preacher, but thought I’d just finish off with that. We choose natural materials for the fact that they naturally break down. But you can definitely prolong the use of your brush.
We are currently testing some waxing options for our dish brushes to see how they react with the wax on. So we are working on a solution to prolong the life of the brush.
Stainless steel can be a bit tricky to stick things to, but we do have a tip using Vaseline (petroleum jelly) that works.
Here’s what you do:
- Wash out your sink using hot water and dish soap. Scrub the surface gently with a dishcloth or sponge to remove any hardened bits of food and greasy residue.
- Rinse the sink with generous amounts of equally hot water to flush away contaminants. Allow the water to drain from the sink.
- Rub the sink interior with a clean, soft cloth to dry the excess moisture. Wait another 15 to 20 minutes to ensure all the moisture is gone. Rub your dry fingers over the area to ensure it feels clean and oil-free.
- Dip your index finger into a jar of petroleum jelly. Scoop out a small amount -- probably less than the size of a pea for typical suction cups smaller than the palm of your hand -- and dab it on the inside of the suction cup.
- Spread the petroleum jelly around the rim of the cup, leaving an even layer around the circle. Swirl the jelly around the center of the suction cup as well.
- Position the suction cups over the sink surface and press firmly in place. Avoid moving the suction cups after they stick to prevent a loss of suction and grip.
- You can get petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in supermarkets or chemist (or you may have one in your medical cabinet already).
The Eco Cloth
Whether or not the eco cloths fight bacteria has been the subject of several conversations. Studies have shown that products using natural materials are less likely to be breeding grounds for bacteria.
Dean Cliver, a professor of food safety at the University of California, found in a study he conducted, that cellulose in wood (which is the base of our Eco cloths) absorbs bacteria but will not release it. ”We’ve never been able to get the bacteria down in the wood back up on the knife to contaminate food later,” he said. Plastic which can be found in synthetic cloths absorbs bacteria in a different way. ”When a knife cuts into the plastic surface, little cracks radiate out from the cut,” Professor Cliver said. The bacteria, he said, ”seem to get down in those knife cuts and they hang out, and they could hang around for weeks.”
Made from wood pulp and cotton, moisture-loving bacteria are less likely to breed on eco cloths . They are very thin they dry more quickly than your normal cotton cloth. Also as the backside is white it shows dirt quicker and will probably get washed more often to keep them from looking dirty. Washing the eco cloth is super easy. Put it in the dishwasher or put in the microwave (wet!) as steam will kill the bacteria.
Lack of Odour in Eco Cloths
One other supportive evidence of less bacteria is the lack of odour in the eco cloth. Smell originates from the compound produced by the bacterium’s metabolism. It eats fat. It excretes fat. And that fatty excrement stinks. The eco cloth’s lack of smelly rag odours is evidence that less bacteria harvest and grow in our cloths.
One a different note, if you look at fighting bacteria from simply replacing and using new cloths more often, there a few considerations for this too.
Looking at how to fight bacteria in dish cloths in general, the discussion in the past has always been a toss-up between hygiene (throwing them out) vs. sustainable environment (too much landfill). Many experts on the standard synthetic dish cloth advice to throw it out every week, or use paper towels. Paper towels might be clean, but not exactly sustainable. more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the United States every year—that’s a lot of trees! In the end, these types of paper products account for more than one-quarter of all landfill waste. Then add to that all the synthetic cloths going into this too.
The eco cloths do carry less bacteria as discussed above, and even if you do choose to throw them out more frequently, you can do that guilt-free as they fully compost in your home garden.
So the old argument of hygiene vs. environment is no longer relevant if you use the eco cloths.
You can put the eco cloth in the dishwasher on the top rack with the cups, or a washing machine will do too. Just make sure it’s on 60 C degrees to fight germs and bacteria too.
Some customers have told us they dip the cloth for 15-20 secs in bleach to take out stains. We can’t endorse that as bleach can create damage to the cloth.
The Dishwasher and washing machine will kill most bacteria (if done on 60 C degrees). The most effective way though is the microwave. WET your cloth and put into to your microwave for 90 secs. The microwave and the heat created kills almost all germs and bacteria present in the cloth.
Natural solutions such as vinegar or boiling water has proven to not be very effective when it comes to killing germs and bacteria.
Eco Cloths are made from natural ingredients (wood pulp and cotton) which will decompose when you dispose of the eco cloth. As it is made of all natural materials, there will be no traces of it that could cause damage to the planet.
Microfibre cloths are made from very small fibres, oftentimes a blend of polyester and polyamide or nylon. In short, these cloths are made of tiny plastic fibres that would end up going down the drain and into our waterways and oceans. These plastic fibres which do not decompose end up being ingested by marine creatures such as fish and shellfish which can then be transferred back to us when we consume seafood.
Upon first introduction of the Eco Cloth to liquid, you may detect a scent which is due to the properties composing the eco cloth (wood pulp and cotton) however after the first ring with water the scent should vanish and no longer be present after use.
As eco cloths are made of natural ingredients they dry fast and as such do make become a breeding ground for bacteria. Sponges on the other hand are made with petroleum-based materials which do not dry fast at all making them the hotspot for bacterial activity which produces the smell.
Reusable Bamboo Towel
The bamboo eco wipes are made in China from FSC Certified Chinese bamboo. China has a well acknoweledged certification standard called Guobiao (GB for short) and these standards are issued by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) which is the Chinese National Committee of the ISO and IEC.
Our test report is approved for GB/T 19277.1-2001 Measurement of Final Aerobic.
Bio-decomposition Capacity of Materials under Controlled Composting Conditions Released Carbon Dioxide was Measured Section I: General Method.
The report found composting took 49 days.
There are two ways to see this:
1. Stains: Yes you can wash in cold water – as with your clothing it gets cleaned to the same degree you’d get stains of your clothes when washing in cold water. For some stains it’s fine, for others they won’t budge in cold water.
2. There is absolutely no harm to the bamboo cloth itself from being washed in cold water, it’s merely a good means to get the stains out. Bacteria: as the rolls will be used in areas with more bacteria and germs than for instance your clothing, the bamboo sheets will get more bacteria on them. It does take hot water to get rid of some bacteria and germs. Bacteria and germs themselves are a whole other discussion and people have different opinions on this, so I will not get too much into this, but IF you are of the believe that bacteria and germs are a necessary part of life then the cold water should do fine, but we just will not official recommend this. There would be a few footnotes to add such as (but not fully inclusive): meat juices harvesting dangerous bacteria, if used as a handkerchief for someone who’s sick, and so forth. Those examples could be dangerous for some people’s health if the cloths are washed “properly” and so we have to recommend washing in warmer water to reduce any risks.
Refill Cleaning Tablets and Spray Range
The tablets are proudly made in New Zealand. We have been working with some of New Zealand’s leading scientists for the last 18 months to produce a formulation that is all natural and actually works. We are really proud to be producing the first ever NZ made Refill Bench Spray Concentrate tablet right here in NZ.
- Citric Acid (Occurs naturally in citrus)
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
- Silicone Dioxide (two of the most abundant elements in the earths crust)
- Sodium Coco Sulfate (derived from coconut fatty acids – dissolves dirt & grease)
- Mag Stereate + L-Leusine (Natural lubricants)
- Maltodextrine (Made from Corn, Rice, Potato starch, or wheat)
Essential oils & botanicals:
- All Purpose – a sophisticated scent with Green Tea and Lily with undertones of Sweet Orange, Lime, Bergamot, Litsea Cubeba, Cedarwood, Galbanum and Violet Leaf Absolute and Kanuka
- Kitchen – a citrus scent including Sweet Orange, Lemon, Blood Orange, Lime and Petitgrain with additional Kanuka
- Bathroom – a fresh scent of Eucalyptus and Mint with Kawakawa