Tesco’s Naturally Powered review
Mumsnet sent me a sample of the new Tesco’s Naturally Powered Anti-Bacterial Multi Surface spray. I was excited as it’s always great when companies figure out that less chemicals in the home = happier home overall. The bottle arrived, and looked promising – 100% recycled packaging, and no neon colors, just clear fluid. Then I took a look at the ingredients.
There are a few things that bother me about cleansers nowadays, the first being when they scream that they are anti-bacterial. ALL SOAP IS ANTI-BACTERIAL, that’s the bloody point of soap. Bacteria are built on lipid chains, and soap, by their chemical compound, breaks those chains. So yelling about being anti-bacterial isn’t a great start. Then I looked at the ingredients. Below is a breakdown of Tesco’s cleanser, versus my cleaning products. Enjoy.
Ingredients in Naturally Powered:
Chlorhexidine gluconate. Weirdly enough, this is an antimicrobial agent in mouthwash. I don’t know why my surfaces need anything based off of glucose, but okay.
Benzalkonium chloride: Another antibacterial disenfectant, it is highly toxic to fish (LC50 = 280 μg ai/L), very highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 5.9 μg ai/L), moderately toxic to birds (LD50 = 136 mg/kg-bw), and slightly toxic to mammals (LD50= 430 mg/kg-bw). Benzalkonium chloride solutions of 10% or more are toxic to humans, causing irritation to the skin and mucosa, and death if taken internally.
Didecyldimethylammonium chloride. My chemistry classes are pretty old, but I see ethyl there (alcohol), ammonium, and as a class type, it’s a fungacide. Well, anything that can kill fungus can kill most everything else. Indeed, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) named it ‘Highly Toxic’.
And as fragrance, d-Limonene is the major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind.
Ingredients in my cleansers:
And for fragrance? Orange rinds stuffed in the vinegar bottle. Sorted.
So, we have a bottle full of stuff that can kill almost everything (including my kid if he ingested it), versus my stuff, half of which doubles as food. Not a great start. But, let’s see how they work against my bathroom, kitchen, and baby’s high chair.
Scrubbing a bathroom is no fun, but spraying down surfaces with vingear, dusting with baking soda, waiting a few seconds for the bubbling action to work, and then scrubbing lightly with a green scouring pad does the trick. For super stains, a half a lemon with sea salt sprinkled on the surface makes a great abrasive, and a lemon rubbed over the chrome fixtures strips off even the most stubborn hard water stains. Even the toilet can be cleaned with vinegar and baking soda!
Tesco’s stuff did…well, it did exactly the same thing. Cleaned well, did great on the London hard water, all the rest. It did leave a fine film on the surfaces, which meant I wasn’t going to let it touch the baby’s high chair – didn’t want any of the remaining bits getting into baby’s mouth.
Now let’s look at the cost. On mysupermarket.co.uk, a 500 ml bottle of cleaner goes for £1.80. A bottle of vinegar, canister of baking soda, and a lemon costs £2.30. However, while my stuff costs 50 p more, the peace of mind I get with knowing my baby can’t kill himself drinking my stuff is well worth it.
So, while the cleanser does the job, I wouldn’t rush out and buy it up in an effort to be green. Fact is, it’s using the same chemicals that are found it many of the other cleansers out there, without much of a ‘green’ or eco-bonus. And as always, it’s very very toxic for children.
I know as busy parents its sometimes easier to just throw chemicals at the issue and get on with it, but cleaning the house with safe materials really is easy, it just takes a small amount of planning and elbow grease. For our family, it is worth it.