As spoken to Emma Lodge | September 2016
Very few chemicals were in our environment, or in our bodies just 75 years ago. Since the industrial revolution there are now over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in production today, with 15,000 new chemicals produced every year.
Because scientists can manipulate and combine chemicals, the chemical industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, however there is little knowledge on the effects of these chemicals to our health and the environment. More than half have never been tested for their toxicity, and in Australia chemicals are safe until proven otherwise.
In Australia cleaning products are not required to disclose the full list of ingredients on their labels, and as consumers we like to have the belief that we can trust the safety of the products we use. However as you’ll find, in the example of fragrances, that some air fresheners, cleaning sprays, polishes, spray deodorants and other toiletries may contain up to 3,500 fragrance chemicals, let alone the rest of the ingredients.
Research on impacts of fragranced products is extremely limited. So it makes it hard to know what’s really safe and what’s not.
But there is a safer option for you and the environment…
Emma: Tell us about Norwex
Heather: Norwex offers a chemical free cleaning system. The extensive range of microfibre cleaning products offer an effective way of cleaning with just the use of water – saving time, money and improving health. The cloths are very durable and can withstand the rigors of everyday use.
So you can clean your whole home with the use of chemicals?
Heather: Yes there’s a cloth for every area of your house, from the kitchen to the bathroom, to the living space to your car, and literally just cleaning with water. You no longer need to go down that stinky cleaning aisle in the supermarket, you can completely avoid that.
Can you tell us Heather what’s the difference between Norwex and the other microfibre cloths on the market today?
Heather: Yes absolutely. Well you’ve probably walked down the cleaning aisle of your supermarket where you’ve seen a pack of 3 microfibre cloths for $5 and thought ‘oh that looks good I’ll use those’. In essence they are the same as choosing your bed sheets, for example, you’ve got your basic 100 thread count bedsheets from the discount store or the beautiful Egyptian cotton bedsheets that are 100 thread count, they’re the ones that have the higher thread count and thicker quality of fibre.
So that’s how I explain it with the Norwex microfibre. In their envirocloths for example, if you can imagine one strand of microfibre that is as thin as a hair. When you look at the hair in a cross section there is lots of little fingers coming off one hair that’s doing all the grabbing for you.
So one envirocloth has a continuous strand of microfibre that is about 3000km long, and is all woven together into the one cloth to give you maximum quality and maximum efficiency for the product itself, so when you wipe the surface you’re grabbing everything off the surface leaving it effectively 99.9% bacteria free. So it’s that clean you can eat off it!
And Norwex has even taken it a step further.
Heather: Yes in 2007 antibacterial microfibre was introduced, so they have actually imprinted silver particles into the fibre before they weave it, so your cloth has its own sanitising properties. The silver self sanitises once its wet, which activates the silver, so you don’t have to worry about any cross contamination.
So in essence you can take your cloths from the bathroom to the kitchen?!
Heather: Well technically you can, although there is colour coding, so you can colour code your cloths for the bathroom, toilet, kitchen, car etc. There’s also a few different weaves to the fibre as well, one weave is good for the kitchen as its a looser weave so food particles can rinse out a little easier. The tighter weave cloths are great for any surfaces that can take a damp cloth. The thin weave is great for drying and polishing surfaces. The thicker pile is great for dusting.
The cloths I have invested in have lasted such a long time, I have cloths from about 6 years ago I’m still using!
Heather: Yes they’re a great investment. This cleaning system has been proven to cut cleaning time and effort. In addition to saving time, you will also save money by reducing the use of chemicals and cleaning supplies. The average household spends $450 – $600 a year on these items alone.