Without going into a whole lot of detail, suffice it to say that I’m a busy woman. With a daughter who stays at home with me and a blog and graphic design business to run, there’s not a lot of time left at the end of the day. And while going green is an incredibly important part of my life, and my livelihood, I admit even I am mildly annoyed by the fact that “green” is rarely synonymous with “convenient.” In fact, the two terms are nearly polar opposites. While I understand this disconnect is for my own good (because convenience generally = disposable), it still gets under my skin from time to time. So when I find a company that manages to successfully package Earth-friendliness and convenience together, I’m an easy sell. Sun & Earth did this for me.
There are lots of companies making green cleaning products these days, and because so many of the ingredients tend to overlap, it’s sometimes tough to pick brands out of the bunch. Sun & Earth makes itself a standout by creating products that few other eco-friendly companies are making. Case in point: Liquid fabric softener, dryer sheets, and even dishwasher packets and a stain removing pen a-la Tide. They sent me a virtual treasure trove of products to test, so I’ll break them down with brief thoughts on each:
All-purpose cleaner: Smells like a freshly cut orange and powers through grease like nobody’s business. I only had to spray once to get tough stains off our ceramic cooktop and microwave, and that impressed me to no end.
Glass cleaner: Wasn’t streaky at all and left mirrors glass glistening like it was brand new.
Dishwashing liquid: Again, smelled like a fresh cut orange and did a great job of cutting through grease on dishes without leaving my hands feeling dry or cracked.
Dishwasher packets: I have to admit I wasn’t terribly impressed by their performance. I wish the orange fragrance was a bit stronger, although that is definitely a personal preference. Where they fell short is in scrubbing. I’ve been trying to break myself of the nasty, water-wasting habit of pre-washing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I restrained myself for a couple of loads and put the dishes in without washing or rinsing them first. Some of them didn’t come out clean when I used just the packet. It took the addition of some Palmolive Eco+ (phosphate free) in the “pots and pans” cup for the dishes to be thoroughly cleaned. However, when I prewashed the dishes, the packets worked great.
Hand soap: The orange fragrance here was actually a bit nauseating for me — slightly more like orange-flavored cold medicine than an actual orange. But my daughter loved it It did leave our hands feeling incredibly clean and well-scrubbed.
Laundry detergent: I’m picky when it comes to laundry detergent, and we’ve gone through a lot of green brands in our search for one that meets our needs. Sun & Earth did a great job of getting our clothes clean, although I also have a nasty habit of using too much detergent (ie. 2 caps instead of just one). That habit defeats the purpose of buying natural, concentrated detergent, but I’m working on it
Fabric softener (liquid): I loved this! I grew up using both liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Wasteful, I know now, but that’s the way we always did it. Over the past year or so, I had quit using liquid softener because I couldn’t find one made with natural ingredients. This often meant we’d wind up with clothes that just weren’t soft enough and felt scratchy. The Sun & Earth softener smelled great, and worked like magic to keep our clothes soft and virtually free of static, even when we used no dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets (biodegradable): I’ve tried to find “natural” dryer sheets that would actually biodegrade, but the best I’d been able to do is Arm & Hammer Essentials. I know. I know. I should have given up dryer sheets completely by now and switched to dryer balls. But since I have yet to find said balls in a local store, I still occasionally use dryer sheets. These were unlike any dryer sheets I’ve ever used. They were fragrance free and felt more like textured wax paper than a traditional dryer sheet. They also have to be torn in half when they go in the dryer. But lo and behold, they really worked. I don’t know yet if they’ll actually biodegrade, but I’ll report back once I know more.
Other goodies: Sun & Earth also sent me a reusable shopping bag with a hard bottom, which has been great for heavier grocery loads. The last item in the bx I received was the stain removal pen. I haven’t tested it yet, but something tells me my daughter will give me an opportunity to do so the next time we eat out.
Overall, I was impressed by the performance of the full range of products, although there are 1 or 2 I might not purchase on my own because of my personal preferences. But the laundry detergent, fabric softener and all-purpose cleaner are going on my list of go-to products, particularly because the prices are so reasonable. Definitely.
Why It’s Green:
- Cleaners made from coconut and orange oils, among other plant-based, natural and non-toxic ingredients
- Free of petroleum-based cleaners, chlorine, phosphates, dyes and perfumes
- Packaging contains recycled content and is recyclable
- Sun & Earth has been making green cleaning products since before “green” was a mainstream term