Monday, June 2, 2008

Cleaning without chemicals

I have always thought that cleaning products were a necessary evil.

And when I say evil I mean exactly that because I, more than most people, know how dangerous they can be.

My adult niece was a young toddler when another baby around her age pulled a common household disinfectant out from under the kitchen sink at her babysitter’s house and sprayed it in her eye.

Both of them were too young to understand or explain what happened and by the time my niece got proper medical attention it was too late. Her eye was so badly damaged it had to be removed.

To ensure this never happens to someone you love, you can, should, and probably do, lock up your cleaning products. But even if you manage to keep them out of your child’s reach you can’t deny their environmental impact: chemical cleaners not only ultimately enter our water systems, they leave a residue that lingers on household surfaces. Many scientists are now questioning whether these residues are linked to everything from cancer to the increasing rates of childhood asthma and autism.

A necessary evil?

Absolutely not, says Judy Benson-Jones.

Judy contacted me a few months back hoping to spread the word about a revolutionary cleaning system that replaces chemicals with micro fibre technology. It’s called Enjo and as soon as I looked into it, the science geek in me was immediately intrigued.

It actually took me a while to wrap my head around how Enjo works, but essentially it’s a mechanical rather than a chemical cleaning system. You clean with nothing but water, using gloves and cloths that look quite ordinary but are actually composed of thousands of microscopically small fibres: the fibres are so tiny they can actually disinfect by removing up to100% of invisible bacteria as opposed to chemicals which kill it.


It sounds crazy but it's true!

Judy gave me a bathroom glove and drying cloth to try out and when I did it honestly freaked me out a bit. I put on the glove and wet it and gave my (admittedly grimy and soap-stained) counter a once over. All the grime and stains lifted the same way they do when I really scrub, but I wasn’t scrubbing – I was just gently wiping. I did the rest of the room and I dried everything afterwards with the cloth (which has a 2,500 thread count) and the joint was as clean and shiny as I have ever seen it.

Total cleaning time? About five minutes – swear to God.

The Enjo system, which uses color-coded cloths and gloves for different rooms of your home, is quite new, but appears to be taking the world by storm. It was pioneered in Austria in 1990 and is now sold by representatives (not in stores) on five continents. In 2006 it won a Gold Award at the Eco Products International Fair in Singapore where it was heralded as an innovative product that contributes towards environmental sustainability, while being economically viable.

What that means straight up is that, in addition to protecting your child, you save money because you never have to buy any cleaning products and you save the earth because neither cleaning chemicals nor the plastic bottles they come in, end up in landfill.

If the Enjo system intrigues you and you live in the Toronto area, please drop Judy Benson-Jones a line at jbjones@enjo-canada.com. She can tell you more about it and even help you host an in-home demo or party. You can also visit the Enjo web site for more information and to find a representative in your area.

21 comments:

David said...

I'm always excited when I see a posts like this for one huge reason: My wife has battled Leukemia since 2004 and finialy going the full stem cell transplant route in 2007 to defeat (for now) the blood cancer. Her Oncologist, Dr. Mark Minden is the head of Leukemia/Lymphoma Canada research. Mark has written several white papers and published countless doucuments the many links between household cleaners and Blood cancer.
They are NOT a necessary evil! They are Evil period. There are far too many correlations between Leukemia and bleaches, cleansers, and thousands of other evils that we use daily in our kitchens and bathrooms.
Dr. Minden also has a white paper out on the huge correlation between dry cleaning chemicals and Cancer.
In several studies, women who wore the highest rate of dry cleaned clothes, had the highest rate of Leukemia.
Kelly, thanks for this post, and I hope your friend does well with her product. Your a good friend to help her out.
David

Laski said...

This goes along with my "going green and toxic free" initiative!

Must try Enjo!!!

Congrats on the new blogging venture!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is very interesting--I'll definitely check it out.

wheelsonthebus said...

Are they in the US? The website is Canadian. Can we get them here?

chelle said...

Wow that sounds amazing!!!
Totally checking it out.

Chantal said...

Congrats on your new blog. I am always in search of healthier cleaners (it is an obsession of mine). I will check these out for sure!

Jobthingy said...

interesting. i actually know a few people that would be interested in this.. im off to link them

painted maypole said...

sounds cool. checking out the link...

Tracey said...

Interesting... I usually just use dish soap and water, to be honest. I am not big on having to "kill the germs!" all the time. I figure, the more germs the better! Our immune systems must rock, cuz my family is rarely ill...

Bec said...

can't find info about the price anywhere. probably expensive. sounds interesting but I'll stick to cleaning with vinegar.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'll have to check these out. I stopped using cleansers (at least in my kitchen) when I got pregnant this time. I swear by vinegar and water, a 1:1 ratio. Works great!

Oz said...

How cool! We're switching over to the vinegar and baking soda homemade cleaners, but these sound like a good option, too.

Oh, and I'm so excited about the new recipe blog. Bookmarking it immediately.

Nowheymama said...

Oh, how interesting!

Also, a new recipe site--yay!

Nap Warden said...

Never heard of this...but I'm totally interested!

womaninawindow said...

Cool...I love that people and products are finally beginning to make sense!

Shannon said...

VERY cool - I'll have to check it out, I've never heard of it. I LOVE www.pinksolution.ca - it's awesome and I've used it for ages. It does a fabulous job and I use it to clean everything!! Great new site, I'll be coming back!

April said...

That sounds amazing! I'm totally sold.

And congrats on the new site! I'll try not to hate you for making me add yet another blog to my Reader :)

Judy Benson-Jones said...

thanks for the great review Kelly! We are able to ship our products anywhere in Canada and the U.S. The fibres are all made to last 2-3 years with regular use and are all recyclable. Please check out our website and view our video.

Judy

Shellie said...

This is so very cool!

emily said...

This is very cool! I sent an email earlier this week and am excited to see what they offer in the US! Thanks.

caramama said...

This sounds really great! I've just been switching to organic and more natural cleaners, but this sounds really awesome. I am going to check it out.