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Does Norwex Work?

Does Norwex work?

A good friend of mine, Audrey, recently became a Norwex consultant.  I’ll be honest in saying that I had no idea what Norwex was. I’d heard of it in passing before and I was fairly sure that it was something to do with cleaning so I’d always tuned out when people talked about it – I’ve got my DIY cleaning products on lockdown and I love them, why change now?

Anyway, when Audrey asked if I wanted to try out some Norwex products I had to quickly google them to see what, exactly, those products were, and I was actually kind of surprised.

The bulk of their business is microfibre cloths for windows, home, and body that need no additional cleanser to use – just add water, and you’re good to go, with the added bonus of removing 99% of bacteria from surfaces, too.

The less-is-more approach to cleaners appealed to me (obvs) but the main reason I wanted to try them was because I often have people contact me asking about antibacterial cleaners. They want to know if my all-purpose spray is anti-bacterial, how to make an antibacterial spray, what about the bacteria, bacteria are invading my dreams,  won’t somebody think of the children, etc. etc.

And guys, I’m really not the greatest person to answer these questions because I am so not a germ person. It’s not a conscious choice, I’m just not. I’m a very clean person, but I’ve also done enough research to know that plain old soap and water is good enough to clean pretty much everything you need to clean without having to go overboard with the antibacterial stuff, too.

Most antibacterial cleaners are incredibly harsh on the environment and on our health. For me, the effects of using those products in my home or on my body, plus the added risk of accidental ingestion by small children, just wasn’t worth it for something I didn’t really care about.

My germ philosophy is like, go! Get dirty! Touch all the things! Eat dirt! Then come on in, wash your hands and eat some watermelon! I credit Olive’s robust immune system to this strict regime of benign neglect.

Anyway. Since the big appeal of Norwex is their Bac-Loc system, I thought it would be nice to have something to recommend to people who wanted the assurance of antibacterial cleansing without having to douse their counters in vinegar and tea tree oil every night. All you need is less, y’all, and those plastic vinegar bottles do add up!

Audrey sent me three items to try: the Envirocloth, the Window Cloth, and the Body Pack. Here’s my honest review of each one:

Envirocloth: This is a fine-fibred micro fibre cloth meant for all-purpose use – countertops, doorknobs, tabletops etc.  I always get it fully wet and then squeeze out the excess water before I use it because the feeling of dry micro fibre on my skin is like nails on a chalkboard – anyone else get this?

This was a great, basic cloth but I think I’ll use it more for windows and glass than normal surfaces. I found that I really missed the pepperminty-clean smell of my cleaning spray when I used it, and I didn’t want to mix the two in case it messed up the antibacterial makeup of the cloth. So for general day-to-day clean-up, I’m still using just a regular cloth and my all-purpose spray. This is the only one I wouldn’t necessarily get again, it cleans well but I just don’t think I’d use it enough.

That said, if the assurance of an antibacterial clean without harsh antibacterial cleansers appeals to you, this would be right up your alley.

Window cloth: This I was a huge fan of. I keep mine hanging inside my bathroom cupboard now because it’s perfect to just wet with water and then give mirrors, taps, and sinks a quick wipe to get them gleaming. Anyone with kids knows that they don’t behave like normal human beings in the bathroom (or…anywhere, really). Somehow after they’ve been in the bathroom there’s toothpaste all over the sink – which is also flooded in water- and water spots, toothpaste, soap bubbles and god knows what else flung all over the mirror. It’s nice to be able to just wet and wipe, without hauling out my window spray.

All of this is to say, the window cloth works like a hot damn, Olive loves it because it’s purple (her favourite colour at the moment) and it’s going a long way towards convincing visitors that her bathroom habits are way tidier than they are.

Also, the day I got these I was photographing Olive’s old bunting banners to sell and I was getting really annoyed with the quality of my phone camera.

Then (and I swear this was not an intentional before/after test) I happened to see the window cloth and used it to clean my phone camera lens, which I usually just do with the hem of my tee-shirt.

Boom!

Sooo it turns out my phone camera quality isn’t terrible, I’m just a filthy human being who constantly smears her lotion-y hands all over the lens! What a world. Look how clear that is! My selfies are about to get REAL.

I also like this one to clean Olive’s glasses because I always know where it is and she prefers to use her tiny glasses cloth as a bedspread for her toys. I just…you try arguing with that.

Body Pack: This is the one that surprised me the most because honestly? I just ordered these because I needed new face cloths. The thing is, although the micro fibre feels weird when it’s dry, it is so soft when it’s wet. And because I don’t use any face cleanser, my routine morning and night for almost five years now has been to just to wet a washcloth with warm water and lightly scrub my face with it.

I’ve never had any complaints with my regular face cloths, I mean they get wet, they clean my face. Who thinks about face cloths more than that? But my skin feels so clean – weirdly clean – after I use these ones. It’s like the little fibres have gone into my pores or something. I don’t know how else to explain it without sounding like a total weirdo. I don’t think I would have ever thought to use micro fibre on my face, but I’m a fan.

 

All in all, I’m rather impressed. The company exists to sell products of course, so there is that aspect, but the majority of these products be aimed at reducing waste. Their shop sells reusable produce bags and wool dryer balls, for example, to replace plastic bags and dryer sheets. And when your cloths have reached the end of their life, you can recycle them with Norwex, which goes a small way towards keeping textiles out of the landfill.

We all use cleaning cloths and face cloths and if you’ve been searching for a safe antibacterial cleaner or if you were planning to get some new cloths anyway, investing in a few of these seems like a pretty great way to go.

Thus concludes my review! If you have any questions or would like to try some for yourself, you can contact Audrey by visiting her site here or by emailing her at AudreyTack2(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Edited to add: A few readers have raised the question of microplastics being washed into oceans, and I wanted to address that: These microfibre cloths do shed microplastics when washed, unfortunately, every synthetic textile is guilty of this, including materials like fleece, nylon, rayon, polyester etc.

It’s a definite downside to this product and one that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re using cotton rags or cleaning cloths along with natural or homemade cleaners, I’d definitely advise you to stick with that, but I think for many people who are very germ-conscious and really like to use an antibacterial product this concern often prevents them from embracing a more natural cleaning routine. If this is the case, I think Norwex would be a better choice than endless bottles of antibacterial chemical cleaners. 

I think the best way to sum it up would be that if you’re happily cleaning with cotton cloths (or rags) and natural cleaners, keep on doing that! But if you’re someone who really likes to know you’re getting an antibacterial clean and that’s what’s been preventing you from embracing a more natural approach, this might be a great option for you 🙂

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4 Comments

  • Reply Anna May 13, 2017 at 12:49 AM

    They do seem to have quite a following… But I was wondering if they were related to micro plastics? There have been so many news stories about those recently (like these https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/20/microfibers-plastic-pollution-oceans-patagonia-synthetic-clothes-microbeads and this one: http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2017/02/an-update-on-microfiber-pollution/), but they tend to mention synthetic clothes rather than microfibre cloths – although these are both essentially polyester and viscose (please correct me if I’m wrong!). Are microfibre cloths are panacea or a problem?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 13, 2017 at 2:53 PM

      You’re totally right, microfibre does shed microplastics. Virtually every synthetic textile is guilty of this, including materials like fleece, nylon, rayon, polyester etc. It’s a definite downside to this product and one that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re using cotton rags or cleaning cloths along with natural or homemade cleaners, I’d say to stick with that. I get so many questions from people concerned about bacteria and whether or not natural cleaners are antibacterial that I think that it’s preventing them from embracing a more natural cleaning routine, so I thought this might be a good in-between step for them.

      I think the best way to sum it up would be that if you’re happily cleaning with cotton cloths (or rags) and natural cleaners, keep on doing that! But if you’re someone who really likes to know you’re getting an antibacterial clean and that’s what’s been preventing you from embracing a more natural approach, this might be a great option for you 🙂

      Thank you so much for your question! I think I’ll amend the post to bring this point front and centre.

  • Reply Jo Bay May 15, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    I love the before and after of your camera!

  • Reply Allison May 17, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    “the feeling of dry micro fibre on my skin is like nails on a chalkboard – anyone else get this?”

    1000x YES!

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