Friday, June 12, 2009

Ecostore USA - Review and Giveaway (Closed)

When I started making my own laundry detergent, I was happy with the way it worked on everyday laundry. But I was never really happy with the way it cleaned loads of white clothes. I find some pretty dirty socks in the laundry hamper, and homemade detergent left them sort of ... gray. They smelled fresh, but they never looked as white as I'd like.

I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to laundry, but I wasn't happy when I returned dingy socks to my family. However, I didn't want to go back to using bleach. Even if I managed not to spill it on myself, I was vaguely uncomfortable with what it might be doing after it left my washer and flowed into the public water system.

I was enthusiastic when Melissa from Ecostore USA asked me to review two of their products. I jumped at the chance to try the Pure Oxygen Whitener. It's formulated with citrus oil and coconut, along with other plant-based ingredients. The Ecostore USA website recommends this whitener for baby clothes because it doesn't contain any harsh chemical ingredients to irritate delicate skin. Since my "baby" is 11 years old, I used the toughest test I could find: socks that had been worn for an afternoon of yard work.

What follows is what happens when a lab scientist has the opportunity to do a product review. Expect the analytical. LOL

These are the "before" pictures:



This sock has mostly fresh ground-in dirt, with some grass clippings. The dirt on the ankle is fresh, too.




For an extra challenge, I tossed in a cotton rag. I've been using this for several years, for dirty jobs like cleaning the grates of the gas grill and wiping out the oven after a self-clean cycle. I mean, this cloth has been abused and it shows! (That's what rags are for, right?) The black stains have been there for years. Just before I took this photo, I'd used the rag to wipe up a dusty mess from a corner of a room.



I didn't really expect the whitener to remove years-old stains, but I wanted to put this product to the test.

I washed these clothes exactly as I normally do--in hot water, with two tablespoons of my homemade laundry detergent, Cotton wash cycle with a 30-minute pre-soak--with the addition of two tablespoons of Pure Oxygen Whitener. The Pure Oxygen Whitener is a white granular powder with a light natural citrus fragrance. Since my family doesn't like highly fragranced products, this light scent is ideal for us.

Here are the "after" pictures:







I was pretty impressed! The fresh dirt, even the ground-in dirt, was almost completely gone, and I know that detergent alone would not have done as well. Although the old stains remained on the "Mission Impossible" rag, it wouldn't be fair to expect the whitener to remove stains like these. I know that a detergent-only wash would not have done nearly as well. But in the interest of science, I tried using the Pure Oxygen Whitener to soak these and wash again.

As the package directs, I dissolved two tablespoons of the whitener in a pail of warm water. I added the laundry and let it soak for 15 minutes, then transferred the laundry and the soaking water to the washer. I added some white towels to make a full load and ran the cycle in the same way I described above.

Here are the after-soaking/re-washing photos:





The soaking procedure definitely whitened the sock. Even the black stains on the rag have faded a bit. Not surprisingly, the soaking step definitely boosts the whitening effect. I think this works every bit as well as chlorine bleach, and it has the added benefits of being safer for people as well as for the environment.

The other product I tested is the Citrus Spray Cleaner. This multi-surface cleaner is formulated with citrus-, palm-, and coconut-based ingredients. I love that it's "naturally antibacterial." I love that it has a very light citrus scent. For me that's just a preference; but as my sister pointed out, this is perfect for families who avoid highly fragranced products because of asthma or allergies. I like the product but have no dramatic before/after photos!

Let me tell you about Ecostore USA before I move on to the giveaway details. This excerpt is from the company website, and I encourage you to visit the site to read more about their "No Nasty Chemicals" philosophy:

Doing good by nature
The team at ecostore USA loves making a difference in people’s lives. ecostore USA does not compromise on performance, so customers can be assured of the efficacy of the products - they truly work. We offer more than 100 products, each one meeting the most stringent environmental and sustainability standards. The guiding principle of every formulation is and will always be that the end product must not only be good for the user, but good for the planet.
Gentle on your budget
ecostore USA knows that it can be expensive to buy natural or organic products, but we've found a way around this by safely super-concentrating each formulation. This means that a little really does go a long, long way. The result is saving money by significantly cutting down on cost per use.

A few other notes:

  • Ecostore USA sells baby care, bath and body, hair care, and pet care products as well as household products.
  • Products are available online and at Meijer stores.
  • Ecostore USA offers free shipping for orders $25 and up.

The giveaway:

Melissa (from Ecostore USA) would like to give a $25 gift certificate to Ecostore USA to one reader! Here's how to enter:

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Beeb from Contest Corner!

Visit Ecostore USA then leave a comment here to tell me how you'd spend the gift certificate if you win. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you. This must be done in order to qualify for extra entries.

Did someone say "extra entries"? Here's how you can earn up to two additional entries:


  1. Grab my button and add it to your sidebar. Leave a comment with a link to your blog.
  2. Subscribe to my feed in a feed reader or by email. Leave an extra comment to let me know you've done this. If you already subscribe, leave a comment to let me know.
More details: Open to USA residents. Giveaway ends Friday 6/26/09 at noon (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen by the random number generator at Random.org. Winner will be contacted by email and must claim the prize within 72 hours, or another winner will be chosen. Gift certificate will be delivered by email.

Thanks for reading!

40 comments :

  1. I try not to use bleach also... it really breaks down the fabric of clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Holy cow! You're like a Natural less commercialized Martha stewart!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. carlos christianJune 14, 2009 at 4:46 AM

    i would use the gift card to buy baby wash for my aunts new baby! hes the most adorable thing, and i thing he deserves something safe for him and the environment!

    contact me at carlos.rocks897@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. If I was picked to receive the gift certificate, I would definately buy Liquid Laundry, Pure Oxygen Whitener, and a bar of soap. Not sure which one, either the Manuka Honey & Kelp or the Lemongrass. I would have to flip a coin to choose which to try first, lol.

    Then if I like those products I can see myself going back and getting the Citrus Spray Cleaner.

    My email is tama.lee68@gmail.com.

    Thanks for this opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I added your button to my blog.

    http://metammylee.blogspot.com/

    (do i need a button??)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, and I already subscribe to your feed, I have you in my Google Reader.

    Have a beautiful day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not a bad job on the stains! I'd get toilet cleaner, laundry poweder and the whitener. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love their products, especially their coconut soap, so I would probably get their coconut soap, vanilla soap and Manuka Honey & Kelp soap. Some for me and some for gifts!

    I would also like to try their Citrus spray cleaner!

    carmich698@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  9. I added your button to my "Great Giveaway Sites" link on a blog I am getting ready to relaunch:

    http://frugalfrog.blogspot.com/2008/06/great-giveaway-sites.html

    I will also be adding it to my "Bloggy Giveaways" link page at Monkey's Momma.

    Great site, by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I tried their baby line (shampoo, body wash, lotion) we loved it, I would love to get more of those.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd use the GC to stock up on soap! Lemon Grass and Vanilla - yum!

    QUEEN AT PRINCESSTIMETOYS DOT COM

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would have to try the dishwashing powder and rinse aid. That or the Rosemary Orange hair care products.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It all looks great, but I think I would opt for the Vanilla hair conditioner and either the laundry brightener or dishwashing liquid.
    (taradon@hotmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  14. i'd try the powdered laundry soap, toilet cleaner, and a bar of coconut soap:)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great review!

    I would use the GC to purchase the Rosemary Orange Shampoo and Conditioner.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would buy 3 bottles of the Dishwash Liquid (http://www.ecostoreusa.com/dishwashliquid.aspx), because I always need some! Thanks for a great giveaway!

    ~Beeb
    supercoupongirl AT gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I subscribe via supercoupongirl AT gmail.com, which is also where I may be contacted if I am so lucky as to win! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have your button here:

    http://contest-corner.blogspot.com/

    Thank you!
    ~Beeb
    supercoupongirl AT gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. YESSS! The Pure Oxygen Whitener is amazing, as is the Manuka Honey & Kelp soap!

    spitfyr323 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm an e-mail subscriber!

    spitfyr323 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. all about the citrus spray cleaner!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would LOVE to win and get some Coconut Soap, and also some Laundry Detergent, since we have a large family and go through a lot. I am trying to buy as much GREEN products as possible to be a good steward of our Earth. cdziuba@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. cdziuba@aol.com

    I subscribe via Google Reader.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Button here ceeceeblogger.blogspot.com


    cdziuba@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would buy the coconut soap and the aloe vera shampoo and conditioner!


    craziedee3@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am an email subscriber!


    craziedee3@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd buy 5 bars of their wonderful soap like lemongrass, vanilla, coconut and manuka honey & kelp!

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Email subscriber.

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'd use it to buy the Laundry Powder, and the Citrus Spray Cleaner!

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your button is on my sidebar!
    http://vintagefabulous.blogspot.com/

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm subscribed rss via Google Reader!

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would choose: Oxygen whitener, Citrus spray cleaner refill and the Lemon Rinse aid
    sylviawhit@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would get the laundry liquid and then some of the citrus spray cleaner!
    mfm52908 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would get the laundry detergent.

    bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Your button is on my sidebar

    http://freebies4meandu.blogspot.com/

    bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Email subscriber

    bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would love to try the Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo for my Shar-pei's itchy skin;)
    cyclona66(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I would like to try the baby wash.
    4heartbeats@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I too would like whiter whites so would try the Pure Oxygen Whitener plus try the toilet bowl cleaner.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

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