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The refillable cleaning brand changing the game this Plastic Free July

The refillable cleaning brand changing the game this Plastic Free July
Plastic-free July is nearly here and we’re ridding our house of harsh cleaning chemicals thanks to eco-friendly toxic-free brand cleaner Spruce

Plastic Free July is quickly approaching, bringing with it a reminder of the urgent need to change our ways if we want to see a healthier planet anytime soon. While we all now know the importance of having reusable shopping bags and water bottles, some things are still not quite on our radar.

Cleaning products are a huge contibutor to waste, with the everyday essentials often overlooked in our efforts to use less plastic. Of course, it’s easy to forget about these piling up, but with dozens of products under the kitchen sink – from glass cleaner to anti-bac sprays – alternative options aren’t currently part of common conversation.

Until now, we hope, with Spruce changing our mindsets toward the humble household products with one simple idea.

Founded by Mahira – a woman on a mission to educate the world about the dangers associated with harsh chemicals and microplastics in our everyday life – Spruce was invented out of a need to clean up our cleaning products.

But, while that may all sound great, and the products definitely look the part, do they really work? Keep reading below to find out.

How we tested

Keeping things incredibly simple, Spruce only has two products in its range, a multi-purpose cleaner and a bathroom cleaner. But, from the get-go, these are unlike your regular products (more on that below) so we tested them both in the best way we knew how: getting our hands dirty and cleaning.

Using just these two products instead of our usual household routine, we kept the bathroom cleaner solely to the bathroom, as the name suggested, spritzing over shelves, sinks, mirrors and tiles. We used the mutli-purpose cleaner for everything else – from kitchen grime to laptop keys, tables, door handles and more. As our cleaning partner of choice, we opted for a mix of microfibre towels, re-usable J-cloths and not-so-sustainable kitchen roll.

Spruce starter duo kit: £19.99, Wearespruce.co

Rating: 9.5/10

How it works

The most fun part about Spruce – and possibly the most impressive – is how it actually works, as what you’ll receive is certainly different to the standard blue or green-hued liquid we’re used to. Firstly, the containers are made from aluminium in a sleek peach and light blue colourway meaning you can’t see any of the liquid inside – and, when you do receive them, they’re actually empty anyway.

While they aren’t plastic-free – the spray nozzle and pipe are plastic – they are said to last a lifetime so there’s no single-use stuff going on here. And just as with any other high-quality bottle, the cap can be twisted on and off.

Although it arrives empty, it of course won’t stay empty for long. The cleaning product actually comes in small plant food-like compostable paper sachets that can then be added to your food waste bin or cut up and added to compost heaps at home if you have one. One sachet tipped into the bottle and filled with tap water is then enough to fill a whole bottle and should last for a good few weeks.

The formula

Inside each sachet is a powdery mix of vegan, non-toxic ingredients that are highly rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and European Chemical Agency (ECHA) for human and environmental safety scales. We’ll pop the ingredient list below for those who really know their stuff about home cleaning and eco-products.

Surfactant (plant-derived from sugars), citric acid (food-grade preservative), potassium sorbate (food-grade preservative), sodium benzoate (food-grade preservative), sodium bicarbonate (food-grade used as mild disinfectant), sodium coco sulfate (plant-derived surfactant from coconut) and organic essential oils all come in the mix.

The result

We thought we’d struggle more than we did when cutting down our cleaning products to just these two items, but it was actually incredibly easy and apart from avoiding marble countertops, nothing was different.

When it came to glass, it wasn’t quite as streak-free as our regular cleaner so we did add a couple of drops of vinegar onto the J-cloth too to really give it that shine, which was very little bother for the result.

Everything looked clean, felt clean and smelt clean and now being aware of the health issues that can be associated with harsher chemicals, our tester would need some serious convincing to move back.

The verdict: Spruce

We were quite blown away with Spruce, both as a concept and in its result. Not only does it look great, take up minimal storage under the sink and smell quite lovely without any chemical whiffs, it also works just as well as any other household cleaner we’ve tried in the past.

It does claim to work across almost any surface from wood, stone, tiles and glass, but does stress that it can’t be used on unsealed surfaces such as old wooden flooring. And due to citric acid being a core ingredient we also kept it away from our marble countertops in case of any etching or colour fading too, so please do bear in mind that you may still need a couple of other products for these.

We’d love to see Spruce expand its range to also include dish soap and maybe even venture into clothes detergents too. But, this kit is a real winner for anyone looking to become more conscious of their single-use plastic habits.

Spruce starter duo kit

Buy now £19.99, Wearespruce.co

Looking for more Plastic Free July inspo? Take a look at the eco skincare brand we love