Having kids in general, I’m always on the lookout for new chemical-free cleaning options—but even more so with one son with severe eczema. The poor kid’s own hair gave him a rash at one point just touching his neck. So, when the folks over at e-cloth reached out to me to do a review, I was pretty excited. I hadn’t heard of e-cloth previously and the idea of a cleaning cloth that didn’t require any cleaner sounded awesome. They sent their general purpose e-cloth to try and I gave it a thorough use.
First off, what is e-cloth?
Seems a good first question, you need to know what it is and what it claims to do before you can really review an item. Basically, it’s a dish rag, but it’s made with special fibers that are ultra-tiny (like “1/200th the width of a human hair tiny”) and these tiny fibers not only trap more bacteria, dirt, and other yuk than your typical sponge or rag, but they attract it too rather than just pushing it about. They are supposed to remove 99% of bacteria without transfer to other surfaces during use, and they are good for 300 washes. I received the general use cloth, but e-cloth does offer a wide variety of items made from this material from mops to mits.
How did it work?
What I really wanted to determine with my review was does the e-cloth trump a sponge. I replace my kitchen sponge all the time with another sponge, because sponges are kind of gross, but honestly, what else do you replace it with? I try to use rags that I wash, but that adds a ton of laundry, and I use scrub brushes as much as possible, but there isn’t a cleaner sponge replacement.
First, I just did some general wipe downs and it worked fine of course. Then I put it to a bit more a challenge—the stovetop. Usually I use a wire scrub to get the tough stuff off, then wipe with a sponge. I was able to remove everything with just the e-cloth and without a whole lot of work even. Point one: It removes tougher stuck on gunk that a sponge alone can’t with less effort.
After that, I wanted to see how it did with other surfaces. The product pamphlet I received stated I could do stainless steel streak-free with it. So, I gave the fridge a wipe. It was not streak-free unless I used the cloth mostly dry, but I was able to get a streak-free clean without using Windex and paper towels like I generally would. I then tried it on my cabinets where the kids had dripped some chocolate sauce. It came right off, no scrubbing, and I noticed it also took off typical kitchen grease buildup. I ended up having to do all my cabinets so it didn’t look like there was just one clean spot. Kitchen buildup normally would require a cleaner and some elbow grease for sure. Now I was intrigued.
For kicks I tried it on the crayon and permie on the wall that was awaiting repainting. It did take most the crayon off, about the same as a Mr. Clean eraser would, though like a magic eraser, it didn’t touch the permie. Either way, that’s 3 scenarios where I would have used cleaner, and didn’t have to. Point two for e-cloth: It does reduce chemical use.
I washed it after that, and it did indeed come out as it went in. Once clean, I tried it in my bathroom, the toothpaste splatter home of doom. Seriously, my kids get toothpaste everywhere no matter what I do, but on this particular occasion the 2-year old had finger painted in soap and toothpaste on the counter and mirror. I was surprised to find everything not only wiped right off, but it took more of the soap with less washouts, which meant less turning to bubbles and spreading everywhere. I did, however, have to use paper towels on the mirror. It’s hard to say if that’s just that it was soap and toothpaste or if it won’t clean glass streak-free. I did try just water on my windows with it, and did notice some streaks.
Anyway, my final check was the smell test. I don’t have a secret laboratory to test how clean this thing rinses out, but I can say, after about a week of use a sponge will start to have an odor, and that odor is from bacteria trapped that can’t be removed via rinsing. This is the main reason I replace sponges and a primary reason regular dish cloths fall short–the constant washing. I am sad to say after using the cloth, rinsing it well, and hanging it to dry it did develop the same smell my sponges do, which means in my opinion, these do need washed after use and frequently.
The end verdict, are e-cloths superior to other options such as a sponge? I think yes. The cloth does make cleaning easier, does reduce chemical use, and does seem to work without just smearing the dirt about. I would have been sold and replaced every cleaning item in my house with them if not for the same lots-of-laundry complaint, but I still will likely order a couple more so I can cycle them while the one I have is in the wash.
Want to give e-cloth a try? Great! They have offered to host a giveaway via Life with Gremlins. Just like their Facebook page and share this review, then let me know you did it in comment. I’ll randomly draw a winner in one week. Winner will receive one of the general purpose cloths in the color of their choice.