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This site not work anymore .I have a new site and you can go there visit me. I dont go put more post here anymore ... If you like this blog go there .. I will be there for you ... Olá meus queridos amigos ... agora tenho um novo blog Este site nao funcionará mais , tive alguns problemas. Agora tenho um novo endereco de blog. Nao irei mais colocar post neste blog .. Todas as atualizacoes e novidades estarao no outro endereco .. Acessem... estarei lá pra vcssss Se vcs gostaram desse blog irao amar o outro .. mais atualizado e lindo ... Vamos láaaa .... visitem-me lá .. Beijinhos Lili

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sexta-feira, 5 de março de 2010

Green property: the latest 'eco' products

Sarah Lonsdale tests the latest 'eco’ products.

By Sarah Lonsdale
Published: 12:51PM GMT 04 Mar 2010

Going green: Sarah Lonsdale sorts the fads from the finds Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY

My family have recently awarded me an Oscar for stupidity. After pouring sour milk onto the sofa to remove biro stains, I realised too late that you shouldn’t pour milk onto sofa covers unless they are removable. Mine aren’t. The enzymes in the milk got rid of the biro stains beautifully, but the sofa stank like an overripe Munster cheese for several weeks.

The issue arose out of my desire to reduce the number of chemicals in our home. I’m not a total hippy, I just believe that there are enough chemicals in our environment emanating from useful industries such as manufacturing and agriculture; adding to the toxic effluvia just because I want a clean house doesn’t seem right, plus I dislike the synthetic smells of most chemical cleaners.

Some of the best “eco” cleaning products have been around for centuries: vinegar, for example, is a superb window cleaner, and at less than 50p a litre, compared with £5 a litre or more for chemical window cleaner, it’s cheaper, too. Lemon juice is an excellent laundry bleach and bicarbonate of soda is just as efficient a drain unblocker as that chemical-laden sludge you can buy.

There are increasing numbers of manufactured “eco cleaners” on the market, too – but are they any better than lemon juice and vinegar? I got to work to find out.

For starters, “eco” doesn’t always mean “eco”. One supermarket brand cleaner calls itself “eco” – and it is phosphate free – but it still contains synthetic fragrance. Watch out for the word “parfum” on labels. Synthetic fragrance can contain a cocktail of chemicals that have been linked to allergic reactions, such as respiratory difficulties and sore and itchy skin. The Building Research Establishment lists “furnishings (particularly those treated with flame retardants and stain repellents), cleaning products and toiletries” as sources of indoor air pollution.

The European Union’s “Reach” (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) directive will eventually mean that all chemical manufacturing companies will have to register the chemicals in their products. However, if less than 100 tons are used or manufactured in a year, they don’t have to be registered until 2013.

Longevity is another issue – products made without chemical preservatives can become miniature biospheres, nurturing bugs and moulds, so buy in smallish quantities unless you are going to use up a product quickly.

One area where “eco” products do seem to have come up trumps is carpet cleaners. I tried two products, one for spot-cleaning four-day-old raspberry jam spillage and the other for a well-trodden wool rug.

The Home Scents carpet shampoo, made with lavender, citronella and sage essential oils, removed the raspberry jam perfectly, leaving no stickiness or tell-tale grey mark. It can also be used for spot-cleaning sofa covers and curtains.

For the rug, I used Natural and Clean’s “organic and biodegradable” powder cleaner. Dry cleaning the rug last year ended in disaster – the stubborn stains remained, but the aggressive chemical cleaner damaged the wool fibres and many started coming loose. While the Natural and Clean powder did clean the rug beautifully, the stubborn stains remained ingrained.

Vileda, the cleaning products maker, has an “eco” range of sponges and cloths. The sponge is 100 per cent biodegradable, made from natural cellulose and cotton, and after use can be cut up and put in the compost. They are an efficient and easy-to-use alternative, but the organic cotton cloths failed to answer the question: “Why should I use you rather than old, torn-up pyjamas?”

Prize for the best product goes to Home Scents’ pure beeswax wood polish with lavender, rosemary and thyme essential oils. As with vinegar on windows, you have to work harder than if using synthetic polish, but once you’ve worked it in, wood attains a gorgeous, deep satin patina and smells glorious. Makes spring cleaning a pleasure.


Home Scents carpet shampoo, £8 a litre (

T-rating: 4/5

Natural and Clean’s “organic and biodegradable” powder cleaner, £5.10 for 500g, £14.09 for 3kg (

T-rating: 3/5

Vileda “eco” cloths, from £2.99 (

T-rating: 2/5

Home Scents pure beeswax wood polish, £8.15 (

T-rating 5/5

Send your questions to Sarah at Life, The Sunday Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT or email

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