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No More Stinky Sponges, reclaimed materials used in new green cleaning products

In putting together some corporate gifts last week we were asked by a client to include a vegetable scrub brush in their gift baskets for new homeowners. Not only did we find a great product that fit the bill but also a few others that are great for a clean, healthy and environmentally friendly home. Goodbye Detergent!, an LA based company manufacturing in Japan, uses recycled and reclaimed materials in their home cleaning products. Using them helps to reduce the amount of soap and cleansing products used for cleaning, reducing one’s impact on the environment.

Top 5 things we like about Goodbye Detergent!

  1. Uses reclaimed materials! Business is amazing at being innovative and the utilization of ‘waste’ materials is a huge step towards a sustainable society. Using things like peach pits, corn cobs and walnut shells its cool to think how these materials have transformed.
  2. Diversity of products. With an assortment of products for the scrubbing in the kitchen and outdoors and for all kinds of specialty surfaces, they’re making a product you’ll find useful in your home. We even found one that worked to clean delicate non-stick cookware (try the gentle spaghetti scrub!)
  3. Peel your vegetables! The Coarse Original Spaghetti scrub brush is great for taking the skin off the outside of your carrots while you’re washing them under water. I’ve found it really useful while preparing dinner lately.
  4. Stylie design and packaging. If it doesn’t look cool people don’t pick things up, no matter how good the product might be. I like the simple nature of their branding and their use of 100% recycled paper boxes. It’s no surprise that Hiroki Hayashi won various design awards for this work on this project.
  5. They make cleaning fun. Ask my roommates, I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning. It’s not that I’m a slob but cleaning is not my favourite thing to do. I have had a good time trying out these products and they work well too.

It’s not all good

There were a couple things that we found could be improved about our experience with Goodbye Detergent! First off the coarse and the gentle spaghetti scrub look almost identical, besides one being pink (made from peaches) and the other being yellow (made from corn cobs). The gentle one is great for cleaning a non stick pan without scratching it but I wouldn’t dare try the coarse one, it would rip it up! It would be nice if there was another way to tell them apart so my roomies don’t scratch up my pan! Also of issue is their use of corn and concerns of genetic modification, which according to the US Department of Agriculture accounts for approximately 60% of the corn in the United States. Without getting into it too deeply my main concern with genetically modified corn is how seeds terminate (you can’t grow from the seeds the crops produce) and how they cross pollinate adjacent farmers fields who aren’t interested in buy GM seeds from Monsanto. Goodbye Detergent! is using waste corn cobs, definitely an innovative way to use agricultural waste byproducts. Sustainability is a long journey and when your using peach pits you don’t need to be too hardcore.