When Robin Kay Levin’s then 36-year-old sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005—without any family history of the disease—Levin began wondering just how toxic to our health the chemicals we use to clean our homes are. One year later she founded Eco-Me, a company the makes 100-percent natural, do-it-yourself cleaning kits.
A few months ago, one of my roommates also decided we should wean ourselves off of chemical-filled cleaners. (Out of the three of us, I'm the only non-native Californian and my use of a non-green cleaner in the microwave turned out to be an egregious offense.) Luckily, I had come across Eco-Me just a few weeks earlier and had a Home Kit ready and waiting.
For $26, the kit comes with two spray bottles (one for the all-purpose cleaner and one for the wood polish), a jar for the scrub cleaner, a natural bristle scrub brush, a microfiber cleaning cloth, a bottle of the company’s blend of essential oils (said to aid in removing dirt, mildew, mold, and other undesirables), and simple instructions for how to concoct the solutions. All we needed to do was run to the store for for a bottle of oil and vinegar and a box of baking soda.
This past week—now that we've finally used up our old cleaner (we've been using water-only for the microwave)—we mixed up the Eco-Me all-purpose solution and gave it a go. The results: It cleans just as well as our former products and despite the upfront expense, we estimate that it will cost us the same, if not less, in the long-run than what we had been using. Our only complaint: The smell of vinegar quickly dissipates from our newly shiny surfaces but lingers on the used paper towels and cleaning cloth.