Monday, September 27, 2010

The Switch - Full Circle Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner

Earlier I blogged about my new experiment called "The Switch" which is basically an effort to switch, one item at a time, to more sustainable and environment-friendly products. This is the second switch - from regular all-purpose cleansers to organic, eco-friendly cleansers. To read about the first switch - biodegradable dishwashing liquid - click here.

Full Circle” is a brand that is very visible inside the Rustan’s Supermarket of Powerplant Mall in Rockwell. But merchandising and promotions are more heavily leaning towards the organic food items. So I was happy to find that there are Full Circle products even in the household cleaning aisles.

I’d just finished scrubbing out our bathroom earlier that day, and was running low on my trusted Domex. The other week I’d used those all-purpose cleanser powders to clean our bathroom, and was totally ticked off at all the chalk they put in those things. It just adds more work to rinse off all the un-dissolved powder! So I was set on buying a liquid solution. As a matter of fact, I was set on buying another bottle of Domex but the little display of Full Circle items caught my eye.

It was definitely the brand that made me reconsider. I’d never bought any of the Full Circle food items, but was intrigued by cleaning products made by the maker of organic food. So I gave it a closer look. At P170++ for a 1 Quart spray bottle, I figured it was good value.


The front label says:
Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner
Free of Dyes
Powerful Nature Derived Cleaning Agents

Back label says:
Full Circle All-Purpose Cleanser is non-toxic, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals, contain no animal ingredients, no petroleum, no dye.

Water, Nature Derived Cleaning Agents, Quality Control Agent, Lemongrass Oil
(After reading this, I couldn’t help but think, “How vague can you get?”)

Test on an inconspicuous area before use.
Not recommended for use on wood finishes, auto bodies or aluminum.


The next time I had to clean the apartment, I tried it out. I used it when I mopped up the bedroom, kitchen and living room floors.

As far as basic cleaning is considered, this product has got you covered. But it’s not the kind of product that will leave surfaces with a nice healthy shine.

I guess this will do for my floors, walls and appliances. But I’ll stick to my Pledge for my dinner table and chairs. I like my wooden surfaces to have that nice sheen. In any case, the packaging says it’s not recommended on wood.

The verdict?
It’s okay, but it’s not for me.

I was willing to accept that this product can do basic cleaning, sans the shine, but I just cannot appreciate the scent.

There were two scents available - Lemongrass and With Vinegar. And the latter really did smell like vinegar! Which is why I ended up buying the Lemongrass scented one. On the bottle the Lemongrass smelled really strong but I gave it the benefit of the doubt that maybe when sprayed, the scent would be a lot more subtle. As it turns out, that’s exactly how it smells even when sprayed.

Usually I am a fan of lemongrass, I find it one of the most soothing scents and is actually my favorite along with grapefruit and orange. But somehow Full Circle’s version of the lemongrass scent is so strong, it almost smells like essence of ginger to me.

I am definitely not buying this product again.

But now that I’ve heard of biodegradable all-purpose cleaner, I will most likely look for another brand that cleans just as well, but smells better.


Full Circle
“Return to a natural way of living”

Distributed by Topco Associates LLC
7711 Gross Point Road
Skokie, Illinois 60077**

**Because it’s from the US, it made me stop and think about the carbon footprint of transporting the product all the way here.. hmmm.. I always try to buy something Filipino first, and Asian next just to be sure. Though I will admit I am not very well-versed in carbon footprint calculation, I’m guessing “the nearer its origin, the lesser the carbon footprint” is a pretty good rule to follow.


I cannot seem to find any good websites that offer a simplified explanation of why we need to switch to biodegradable soaps and detergents, but you can try reading the ones here, here and here for a bit of explanation.

I guess I'll have to come back and update this entry once I find a credible source.


I tried to search for sources that explain the details of what can and cannot claim to be "nature-derived". Being from the advertising industry, I know it helps to know the nitty gritty details of what terms like these mean. Unfortunately, I could not find anything. If you know a good resource where I can look, please do let me know :-)


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