Ecostore Review, Giveaway, and the big launch at Duane Reade in NYC

I was so ready and eager to post this product review two weeks ago because I couldn’t wait to share it with  you but then, I found out that Ecostore USA is coming to NYC!! I couldn’t believe it. Ecostore USA will be stocking up the green aisles at Duane Reade Drug Stores all over Manhattan. The big launch is next Friday, October 23, 2009 at it’s brand spanking new Duane Reade store in Herald Square. And guess what? I will be there! I am going to meet the wonderful people from Ecostore USA and enter the big $100 prize drawing of Ecostore goodies. Wish me luck!

Duane Reade's $100 Prize Giveaway

Duane Reade's $100 Prize Giveaway

And now…my little experiment with Ecostore products….

I have two teenage athletes (two strikes right there in the land of laundry) and a husband who changes his clothes three times a day. When I return from a competition with one of my kids, I’m in a laundry coma for days. So as you can imagine, I do an insane number of washes a week. The kids also have dry sensitive skin so I use all natural non-toxic detergents with no perfumes or dyes.

And because I am always looking to see if there’s a better product than the one I’m using, I have my eyes and ears peeled for anything new. So, when I heard about Ecostore products, I got excited. But much to my dismay, I found out that the company is from New Zealand. New Zealand, half way down the globe!!! That’s like near Australia, the land down under. I was so disappointed. I’m sorry. I don’t care if the detergent takes out red wine stains or even spaghetti sauce on the first try – I am not buying detergents that come from thousands of miles away. Don’t get me wrong, I have NOTHING against New Zealand. In fact, I love their lamb chops. Oops. I digress. But using detergents from that many miles away equals huge carbon waste. That doesn’t calculate well even in my non-algebraic brain.



So I e-mailed them and asked where the products are being manufactured, just in case I missed that fine print from their website.

The VP of Operations, Lyne e-mailed me right away and said,

“Thank you for your interest in Ecostore USA. Up until now we have had all of our products shipped in from New Zealand. Happily we are now in the process of manufacturing our products in the United States Beginning this fall. It took us almost 2 years to find the right fit!”


I was in laundry heaven. So I volunteered to do a review of their Front Loader Laundry Powder and Lemon Cream Cleanser.

First all, I was impressed the way they minimally packaged the two items with environmentally friendly packing materials; packing peanuts were made from soy and packing tape, printed paper, and the boxes were from recycled paper. And  they sealed the cleanser’s top with plastic to avoid spilling in transit and to prevent tampering. I like that. I once called a leading all natural house cleaning products company because their powder dishwasher detergent had no seal on the spout of the box, leaving it open to all kinds of unforeseen “accidents”. After all, it is suppose to clean dishes and utensils, the items that will eventually end up in our mouths, but who knows if it will get contaminated in transit with God knows what? Anyway, Ecostore’s products were very well sealed (just the important part and not the whole bottle), tamper proofed and delivered safely.

Ecostore's Powder Laundry Detergent and Cream Cleanser

Ecostore's Laundry Powder and Cream Cleanser

Front Loader Laundry Powder:

The first result of washing with Ecostore Laundry Powder fell a little short on the meat spaghetti sauce stain but my old detergent fared worse. As you can see in the pictures below, neither of the two detergents took out the stain completely; my old detergent didn’t get the stain out as much as Ecostore’s did. So, I soaked both stained towels with a little bit of Ecostore’s detergent for a couple of hours. Then, I washed them again with Ecostore’s detergent and the stains came out completely. So for the next test, I pre-soaked the same spaghetti sauce stain for a couple of hours before I washed the towels. I’m happy to say that the stains came out completely after the first washing.

I’ve been using the powder detergent for about a month now and our average washes come out very clean and the colors seem brighter too. When I see a stubborn stain, I pre-soak the stain with the powder paste for a couple of hours and the stain comes out in the first wash. I am very happy with the results every time. You know what I could have used? Ecostore’s Gentle Pure Oxygen Whitener. That probably works like Oxy Clean without the harsh chemicals and will be gentle on the skin. Maybe next time.

Spaghetti Sauce Stain before washing with my old detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain before washing with my old detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain after washing with my old detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain after washing with my old detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain before washing with Ecostore Detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain before washing with Ecostore Laundry Powder

Spaghetti Sauce Stain after washing with Ecostore Detergent

Spaghetti Sauce Stain after washing with Ecostore Laundry Powder

Household Cleaner:

You know I usually clean with vinegar and baking soda and I definitely don’t let my bathtub go looking like this, honest. (or at least don’t show it to people when I do…I hope my mom is not reading this.  Oy.) But I purposely let it go so that I can try out Ecostore’s Lemon Cream Cleanser. As you can see, there’s some mildew and mold happily residing between the grout lines and on the tiles. I squirted the cleanser where the stains were and used my acrylic cleansing cloth to clean the tiles. Granted, I had to take an old toothbrush to get the corners and some grout lines where my cleaning cloth couldn’t reach but I was happy with the result. The mildew and mold came right out. Some of the yellowish grout coloring is old. But the new mildew and mold came out clean.









Final Words:

All in all, I am very happy with the products as they are more than just cleaners but cleaners with “No Nasty Chemicals“. So, even if I have to pre-soak stubborn stains for them to come out completely (for the record, Ecostore did take out the stain better than my old detergent), I am OK with that since most of the common dirt is getting cleaned without pre-soaking.

The Company:

Ecostore was founded in 1993 by Malcolm and Melanie Rands from their home in an eco village in New Zealand. Their dream was ambitious – to create a healthier more sustainable world. One of the ways they saw to do this was to set up a business providing everyday household products that could help people be healthier and ‘green up’ at home. The second way was by setting up the Fairground Foundation. Fairground is a charitable organisation that is funded by ecostore profits to promote sustainability through ‘on-the-ground’ action.

According to the company’s website, these are the “No Nasty Chemicals” that you won’t find in their products:

  • NO toxic petrochemicals
  • NO Enzymes
  • NO Optical Whiteners
  • NO synthetic perfumes or dyes
  • NO Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
  • NO Phosphates*
  • NO Chlorine
  • NO Ammonia
  • NO TEA, DEA or MEA
  • NO parabens
  • NO propylene glycol
  • NO Formaldehyde
  • NO NPE’s

This is a long list of chemicals that are not in their products and I wondered, why would other companies put these harsh toxic chemicals in the products we use to make things…clean? And do we really “clean” or do we just make them more toxic? Ironic, isn’t it?

Anyway, I loved Ecostore’s products.

To share this great product with you, I asked Ecostore to offer a $25 gift certificate as a giveaway to my readers. That’s YOU!  And with their big launch in Manhattan next week, I thought a gift certificate for my readers is à propos. Why should just the Manhattanites get the chance of winning the big prize?  Right? Also, click on the “ecostoreusa” badge to the right to go to their online store. You will receive 20% off on your purchase when you enter the code “ecokaren” during check out. The offer is good until October 31, 2009. So even if you don’t win this giveaway, you can still get discounts until October 31, 2009. How great is that?

Here are the rules for the $25 Gift Certificate to EcostoreUSA and you can post as many comments as you want. The giveaway ends on October 30th. I’ll announce the winner on October 31st. If you do any of these following, please leave me a link as a comment so that I know.

1. Visit Ecostore and leave a comment which product you’d try with your gift certificate.

2. Subscribe to EcostoreUSA’s newsletter on their blog.

3. Follow EcostoreUSA on Twitter and or Facebook.

4. Blog about this giveaway. If you do not have a blog then you can post on any social media (Facebook, MySpace, etc.)

5. Subscribe by e-mail to my blog or if you already are a subscriber, let me know.

6. Add me as a friend on Facebook.

7. Be my fan on Facebook.

8. Follow me on Twitter.

9. Grab my button and put it on your blog.

10. Tweet this post.

All in all, I give Ecostore’s Front Loader Laundry Powder and Lemon Cream Cleanser five green hearts for being nasty-chemicals-free and for their performance, not to mention how inexpensive their products are. And I do commend the company for manufacturing them close to home now. You can find Ecostore products in 190 Meijers supercenters in the midwest and in Duane Reade Drug stores in the east coast.