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Some of you may have already read my story about how I began using and LOVING cleaning with high quality microfiber at my post here on Can You Really Clean With Just Water? This post is dedicated to looking into some of the options regarding high quality microfiber to provide an honest review on e-cloth vs Norwex cleaning cloths.
I started with the Norwex brand of microfiber, specifically the Norwex enviro cloths, but have also been adding in e-cloth products into my cleaning arsenal. I like and use both companies products, but find that there are pros and cons to each. I want to share my experiences to help others who are interested in trying find the best option for them.
Why Consider Using High Quality Microfiber Cloths and Cleaning Products?
Both e-cloth and Norwex note the fact that only a fraction of the chemicals used in traditional cleaning products have been tested, we really do not know what we are exposing ourselves and our families to on a regular basis. The Environmental Working Group states:
Government agencies and independent research institutions have not adequately evaluated the safety of numerous substances found in cleaning products. Although government scientific and regulatory agencies have focused considerable attention on chemicals suspected of causing cancer, they have devoted far fewer resources to evaluating substances that may be toxic to the brain and nervous system, the hormone system and other organs. Investigating the full range of risks of cleaning products to public health and the environment should be an urgent priority. Yet the problem remains largely hidden from the view of the American consumer.
Exposures to irritating or allergenic cleaning ingredients can affect people who live, work or study in buildings undergoing cleaning. Volatile fumes released during ordinary cleaning can contaminate the air for up to 20 minutes after use (Bello 2010).
Who Makes High Quality Microfiber Cleaning Products?
e-cloth — perfect cleaning with just water
e-cloth started in 1995 in Europe and came to the USA in 2008. Their focus is on chemical free cleaning, believing that chemicals used to kill bacteria on surfaces can be just as harmful as the bacteria. e-cloth’s mission statement is:
Our aim is to supply the most effective, healthiest and most environmentally friendly cleaning products available at a good value to the consumer.
Our single minded focus on high performance cleaning has created a range of products that clean entirely without chemicals, using just water.
In additional to exceptional cleaning, e-cloth products provide significant cost and time savings and real health and environmental benefits versus ordinary cleaning.
e-cloth operates as a traditional retail sales business, with both online and in retail stores across the country. Many appliance brands recommend that their appliances be cleaned with e-cloth to prevent damage from harsh chemicals to their surfaces.
Here is a short video from e-cloth that gives a good overview to their all purpose cleaning cloth and how the microfiber works.
Norwex — Improving Quality Of Life
Norwex was started in 1994 in Norway as Eidsvoll Miljøprodukter that eventually opened a daughter company called Norwex Enviro Products, in 1999. The Norwex mission statement is:
Improving quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes
Norwex also has a Product Promise:
- Effective Solutions for Healthy Homes
- Safe Solutions for Healthy Families
- Sustainable Solutions for a Healthy World
Norwex tends to operate for the most part as a direct sales company, which means they rely on a network of consultants who promote and sell their products. The consultants would also offer a level of customer service to the customers who bought Norwex products from them. Norwex products are not offered in traditional retail stores so to purchase their product you would need to go through a consultant.
However, like most items Norwex products can be found on Amazon too. I love that you can save on the shipping costs since orders over $35 have free shipping at Amazon. And if you have a Prime membership most items ship for free without a minimum order. The prices might vary compared to ordering directly from a Norwex consultant.
Here is a video from Norwex that explains about their Norwex microfiber cloths, which is called the EnviroCloth. It is a little long, about 4:30 minutes, but is a great overview to their product if you are interested in learning more.
Comparison Chart on e-cloth all purpose cleaning cloth vs. Norwex EnviroCloth
Now that you know a little about each company I thought it would be good to put information regarding the top cleaning cloth for each company in an easy to read comparison chart.
|e-cloth General Purpose Cleaning Cloth||Norwex EnviroCloth|
|Fabric type||80% Polyester and 20% Polyamide||70% Polyester and 30% Polyamide|
|Fiber size||1/200th of Human Hair||1/200th of Human Hair|
|Cloth size||12.5" x 12.5"||13.78" x 13.78"|
|Manufactured in||South Korea||China
|Antimicrobial Technology within the cloth for self cleaning purposes||No||Yes, melted silver infused in fabric threads|
|Shipping Rates||Free, within the US except for Hawaii and Alaska||$6.95-48.75 depending on the order amount in the US|
|Guarantee||100% Satisfaction Guarantee, exchange or refund||100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Replace, refund or exchange within 60 days of purchase.|
|Warranty||3 year Guarantee||2 year, with normal wear and tear or 500 washings|
Does It Really Work?
Seeing is believing right? There are many demonstrations of these products available online, here are two that I thought would be helpful. Unfortunately, I could not find anything that directly compared the e-cloth and Norwex cloths, so at some point you might see one from me!
Microfiber vs. E. coli
Here is a video from a News program testing the cleaning capabilities of the Norwex EnviroCloth compared to an all purpose cleaner and generic microfiber to remove E. coli from a surface. At the time this post was published the Norwex Basic Package was $34.99.
Microfiber vs. Raw Chicken
Here is a quick video on the raw chicken demonstration that is used to show how quickly and easily these types of cloths can pick up and trap the raw chicken protein. This specific video is for Norwex, however there are videos available for e-cloth as well.
You can get much more involved in this demonstration by comparing to other cleaning options or by wiping a “dirty” chicken cloth on a clean surface to show that it does not cross contaminate. Since there are a number of videos in this post already, I went with the shorter demonstration.
This graph showing the size of protein particles compared to bacteria and some viruses. The ability of the high quality microfiber to easily clean up the tiny protein particles gives confidence that larger particles such as bacteria and viruses are also easily being wiped away.
Which is Better the e-cloth or Norwex microfiber cleaning cloth?
Great question. Both of these companies produce high quality microfiber with slight differences in the material used and the way it is woven. Both companies create products that work to effectively clean your home as well, or even better, than traditional chemical cleaners.
For General Cleaning
As I mentioned, I started with Norwex products and fell in love with them. They make cleaning more effective and faster. I was actually cleaning more than I intended because most cleaning jobs went faster and easier then I expected. And since I already had a cloth out I might as well wipe that smudge on the wall or clean some windows. But this is true for e-cloth microfiber products as well.
Recently, I am finding that when it is time to clean I am reaching more and more frequently for my e-cloth general purpose cleaning cloths (gasp!). It might be slightly smaller than the Norwex Envirocloth but it is thicker, absorbs more and holds it’s shape better when I fold to use. I find that this causes less fumbling with the cloth while cleaning. Also, with the pile it seems to pick up larger crumbs better than the Norwex Envirocloth (they both do great with the tiny particles from smudges or grime).
When it comes to cost, e-cloth wins hands down. With more affordable pricing AND free shipping it makes e-cloth products more attainable for most people. And at the end of the day, how much money do you really want to “invest” in your cleaning equipment? For me, I want something that not only will clean effectively but is better for me, my family and the environment without breaking the bank.
Also, most people will have more than one microfiber cloth for cleaning. Some like to designate a cloth per room (or one for the kitchen and one for all the bathrooms), the various cloth colors are helpful for this. I have 4 of these types of cloths that I rotate through from both brands. If I used only the Norwex EnviroCloth it would have cost me $71.96 + shipping (yikes!) but if they were all e-cloth that would be $31.96 at their regular cost per cloth + free shipping (well less if I bought one of the bundles, example Multicolor 4 Pack for $19.99– this would be 4 e-cloths for less than 1 Norwex EnviroCloth with shipping costs from Norwex and just under the Amazon price)!
I also love that e-cloth has been lab tested by Silliker and proven to remove 99.99% of E. coli, 99.95% of Listeria Monocytogens and 99.37% Aspergillus Niger (mold). This is the same, or better, than paper towels and spray cleaner. I love when companies invest in proving their products work. Click here to learn more about how e-cloth microfiber technology works.
In addition, e-cloth is Good Housekeeping Approved and recommended by Allergy UK. Their products have even been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, The Today Show, The Sun and The Guardian to name a few.
If I were starting over in this area of my wellness journey, I would have definitely gone with e-cloth and their products. I would have been able to use so many more microfiber products for my cleaning needs with the amount of money I spent on Norwex.
For Daily Cleaning
The only area that the Norwex EnviroCloth seems to have a leg up on the e-cloth General Purpose Cleaning Cloth is with the BacLock technology, where silver is imbedded within the fibers of the cloth, and it is a great feature to have. This silver is an antibacterial agent that kills off bacteria, mold and mildew within the cloth as it hangs to dry. This prevents any type of smelly cloth issues that is often experienced with cloths, towels and sponges. Please note, not all Norwex products contain the BacLock technology.
I find that I tend to use the Norwex cloths and Norwex towels with the BacLock technology for my daily cleaning and hand drying needs. When I first started with Norwex, I would have an EnviroCloth hanging in my kitchen for wiping down the counters and tables 3-5 times a day (the reality of staying home all day with little ones). I liked that as it was hanging to dry it was preventing nasties from growing within the cloth.
The cloth did not entirely dry out between the uses in the day. But usually will dry out while hanging during the night. I have since switched to the Norwex Kitchen Cloth because it is more absorbent, has a higher/different pile that makes it easier to pick up crumbs and is cheaper than the EnviroCloth ($10.99 + shipping from Norwex, around $15 at Amazon).
Some people do not see the BacLock feature as a benefit since it uses silver, a metal, in the cloth. They have concerns that over time the silver will break down and fall of the cloth into their home environment and cause some level of contamination due to the possibility that it will be ingested (example if a child’s toy is wiped with the cloth and bits of the silver remain on the toy and then the toy is placed in the child’s mouth, or if there is a film of silver particles left behind on a counter where food prep is occurring). You can be the judge on this for what you feel comfortable using with your family.
I tend to wash my e-cloth products and my Norwex products without BacLock more frequently than my Norwex products with BacLock.
Which is Best For You?
If you are new to cleaning with water and high quality microfiber, then start with e-cloth you will not be disappointed. And your hard earned dollars will be able to go so much further and you will be able to get so much more, yay!
If you work or tend to be outside the home most days, then the BacLock feature might not be worth the extra money for the cleaning cloths. Like I mentioned above, I only feel that this really benefits me in the areas I am constantly cleaning throughout the day.
If you are the type of person to wipe down your bathroom on a daily basis and want to leave a cloth hanging in your bathroom (or potty training a boy, ugh!) then maybe the BacLock would be worthwhile.
When deciding on which company to purchase from take time to think through where you would be replacing sponges, paper towels, and other rags or cloths for your cleaning needs and how often you perform those cleaning tasks to determine if you think you would need the extra level of BacLock technology.
Please note, both cloths are designed to easily rinse away contaminates when your are finished using them and to dry out when hung by the labels. This alone prevents the smelly cloth and cross contamination issues that many regular cotton cloths have.
Final Thoughts on e-cloth vs. Norwex Microfiber
Cleaning with only water, without any type of cleaner, is not something most of us have been taught as we have grown up in the world we live in today. Thankfully there are companies who are pioneering a new and better way to clean without using traditional chemical cleaning products. Not only is using high quality microfiber a safer alternative, it is also quicker and saves money!
How about you? Do you use microfiber for your cleaning needs and what are your thoughts?
Is Norwex Microfiber? Yes, Norwex is a company that produces high quality microfiber products.
What’s an e-cloth? An e-cloth is usually the reference for the General Purpose Cleaning cloth that is made by the company e-cloth.
How do you clean an e-cloth? And how do you wash Norwex? You rinse with warm water after using for your day to day cleaning jobs. Then you wash in your washing machine without using bleach (damages the fibers) or fabric softener/dryer sheets (clogs the fibers and hinders performance). For more on how to care for your microfiber cleaning products check out this post How to Care for Your Norwex or e-cloth Microfiber.
What is Norwex Antibac and BacLock? It is an antibacterial agent (silver) within the microfibers that is used for self cleaning purposes to avoid bacterial odors and mold/mildew growth.
How does e-cloth work? The e-cloth is made up of microfibers (480,000 per cm2), when wet with water it works to absorb bacteria, dirt, grime, grease and mold into the fiber voids. It traps what is picked up and then releases it when run under warm or hot water (or when put through the washing machine).
What is the microfiber cloth with silver? The Norwex EnviroCloth and other related Norwex products.
Where to buy e-cloth? Click here to go to the e-cloth website that offers all their products with free shipping in the continental US.
What is Norwex rags? Some people refer to cleaning cloths as rags so when if term Norwex rags is used they are just referring to the Norwex microfiber cleaning cloths.
Disclaimer: For informational and educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have a health concern, a medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking any medication please consult your healthcare provider.