[AD: Gifted products] We’re big fans of natural cleaning here at Fresh Design, and using fewer chemicals in our homes can only be good for us. While natural products such as lemon juice and vinegar can work very well, they’re not always the most practical choice! That’s why we were interested to try out some products from Norfolk Natural Living, a small UK company who make natural cleaning and laundry products containing no chemicals.
They say: ‘Every ingredient that we use in our luxury garment care and homewares collection is chosen with care and consideration. We wanted everything to be safe for use around pets, children and those with sensitive skin or allergies. So we left out chlorine, petroleum, phosphate, phthalate, bleach and artificial colours that are so prevalent in standard household products. The result of our research is a meticulously developed plant-based edit for the home. What you’ll find in our products is a blend of essential oils, the mildest natural ingredients and carefully crafted, botanical formulas, safe for use for everyone from pets to babies.’
“To put the Norfolk Natural Living products through their paces, I decided to take these 100% British products to France! I’m lucky enough to live part time in the south west in a crumbling old farmhouse. As the house isn’t used all year round, it usually needs a bit of TLC when we first arrive so I was looking forward to seeing how these products compared.
They’re a great choice for France, as we have a septic tank here so I have to be really careful about what chemicals I put down the drain. I use natural cleaning products anyway, but they’re ‘commercial natural products’ so won’t be as pure as the Norfolk ones.
Anyway, the spiders seemed to have been having a bit of a party since we were last down so I decided to start on the windows using the Scented Vinegar. This is suitable for use on glass, tiles and ceramics but wouldn’t be suitable for porous surfaces such as marble – Norfolk Natural Living have other products in their range for other surfaces.
“I like the design of the bottles – the labels are nice and simple and the bottle fits nicely into the palm of the hand. As directed, I sprayed the liquid onto the (honestly, filthy!) window and wiped it straight off with a damp cloth. There was a slight hint of vinegar about this product but it did smell pleasant rather than acidic. When the window was dry, I buffed it up with a dry cloth and found I could see out of it again. Result! An easy clean, and there were no smears once I’d done the buffing.
“Next, I tried the vinegar on the shower. The soap scum tends to dry on the tiles a bit while we’re not there, and it generally takes a bit of elbow grease to get it presentable again, so this time I sprayed the vinegar and left it to sit for a little while.
“Meanwhile, I got cracking with the Norfolk Natural Living Garment Refresher spray. This is another good one for me, as clothes that have been left sitting the wardrobe for a few weeks can smell musty even though they’re clean.
The idea of this spray is that you can freshen up a garment so that you don’t have to wash it as frequently, saving you money. There wasn’t much to say about this one – I liked the smell (essential oils), and it did the job – a shirt I would otherwise have washed smelt fresh and wearable again after application. You don’t have to put loads on, either.
“Back to the bathroom! I wiped the stained areas with a damp cloth, and although it did need a bit of pressure applied I was really pleased with the results. The staining lifted away on to the cloth and once I’d rinsed the shower with clean water it looked a lot better.
“Finally, onto the deodorant. I have a bit of a chequered history with natural deodorants, as although no-one wants to think they’re blasting their skin with chemicals it’s sometimes the only thing that really works. In my experience, natural alternatives just haven’t worked as well.
I tested this one on two different days. The first day was an ‘office day’, when I wasn’t doing a lot of exercise except a couple of hours of gentle dog walking. The deodorant liquid is quite thick, which means it takes a couple of minutes to dry completely. The smell is pleasant (essential oils again, this time lemongrass), and it’s not strong or overpowering. Once I’d put it on in the morning, I didn’t really think about it again which is a good thing!
The second day was a weekend day, so I was a lot more active – walking more, riding, gardening and doing some household chores. That’s when I realised that although this product is up to scratch as a deodorant, it’s not great as an antiperspirant! This wasn’t a surprise, as it’s the aluminium in chemical antiperspirants that stops sweating by blocking sweat glands, and natural products don’t contain any aluminium (which is not supposed to be very good for you anyway). On the whole, this was definitely one of the better natural products I’ve tried, it smelt pleasant and it will do the job well most of the time.
“I like both the ethos behind this small company, and their products which do seem to work. They’re not the cheapest things on the market, but I used only about 0.5cm of the scented vinegar to clean all my kitchen windows so the bottle is clearly going to last for a while! If you’re concerned about chemical use in your home or the environmental impact of detergents, then Norfolk Natural Living is definitely worth a look.”
All photos (c) 2020 Write Image for you Media
(Disclosure: The items were gifted for the purposes of the review, but all views and opinions are our own)0