Alma Win is a range of environmentally friendly and organic household cleaning products hailing from Germany which is free from not only methylisothiazolinone and other isothiazolinone preservatives, but also petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, phosphates, synthetics and parabens. They are also all vegan. Admirably, all ingredients are listed on products, and the formulations are quite concentrated, so generally only small amounts are required.
We were sent a selection of the products to try out.
Bathroom Cleaner Concentrate (125ml, or 500ml) was the star performer. It cut through grimy and soapy deposits very well, and the light citrus minty fragrance – which later turned out to be more recognisable eucalyptus – was a refreshing change from the synthetic, almost plastic smells you get from conventional cleaners by high street brands. The 125ml travel bottle I tried advised to ‘spray’, which wasn’t possible (the larger size is a spray), but a good healthy squirt or two cleaned the bath and sink, and there’s plenty left for several more treatments. What happens so often with ordinary cleaners is the disinfectant smell lingers so much you feel you need to re-rinse the bath before your next dip. None of that with this product. It’s great.
Laundry powder is water-free, therefore almost certainly going to be isothiazolinone-free regardless, but Alma Win’s Heavy-Duty Washing Powder Concentrate (75g, 1.08kg, 5kg) performed just fine on light coloured sheets and bedding, without lingering fragrance and decent rinse-out. The Cleanut Liquid Detergent Concentrate (125ml, 750ml) again has light natural fragrance (eucalyptus and vervain, this time) and is all purpose (any temperature, any colours, be it hand or machine … ). The machine wash seemed as good as any normal wash, with no fragrance discernible on the finished laundry, but the hand wash I tried was better – no annoying foaming or discolouration, and very hand-kind too (no real need for gloves). The product contains soap-nut extract, which isn’t botanically related to tree nut, so no related allergy issues there.
Washing Up Liquid Concentrate (125ml, 500ml), to our non-expert noses, smelt of fizzy soda or pop – very pleasant and sweet – but actually contains lemongrass and eucalyptus oils, which we couldn’t really detect. No matter: gentle bubbles and effective cleaning, although we did need to use more than expected to get through an average daily load of dishes and pans. Non-drying on the hands, which we liked. Does contain wheat proteins, so anyone with wheat allergy will want to avoid, and ditto those with celiac disease – although careful rinsing should be enough to ensure safety.
And finally, the Household Cleaner Concentrate (125ml, 500ml), which also contains wheat proteins, and is fragranced with mint, lemon and eucalyptus. This took care of our floors perfectly well, and actually seems very similar to the Bathroom Cleaner Concentrate, albeit with a less eucalyptus fragrance, and perhaps generates more suds and foam relative to that product.
All in all, we found these products impressive – they seem gentle, gently fragranced, and we suspect some might be interchangeable and multi-purpose, though we haven’t yet tried. The eucalyptus, which seems the range’s ‘signature’ scent, is very subtle, so even if you don’t like this essential oil, you may like these products. They contain very simple, natural surfactants, salts, alcohol and fragrances, and they’re affordable. The only allergy issues will be to those with some fragrance allergies (especially limonene and perhaps citral) and wheat. There are a few other products – such as Toilet Cleaner Concentrate – which we didn’t try, too.
For Australia, try Fishpond.
For Ireland, try Evergreen.
For Germany, see the company site.