Networx

Posted by Katie Marks | G+ | Mar 18, 2014

Concentrate on Saving Resources!

Compelling reasons to hit the bulk aisle

Good enough for the armed services, good enough for you! These sailors are swabbing the deck with a highly concentrated detergent that also acts as a fire suppressant. Photo: Official USS Theodore Roosevelt/FlickrUnless you're lucky enough to have a cleaning service at your beck and call, cleaning is probably a fact of your daily life, from washing dishes to throwing a load of clothes in the washer to scrubbing down dirty floors after muddy feet and paws whizz through. You may already know that your choice of cleaners has a significant effect on the environment, but did you know that the format of your cleaners also makes a difference? Buying in concentrate is much better for you and the environment -- so you should consider giving it a go.

Cleaning concentrates provide, as the name implies, a concentrated cleaning solution in a bulk container. You need to dilute them to use them, or simply use less of them in cleaning. For example, concentrated detergent allows you to use just a little for a whole load of laundry (the washer does the diluting for you) while concentrated all purpose cleaner can be diluted in a bucket or spray bottle and used as needed.

There are a number of big advantages to buying cleaners in concentrate, and number one, you savvy money-conscious housekeeper you, is cost. Concentrates are much less expensive in the long term, even if the upfront cost for a bulk container is high. You'll get much more bang for your buck with a concentrate. Think about it: a $5.99 container of regular detergent good for 20 loads versus an $8.99 bottle of concentrate good for 40. I think everyone can do that math! That extra bulk in non-concentrated products is mostly water -- and you don't need to pay for water when you can get it at your own house for free! (Well, mostly...your municipal water company wants their cut and you'll need your San Francisco plumber to keep things running smoothly.)

You'll also save big-time on plastic. Concentrates encourage you to recycle and reuse containers for mixing your own cleaning solutions as needed, and because you need to replace them less often, you'll be tossing less plastic in the recycling. That's good news for the environment, especially since many companies that sell concentrated cleaning supplies also use post-consumer recycled plastic and try to cut down on overall plastic weight in production. S.C. Johnson estimates that switching just one fifth of products sold in trigger bottles annually to concentrates would save seven million pounds of plastic.

Furthermore, you can select from a full-range of eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning supplies in concentrated form. You don't have to settle for industrial cleaners, once the only option available in concentrate. Today, you can rely on natural cleaners with ingredients like orange oil and tea tree oil, manufactured in a way that's light on the environment. They'll be light on your home and family, too -- no caustic chemicals that could hurt children or pets, or stain your clothing and furniture.

With concentrates, you determine the power of your cleaning solution, and you get to decide which products work for you. Why not save some money and help out the environment while you're at it? Many companies offer samplers of their concentrated products to give you a chance to test them first, and if you have a product you're used to getting in a trigger bottle or unconcentrated form, the same firm may make a concentrated version, too, so you can keep using the products you love, without hurting the planet.

Every time you buy something in concentrate, give yourself a little high five!

Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.

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