Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Norwex vs E-Cloth: Why Premium Microfiber is not your Cleaning Fairy Godmother

I could spend a long time comparing all the cloths that Norwex has to offer with all the cloths that E-Cloth has to offer, but for everyone's reading sanity, let's keep this short and show each brand's two major cleaning cloths.  Both brands produce premium microfiber cloths.  And I love cleaning with them.

E-Cloth draped over Norwex. The window cloths are on top of picture.

Close up two E-Cloth General Purpose Cloths and Norwex Enviro Cloth 
What you need to know about both brands:

Norwex makes high quality microfiber cloths.  So does E-Cloth.
Norwex is rather expensive.  E-Cloth is rather reasonable.
Norwex strands are 1/200th the diameter of human hair.  Same with E-Cloth.
Properly used, Norwex can remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface.  E-Cloth boasts over 99%.
Norwex has a 2-year microfiber warranty.  E-Cloth has a 3-year microfiber warranty.
Norwex a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.  E-Cloth does too, but there is no stated time-frame.
Norwex has BacLock.  E-Cloth does not.  E-Cloth used to dabble in such a feature with their Professional General Purpose cloth but ultimately decided to nix silver additives.

What does "properly used" mean?
For wet cleaning, you get the cloth wet, wring out, fold into fourths, and use each section of the cloth flat to remove the stuff from what you are cleaning, then thoroughly rinse, and continue on cleaning.  This rinsing stage can be quite long because of how much stuff gets stuffed into the cloths as you clean.  I think the research team rinsed each cloth around 7 times in order to get the 99% figure published but I can't find my printout of the study so...yeah. ;)  If you find it, please comment below.

What is BacLock?
If there is anything that has been so badly explained at Norwex parties, it is the BacLock or "silver" feature of the cloths.  I once had a consultant tell me that I would clean up vomit and then clean up another area in my house and the silver in the cloth would kill all the germs.  That is SO not true.  Please read this quote from Norwex carefully:
Then BacLock™* in the cloth goes to work to self-purify and inhibit odors from bacteria, mold and mildew growth within the cloth....The agent is solely designed to inhibit odor from bacteria, mold and/or mildew growth within the product within 24 hours.
BacLock cloths have active silver ions (AG+) embedded within their fibers.  Over time, AG+ inactivates (it does not kill) the bacteria cells within the cloth.  PLEASE understand that this is a gradual process and varies based on the number of bacteria in the cloth and the strength of the bacteria and also the wetness level of the cloth.  Do not be fooled into thinking that you can clean up vomit and then rinse and proceed to clean up another area of your home.

And while we are on the lovely subject of vomit, let's continue to my next point, which is probably the reason why I decided to write this post in the first place.

Grid snippet is from
Norwex CANNOT remove 99% of viruses! And neither can E-Cloth.
This removal claim only extends to bacteria.  Why?  Because viruses are much smaller than bacteria.  You should NOT be relying on microfiber alone to clean any surface in which you are concerned about viruses.  For example, the toilet or daycare toys or school desks.  Viruses (like norovirus) are way too small for a microfiber cloth to pick up. The thickness of a strand of microfiber determines the size of bacteria/virus that you can remove. Going off the statement that a human hair is 100 microns across, then a E-Cloth/Norwex cloth would be .5 microns across. So that is small enough to remove most bacteria (though not all bacteria) but not small enough to remove most viruses. See this article for a more detailed description. To learn more about sizes of pathogens, you could also read this:

So, even though I LOVE microfiber because it helps me clean with just water MOST of the time, it's not my Cleaning Fairy Godmother.  I will not clean up vomit or any high-risk area of my home with microfiber.  For those areas, I use paper towels and hydrogen peroxide.

To sum up, both Norwex and E-Cloth make great microfiber cloths and either choice is high quality.  But I will say that for window cloths, I prefer the E-Cloth brand AND that for facial/body cloths, I prefer Norwex's Baby Body Pack.  

And to throw you through another microfiber loop (pun intended), I also like Microfiber Wholesale's Pro Multi-Surface microfiber cloths.  They are super duper cheap and you can even have your logo printed on them and they offer free shipping.  Microfiber Wholesale is also my preferred brand for microfiber mop heads.

Sidenote:  Check out this post "Which Cleaning Cloths Pick Up Germs the Best" by my favorite cleaning blog, Dr. Annie's Experiments.

What about you?  What's your favorite Norwex cloth?  What's your favorite E-Cloth cloth?  Or do you have another favorite microfiber brand?

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