When it comes to safe cleaning products a certified organic and vegan range made from plant based ingredients seems like the very best option for a healthy home so when we came across Bentley Organic, we had high hopes. Launched in 2006, Bentley Organic is a family business that has been making soap for five generations and produces organic cleaning products that offer safer alternatives to conventional options, for people and planet.
We tried a range of their products and the first thing that struck us was how easy they make cleaning; they effortlessly cut through dirt, build up and grime. The second is how fresh they smell with no hint of synthetic or overbearing chemicals; their fragrance comes purely from essential oils The third is how little product is required for effective results; they are long lasting making them even more eco friendly and cost effective. Formulated without bleach, sulphate or phosphates, the products are proven to kill 99.9% germs including E.Coli, Listeria and Salmonella with their antibacterial formulas.
The Kitchen & Surface Cleaner has a light orange fragrance and cleans surfaces easily and efficiently. Tough marks and stubborn dirt come away with little to no scrubbing after the spray has been left to sit for a few minutes. The Mild Washing Up Liquid leaves dishes, cutlery and glass squeaky clean and streak free and just one squirt of this fresh citrus liquid is enough to clean a sink full or more. The Organic Floor Cleaner with its gentle aroma of tea tree oil lifts and removes dirt effortlessly and is extremely fast drying which is great as it does need to be washed off after an initial clean.
The Window & Glass Cleaner is amazing, removing large amounts of dirt from windows and mirrors with little product, leaving behind a fresh scent of aloe and lemon and completely streak free surfaces. The Shower & Bathroom Cleaner glides through soap build up and residue, removing both with barely a wipe of a cloth and gets rid of water marks other cleaners leave behind after just a few minutes left sitting on surfaces. Again, an aloe and citrus fragrance lends to the feeling of overall cleanliness and most impressively this cleaner removes limescale build up better than straight vinegar and outperforms every other limescale remover we have tried. The Toilet Cleaner is extremely fragrant, filling the room with the cleansing scent of eucalyptus and pleasant enough to be left a while before flushing. Thin enough to spread easily, one squirt is enough to cover the bowl and flushes away completely, leaving no residue.
Not only are these fantastic green cleaning products, with a shelf life that reassures they contain no nasty chemicals or preservatives, they leave rooms smelling clean, hands feeling healthy and happy and cause no skin, mouth, nose or eye irritation. Packaged in fully recyclable HDPE, one of the least toxic plastics available, these products are a conscious option that outperform their conventional competition and are perhaps the best eco home cleaning products we’ve ever used.
We spoke to Bentley Organic about their passion for healthier cleaning products and commitment to creating Earth friendly options.
When did you first begin producing organic cleaning products?
Bentley Organic was founded in 2006 by a family with five generations of history in the soap making industry beginning with a small range of organic soap products. It has since grown in both variety and popularity and continues to develop; offering ranges in Baby Care, Home Care, Hair Care, Body Care and most recently, Skin Care.
We provide products of genuine organic integrity at an affordable price, without compromise in formulation or function
Our mission is to provide affordable alternatives to premium priced uncertified competitors, making organic lifestyle choices accessible to a wider market. To do so we stand by two key philosophies: firstly that all products are Soil Association certified as a guarantee to our consumers of their organic integrity. And secondly that we are ‘Of the Earth, not costing the Earth’, as an integrated manufacturer and supplier we are able to offer our customers a better value product – we believe organic products should be reasonably, not premium, priced.
The benefits of organic products are numerous, as are the motivations for using them. From our perspective, we are motivated by providing goods that are as good for the Earth as they are for you and your family. We are helping to contribute to a wider sustainable market by using products that will not interfere with the already vastly polluted water systems. Recyclable packaging also ensures that we are further reducing the pollution caused by the extensive waste in landfill sites.
With certified organic products you can also guarantee that our products are ‘cruelty free’, with rigorous measures in place to ensure the highest level of animal welfare, all of our home cleaning products are Vegan Society approved.
Organic Certified products also offer a transparency that ‘conventional’ products lack, with ingredients that do not include synthetic/ artificial colours and fragrances you can ensure that the products that you and your family are using do not contain the ‘nasties’ that are used widely across the conventional personal care market, most of which consumers aren’t even aware of.
What are your products made from?
Our products are made from organic ingredients or natural ones where there is no organic alternative, with our fragrances coming solely from essential oils.
Some of our favourite oils include:
- Aloe Vera known for it’s numerous benefits that include anti inflammation, healing and even fantastic moisturising properties.
- Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and helps to promote relaxation.
- Lemon oil functions as a great natural alternative to chemical disinfectants.
Soil Association Certification ensures rigorous traceability and sustainability testing, proving that we only use the highest quality of ingredients.
What ingredients do you never use and why?
Parabens: The most widely used preservative in the US. Research has linked the use of parabens with cancer as they are believed to act like the female hormone oestrogen, which in high levels can cause individuals to develop breast cancer. It has also received criticism across Europe, being described by a French Health Association as contributing to a “toxic cocktail” in cosmetics. We use natural ingredients to act as a safer, alternative preservative system.
SLS: Widely used as the foaming agent in many cosmetics/ personal care products across the board. This product has been linked with skin irritation and many people with sensitive skin choose to avoid this ingredient, making use of natural alternatives which are as effective but clear of ‘nasty’ ingredients and don’t strip away essential oils. We think that all skin should be treated with care and excluding this ingredient from our ranges ensures products are suitable for the whole family.
SLES: As above SLES is used as a foaming agent and is linked to similar risks. Not only can this product dry and irritate the skin, it has also been connected with carcinogenic properties.
Phenoxyethanol: Used across a wide range of cosmetics and fragrances, this product can act as an eye irritant.
Why do we need to move away from conventional cleaning products?
As we’ve mentioned, we’re conscious of the effect our products can have on the environment. Conventional cleaning products contain a range of (frankly scary) ingredients, including ammonia and chlorine, which will inevitably end up in our water systems, causing pollution and damaging our very way of life.
The warnings on labels should be enough to make us stop and think about what we are actually using around our home.
That’s not to mention the effect that these products can have on the more vulnerable members of your family, such as children and pets!
How do you ensure your products perform as well as chemical and synthetic alternatives?
Our household range has a unique green formula blended with a mix of citrus acid that helps kill germs and bacteria. The products are proven to kill 99.9% of household germs. They do not contain any bleach, sulphates and phosphates and have a biodegradable formula.
What do you mean by the term ‘Green Chemistry’?
The rising popularity of green living has brought with it a change in the way that products are being produced. Over the course of our 12 years we’ve seen the possibilities of organic products expand and grow in ways that we could only have dreamed of. Green chemistry reduces the use of hazardous substances in all stages of manufacture from design to the final application of products.
What advice do you have for people wanting to make their homes healthier, safer places?
Every change makes a difference, no matter how big or small. Making the switch to organic doesn’t have to be a massive upheaval, especially not given the trend of conscious consumerism.
Use the motivation of making your home healthier and safer as a way of discovering a world of possibilities, many of which you may not have even considered before.
More people becoming aware of green cosmetics and of the importance of transparency means that there have been some fantastic developments within the sector. Companies, Bentley Organic included, are constantly expanding their range to meet with demand, meaning that there is a variety never before available.