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What’s that expression about cleaning with kids at home? “Cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.” Do you feel that way? I do!
Unfortunately, I can’t wait for the kids to move out before I clean again.
I also don’t love buying expensive cleaning supplies that are probably not good for our health or the environment. I’ve wondered if there’s an alternative.
Have you heard about Norwex? Chemical-free cleaning that really works? Let me guess – you have a mom friend who sells it? Yeah, me too…
Norwex products seem great, but like most MLM items, their prices are outrageous. Thankfully, there are a lot of great MUCH CHEAPER alternatives to Norwex!
What is Norwex?
Norwex is an MLM (multi-level marketing) company that sells products for natural, chemical-free cleaning.
Their most popular item is the Enviro Cloth, which is a general-purpose microfiber cloth. The items are only sold through consultants, usually at home sales parties.
Is Norwex a Scam?
I believe the Norwex items are quality products. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you already know that I think you should avoid home sales parties if you want to protect your budget.
Like most MLM products, I think Norwex products are greatly overpriced. Is Norwex a scam? No, I don’t think it’s a scam, but I do think it’s way too expensive!
Do Norwex Cloths Kill Germs?
You may have heard that the silver in Norwex cloths makes them “self-cleaning”.
Some people even claim that you can wipe up something covered in germs and then just continue cleaning. Or a quick rinse is all that’s needed to wash away all the germs. Is this true?
I enjoyed reading these scientific results from a scientist turned stay-at-home mom. I’d encourage you to read the whole article, but if you don’t have time, here’s a summary of her findings:
- Norwex and similar high-quality microfiber cloths do a great job of picking up bacteria.
- If they’re only slightly dirty, they don’t transfer many of the germs back onto a surface. This means it’s ok to use them to clean up little kitchen messes with the same cloth throughout the day. The bacteria gets stuck in the cloth and doesn’t get rubbed back onto surfaces.
- Once bacteria are in the cloth, Norwex cloths do no better job killing germs than any other kind of cloth, including a basic cotton washcloth. They are definitely NOT “self-cleaning”.
- Simply rinsing the cloth does not remove all the bacteria. Even washing it in a washing machine doesn’t. The only way to completely sanitize the cloth is to boil for 10 minutes.
Bottom line: High-quality microfiber cloths can do a great job of cleaning, but there is nothing magical about Norwex cloths. Microfiber can pick up bacteria, but it doesn’t kill the germs.
Cheaper Alternatives to Norwex Enviro Cloth
E-Cloth Vs Norwex Enviro Cloth
If you’d like to try some high-quality microfiber cloths, there are certainly less expensive options than the $17.99 Norwex Enviro Cloths.
I’ve read a number of comparisons and reviews that state that E-Cloths are nearly identical to Norwex Enviro Cloths.
The various specialty cloths that each company offers have pros and cons, but the quality is virtually identical.
The only difference is that Norwex cloths have silver in them and E-Cloths do not. Since the silver is there to act as a germ-killer and we know that Norwex cloths do not actually kill germs better than any other kind of cloth (*see above*), there is no need for the silver.
I bought some E-Clothes myself and I LOVED THEM! They clean very well. They are very high quality and I was amazed at what I could clean with just water.
If you want to give E-Cloths a try, Amazon is an official seller. The starter 5-pack comes with 4 multi-purpose cloths and 1 glass cloth and works out to be about one-third the price of Norwex cloths.
Is E-Cloth a Norwex Knock-Off?
No, E-Cloth is not a Norwex knock-off. The two companies were founded around the same time, in the mid-1990’s.
E-Cloth is sold in retail stores and is popular in Europe. Norwex sells a very similar product through the MLM (multi-level marketing) system instead of retail stores.
Just because the products are very similar does not mean that E-Cloth is a Norwex knock-off.
UberGreen Vs. Norwex Enviro Cloth
If you REALLY want a cloth with silver in it, UberGreen cloths have silver. The reviews indicate that they’re lower in quality compared to Norwex, though. For that reason, I’d personally go with E-Cloth instead.
Cheaper Alternative to Norwex Dusting Mitt
Norwex offers a dusting mitt for $19.49 and E-cloth has a comparable dusting glove that is similar in price.
E-cloth does offer a lower cost dusting cloth that might be a good alternative for a MUCH lower price.
Cheaper Alternative to Norwex Enviro Wand
OXO Microfiber Duster Vs. Norwex Enviro Wand
Personally, I have the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Hand Duster and I LOVE IT. I have a dust allergy, so the process of dusting was pretty miserable for me.
With the OXO duster, I can pick up all the dust quickly without spreading it around the room (or into my nose!).
The OXO Good Grips Microfiber Hand Duster seems very similar to the Norwex Enviro Wand, but the OXO is 1/3 the cost. I haven’t tried the Norwex wand, but I seriously doubt it is 3x better! The OXO duster is great!
Cheaper Alternative to Norwex Window Cloth
Cleaning windows to a streak-free shine with no chemicals or paper towels sounds great, right? But for $19.99?! That’s just crazy. E-cloth offers a comparable product for about one-quarter of the price.
E-Cloth Window Cloth vs. Norwex Window Cloth
I bought an E-Cloth window cloth to try myself. A friend lent me her Norwex window cloth so I could compare. They both work really well, but they are a different style of fabric.
The E-Cloth window cloth is very thin and the Norwex window cloth is a thicker fabric. I preferred the thinner E-Cloth because it was easier to get into all the corners of my mirrors and windows.
If you’d like to try the E-Cloth window cloth, you can buy one with the starter kit, in a set with a window cleaning cloth, or by itself.
At first, I didn’t think the waffle-weave window washing cloth that comes in the window cleaning set (waffle weave cloth & polishing cloth) was worth the extra cost. After some time, I grew to really love it.
If you’d like to save some cost, you could skip the window cleaning kit and just go with the starter kit (4 general purpose cloths & one polishing cloth).
Over time, I did discover that I needed additional polishing cloths. When you’re washing a bunch of mirrors or windows, the polishing cloth will get wet and then be useless.
It’s convenient to have another to swap it out with so I would recommend ordering extra polishing cloths if you can.
Cheaper Alternative to Norwex Mop
The Norwex mop system is similar in style to Swiffer mops, but with reusable microfiber pads instead of disposable pads. Many people love the mops but don’t love the price of over $100.
Once again, E-cloth offers a nearly identical product for about 1/3 the price. There are also other brands available in the same price range.
They’re all interchangeable with Norwex pads too, so you can mix and match if you already have some Norwex items.
Cheaper Alternative to Norwex Dryer Balls
Norwex sells wool dryer balls for $29.99 for a set of 3. I’m a big fan of dryer balls, as they help reduce drying time (and save energy).
They also help to soften and remove static from clothes without fabric softener. Compared to fabric softener they’re better for your skin, better for the environment (less waste and less energy), and less expensive. What’s not to like?
But $29.99 for 3 dryer balls is INSANE. I have Woolzies brand, which cost about 1/3 the price of Norwex per dryer ball. There are also many choices on Amazon for even less than that.
Check out some of the options below:
Cheaper Norwex Alternatives: My Personal Reviews
As I mentioned above, I personally own and ABSOLUTELY LOVE and would recommend after years of testing:
Because I wanted to try some new items for this post, I ordered:
I LOVE my new E-Cloths! I didn’t expect to like them this much, but I’m totally convinced! The window cloth is amazing on windows, mirrors, and shiny surfaces.
The multi-purpose cloths do such a great job of cleaning all kinds of surfaces. My kitchen faucet is cleaner than it’s ever been. The cloth even cleaned my stained Corian sink as well as a magic eraser.
I had so much fun walking around the house trying them out on different surfaces.
As I mentioned above, I eventually ordered extra polishing cloths. If they get wet while cleaning, they become useless and you need to swap them out.
I am curious about the other specialty cloths and would like to try this package next:
I am constantly telling friends about e-cloths. I feel better that I’m not wasting money on unnecessary and unhealthy cleaning products and my house is sparkling!
Have you tried any of the cheaper Norwex alternatives? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
More “Cheaper Alternatives”
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read some of my other “cheaper alternatives to…” posts:
- Best Cheap Nerf Guns
- Cheap Duck Boots: Alternatives to L.L. Bean Boots
- Cheap DIY Phone Loopy Grip: Popsocket Alternative
- Review: Best Generic Coffee (Whole Bean)
- Cheaper Alternatives to Ray-Ban Sunglasses
- Swedish Dishcloth Review
- Cheaper Alternatives to Sperry Top-sider Boat Shoes
- Cheaper Alternatives to Thirty-One Utility Totes
- Cheaper Alternatives to ENO Hammocks
- Cheaper Alternatives to Young Living & Doterra Essential Oils
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