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I first came across the Ecover range at work (we use a lot of eco-friendly products) and so I was really interested to know more about the range, especially as they are said to contain less chemicals than usual branded products. Ecover specialise in 'home products' such as washing up liquid, washing powder, hand wash etc.
The washing up liquid is very easy to use. Simply fill the washing up bowl with how water; as the bowl is filling up, add a squirt of washing up liquid. The liquid has a lovely clean and fresh scent. There aren't a lot of bubbles which I don't mind.
The liquid does a good job of washing up. It cuts through grease and food very easily and so doesn't require too much scrubbing etc which is always an advantage. It cleans glass items really well and doesn't leave any smears which is also another advantage.
The Ecover washing up liquid is available in 500ml bottles - so they are quite big bottles. I'm not sure if they do smaller versions as I have only ever seen these sized ones. You can expect to pay around £3 for a bottle of this -expensive I know but I find that a bottle of this can last me around 6-8 weeks and so it's not bad for 50p or less per week.
This washing up liquid is not as bubbly as more 'chemically' washing up liquids such as Fairy. However, whilst some people may like the bubbles, for me I prefer the fact that this is less bubbly and less chemically harmful to my skin. So I would consider this to be an advantage.
I would definitely recommend this washing up liquid - I find that it works just as well as other bigger but not necessarily better brands. I find that it doesn't leave my skin feeling raw like some brands do so that's good.
I have noticed that this washing up liquid, as well as other Ecover items are only available in some supermarkets, Wilkinsons and even Homebase. They are quite often on offer, so it's definetely worth keeping an eye out for a bargain.
Thanks for reading!
Xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xd-o-n-z-x on Ciao)
I know, I know - most people love a good bottle of washing up liquid with germ killing chemicals and lots of lovely bubbles. For me things are a little different. I have memories of my mum working as a cook for many years and at some stages coming home with hands that were red raw, with cracked and broken skin. Eventually the doctor could only suggest the prolonged exposure to washing up chemicals was the problem. Since then, I have always been keen to try and keep it as natural as possible, and not having many chemicals on my cooking utensils is a bonus. Further to this, as we are more at risk from climate change, sometimes keeping it simple with the products we use (particularly ones that then get released into the water system) certainly can't do any harm.
I have been using Ecover washing up liquid for several years now. If you are looking for a big steaming bowl of bubbles, this isn't for you. There are some bubbles, but not in any great quantity and they certainly aren't what you'd describe as foamy. It isn't actually the bubbles that make things clean, so to me it's not really a problem, but it does seem strange at first if you are usually surrounded by suds. The smell is quite basic, clean and fresh - but again as this is a relatively natural product, it would make no sense for it to be heavily perfumed. It performs the task of washing up pretty well, breaks down grease and leaves plates, glasses and cutlery nicely cleaned. As with most washing up liquids, one squeeze should be plenty for an average bowl of washing up, and the bottle does last pretty well. It is dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin. You can find the ingredients online if you are interested. Rather nicely, it is also designed in such a way that once it is washed away, all the ingredients are eventually absorbed back into the environment - not filling rivers and reservoirs with processed chemicals.
There are several recipes with camomile and marigold being the most common, but there is also lemon and aloe vera, and even pomegranate. It's not the cheapest washing up liquid, but to me it is a price worth paying. It is usually around £1.50 for 500ml, but at the moment (and relatively regularly) there are offers, for example they are currently £1 at Sainsburys. You can also buy 1L bottles of the camomile and marigold which usually sell for around £2.25 or £1.50 on offer which are better value.
Whilst I'm cutting back and using cheaper products in some areas of life, washing up liquid isn't one of those I'm willing to sacrifice as I want to protect my hands. I've used this for quite a while now, and will continue to do so in the future. I've always been pleased with the performance and whilst it doesn't promise to leave my hands manicured and moisturised, it doesn't seem to dry them out like other liquids I've used.
I didn't choose this washing up liquid myself, it was bought for me by my mother. She likes stocking me up with all the items I might possibly need when I go back to university. Normally, I'm not fussy about what washing up liquid I use; as long as it does the job, I'm happy.
My variety is a pomegranate and lime scented one. The scent is very pleasant, quite light and fruity, but not overpoweringly so. It seems to linger on the dishes for a little while after they've been washed, leaving them smelling fresh.
According to the label, just one squeeze is enough for a sinkful of bubbles, and I've certainly found that to be the case. I need to use very little to achieve the desired results. There is no guidance on the bottle as to how long it will last, but I estimate around four weeks. I don't tend to do much cooking for myself, as my halls at university are catered, so I can't comment too much on how well it cleans most dishes. However, I do know it's done an excellent job on my breakfast dishes. So, it definitely cleans everyday items, but as for something that had tougher stains, I couldn't really say.
The main selling point of this washing up liquid is its eco-friendly credentials. Rather than throwing the plastic bottle away, it can be taken to a refill point. I found it difficult to find where my nearest refill point was, as there doesn't seem to be a list on their website. It tells me stores where I can find their products, but doesn't say if they can also be refilled at those stores. However, after a bit of googling, I found four stores within five miles of me, so it should be nice and easy to refill. Each bottle can be refilled up to 50 times before needing to be replaced, and the plastic bottle can then be recycled. The bottle promises that the product was developed in a truly sustainable way, and made at their ecological factory, and there is loads of information on this on their website, for those who are interested.
The washing up liquid is also suitable for those with sensitive skin. As I don't have sensitive skin myself, I can't comment on how effective this is, but the label declares that it has been dermatologically tested.
Overall, very good washing up liquid. It is very environmentally friendly, with this ethos being at the heart of the whole company, and it certainly does the job. Although I hadn't heard of the company before getting this, I would definitely investigate their wider range of products!
Many years ago, my Mother discovered this product and began to use it on principal, rather than on merit, because it said that it was good for the environment. My own opinion of it back then was that it didn't work, and had the grease-shifting power of instantly filthy dish water, but she stuck with it and somehow managed to keep our crockery clean. Those were the days (back in the 1980s)when you could only purchase such products from health-food shops. Nowadays they've grown in popularity, with the increased concern about ecology and the damage we're wreaking here there and everywhere, and every supermarket chain seems to have its own version of the stuff as well as the original.
Ecover themselves are a Belgian company founded in 1980, who specialise in producing cleaning products made from predominantly plant-based ingredients. The intention is that these products will break down into harmless residues in the drains and water treatment systems, thus causing little or no chemical pollution of the world's waterways and seas. By 1993 they had been recognised by the UN Environment Programme for their contribution to the environment, and according to their website they continue to work on ways to improve their products and packaging and minimise their environmental impact.
So have they improved the washing up liquid? I decided to have another attempt at using it several years ago when I was having problems with dermatitis and conventional washing up liquids. The most commonly available aromas are Lemon & Aloe Vera, and Camomile & Marigold. (There are two other 'flavours', which are Pomegranate & Lime, and Grapefruit & Green Tea, but I've not seen these very often).
It's the lemon one that I chose initially, as I prefer a washing up liquid of that scent to counteract particularly strong food smells. It produced a lot more lather than I remembered from my early experience, despite the fact that the packaging actually states that it is a low-lather product. I found over time that in fact it worked equally as well with our dishes as my previous washing-up liquid had (store's own from either Tesco or Sainsbury's, NOT the value brands though). I didn't find that it was any kinder to my hands, but then neither is Fairy so I just have to resign myself to wearing washing up gloves, but that's fine as I can then have the water nice and hot! A further thing about the bubbles - there are enough but not so many that I can't see what's in the sink. Some high-end liquids are so frothy that you can't see what you're doing, so they're out as far as I'm concerned for that reason alone!
I have to say that we don't do a lot of frying, so I probably haven't tested it as much as some would - but when there have been very dried-on or even burnt-on remains of meals, with a soak and a bit of elbow grease they've come up clean. I do not expect my washing-up liquid to dissolve such things with no effort, since to do that they'd probably contain the harmful chemicals I'm avoiding by using this product! I think in the end it boils down to the issue of whether you prioritise environment or 'instant cleanliness', since in my opinion this washing up liquid is now as good as I need it to be to keep our family in spotlessly clean dishes. I have tried the Camomile & Marigold variety and it works just as well, but personally I dislike the scent so I stick to the Lemon and Aloe Vera, which I buy in 1 litre bottles from either Tesco or Sainsbury's. The one I bought this last week from Tesco was £2.25, sometimes they'll have two for one offers or just a price reduction for a time so it's worth keeping an eye out.
So I'm glad to say that I've found a great improvement since those early days, and I hope that Ecover continue to produce this successful quality of washing up liquid for many years to come!
Just a quick update - as of March 2013 our local Tesco saw fit to discontinue stocking this variation, and is now only stocking the chamomile version. No idea if this is a general policy or just our local store manager's fault, so I now get it from Sainsbury's!
Ecover washing up liquids not only smell great, they are also good for the skin - especially the Lemon & Aloe Vera one - plus... last but not least - they are better for the environment!
They don't have quite as much lather as other dishwashing liquids but this does not affect their performance.They work really well, getting dishes really sparkling clean and cutting through grease very effectively.
Ecover utilize plant based and mineral ingredients as well as clever science in all their products (check out their other products, including their laundry powder) to give great results without the unnecessary and harmful to the environment and therefore harmful to life itself chemicals in many other cleaning products.
Their products are also suitable for septic tanks. Plus the plastic bottle they come in is Plantastic! It is 100% recyclable.
They are also sold in most supermarkets, though if you prefer not to shop at these you can go direct to their website http://www.ecover.com/gb/en/ and buy them there or at local health food shops or bulk wholefood suppliers if you get together a few people to buy with.
Here are the varieties of scent available in their washing up liquid:
Lemon and Aloe Vera
Grapefruit and Green Tea
Chamomile and Marigold
I chose Ecover washing up liquid when it was on offer in Waitrose for just a pound. I had wanted to try it before but as it is normally priced at £1.50 for 500ml I tend to edge towards the cheaper but effective brands I previously use.
****What has Ecover got that some others haven't****
Ecover is more of an environmentally friendly washing up liquid than some other big name and supermarket brands.
Ecover use plant and mineral based ingredients in there products, which are less harmful to the environment and us as users. The bottles are 100% recyclable and can be re-filled where available; all this made in their ecological factory!
I have tried on the website to search for where Ecover is available to me - knowing I could get it in the big supermarkets anyway - but to my surprise it listed all my local shops and village ones!! With address, phone number and distance included - impressed. This also gave me a list of places to re-fill which as I live in the countryside I was expecting it to be miles away but no - the nearest is less than 5 miles.
To find out more take a look at there website www.ecover.com where they give detailed information on products and the companies values.
****What is in it for me****
Well aside from the fact that I can rest easy knowing that I am doing my part to help the environment a bit more, I know I have a thoughtfully made product that cares about the environment and my dishes!
****So does it live up to the eco hype****
The washing up liquid I have is pomegranate and lime, this may seem like an unusual combination but the smell is fantastic! The lime does take over a little bit but that just adds to the fresh citrus smell, which is ideal for kitchen use.
Using just one squirt is enough for your bowel of washing up, but remember as they say you will not get as many bubbles as other washing up liquids as this is a more environmentally friendly product. That said you do still get some so you don't feel completely de bubbled! But they do disappear quicker and you seem to get fewer residues left on the dishes, meaning less rinsing needed.
In my experience the liquid does cut through the grease just as well as any other liquid I have used and for day-to-day washing up leaves my dishes perfectly clean. Glasses seem to be relatively smear free and with a small rinse they are sparkling clean.
I find that for stubborn things like dried on dog meat I do have to soak the dog bowls for a little while to get most of it off, this is not a bad thing though, it just makes sure my doggie dishes are properly clean.
***Other bits of info****
Other washing up fragrances are lemon and aloe vera, Chamomile and marigold, Grapefruit and green tea.
Prices around £1.50 for 500ml and £2.25 for 1 litre.
I tend to use one squirt in each washing bowl and on average to bowls a day. My liquid lasts me over a month generally which I feel is good value and the fragrance is still as strong at the end as in the beginning.
I do feel it is kinder to my hands; they are not as dry after washing up than with some other brands I have used. It is dermatologically tested and not tested on animals.
Ecover has been Good Housekeeping Approved 2011, has a United Nations Environmental Award and has been Vincotte validated.
I am very impressed with Ecover washing up liquid and I am certainly going to try out there other products as I feel that paying a few pence more seems to be worth it for the environment.
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
I've used this product for years now. Before I started writing this, I took a quick look at the most negative review on here, and was a little surprised at the comments because they didn't reflect my experience of it. I think I would say that if you switch to this after using one of the market leaders such as Fairy, there are differences in its nature which might make you think it's not as powerful a product. It won't produce as much lather as Fairy. Doesn't smell as strong. Seems more watery.
Yet what I'll say is this - I think it's every bit as good and in some ways even better. Apart from the fact that its main selling point is its biodegradability (I need this because I have a septic tank for my property), I really don't have any problems with it as a cleaning product. It's definitely more runny than a lot of the more popular products, and you have to keep adding more to get the same cleaning effect, yet somehow, a bottle still lasts me for quite a long time. I live on my own so don't use the same quantities as others might, yet even so, I don't find myself having to buy it very frequently. There must be hundreds of washes in a bottle (for the amount I use). I sometime wonder actually, with the leading products which are more concentrated, if you aren't also running more down the plughole than you need to, which is never a good thing.
As to the much lower lathering of Ecover, I don't have a sense that it's any worse at cleaning. I bake and do all sorts of cooking experiments, and it works perfectly well. The lack of lather is in fact a good sign, as it's the polluting petrochemicals in your washing up liquid that produce those in the first place - and they're not good for your skin, either. I've got sensitive skin, and it never irritates my hands. All the fragrances I've tried have been pleasant and not too strong, which I like. They don't appear to linger, though I always rinse plates clean after washing, because I don't like the idea of eating off of something that has a chemical film on it. For something that is environmentally-friendly, it actually has very few negatives or compromises.
So to conclude, a product that performs well, and is good for the environment.
We live in a very rural location and so our drainage runs to a septic tank and natural soak away. It is important we are careful in terms of what goes into our waste water pipes as a build up of chemicals in the septic tank would be harmful to the system. I'm concerned about unnecessary waste and the detrimental effects man made materials can have on our natural environment generally, so my choice is always for the more natural products. Ecover, we all know, is a company that produces a wide range of environmentally friendly and natural cleaning products. The company operates from ecological factories in France and Belgium and have been recognised by the United Nations Environment programme. I like to use Ecover laundry liquid, fabric conditioner and washing up liquid.
Ecover chamomile and marigold comes in both a 1 litre and 500ml bottle. Other combinations are lemon and aloe vera, grapefruit and tea tree and the new pomegranate and lime. I'm impressed and quite amazed that the bottles are made from biodegradable sugar cane plastic. They are designed in a way that is easy to grasp by not being too round, have strong plastic squirt cap lids and labels which are easy to remove so the containers can be re-used. At Tesco the litre bottle is currently priced at £2.25.
The consistency of the liquid is about right for me as I'm very dubious about thick gloopy liquids, although I can see it may seem too runny for some. In terms of fragrance I wouldn't say I could smell chamomile but I can recognise a gentle marigold aroma. Ecover has no added colour so the liquid is clear. It doesn't lather up greatly and this I prefer as it makes rinsing easier and I don't believe a lot of bubbles or foam is required to clean. As far as I'm concerned Ecover washing up liquid cleans what I need it to beautifully and I don't worry about chemical residues being left on my plates, cutlery or dishes. I have noticed Ecover struggles a little with heavily greasy items but as I don't tend to use very much in the way of oil or fat in cooking and also run a dishwasher regularly this hasn't really been an issue for me.
Another reason I choose Ecover washing up liquid is because I have very sensitive skin and suffer with atopic eczema. As long as the amount of washing up liquid used is not excessive Ecover does not leave my skin feeling dry or sore as many other washing up liquids have done in the past. Ecover is dermatologically tested and I can be sure the ingredients are not harsh or irritating to my skin.
All in all, I'm very pleased with Ecover washing up liquid, will continue to use it and also highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading this review x
© Lunaria 2012
I tried Ecover simply because it was a brand that was known for being kind to the environment - and I like to do my bit where I can. It comes in a 1 litre bottle which cost me just £1.69 which, at face value, seemed like an incredibly good price and slightly cheaper than the market leaders such as Fairy. It comes in a plastic biodegradable bottle with the traditional squeezy lid. There are various aromas that the Ecover washing up liquid comes in, but the one I bought was the one with Camomile and Marigold - which gives the washing up liquid a very sweet and fresh aroma which is quite pleasant and not as artificial or overpowering as some of the other brands.
However, that's where the positivity stops. This washing up liquid is absolutely USELESS for washing up - and having used it for a week then I've had to give up using it because it's just not good enough. I also think the claims about the environment are somewhat false because I ended up having to use so much each time that I can't see that it's great for the environment. The washing up liquid did not clean grease very well and the plates still felt slimy after I'd washed them. There were virtually no bubbles and so it didn't feel much different to just washing the dishes in plain water. To remove stubborn stains, like those found on baking tins, the Ecover Washing Up Liquid just doesn't work. When washing glasses, the glasses remain streaky and just look dull and not how I would like them.
So, with all of that in mind, this washing up liquid is just not good and I won't be using it again.
Ecover Washing Up Liquid is available widley in most supermarkets I have been to and costs around £1.68 for a litre sized bottle.
The bottle is the usual shape you would expect for a washing up liquid but the colour is light / off white instead of the usual green. Personally I find the colour a little bit off putting.
It has a flip top lid and is easy to dispense.
It is fairly thick in consistency but you do need an awful lot before you get any decent bubbles with this liquid I find and it takes a lot of swishing about for it to lather up well - it actually seems to be quite a weak solution.
In my opinion, it is not as good as Fairy Liquid, by any means. It does not remove grease and grime or baked on food from pots and pans with any real efficiency and even after soaking dishes for a long time it is still very hard to remove food debris afterwards.
It is also surprisingly quite harsh on the skin and I find it very drying, so rubber gloves are a necessity for me when using this product.
The smell is also not pleasant and I find it has a strange almost sulpher-like smell to it that is difficult to explain.
It seems to be weak and watery and although I bought it originally for ethical reasons, and I have had the same brand washing powder which I have used with some degreee of success, I would not recommend this product unless I was pretty desperate, which is a real shame as I was hoping for great things.
Review also posted on Ciao as sorehead
My housemate bought this washing up liquid and told me that I had to use it forever more as it is better for the environment.
Ecover use chemicals naturally occuring in plants instead of factory made chemicals, when this goes down the drain back into the rivers it is less harmful to the wildlife.
This washing up liquid does not make any bubbles, so its hard to see when your water is getting dirty. I find it works well if your washing up small amounts like after breakfast, but if you want to wash up after a heavy duty cook like a roast dinner then it doesnt really do the job properley. Also there isnt really a nice smell, its quite mild and after a few plates the smell tends to fade altogether.
The bottle is quite sturdy looking with a plain logo and see through bottle. It also has a list of the ingredients and more information on how their product is environmentally friendly. Its not too expensive to buy, its cheaper than a lot of branded products.
So we reached a compromise and now we have the ecover and a Sainsburys own brand one for more heavy duty washing up as we dont have a dishwasher.
As someone who works with marine life and has seen the effects of what humans put into the environment on communities I am always keen to use products that have a small impact on the environment. Ecover hits that particular nail on the head. All of the products come in the same, recycled plastic bottles that can then again be recycled. They keep the designs simple and the text is big enough to read on front and back so you can get all the information about the product you need.
The idea of this washing up liquid is that it hasn't been made using any petrochemicals or other chemicals that don't degrade in the environment, or even worse cause aquatic life to change sex and disrupt populations. This product is produced using biodegradable, natural ingredients and plant extracts, so that it doesn't do all of that bad stuff to the environment and doesn't leave nasty residues on your plates that you then ingest.
In terms of its effectiveness I think it's as good as the other washing up liquids I have used. It smells nice (all of the different fragrances) and you only need a small squirt in the water to get lovely bubbles. It cleans all of my dishes well and although I've read one review on here that someone has had trouble with it cleaning fat and oil from their dishes, I've never had that problem. in fact I take great effort not to put any fat or oil down my drain and use a fat catcher so that I've got the bulk of the oil off before I start to wash the pans.
I also think that Ecover is affordable just over £2 for 1 litre bottle, that lasts for a month for us. It's also readily available in most big supermarkets, so why not change what you use and go for a greener choice!
As many of you may have realised, being environmentally friendly with what I buy is something I aim at. It doesn't mean I'm fanatical about it, but I do my best to think before I purchase at least. Ecover Washing Up Liquid was one of the first environmentally friendly washing up liquids to appear on supermarket shelves in the UK. For me, moving from using non-environmentally friendly washing up liquid to Ecover was one of the first environmentally friendly things I did... it happened around the same time as I changed over to using energy saving lightbulbs.
I have to say, that for me when I first started using this product I would rave about how good it was. At the time, it wasn't that it was any better than other washing up liquids, more that it was 'as good as' the rest of them in how well it worked to clean things, but friendlier, greener, better. It was a way of standing up and saying hey look at me, I'm trying to do my bit for the planet.
As time moved on, and my knowledge of 'being green' grew, the number of products available on the shelves also grew, and one or two other 'green' versions of washing up liquid began to appear on the supermarket shelves too. I have to say I tried most of them - well most of those which really were green rather than pretending to be anyway. Each time, I'd find myself going back to Ecover thinking hmmm well, the Ecover's still better.
So what is it about Ecover which is good? - Well quite simply it does a good job of cleaning my dishes. A small amount cleans quite a lot of dishes, and although I'd say that it may not be as good in terms of how many dishes it will clean as say Fairy (not environmentally friendly) or Earth Friendly Dishmate (environmentally friendly), it is better for the environment than the first, and easier to get hold of than the second.
It comes in a standard bottle - plastic, semi translucent, with details on it of ingredients, 'Ecover' in big lettering, and a lid which opens so you can squirt the liquid out into the water easily. The bottle is not only recyclable, but is also made from recycled plastic which is good, and is quite sturdy - more so than some other washing up liquid bottles in fact. The reason it's built sturdily is that if you're lucky you'll have a shop near to you where you can get the bottle re-filled instead of having to buy a new one and recycle the old one. Sadly I'm not any more as my local store that did this closed down through lack of use early last year.
It comes in a couple of different smells - Camomile and Marigold, or Lemon and Aloe Vera, or Grapefruit and Green Tea. I have to own up I've only ever tried the Camomile and Marigold version.
So why buy this instead of Fairy if Fairy goes further? Well it's to do with what the stuff does to the planet. Petrochemicals are used in making most washing up liquids, as are a number of other chemicals which aren't good for plant, marine or animal life, and Ecover clearly state on their product that this doesn't contain any petrochemicals, and that no chemical residue will be left on your plates etc. when you use it.
Now I don't know about you, but I'd never really thought about what residue is left on my dishes by my washing up liquid until someone pointed it out to me (which I'm hopefully doing now for you of course), the thing is, I don't really want to be ingesting chemicals that are harmful to animal life as that presumably means they can't be particularly good for me either! I'd much rather use something that isn't going to do me any harm at all, and this is where the Ecover comes in handy again... it's harmless! It's biodegradable (there is a difference between 'degradable' and 'biodegradable' - look it up!), it has minimal effect on marine life etc. too.
Cost wise, its pretty good. You can buy this in a wide range of sizes. 500ml @ £1.23, 1 litre @ £2.03 (these are pretty standard sizes you'll find most washing up liquid coming in), 5 litre @ £9.86, and 15 litre refill box @ £28.60. So, if you want to make the biggest savings, buy the 15 litre refill from somewhere online such as big green smile as this works out cheapest (the prices quoted are from Big Green Smile, but they're similar from other places).
I suppose, these days, if I'm honest, I prefer to buy Earth Friendly Dishmate - I like the scent better, it's just as environmentally friendly and I personally think it works a bit better. However, I have to buy it online as I haven't found any supermarkets or other stores locally who sell it. If I have to buy my washing up liquid in a shop, then I will choose Ecover. It's the easiest environmentally friendly option to find and it does work plenty well enough. I don't need to worry about rinsing everything over and over there's not residue left, it cleans well and I'm not putting nasty stuff down my drain or into me. Overall I'd say it compares well cost wise to most of the big brands that it's competing with, and it's just as good as most of them too.
I'm divided in my opinion on this product and wish that I wasn't!
I love the fact that it is so eco-friendly; has not been tested on animals, the packaging is 100% recyclable, plus it's refillable, uses plant based ingredients and smells pleasant.
On the few occasions my hubby does the washing up I don't have to worry about his aversion to rinsing anything, so it's great for those people who don't fancy rinsing stuff, although I tend to do this even with Ecocover.
I like the fact the bottle is refillable and can be refilled up to 50 times before it needs to be replaced, which cuts down on the energy used in recycling plastics.
I buy Ecover washing up liquid in 5 litre containers and refill my own bottles at home, though you can get your bottle refilled at some health food stores.
The smell is quite mild, which I guess should be expected as it uses plant based ingredients, it's not overwhelming like some washing liquids.
I've found that this washing up liquid does struggle with very greasy items and on these occasions I've had to wash some items twice in clean water, so I do find that it doesn't last quite as long as some of the other leading brands.
If a great smelling washing up liquid is one of your top requirements it may not be for you. I would prefer a stronger smelling liquid myself but then again that is just my personal taste
I still feel the pros do outweigh the cons, it's just a shame the product doesn't quite have the same shifting power on very greasy items that some of other leading brands have but if being kinder to the environment and my family means having to wash a few dishes twice I feel that it's worth it.
I would like to like 'Ecover' brand cleaning products, as they're marketed as being more friendly to the environment: their primary cleaning constituents are largely plant-based, and the y don't cause excessive damage to watercourses etc. after they've gone down the drain, and are safe if you have a septic tank, and so on. The packaging has a simple design and is biodegradable / recyclable, and the various liquids are transparent too - as a sort badge of their lack of additives, I suppose. There are also various schemes mostly operated by independent health food shops where you can refill your existing containers with fresh Ecover-brand soaps - thus reducing packaging even further.
The products are also available in supermarkets such as Tesco too, which is where I bought my Ecover washing up liquid - intended of course for (hand) washing of dirty dishes. I can't remember exactly what I paid for the bottle of Ecover I last bought as it was some time ago (although we're still using it, for reasons outlined below), but a search of 'mysupermarket.com tells me that a one litre bottle currently costs £2.25 from Tesco. Who buys washing up liquid in litre-sized bottles, though, I'd like to know? Personally I always go for the 500ml easy-to-tip-up-with-one-hand version, and I'd estimate that you should expect to pay between £1.30 and £1.50 for a bottle that size.
Unfortunately, given that I've said I'd like to like these products, I found the washing up liquid pretty ineffective. It didn't remove grease at all well when diluted in water, which meant I had to use a lot of it, effectively neat, in order to get oily residues off my plates, cutlery etc.
We have a family possible idiosyncrasy (in that I don't know if other people do this) of keeping a pot of semi-diluted washing up liquid (about a big squirt of the liquid in a mug of water) with a sponge in by the sink, which we use for one-off washing of stray teaspoons, plates etc, in between 'bigger' washings of dishes after meals. When I was very young, based on the notion that 'it's all the same stuff really' I remember that sometimes my mother used to put laundry soap - a bit of Daz and so on - in the pot and use that to wash the dishes, and I distinctly recall that even that grainy Daz-liquid, being used for a purpose for which it was never intended, was better for washing dishes than Ecover currently is.
I gave up using Ecover washing up liquid after less than a week, and switched back to a 'conventional' brand, stashing the barely used bottle of Ecover in the cupboard under the sink. This produced the happy - if unintentional - result that now we never run out of washing up liquid at our house, as if the bottle we use every day gets finished and we have no replacement, I always can use a bit of the already-open bottle of Ecover that we have stored away. This is so useless for washing dishes, though, that it never comes into prolonged use so we never use it up - and Ecover being so bad also has the advantage that it acts as a reminder whenever anyone goes to the shops that we need to buy more 'proper' washing up liquid.
When our Ecover under the sink finally runs out - as it will undoubtedly do, some far-distant day in the future, possibly many years hence, given the rate at which we use this stuff (or possibly it might just evaporate before that), I will probably buy a fresh bottle of it to keep under the sink, for exactly the reasons outlined above. So its ineffectiveness is in one sense, even a definite advantage!