Product Review: iQ: The Smarter Cleaner


For the last couple of months I’ve been trying out iQ eco-friendly cleaner. It calls itself the “Smarter Cleaner” because it is 100% nontoxic and claims to be environmentally friendly. I was able to try out two of their cleaners: the Nectarine Bathroom Cleaner and the Green Tea All-Purpose Cleaner.
Aside from being nontoxic, iQ cleaners say they are environmentally friendly because they reduce the number of plastic bottles people use. Most cleaners are 95% water and 5% cleaning solution, so iQ skips the water part and just gives you the cleaner through a recyclable cartridge that you insert into a specially made bottle. Then you add the water yourself from the tap.
The idea here is that when you run out of cleaner, you just insert a new cartridge into the bottle, thus reusing it. (The old cartridge can be tossed into the recycling bin.) On top of that, the company doesn’t have to make as many plastic bottles or ship bottles of water all over the place. From the press release:
“It takes an astounding gallon of crude oil to make just 29 bottles of household cleaner and even more to transport it across the continent. … We created iQ to combat the excessive waste and cost of traditional cleaners, designing something that is easy to use, easy on our planet and less expensive than conventional cleaners.”
That sounds great, but does the cleaner work? I’m happy to say yes. In fact, I really liked iQ. It seemed capable of cleaning just as well as my homemade cleaner and other all-purpose cleaners—even when cleaning the toilet.
This is especially impressive since this product is 100% nontoxic. In fact, the cleaner goes so far as to call itself “child resistant,” which is the first time I have seen that label on a bottle of cleaner.
Also (and this is the important part): this product smells good. I was particularly enamored with the Nectarine fragrance, which does indeed have a nice fruit-like smell to it. The Green Tea was less exciting—it smelled like a traditional cleaner to me–but it was still nice and mild. I am curious to try their other fragrances, Bamboo Berry and Plum.
As for cost, the initial bottle and cartridge, or “starter kit” as they call it, is around $4. After that, the cartridges are around $1.99 each. Since most bottles of cleaner range from $3-$5, if you stuck with iQ, you would be paying less for a superior product. That’s a pretty good deal.
That said, my homemade cleaner costs less than $.25 a bottle. That’s hard for any company to beat. And while iQ’s environmental claims make sense, they are still using plastic, which is less than ideal. Homemade cleaners have all the same environmental benefits, and then some.
Of course, I am the first to admit that my homemade cleaner doesn’t smell as good as iQ cleaners do. Also some people simply don’t have the time or inclination to make their own cleaners. If that’s the case, iQ might be a good option for you. You can learn more about the company, and where to buy it, here.
So let’s sum up iQ: The Smart Cleaner:
Pros:

    Works Great
    Smells Great
    Reasonably Priced
    Nontoxic
    Reduces Plastic Use
    Less Overall Environmental Impact


Cons:

    Still Uses Plastic
    Not As Cheap As Homemade Cleaner

Seems pretty clear cut to me!
If you have used this product, what did you think?

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4 thoughts on “Product Review: iQ: The Smarter Cleaner”

  1. Cathy, it did pretty well on grease. It works about as well as most all-purpose cleaners where it can handle most cleaning, but for things like a lot of grease or dirt, you may need something harder core.

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  2. Hmmm…haven’t tried this one, but recently started using Shaklee Basic H2 and love that. It’s environmentally friendly and one 16 oz bottle makes the equivalent of 48 gallons of cleaner. You can mix it a little more concentrated for use as a degreaser, or less concentrated to use as window cleaner. I don’t sell Shaklee but now love this (switched from Method cleaner which we liked but it cost more).

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