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SimplyKlean: Eco-friendly products for the home

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
SimplyKlean products from left: Vin-e-great 22-ounce spray, Vin-e-great one-gallon refill and Scrub-a-dub. - Contributed

Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor

Catherine Alexander-McDaniel recently lunched her new line of home-made eco-cleaning products under the brand name, SimplyKlean. Made from every-day ingredients, they were formulated through trial and error.

And, already, the products are available at Azmart in St Andrew and Fontana Pharmacy in Montego Bay, St James.

After a recent trial of the products, this writer can safely report that they are definitely worth purchasing. The Scrub-A-Dub is excellent for pots, pans, bathroom sinks and countertops because it is not abrasive and very easy on the hands. The all-purpose cleaner makes a great and refreshing addition to water used for cleaning floors or it can be used as a disinfectant.

But just why did Alexander-McDaniel decide to go the route of cleaning products in a market that already seems saturated? The simple answer is that she has become a true believer in 'green' products and would love to convert as many Jamaicans as possible to a healthy way of life. Little wonder, as the entire world seems to be waking up to the reality that it is far better for everyone if our environment is protected.

" I searched the do-it-yourself blogs and websites, and through trial and error came up with the final recipes. I asked friends, neighbours and family to give me their honest opinions. I knew I had it when they came back for more!," she said in response to how she arrived at the formula for SimplyKlean.

And it is all made by one person - herself! She does everything from a large room at her home. But if all projections for the company go as planned, she hopes to be in a space of her own and employ two other persons very soon.

She has encountered challenges with local manufacturing and distribution along the way, but she refused to import any ingredients out of a desire to support Jamaican companies. She revealed, however, that finding the ingredients when you need them can be a task sometimes. "Also, as a new company, many retailers are sceptical of buying from me. You have to start small to reach big," Alexander-McDaniel told Food.

In the near future, the young manufacturer wants Simplyklean to be accessible to everyone, not just the current niche market of healthconscious people. "I realise it will take time to build sales as we have not reached where the United States and European markets are on caring and protecting our environment," she said.

The scrub is very effective, plus the scent of all the SimplyKlean products is very pleasant, Alexander-McDaniel said she managed to incorporate these elements in her green product by using essential oils, a key to scenting the products. And not only giving off a subtle fragrance, they also add to the effectiveness of the cleaner - tea tree oil in the all-purpose (as a mould killer) and lavender oil is currently used in the scrub (as an antibacterial)

Prices of SimplyKlean products will vary according to store markup.

Scrub-a-Dub costs $800-plus for a large 30-ounce container.

Vin-e-great 22-ounce spray costs just over $400.

Vin-e-great one-gallon refill and disinfectant costs a little over $700.

The items can presently be found in the cleaning aisles of Azmart and Fontana Pharmacy. The company is now sourcing new markets as well as trying to establish drop-off points to return packaging for money back.