At the risk of sounding like a woman written by a man in the 1950s: I love to clean. It’s one of my favourite things to do, and it’s one of my most redeeming qualities as a roommate. I clean when I’m stressed, when I’m anxious, and when I have a lot of other, non-cleaning things to do (I’m a very productive procrastinator).

Every Saturday, I pop in my earbuds, press play on a true crime podcast and clean for hours. It’s pure, murder-y bliss. It seems innocent, sure, until you factor in the chemicals I’m flushing down the drain and all the disposable plastic I’m using.

I’ve tried making my own all-purpose cleaner. Google it and you’ll find lots of recipes, nearly all of them containing white vinegar. White vinegar is awesome for cleaning because the acetic acid in it dissolves grime. It’s also cheap and readily available. The downside? It smells like€”you guessed it€”white vinegar. And no matter how tidy your home is, or how many drops of essential oils you try and add to the mix, everything still ends up smelling like a fish and chip stand.

So when Saje offered up some of their new home cleaning products to try, I was game. I already use the brand’s skincare products daily, and I knew that there was no way the plant-based products were going to smell like vinegar.

I tested out the all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner and glass and window cleaner (all officially launch on March 25, 2022). The formulas all worked great and smelled good, but what really set them apart is the packaging. Saje’s “cleaning kits” contain both a glass spray bottle and a smaller glass bottle full of concentrated liquid. Instructions state to pour the contents of the smaller bottle into the spray bottle, then fill it up with water up to the shoulder.

After that, you can reuse or recycle the smaller bottle€”and once the spray bottle is empty, you don’t need to buy another one. Basically, the company is limiting waste by making it so you don’t need to buy (and dispose of) a spray bottle each time. The amber bottles are very pretty and have a non-slip silicon base, which is ideal for something that’s likely to get knocked off the edge of a bathtub every once in a while.

So, upsides: The bottles are pretty, the system is a no-brainer, everything is recyclable and it all smells (and works) awesome. The scents available are as follows: the multi-purpose cleaner in eucalyptus & black spruce and lemon & grapefruit, the bathroom cleaner in tea tree & lemon, and the glass and mirror cleaner in grapefruit and palmarosa.

Downsides: As with anything that’s mindfully made, it’s not cheap€”$24 for the cleaning kit (that’s the spray bottle plus one bottle of cleaning concentrate) and $14 for each bottle of cleaning concentrate after that. So yes, it’s more expensive than vinegar, and also more than a drugstore cleaner. But hey, that’s the price you pay for the planet (and for aesthetic-looking cleaner).

And here’s a tip: as I mentioned before, the instructions state to put the cleaning concentrate in first, then the water, but when you’re filling from the faucet it foams up a lot, like you’re pouring prosecco – so I suggest putting in the water first. 

I think these cleaning kits would make an excellent housewarming gift€”they’re super useful, they’ll last a long time, and you don’t really have to factor in the personal style of the receiver. Everybody cleans.

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