I Tried This New Line of Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Inspired by Australia — Here are My Thoughts

published Aug 3, 2022
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Credit: Koala Eco

There’s no shortage of cleaning products out there. With all of them vying for a spot in your home, it can be overwhelming to know what’s right for you and your needs. But when you do discover one that makes a difference in the way you clean or how well you do it, it can be such a game-changer. Whenever a new cleaning product hits the market, I am always curious to see how it’ll fare. I’m a big fan of ones that can not only get my home really clean but also make it smell really good too. 

Enter Koala Eco, a new home essentials brand with non-toxic, eco-friendly products that bring the scents of Australia into your home through essential oils from down under. The company was founded five years ago by married couple Jessica Bragdon and Paul Davidson, and recently expanded to the U.S.

The company sent over a package of their non-toxic products for me to sample. This included: the Lemon Scented Eucalyptus and Rosemary Hand Wash, Lemon Myrtle and Mandarin Dish Soap, Lemon Myrtle and Mandarin Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Mandarin and Peppermint Natural Floor Cleaner, and Mandarin Fruit and Vegetable Wash — all 24-ounce bottles — and an Agave and Hemp Scrubbing Brush.

I’ve spent a few weeks using them now, and here’s what I thought and how it went.

Credit: Stephanie Nguyen

The packaging is recyclable.

The entire set arrived at my door in a compostable box — so everything from the bottles inside to the package it arrived in is recyclable. Luckily, I have a compost bin, so I was able to tear up the box and packaging and put all the pieces in it. 

When I first opened the box, I noticed that there was some minor spillage, but nothing too crazy. The bottles, which feature artwork of the essential oils found in each product, were designed and drawn by a Canadian-based artist, shares Adrienne Bragdon, Jessica’s sister and the company’s managing director.

When I used the multi-purpose cleaner, I kept holding it at the very top, which unfortunately broke the top off after several uses. That’s my own fault, but I continued to use the spray by pouring it out onto the surface I intended to clean instead of spraying it. 

Credit: Stephanie Nguyen

They all smell really good

Truly, I was surprised at how much I loved the scent of every single product. I’m not a fan of any overpowering scents, and none of these were an issue. My personal favorite was the hand soap. It features eucalyptus and rosemary, which are both strong scents, but complementary. The lather is nice and the lingering eucalyptus scent is refreshing and light. My husband, who despises rosemary in almost every form, actually really liked the hand soap. I was shocked. 

After having a few friends over for dinner one night, I decided to clean up while they were unwinding over board games. After spraying and wiping down the counters with the multi-purpose cleaner, I saw heads turn over with delighted faces to ask, “What’s that smell?” That’s a good sign. 

It turns out that there’s not only science behind every selection of essential oils and ingredients used in the products, but a psychological reason too. Each combination is carefully considered, shares Adrienne, and “creating an incredible sensorial experience” was key. It makes sense that this would be important to Adrienne and Jessica since they are also psychologists. Certain oils are great for cleaning properties, shares Adrienne. For instance, peppermint is a known bug repellent. She says that peppermint is great to use in the bathroom and mandarin in the kitchen.

In fact, mandarin is the main essential oil in many products, from the floor cleaner to the fruit and vegetable wash. “Mandarin is known for lifting your spirits,” says Adrienne, noting that these are all “happy oils.” Lemon myrtle is another common one.

Credit: Koala Eco

Does it work?

After using the cleaners around my home, I can confirm that they do work. The dish soap did separate, so it requires a shake or two from time to time. The hand soap was a big hit in my household, along with the multi-purpose cleaner that I used on my kitchen and bathroom counters. The line of eco-friendly products is safe, natural, and effective at cleaning. It’s independently lab tested and “proven to kill 99.99 percent of germs, bacteria, and viruses,” according to the Koala Eco website. Each product was specifically designed to be used around children and pets. A key thing to note is that there are no synthetic fragrances or dyes used. 

I was hesitant to use the fruit and vegetable wash, especially since I normally rinse and soak my produce in water only, but what put my mind at rest was knowing that these products are made from 100 percent natural, plant-derived ingredients.

Credit: Koala Eco

Would I purchase them?

I have a few tried-and-true favorite cleaners of my own already — but the hand soap was a definite standout that I would happily purchase again and again. My husband is rarely as excited as I am about cleaning products, so that’s a major plus too.

Koala Eco will soon have five more product offerings for the U.S., which include a linen spray, laundry wash, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, pillow spray, and a hand and surface spray, so I’m intrigued to see its growth here.