Last year I did a Q&A with Dr Raj Lalloo at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) who told us all about OptimusBio. OptimusBio provides biodegradable biologically active products and solutions to improve efficiency and sustainability in waste water treatment plants, industries and agriculture, as well as in your own home. To read more about OptimusBio head on over to our Q&A blog with Dr Lalloo.
Following our Q&A, Dr Lalloo kindly sent me a box of exciting household cleaning and home care products made by OptimusBio to try out!
Optimus Pure is the household cleaning product range. Dr Lalloo sent me a Multitask Cleaner, Super Clean (a biological degreaser for heavy duty cleaning), Floor Cleaner, Dishwashing Liquid, Fabric and Room Freshener, as well as concentrates for the Multitask Cleaner, Super Clean and Floor Cleaner.
I particularly liked the Multi Task Cleaner because it was a light consistency, and not too soapy (i.e. no strong ammonia), which makes it great for cleaning up counters and the stove top after dinner prep. It doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue and smells really nice, not overpowering, just light and fresh.
The floor cleaner works like a bomb and leaves our floors sparkly and clean. My only criticism is that when mopping the kitchen floor it made the most sense for me to pour ~20ml into a bucket of water so that I could use a bucket and mop rather than spraying the floor. So it might be easier for mopping if the Floor Cleaner also came in a pouring/squeezy bottle. Although, I found the spray bottle useful for little spills or small kitchen floor clean-ups.
Our bottle of Super Clean is still going, it’s lasted us over 6 months, which is great. We mostly use the Super Clean for the oven and it works fairly well. Getting off some of those old burnt-in spills takes a fair bit of scrubbing but that has been my experience with most oven cleaners. This one smells great and doesn’t leave you with burning eyes and throat after you spray it into the oven. The chemicals in some of the more common oven cleaner brands terrify me and just about burn your fingers off, so it’s really great to use an oven cleaner without all those harmful chemicals. I found the Super Clean spray worked best when I sprayed the oven and then left it for ~30min to do its work and then came back and wiped down the oven and scrubbed the burnt bits out.
The fantastic thing about the spray cleaners are the concentrates. It’s so convenient to have the concentrate bottles at home, so that when you run out of a cleaner you can just mix up a new batch using the concentrate and you’re set. As you have to order the OptimusBio products online (or collect them from the CSIR), the concentrate is a great little back up if you haven’t yet placed your next online order.
The OptimusBio Dishwashing Liquid worked well too. You do need to put in a good few squirts to get a nice foaminess in the sink but this is because it doesn’t contain all the harsh chemical foaming agents that most household brands contain. The most tell-tale sign of having no harsh foaming agents is that the skin on my hands wasn’t super dry after washing the dishes. If you’re doing dishes every day then you’ll know what I’m referring to. It’s so nice not to have dry, tight skin after doing the dishes and that is a big win in my book.
The last Optimus Pure product I tested out was the Fabric and Room Freshener which smells lovely. It’s subtle and much nicer than most overpowering aerosols. It works very well in terms of covering odours that most people are desperate to avoid (especially when you’re not in your own home!) and it also dissipates quickly so you don’t have a sickly floral smell hanging around your passage hours after someone has used your bathroom.
Optimus Care is the personal/home hygiene product range. Dr Lalloo sent me the Bath & Shower gel, which I have to say was my favourite product out of all of them! It smells amazing, not too floral or masculine just fresh, which is therefore great for the whole family. It’s a good consistency, foams really well and one bottle lasts for ages. I have extremely dry skin and this is the only product I’ve used that hasn’t left my skin feeling tight, dry and uncomfortable. It’s so gentle on your whole body and I am definitely never going back to any other product! The Bath & Shower gel comes in aqua and floral scents so you have two options to choose from and they sell the Bath & Shower gel in 1ℓ refills, which means it lasts even longer. Although, it would be great to find a way to be able to refill one’s existing bottles so that you can cut back on plastic waste.
Last but not least we have the Optimus Eco range, which is largely for blocked drains, septic tanks and toilet systems. Dr Lalloo sent me the Drain Granules and Cistern Block to try out. I can’t say I’m an expert when it comes to cistern blocks, we have never really used them in our home. But I popped it into the cistern and it lasted for ages. It also keeps the toilet smelling better than it normally does and masks any unsightly toilet bowl stains. When I visited my sister in Cape Town during the drought she was using cistern blocks regularly, due to not being able to flush the toilet as often, and I think that is where these are most useful.
We live in an old building and every now and then our shower stops draining as well as it should. I was able to test out the Drain Granules on our shower drain. I placed one scoop into the drain and left it overnight. It seemed to do the trick and get our shower drain back to normal!
Optimus Bio has also recently been recognised as a Global Green Tag product, which means that their products have been tested and certified as authentically green and eco-friendly. This is something that we should be encouraging all local environmentally friendly producers to undertake because it helps producers prove that their products are as good as they say they are and it helps consumers know that the earth friendly products and businesses that they are supporting are really doing what they say they are. We will be exploring this further this year and will try to get an interview with Global Green Tag, so that we and our readers can understand a bit more about what they do.
Well there you have it, those are all the products I tested out and what else can I say, except that they are great! It’s awesome to support a local business (especially one that evolved out of scientific research) that really cares about producing earth friendly products that don’t hinder but help the environment! We can’t wait to see what else OptimusBio has up their sleeve… speaking of sleeves we’d love to see a laundry detergent on their shelves in the future hint hint.
You can buy OptimusBio Pure, Care and Eco products from their website www.optimusbio.co.za. They have free shipping for orders over R300, so if you’ve been looking for a new earth friendly product range to try or you’ve been wanting to switch to earth friendly home products now is your chance!