Coming Clean with The Australian Eucalyptus Oil Company

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

If cleanliness is next to godliness then take that as a clear instruction that going green is best for all creatures great and small. Words by John Caruso.

I’m not sure what it’s like at your place, however cleaning days at ours used to see the two principal participants decked out in gear that looks more suited to characters on the set of CSI Miami; you know the ones, the experts leaning studiously over the deceased within the fresh chalk outline.

Think about this for a moment.

When you spray your windows, countertops, and bathrooms with a conventional cleaning product, you might think you’re getting rid of dirt and germs, but you could also be releasing a cloud of harmful chemicals into the air.

A study published in the journal Chemosphere revealed that many household cleaning products contain hundreds of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that can pollute the indoor air for months. These VOCs can cause serious health problems such as breathing difficulties, cancer, and reproductive harm.

Another peer-reviewed study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit activist organisation, also reported alarming results when researchers tested 28 glass and multipurpose cleaning products and two air freshener products and found 530 different VOCs in the products – of which 193 were classified as toxic and some of the products had more than 20 toxic VOCs each.

In addition to the head-swirling effect household cleaning products have on the health of our family members and pets, consider also the damage done to our precious environment when the chemicals end up in our waterways. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and ammonia, are the worst environmental hazards in household cleaners and they’re not usually removed by waste treatment processes. Instead, they enter the waterways and build up, causing an accelerated growth of some types of plant life which can lead to dense vegetation that clogs waterways, crowding out animal life and other marine plants.

In Australia, studies have shown that water treatment processes are insufficient to deal with the influx of chemical cocktails, especially ones that last a long time and can include plasticisers, surfactants, antibacterial agents, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, phosphates, and fragrances. These chemicals accumulate in aquatic sediments, become toxic to microbes and animals, damage the microbial communities in ecosystems and hinder biological water treatment processes.

The good news is that you can avoid dressing in head-to-toe PPE, be a good friend to our waterways and to the environment in general, and still keep your home or workplace clean and fresh by choosing clean, green cleaners.

The studies evaluated products that were labelled “green”, meaning that they were advertised as healthier, non-toxic, or free from harmful chemicals, and the conclusion was that these green products had much lower levels of VOCs than conventional products.

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that one of the best sources of natural cleaning power is eucalyptus oil, which has been used for centuries by Indigenous Australians for its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s this oil that forms the main ingredient in the products from The Australian Eucalyptus Oil Company, a family-owned business started by Anne McKean in Bendigo in 1895.

Five generations later, sales of cleaner, greener products are booming via their original shop in Bendigo, the newly opened retail outlet in Noosa Junction, and online.

The Eucalyptus Glass Cleaner is a streak-free cleaner that removes dirt, grease, and fingerprints from glass surfaces and the refreshing eucalyptus scent also helps repel insects.

Their Stainless-Steel Cleaner, cleans and protects surfaces from rust and corrosion and the Clove & Eucalyptus Mould Spray will have you squirting with glee, eliminating (not just disguising) mould and mildew.

The Australian Eucalyptus Oil Company’s Lemon Myrtle Dishwashing Powder will mean no more toxic steam facials when you open the newly-finished dishwashing cycle!

Going green with more nature-based products can also save us money and reduce waste.

Don’t you reckon we all have an obligation, not just to ourselves, but to our children, pets and to Mother Nature, to exercise more awareness when considering cleaning products?

Ditch the toxic chemicals and CSI scenes and embrace the power to make a positive difference for our planet and our wellbeing.

About the Author /

After 30 years in radio, John now runs the Conversations IN Noosa podcast and in between being our writer, sanity checker, accounts manager, event MC, and delivery boy; he spends time with his first love, recording a daily Drive program for regional radio from home (often in his pyjamas); and presenting Saturday mornings on Hot 91.1. He has previously worked for FoxFM Melbourne, Triple M Brisbane and SeaFM, as well as managing and presenting on ABC Sunshine Coast.

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