Saturday, 15 September 2012

Review - Zoflora concentrated disinfectant

Anyone who knows me - I mean really knows me, in real life and stuff - knows that I'm rather house-proud.  Pre-children I would always spend one day each weekend washing, scrubbing, dusting, hoovering, disinfecting, get the idea.  I always wanted my home to have a 'show home' quality to it, an ideal that would infuriate my husband from time-to-time.

Since children entered our lives, I've found it much more difficult to keep the house clean and tidy to such a high standard, but I try my best and still strive for that 'show home' feel, especially when I know friends or family are visiting.  So when the offer to review a type of "3 in 1 action" concentrated disinfectant that claims to be "the only disinfectant range that kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, eliminates odours and has a range of twelve fabulous long lasting fragrances", I thought 'why not?'

Zoflora, as a disinfectant range, has been cleaning British homes for over 90 years.  It has a range of products including concentrated disinfectants.  Over the summer, they introduced two new fragrances to their range, Country Garden and Summer Bouquet, which were inspired by the nation's supposed love for garden fragrances (according to a One Poll conducted on behalf of Zoflora, freshly cut grass and flowers are the most loved smells by us Brits).  It was these two scents I was sent to review.

When they arrived in the post I was surprised to see how small the product was.  The glass bottles measured approximately 12cm in height and roughly 5.5cm in width at its widest point (its base).  They each contained 56ml of scented, concentrated disinfectant (which I was told when I accepted the offer of a review).  Judging by the size of the bottles, I wasn't sure how far the disinfectant would stretch.  However, its instructions state that for most surfaces it should be diluted (1 part Zoflora to 40 parts water) to make full strength disinfectant which is safe for both people and their pets.  It can be used neat but that's only for ceramic and metal sinks, drains and toilet bowls.

Neither of the products came with a printed set of instructions; the information you see on the box is all you get, but is all you really need as long as you read it all.  The text on the box is small though so, if you haven't got perfect 20:20 vision, make sure you've got your glasses on or contact lenses in to read it.

I carefully opened the Summer Bouquet bottle so as not to splash any onto my skin and took a sniff.  Would it really remind me of freshly cut flowers?  It was a powerful smell that greeted my nostrils that wouldn't seem out of place as a liquid air freshener. 

These products arrived for me to road-test last month and, with Dexter's christening looming, I thought that would be the perfect time to try out the disinfectant.  Would it help me get the house hygienically clean and smelling summer fresh ready for 30+ guests?

Because of the strength of the disinfectant, I was worried about the children coming into contact with it.  I didn't really want them around while I was using it in case they got some on themselves.  So, at around 5.30am on the day before the christening, I got up to give our tiled floors a once over with Zoflora (you may think a 5.30am start for this sort of thing is a little odd but it's definitely better to do housework when the children are not around, even if does mean getting some of it done at the break of dawn!).

I reached for the rubber gloves, diluted the disinfectant as per the instructions and set to work scrubbing my floors.  I used small amounts of water in the bucket at a time (my formula was three parts Zoflora to 120 parts water) and after about three refills, I had washed and cleaned the kitchen, hallway and bathroom floors.  I stretched my arms and back and breathed in; a strong but pleasant flowery smell wafted up my nostrils.  It smelt like perfume but wasn't too overpowering and yes, it did smell like flowers.

Most of the disinfectant had been used by now (there was around one quarter of it left) so. I tipped it into an empty spray bottle, diluted it accordingly and started giving Dexter's highchair a good old clean.  The white plastic gleamed by the end and again, a mild hint of flowers filled the air around it.

What did I think of it?

Although none of my guests or my husband commented on how clean-smelling the house was (although why would they?), I was confident that my floors were grime-free.  The smell of the disinfectant was potent like you might expect a perfume to be, but it wasn't too overpowering and much better than a typical disinfectant or bleach smell.  I was also surprised by just how far the disinfectant went in terms of cleaning power; I had expected to refill my bucket many more times than I actually had to.

In terms of downsides, I was disappointed to discover that, despite the disinfectant going a long way, I still would need to buy a new 56ml bottle every time I wanted to wash all of my floors.  Having said that though, Zoflora's range of concentrated disinfectants are available in bigger sizes so this isn't really an issue.

The main downfall for me was that the disinfectant was so powerful in its concentrated form that I didn't want my children to go anywhere near it.  Of course, children will make a grab for anything, or want to help you with the housework in any way they can, so it makes using a concentrated disinfectant tricky.  I don't want to be trying to dilute this potent liquid whilst a very young child is grabbing my legs and trying to pull me away to play.

But, that doesn't mean that this disinfectant is bad, it isn't.  It'll just mean that in future, an early morning or late night scrub down of my floors may well become more of a regular habit.

Country Garden and Summer Bouquet are one of 12 fragrances available in the range of Zoflora concentrated disinfectants.  The range is available in variety of sizes (56ml, 120ml, 250ml) from a number of stockists including supermarkets, independent local stores and pharmacies.  Prices may vary according to the size of bottle and the stockist.

Please note: I was sent these Zoflora products for free in return for this review.  My opinions, as always, are 100% honest.

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