e-cloth ® General Purpose Cloth Versus Norwex Enviro Cloth Review – Which is Better?

IN A NUTSHELL:

The e-cloth® General Purpose cloth is half the price of the Norwex Enviro cloth but matches it’s performance 100%. The e-cloth ® General Purpose Cloth seems to get into tiny cracks better than the Norwex Enviro cloth but when used damp, the e-cloth ® leaves a bit more moisture behind.

WARNING:

The e-cloth ® General Purpose and the Norwex Enviro cloths are VERSATILE.  They clean a LOT. So go get yourself a cuppa tea or something because this is one doozy of a review.

A NOTE ABOUT “ANTIBAC”

Most Norwex cloths have a silver agent in them that kills bacteria trapped in the cloth and they refer to these cloths as “antibac” . E-cloths ® do not contain silver (but all e-cloths pick up over 99% of bacteria and if you rinse them afterwards, over 99% of the bacteria is removed).

A lot of people are confused by the “antibac” feature and are unclear as to how exactly it works. If you want to know how it works and what it does/does NOT do, take a look at my post on 5 things you should know about Norwex Antibacterial Cloths.

The truth is, if you’re giving your microfiber cloths a good rinse in hot water – with a bit of soap – after each use and laundering them regularly and properly (without bleach or fabric softener), you don’t need the “antibac” feature.

But back to the review…

WHAT AM I REVIEWING & COMPARING?

For this review, I’m going to concentrate on the performance of the Norwex Enviro cloth versus the e-cloth General Purpose cloth so I’ll leave the whole “antibac” feature out of it.

If you’ve spent any time cruising through my blog, you know I’m a HUGE fan of the Norwex Enviro cloth (take a look at my Enviro Cloth review and/or 30 Days of the Enviro Cloth posts). I’ve got two of them that I use to clean absolutely everything in my house. It’s been my “go-to” cleaning cloth for 2 years now. So e-cloth ® had everything to prove.

  • Size-wise, the Norwex Enviro cloth is half an inch wider/taller than the e-cloth general purpose cloth.

    ecloth General Purpose Cloth VS Norwex Enviro Cloth

    e-cloth General Purpose Cloth VS Norwex Enviro Cloth. That’s the e-cloth on top.

  • Feeling-wise, they both have that real grabby-stick-to-your-fingers-quality-microfiber feel but the e-cloth feels a wee bit more “shaggy” than the Enviro cloth. That’s not to say that it feels thicker or more plush. Just a bit shaggier. It’s hard to describe it any other way.
  • Tech-wise, e-cloth microfiber is split to 1/200th the width of a human hair. Norwex microfiber is split to 1/100th the width of a human hair. Update Sept, 2012: Norwex did some testing on their cloths and found them to be cut to 1/200th the width of a hair.
  • Performance-wise, e-cloth has undergone independent scientific testing and has been proven to remove over 99% of bacteria from smooth surfaces.
  • Warranty-wise, e-cloth guarantees all their products for 300 washings (at once a week, that’s about 5 and a half years). Norwex offers a 2 year warranty. Update Sept, 2012: I’ve had several people contact me asking me to help them return/replace Norwex items because their consultant has either quit or is non-responsive. This is a gentle reminder to make sure to hang on to your Norwex receipt.

To compare the e-cloth General Purpose cloth to the Norwex Enviro Cloth, I put them to a series of Kate’s everyday catastrophes and icky messes tests. Note, these are NOT scientific tests. This is just me, a curious mom cleaning things around my house. So let’s get to it.

Test 1 – The Butter Test

My window before the ecloth vs norwex butter test

My window before the e-cloth versus Norwex butter test

If you’re familiar with Norwex, you’ll know that the consultants are obsessed with showing you how well the Enviro cloth will clean butter off your windows and mirrors (just do a search on youtube to see an infinite number of videos!). Obviously no one in their right mind is going to smear butter on their window or mirror. BUT, it is a great way to show you how well, quickly and easily good microfiber can clean grease.

butter on my window for the ecloth vs norwex butter test

Butter on my window for the e-cloth versus Norwex butter test

Sorry folks, no video here, but a few pictures to show that I did actually do it.

My window after the ecloth vs norwex butter test

My window after the e-cloth versus Norwex butter test

Results of the Butter Testthe Enviro cloth took an extra swipe but the e-cloth left the window a bit more damp. I used both cloths wet and completely removed the butter with 3 swipes of the e-cloth (right side) and 4 swipes of the Enviro cloth (left side). By “completely removed”, I mean the window squeaked when I ran my finger down it. Both cloths left the window a bit damp afterwards so I dried/polished it with a window cloth afterwards to get rid of the little microfiber wet marks.

Test 2 – Dusting

This is one I really should have gotten video for because you simply would not believe the dust in my house. Have I mentioned that I live in a 140 year old stone house? Perhaps the ducts have been cleaned in the past but certainly NOT since we moved in 11 year ago and began renovating. Not to mention the dogs. And the very recent dry-walling.

I love mornings. Wait, let me clarify that. I love mornings everywhere except any room in our house where the sun shines. That low angle light shows the dust like no other light. And it’s FLOATING in the air. I really need to capture this so you can see it. Are you beginning to understand? My house is D-U-S-T-Y, dusty!

Dusting in my house is one cleaning task that I get a lot of satisfaction from. I mean, if you HAVE to clean something, you want to see results, right? It’s like raking leaves in the fall. It’s a lot more satisfying if you’ve got a huge maple tree in your yard than if you’ve got a tiny birch tree and some evergreens.

My house is so dusty you can SEE the results. And if the sun is shining through the window in the morning, you can see whether your duster is actually grabbing the dust or just moving it off the surface and letting it fall elsewhere.

dusty end table - cleans up easily with eclothHere’s a “nice” shot of our end table. You can clearly see where 2 cd’s had been sitting (please don’t judge me here. I took this picture during a week of drywall sanding in the next room).

Results of the Dusting Test – Me being me, I neglected to take an “after” picture. You’ll have to trust me when I say that both the e-cloth General Purpose cloth and the Norwex Enviro cloth did a great job. You could see the dust in the cloths and if any dropped to the floor instead of being picked up, I didn’t see it.

Just a side note. I’ve always heard that if you’re going to dust your stereo, you should turn it off 15 minutes beforehand otherwise the electrical static charge won’t let your duster pick up the dust. I can now verify that this is true. After dusting the table, I dusted the top of our stereo (while it was on – everyone needs some cleanin’ tunes, right?). Here’s a transcript of my thoughts:

“what the bleep? my cloth isn’t working. Why is the dust just spreading around? This is weird. Oh this SUCKS! Bleep, bleep, bleep. Oh bleep, I forgot about the whole electricity thing. Stupid bleeping me.”

Get it? Turn your stereo off 15 minutes before you dust it!

Test 3 – The Kitchen Sink

Since we got rid of our cleaning lady 3 years ago (because I’m staying home with kids and presumably have time to clean ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!) and I made the switch to microfiber from sprays and chemicals, I’ve made it a habit to clean my kitchen sink and counter every day. Maybe this seems like a chore to you, but really, it just means wiping. (This alone should make you consider switching to e-cloth from your traditional cleansers. It’s really THAT easy). If you’re using HIGH QUALITY microfiber like e-cloth or Norwex, you can just wipe your sink/counter to clean up any grease, food, liquids, etc. and rest assured that you’ve removed any bacteria.

ecloth vs norwex for kitchen sink cleaning

The e-cloth gets into the circular crack around the drain better than the Norwex Enviro Cloth.

Results of the Kitchen Sink Test - Obviously I can’t “see” the bacteria in my sink. But I can see the stains (thanks to the multiple tea bags I drop in there daily) and grease and I can feel the grime. Both the e-cloth General Purpose cloth and the Norwex Enviro cloth clean my sink really well. One thing I noticed is that the e-cloth gets into that crack/circle around the drain and the crack/seam around my sink where it meets the counter (it’s not an undermounted sink) better than the Enviro cloth. I’m thinking perhaps because it’s just that wee bit more shaggy.  Both cloths leave the sink slightly damp (the e-cloth a bit more so) so if a streak-free sparkling sink/faucet is important to you, you’ll want to give them a quick wipe with a window/polishing cloth afterwards.

Test 4 – Spills

Does anyone else out there have a child that pours his full glass of milk onto the table just to watch it pour? Please say yes. Trust me when I say THAT is when you want one of these cloths around. Both the e-cloth General Purpose cloth and the Norwex Enviro cloth claim to sop up 7 times their weight in liquids and after months/years of putting them to the test (0n an almost daily basis – can you hear me sigh?), I believe them.

Tests 5 to Infinity

Listen, I could go on and on and on here. Truthfully, I use both the e-cloth General Purpose cloth and the Norwex Enviro cloth throughout my house on a daily basis. I really don’t know how I ever lived without them. I use them:

  • for almost every mess in the house as well as for all my standard cleaning tasks
  • for bathroom cleaning
  • to clean outdoor furniture
  • for window cleaning

    ecloth vs norwex for window cleaning

    The e-cloth General Purpose cloth and Norwex Enviro cloth are both VERY good at cleaning goopy messes – paint included – from windows.

  • for wiping messy baby/preschooler hands
  • for bike cleaning
  • for car cleaning – inside and out
  • for wiping up spills, spit-up, potty training misses, dog drool
  • to clean floors
  • for wiping the stove
  • to clean cupboards inside and out
  • for wiping light switches
  • for cleaning up marker/crayon/paint/chalk “experiments”
  • for wiping the walls
  • to clean my diamond ring
  • for getting hand lotion out of my hair (don’t ask)
  • to clean the BBQ
  • to clean the highchair – seat, base, tray AND the floor around it
  • to clean the fridge inside and out
  • to clean the microwave
  • to wipe up playdough bits
  • this list could go on and on and ooooooooooooooooooooooon…

And you know what? The e-cloth General Purpose cloth and the Norwex Enviro cloth both do a great job. The only difference I’ve found is that the e-cloth tends to leave a bit more moisture behind. I can only think that that’s because of that “shaggier” feeling that I was trying to describe above.

Regardless of whether you use an e-cloth General Purpose cloth or a Norwex Enviro cloth, if you’re cleaning shiny surfaces (like chrome, windows, mirrors, granite countertops, etc.) you’ll want to use a Glass and Polishing Cloth afterwards to get rid of any streaks.

And the Winner Is…

This is tough because both cloths are great. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the performance of the e-cloth. It is so much cheaper than the Norwex Enviro Cloth that I just didn’t think it could keep up.

If you leave it strictly to “visual” performance, I’d call it a tie.

But:

  1. if you factor in the price, you’ve got to go with the e-cloth General Purpose cloth.

PS:

If I were you, I’d stop focusing on the “antibac” features of the Norwex Enviro and the e-cloth “Professional” cloths. You don’t need it. Having a cloth that may or may not “get stinky” isn’t worth:

  1. the worry associated with whether or not you’re cleaning them properly/frequently enough
  2. the general confusion over how the silver works
  3. the environmental impacts of adding silver to the cloths

Get yourself a couple of General Purpose e-cloths (and maybe a Polishing Cloth or two) and rest assured that you’ve got a great microfiber cloth at a great price (even when they’re not on sale).

Update: June 2012

The e-cloth General Purpose cloth was rated Best All Around Microfiber Cloth by REAL SIMPLE Magazine as a part of their “The Definitive Cleaning Products Road Test” article in the May, 2012 issue.

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29 Responses to e-cloth ® General Purpose Cloth Versus Norwex Enviro Cloth Review – Which is Better?

  1. Cleanfreak says:

    Hi Kate,
    This might be a silly question, but I just want to make sure I don’t ruin the ecloths that I have. Can I use Norwex Cleaning Paste with en e-cloth general purpose cloth or is there another cloth that would work better? I love my e-cloth & would hate to ruin it!

    • Cleanfreak: Yes, you can use the Norwex Paste with the General Purpose e-cloth BUT… I’ve found that cloth grabs all the paste so I can’t get the paste onto the surface I’m trying to clean. If you try something less “shaggy” like the Cleaning Up Pad, or the scrubby side on either the Stainless Steel or Range & Stovetop cloths, I think you’ll have better luck. I typically use the Washing Up Pad with my paste.

  2. KaDawn Webb says:

    Kate, I want to thank you for answering so many questions for so many people and helping me to understand e cloth products better. I love the products that I’ve been able to purchase, but was also wondering if e cloth would ever come out with a toilet bowl cleaner like Norwex, I think it’s called the Sanira? I have a septic system in our house, and that bowl cleaner would be fantastic, but I can’t justify cleaning my toilet for $60! Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • KaDawn – unfortunately at this time, e-cloth doesn’t have anything for toilet cleaning. It’s something I’ve raised with them several times but no movement on it yet. I did a review of the Sanira system on my blog. I like the solution but hate the brush (useless!). Since doing the review, I think they may have changed the secret formula for the solution but I’m not certain about that. Also, I see Norwex has come out with a new rubber brush. I’m not sure if this is replacing the Sanira system or is being sold as an additional item. One thing worth noting about the Sanira is that you can just purchase refills of the liquid. The container it comes in is awkward on it’s own without the “system” but you could transfer it to something more manageable.

      Hope this helps! If any Norwex consultants are reading this, can you fill us in on how good the new rubber brush is and whether it’s replacing the sanira? Thanks!

  3. Marie says:

    I read your update for June 2012 that Real Simple May 2012 rated the e-cloth the best all-around microfiber cloth. I’ve looked all over that site for the article, but can’t find it. Can you post the actual link to that? I would much appreciate it! Thanks!

  4. Anna Oswald says:

    I thought e-cloth got rid of its silver cloths?

    • Anna – yes, you’re correct. e-cloth no longer produces cloths with silver in them. This is an old post. But it will still give people a good idea of how e-cloth compares to Norwex since the silver has nothing to do with how well the cloths clean.

  5. Ann says:

    What is the warranty on the ecloth? Also, Norwex are cut to 1/200th the width of a human hair.

    • Hi Ann – all e-cloth® products have a 300 washings guarantee so that’s about 5 and a half years (the way I wash). I’ve had several people write to me to commment that Norwex has revised their fiber width estimate so I’ve updated my post accordingly – something I’ve been meaning to do for over a month now but just couldn’t find the time. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Brandy Kellom says:

    Hi Kate,

    Just purchase a set of e-cloths on amazon based on your reviews. I have a Norwex enviro cloth I love, but I needed a another one for the bathroom. I know they say you can use it any and everywhere…but I just can’t mentally wrap my brain around using the same rag for the kitchen and and the bathroom. I’m sure you covered this, but how do i clean the rags again? The Novex consultant said I could just boil them or just a natural detergent. Is that the same for e-cloths? And is so, any natural detergent reccomendations? Love your blog!

    -Brandy

    • Brandy: WHAT?!?! You purchased off of Amazon instead of my ecloth site? What the? That’s it! You’re cut off from all my info. Hee hee. You know for next time :)

      I also don’t use the same cloth for my bathroom and kitchen. It just seems a bit icky to me. But then, I’ve got a cloth “problem” in that I have so many that some don’t even get used at all. In any case, I put some info on my blog recently about how/when to launder your Norwex or e-cloths. Here’s the link. That post also touches on detergents a bit.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Katie says:

    Is e cloth coming out with a detergent? I bought a bag of the one from Norwex before the price hikes. When I ran out I found boulder natural detergent @ Costco & gave it a try. What a mistake! My clothes went from looking like new to looking like they’d been washed a hundred times. Now I miss Norwex but hate too pay so much!

  8. Lisa says:

    I just received my ecloths and used them for the first time to clean my bathroom. I noticed the same thing that you mentioned about the ecloth leaving more water behind. But I used the polishing cloth and was very pleased with the results. I love my Norwix products but the ecloths are every bit as good.

    • Lisa – I’m really glad to hear that you’re liking the e-cloths. And I’m so pleased to hear that it’s not just me that finds them as good as Norwex. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m biased in my reviews and it’s good to have feedback from others.

  9. Esther J. says:

    Interesting post! I have been a longtime fan of Norwex cloths because they work amazingly well. In fact, I still have some cloths from before the days when they started putting silver in everything, and those work just as well as my newer silver cloths. I have also recently tried ecloths and they appear to work exactly as well as my Norwex ones. I would like to try Enjo as well because I’ve heard good things about them, but OMG are they ever expensive. So I guess for me it would come down to price. Ecloth definitely has the other companies beat hands down on that, but that stands to reason since Enjo and Norwex are both home party companies where there are “teams” of people on different “levels” and a certain number of levels have to be paid on every sale. From my understanding, ecloth does not work that way, but rather is a direct-to-consumer company. Obviously this would make a huge impact on the consumer pricing of the products.

    • Esther – Wow, this is great. I JUST posted this and you’ve commented already! Thanks so much. For the record (since you’re giving e-cloth a thumbs up here), I don’t know you and I did NOT pay you to write that. Thanks again.

  10. TAS says:

    oh…and Norwex also has the scientific results as well that the Enviro cloth picks up over 99% of bacteria…you should know that!!

    • TAS – Thanks for the comment. I try to keep my reviews impartial and honest but obviously the salesperson in me sneaks out sometimes. So kudos to you for “calling” me on the “99% bacteria pickup” comment. In my defense, I actually made reference to those tests in my first draft of this post but…

      After listening to the webinar that was distributed by Norwex Head Office last week (I’ve got plenty of friends who still sell Norwex and they kindly keep me in the loop – SO I AM RECEIVING MY INFORMATION FIRST HAND) I was under the impression that Norwex no longer wanted to make public reference to those tests.

      But I’ll gladly mention that Norwex also has had tests done to prove that the Enviro Cloth removes over 99% of bacteria. You’ll see from ALL of my posts that I am a HUGE fan of the Enviro Cloth. It’s just that I’ve found an equally effective product that’s cheaper.

  11. TAS says:

    Kate, e-cloth will soon be no longer allowed to make those same statements about the 99% bacteria being picked up, it is a regulatory situation that is soon coming, encompasing ALL microfiber selling companies who claim this. Norwex is just being pro-active and getting all their ducks in a row now before the major changes start from the FDA and other boards. So don’t go and start being like all the rest with your vague and insinuating highlighted statements. As a “FORMER” Norwex consultant, perhaps you will need to start to do your homework about Norwex policies before making such statements as you are no longer receiving your information first hand….

    • Hi Tas. Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate hearing from everyone – even Norwex Consultants. I see you’ve posted another comment so I’ll combine my responses…

    • cleangreener says:

      Hi there – just checking on the “regulatory situation that is soon coming” posted by TAS above. It’s almost a year later… any news on this? Does TAS have inside info? Because I have been a Nprwex consultant for 3 years and know nothing about this.

      Also, I feel TAS’ demeanor is very aggressive (bordering on combative) and for that I apologize. I don’t believe that Norwex the corporation would condone this sort of interaction on its behalf. I am actually embarrassed on TAS’ behalf… and as a consumer, as soon as I see this kind of “threatened” behavior, I assume the competition has something great to offer and go immediately off to check it out. The nastiness backfires bigtime.

      As a passionate Norwex consultant, I also feel that the more that can be done to green up the way we clean, the better. Norwex, e-cloth, Enjo, Blue Wonder, etc. Bring them all on, and any that come after them. It’s a very big world with enough business that the TASes of the world should just chill out. The more they are nasty online, the worse it looks not only for them but for the company they represent.

      My 2 cents, TR.

      • Hi Cleangreener – thanks for the comment. Hopefully someone will provide an update here. Perhaps we’ll even hear again from TAS. Although she sent me a rather “interesting” email last year and she’s on my “must review” list for any comments. I try not to block any comments but sometimes…

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