Objective Side by Side eCloth vs Norwex
I’ve seen a lot of folks promoting the eCloth online. I am a Norwex Independent Sales Consultant, but I’m also a practical person and hey, if Norwex products are being out-performed by a much less expensive product, I want to know about it!! So, I ordered some eCloths for testing. I purchased one ‘Glass & Polishing Cloth’ (their version of the Norwex Window or Polishing Cloth) and one ‘General Purpose Cloth’ (their version of the Norwex Enviro Cloth). I received my order today and started making some objective comparisons.
When I say ‘objective’, I mean that I am comparing features of the products that are based on observable facts and have nothing to do with my personal opinion.
First, all of these products are ‘microfiber’ cloths. To be considered ‘microfiber’, the strands in the cloths must be NO larger than 1/6 the diameter of a human hair. Both the Norwex and the eCloth companies’ microfiber is 1/200th the diameter of a human hair. This is important because it has a much higher surface area than larger diameter microfiber. From what I have been able to find, according to my personal research online, Norwex (founded in 1994) was the FIRST company to offer this grade of microfiber products, quickly followed by many other ‘copycats’ (including eCloth in 1995).
Microfiber products of this caliber have been proven to remove 99% of bacteria from smooth surfaces (opposed to 33% or less for more ‘traditional’ cleaning products). So, both eCloth and Norwex are neck and neck for microfiber strand size and general surface bacteria removal effectiveness.
One selling point, that Norwex likes to promote, is that many Norwex microfiber products contain micro-silver which is infused in the fibers during the process of manufacturing. The purpose of this process is to naturally inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria that commonly grows in cleaning cloths. There are many other claims made regarding the embedded silver, which I have not been able to verify to a level that I am comfortable with, but I can personally attest that Norwex cloths which contain the micro-silver (labelled as ‘Baclock’) DO remain ‘odor free’ much longer than standard cleaning cloths.
The product warranties are also different. eCloth offers a warranty of ‘200 washes’. I’m not sure how that is supposed to work, or how they can tell how many times the cloth has been washed, but Norwex has a solid 60-Day money back satisfaction guarantee, and a full 2-year warranty against defects.
But, let’s get down to the business of actually comparing the products in other areas.
Both products are shipped in relatively environmentally friendly packaging, however the pair of eCloths are shipped in a plastic mailer with a paper invoice, at total of 3 paper booklets (one outside the boxes and one inside each box) and one retail box for each cloth. This, of course, is handy if you want to sell the products retail (note, you can click on any image for a full-sized version).
Norwex products are always shipped in a cardboard mailer and they make an effort to reduce the internal packaging as much as possible. They often do not use a package for each item and combine them into one bag, or leave them loose in the shipping container. When they use an internal package, it is a recyclable or biodegradable plastic bag. They do include a paper insert for each package, but usually only include one (shown below) which is simply care instructions with print on the front and back. Unlike the eCloth inserts, this is not printed on glossy paper, making it easier to recycle.
Next, let’s talk about the cloths themselves.
The eCloth General Purpose Cloth sells for $7.99 each. The Norwex Enviro Cloth sells for $17.99.
The eCloth ‘Glass and Polishing Cloth’ also sells for $7.99 each while the Norwex Window or Polishing Cloth sells for $19.99.
You can purchase the Norwex Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth together in the ‘Basic Package’ for $34.99 to save a few dollars.
That’s a pretty big difference in price between companies. The eCloths cost less than half the Norwex cloths. Is the extra expense worth it? Maybe.
Let’s take a closer look at the products and performance.
eCloth General Purpose Cloth vs the Norwex Enviro Cloth:
Both cloths feel like they have about the same thickness. If you hold them both up to a bright light source, you cannot see through either one. The texture of the cloths are very different though. The texture of the Enviro Cloth is very dense and grippy. The texture of the eCloth is looser and more reminiscent of the Norwex Body Cloth*, or maybe a terry cloth.
The Norwex Enviro Cloth is slightly larger than the eCloth General Purpose Cloth, though both are plenty big.
The Enviro Cloth is made from 70% Polyester, 30% Polyamide (nylon) and is manufactured in China**, while the General Purpose Cloth is manufactured in Indonesia and made from 60% Polyester, 20% Polyamide and…. 20% what? We don’t know. It doesn’t tell us.
eCloth Glass and Polishing Cloth vs the Norwex Window Cloth:
Once again, the textures of the two cloths are very different. The Norwex Window Cloth is more of a smooth, almost shiny, very dense weave. The eCloth Glass and Polishing Cloth is a much lighter weight fabric with a sort of thin waffle pattern. Hold both of them up to a light source and you can easily see through the eCloth product, but not the Norwex one. They are approximately the same size. The edges of the Norwex Cloth are sewn, while the eCloth edges are left unsewn with a cut pattern. The Norwex Cloth has a hang tag, the eCloth does not have one for this product, instead ‘eCloth’ is imprinted on the cloth.
eCloth Dusting Wand vs Norwex EnviroWand (by: Heather Speer)
Price: The eCloth Dusting Wand currently sells for $17.99, the Norwex EnviroWand sells for $31.99
Heather is another Norwex Independent Consultant who shared her experiences comparing the eCloth Dusting Wand to the Norwex EnviroWand. Here is what she had to say about it:
“I just took pictures of the Envirowand versus Ecloths version. Ecloths dusting wand is made from a foam, it does not bend as well or hold shape like the Envirowand. The Ecloth cover is very difficult to remove and wash. The material is a plushy microfiber – similar to norwex dusting mitt, but not as nearly as dense! I found it did not pick up much dust. Here are my pictures! Both sides of the ecloth duster are the same material.”
My own observations (based only on pictures, I have not seen the eCloth Dusting Wand in person): The eCloth version is longer, but as far as I know, will not fit onto a telescoping handle like the Norwex version will. The eCloth version sleeve is very difficult to remove, due to the foam rubber core.
Aside from the visual differences, what we probably all care about the most is the actual performance of these products, so I put them to the test. In this demo video, I show how the eCloth compares to the Norwex products to remove greasy peanut butter from a laptop screen.
The final analysis is, at least from my experience, the Norwex cloths outperform the eCloth products. I could NOT get the glass clean without switching to a clean side for the eCloth. The Norwex products took less effort, worked more quickly and did an overall better job than the eCloths. Is it worth the extra money? That’s up to you.
I hope to do more side by side comparison demos in the future. Watch this space.
*The Norwex Body Cloth is a much lighter weight product designed to be used directly on the skin to clean a person without the use of soap. The Body Cloth is not so tightly woven as the Enviro Cloth, so it is not as harsh on the skin as the Enviro Cloth would be. You are able to see through the Body Cloth if you hold it up to a light source.
**All Norwex products are manufactured in the huge factory in China. The factory is privately owned by the Norwex Company. Here is a document that gives more details about the Norwex China factory.