Nancy Pollard, owner of La Cuisine in Old Town Alexandria, is your go-to-woman when it comes to green cleaning products (as well as high-quality cookware and other kitchen necessities, but we'll save that for another post). She carries a heavily edited selection from small and large, American and international companies. All products are tested by Nancy and her customers before she'll start stocking them on her shelves. Here are some of her favorites.
All-purpose Cleaning Spray: Siege All-Natural Home Cleaner
Siege All Natural Home Cleaner is great for hard surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. It cuts through grease and grime, but is allergy free and kid- and pet-friendly. Nancy also carries Siege's granite , stainless steel and barbeque cleaners.
Stain Remover: Chef Revival's Stain Killer
"If I could carry this in gallons, I would," says Nancy. She tells us that she's never seen anything like Chef Revival's Stain Killer and cautions that an old stain may need to be treated a few times. It's $20 for 16 fluid ounces and should work on most grease, oil, red wine, oil and fruit stains.
Stainless Steel and Porcelain Cleaner: Bar Keepers Friend
Use this bleach-free cleaner in the same way that you would use Ajax or Comet. Like many products that Nancy carries, Bar Keepers Friend is made by a small American company that can't compete for or afford shelf space in larger grocery and big box stores. She began stocking it in response to customers' requests.
Dish Detergent: Fruits & Passion's Cucina
Cucina's biodegradable formula is gentle on hands thanks to its earth-friendly coconut oil- and cornstarch-derived cleansing agents, but still cuts through grease. Nancy also carries Cucina's eco-conscious hand soaps and lotions.
Laundry Detergent: Vaska Herbatergent
This eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic detergent uses botanicals to get your clothes clean. Originally just a high-end bed linens company, California-based Vaska tapped into environmentally friendly cleaning products to care for their exclusive linens and now counts several high-end Northern California hotels as enthusiasts.
Laundry Detergent for Dark or Stretchy Fabrics (See: lululemon's Groove pants): LoveLast
You can't even find LoveLast with a Google search, but Nancy sells it in Old Town and says it is "awesome" for stretchy and black fabrics -- which instantly made us think of lululemon athletica's popular workout gear.
La Cuisine is located at 323 Cameron Street in Old Town Alexandria, just a 15-minute walk from EYA's LEED-certified, environmentally friendly townhomes now selling at Old Town Commons.