Superfried – Walk the Talk
Testing eco friendly products by smol 03

Hi, Mark here again to continue with the third installment, testing eco friendly products by smol. This time I will be focusing on the multi-purpose detergent and the washing-up liquid. As mentioned previously, my educational background is in environmental science, so I need to do more and walk the talk.

These posts are designed to force me to maintain positive behavioural change. I hope that documenting the results will also help others to do the same.

Superfried – Walk the Talk. Testing eco friendly multi-purpose detergent by smol. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact. 02.
Superfried – Walk the Talk. Testing eco friendly multi-purpose detergent by smol. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact. 03.

Smol Products

From what I have seen, Smol appear to be genuine with regard to their eco intentions. Their eco friendly product range covers the most common household requirements and is delivered to your door. For a more in-depth overview please see Part 1 in the menu above or link below.

Muti-purpose cleaner

For the multi-purpose spray, there is a bit of fun and drama. Smol has cleverly condensed the detergent into a tiny tablet. Simply fill the forever bottle with warm water, drop the tablet in, and allow it to fizz away. Once completely dissolved, leaving the liquid an inviting shade of orange, after a light top-up with some water to the full level, you are ready to go.

This system is extremely efficient as smol states that even the plastic free sachet for the tablet is home compostable. When you are ready for a refill of your forever bottle, a pack of 6 new tablets will be delivered through your letterbox. 

How are the eco credentials?

For the multi-purpose spray, smol states –

A full life cycle analysis by independent sustainability experts found smol surface spray gives a 91% reduction in carbon compared to the big brands and ends the pointless polluting transport of water.


This is a bold statement, and if true, very impressive. They go on to say that this eco product also uses fewer chemicals –

With smol technology we use lower levels of added chemicals compared to other brands for a non toxic clean that’s free from benzenes, parabens and phthalates. What's more we have achieved this with no loss of cleaning performance.


They provide a link to the full list of ingredients, detailed below. As with all smol eco friendly products, the surface spray is vegan and cruelty-free.

Is it any good?

Unfortunately, I am not convinced. When sprayed, the smell is nice, but one of my big tests is shower screens. Quick spray, wipe with a cloth followed by a squidgy window cleaner, should leave the glass clear and smear free. However, with smol, this was not the case. It seemed to struggle to cut through the soapy residue on the glass, and the screen was smeary after using the squidy. I will need to conduct further tests.

How do they perform on price?

The refill packs cost £6.60 for 6 tablets – £1.10 each. The bottles have a capacity of 500ml, so this works out at £0.22 per 100ml. The multi-purpose detergent from the eco shop Fantastic No-Plastic costs £0.39 per 100ml, which is impressive for another eco friendly product.

Looking at our current purchases from Aldi, they cost approximately £0.16 per 100ml. As a fairer comparison, a non-toxic general-purpose spray from Asda costs £0.48 per 100ml. Therefore, on price alone, I would say that smol is very competitive.


Reference links

Superfried – Walk the Talk. Testing eco friendly washing up liquid by smol. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact.
Superfried – Walk the Talk. Eco friendly product brochure by smol. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact.

Washing-up liquid

This eco friendly product arrives as a full, forever bottle. You simply remove the lid – which you must retain – and replace this with the enclosed push-down dispenser. Once applied, simply rotate 90 degrees and the nozzle will pop-up. It is now active. The liquid smells great – like grapefruit.

When you are due a refill, smol will send you 4 x 500ml refill cartons, costing £8. This raises an immediate question.

Is a biodegradable packaging solution used for the cartons? Assuming they will be made from coated cardboard it is unlikely, but has at least a recyclable packaging option been employed?

In answer to this Smol states – 

66% of councils accept cartons for recycling in kerbside collections. 31% of councils accept cartons at local recycling centres. 3% of councils do not recycle cartons BUT you can return your empty cartons to us for FREE and we will ensure they are properly recycled.


Despite the stats, if my council is anything to go by, I think most are unlikely to recycle dual-coated boards. However, the offer to recycle them for free is very impressive.

How are the eco credentials?

In addition to recycling the refills and avoiding the requirement for new plastic packaging, smol states –

Yes, it’s cruelty-free and vegan (we don’t use animal ingredients) but what’s great to know is it delivers spotless pots and dazzling dishes to match the big brands… just without the nasties. Great for plates and better for the planet.


This is great to hear. They go on to propose that each 500ml bottle should provide around 125 washes based on 2-3 pumps of the dispenser per sink load.

They state that they use no ‘nasties’ and that the ingredients are biodegradable. They provide a link to their ingredients listed below at the end of the article. As with all smol products, the surface spray is vegan and cruelty-free.

How does it compare on price?

As mentioned, smol charges £8 for 4 500ml refills – £0.40 per 100ml. I have not tested a washing-up liquid from the eco shop Fantastic No-Plastic, so I will compare directly with the supermarkets. Although unfair, for reference Aldi’s Magnum range costs just £0.14 per 100ml. Comparing to the big brands at Asda – Fairy costs between £0.31 and £0.38 per 100ml. Interestingly, Ecover – an established eco brand – costs exactly the same £0.40 per 100ml. When you consider the fact it is delivered and the eco benefits, the figures are quite impressive.

Is it any good?

Like most households with dishwashers, we do not use washing-up liquid that frequently. Before I had a dishwasher, Fairy was one of the few big brands that seemed to be worth the extra money. Most other liquids required additional squirts, rendering them a false economy. After applying the 3 pumps suggested into the filling sink, there was a distinct lack of bubbles. Previously, this was the telltale sign that you would be re-washing the plates. However, the liquid did cut through the grease leaving the dishes squeaky clean. Despite their recommendation, I do think 3 pumps is the minimum required though.


Reference links

Superfried – Walk the Talk. Testing eco friendly surface spray by smol. Continuing my path towards eco living.

Continue with these products – NO & YES for now

I’m sad to say this, as I love the efficiency of the dissolving pill solution they have developed, but overall I am not completely convinced by the multi-purpose cleaner. Additionally, when I was sorting out the recycling, I noticed that the little wrapper for the pill is foil coated on the inside. I have worked with companies such as FoilCo that have created foil coatings that are completely recyclable and biodegradable, but this is not the norm. Therefore, it might be wise for smol to add some additional clarification concerning this packaging.

In fairness to smol, there is another reason I am not continuing with the spray. Most of the time we use an anti-bacterial product as it is simply easier to have one rather than two separate sprays on the go. Whilst at Fantastic – No Plastic eco shop collecting my refill milk I noticed they have a dissolvable capsule by Ocean Saver. This could kill two birds with one stone, so I will be testing this separately and let you know how it performs.

Conversely, the washing-up liquid could be an option. I was surprised that it worked since it was not very bubbly. In fact, the reduced bubbles were a bonus – although fun, sometimes they simply get in the way! Since we do not use it that frequently the hassle of sending back the refill cartons is less of a concern. But I will still keep an eye out for alternatives. 


I have such admiration for what smol is doing, and their approach, attention to detail, and continued improvement suggest that their eco friendly products will continue to improve. The dissolving tablet is such an elegant solution to the problem. It is just a shame that this approach was not as effective. It is also a shame that a similar method can not be adopted for the other bottled, refill products. I assume there are lots of technical reasons why this is not currently possible, but hopefully, that will be rectified in the not-too-distant future.

Having said that, as mentioned in Part 02 I think I need to adopt a two-phase approach to this mission. Smol does address my first concern – reducing the volume of packaging waste, particularly plastic packaging. But, there are products available with superior eco credentials, since smol still uses chemicals within its eco product range. Consequently, I will continue to test alternative options. 


Reference links

That's a wrap for now on the smol range. However, as mentioned I have other brands to test as I gradually eliminate the main eco offenders in my shopping basket towards a more eco friendly lifestyle.

New ideas are being developed every day, so if you hear of a great, new alternative, please drop me a message. I have been fortunate that my career path has enabled me to combine my passions for design and the environment – developing brand strategies and design solutions for numerous green sector organisations throughout the world. If you are also facing communication or design-related problems within your company, book a call with Superfried to discuss a potential bespoke solution.