Stay-at-home dad Adam Lindsay was looking after his four-year-old son (and had another child on the way) when he took stock of his large stash of cleaning products and knew something had to change.
“Having kids will do that to you,” he says with a laugh. “If you’ve got kids in the mix who’re rolling around on the floor and putting whatever in the mouth, you start to wonder, ‘What did I even clean that with?’”
He set out to find mild, safe, but effective products to use around the home. When he couldn’t find anything that suited his needs, he talked to researchers at the University of New South Wales about creating one.
That was five years ago, and now his company Koh (previously called Ecoworx) is used in over 1 million homes. He started with a Universal Cleaner, formulated with purified water and a small concentration of potassium hydroxide – strong enough to be effective but diluted to a point of non-toxicity – that can be used in place of most household cleaners.
“You don’t need all these different products; a chrome cleaner, a bathroom cleaner, a floor cleaner can all just be in one product and still be really effective. It simplifies the experience,” Lindsay says.
There are also dishwashing tablets, surface sanitisers and essential oils for natural fragrance. Liquid cleaning products come in cardboard boxes and goon sacks for easy refills into Koh’s reusable atomisers, hand pump and lightweight spray mop, which saves you lugging around a bucket of dirty water. Other accessories include sponges, microfibre cloths and grout brushes.
“The key principle behind Koh is cleaning more with less,” Lindsay says. “We haven’t dramatically expanded our range, my laser focus is curating a cleaning system that you can use as few parts as possible to clean the entire home.”
Koh’s cleaning solutions have been certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia, an independent eco-certification body that audits products against criteria such as environmental impact, human health, ethical considerations and social impact.
They’ve also received the tick of approval by the National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice program, which means they’re safe to use by people with severe asthma and allergies. All products are vegan and cruelty-free.
“Cleaning isn’t for everybody, but everybody has to do cleaning,” Lindsay says. “We’re presenting a good option for people who are obsessive cleaners down to those who don’t like cleaning at all. It’s faster, it’s simpler, it’s safer and it’s still effective.”
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