SOUL – Eco-Friendly Product Recommendations for Cottage Owners

Protect our lakes and environment with these natural laundry and cleaning product suggestions:

Federal laws require laundry detergents to contain less than 0.05% phosphates. Regulations now extend to automatic dishwasher products as well.

Important Tip: Always check the product label. If it isn’t marked “phosphate-free,” it likely contains phosphates, contributing to toxic algae blooms in our lakes. Unfortunately, SOUL hasn’t found a comprehensive list of products that meet green standards, so vigilance is necessary.

For those seeking alternatives to mainstream commercial brands, consider these options:

  • Amway: Offers low-phosphate dishwasher soap. Look for local reps in the phone directory.
  • Watkins: Located at B-2365 Ness Avenue, Winnipeg (Ph 837-9786).
  • Melaleuca: Provides a range of products from health care to household cleaning, all featuring natural Melaleuca oil (Tea Tree oil), known for its potent cleansing and antibacterial properties. Though prices may be higher, the highly concentrated products offer long-lasting effectiveness. Contact Manitoba agents at 1-800-282-3000.
  • Norwex Enviroproducts: Specializes in chemical-free cleaning with various microfiber cloths and phosphate-free detergents. Visit for more information.
  • Humboldt’s Legacy: This Wolseley area store at 887 Westminster offers environmentally friendly dishwasher products.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart: Now carries ‘Method’ cleaning products, which are environmentally friendly.
  • Home Hardware: Stocks’ Natura’ products featuring Tea Tree oil.
  • Organza and Harry’s Foods: Great sources for organic products in Winnipeg.
  • Shaklee: Offers the “Get Clean” Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate, where one small bottle yields 48 gallons of cleaning solution. Call 1-800-Shaklee to order.
  • Super Stores and Costco: Provide “green” cleaners and phosphate-free dishwashing solutions. Costco offers the Ecos 100% natural laundry soap, which includes a soy-based fabric softener.
  • Rona: Introducing a new line of eco-friendly products, ranging from all-purpose cleaners to biodegradable garden bags.

When shopping, consider the concentration of products as more concentrated items are cost-effective and reduce landfill waste. This guide assists those looking to adopt more sustainable practices, though it is not exhaustive. If you have suggestions for expanding our list, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Eco Tip: Bring a reusable bag when shopping to significantly reduce plastic bag use over several years.

Note: The Eco Network in Winnipeg frequently hosts sessions on water conservation and more. Visit for educational resources and activities.