Clean Well’s Foaming Hand Washes are nature-based, germ-fighting cleansers that make use of botanical essences in a two new, intriguing ways. First, they feature scents created by the well-known natural perfumer Mandy Aftel of Aftelier. Second, they introduce a component called Ingenium, “a patented formulation of essential plant oils proven to kill 99.99% of the germs that make you sick.”
According to Clean Well’s website, the primary antibacterial ingredient in Ingenium is thyme oil, a natural substitute for triclosan or other chemicals. The other ingredients in the Foaming Hand Wash include aloe, white tea, and oat extract as skin conditioners and — oops! — a dash of sodium lauryl sulfate as lathering agent. The Hand Wash’s fragrance, however, is completely natural. I had a hard time choosing one scent, and in the end I bypassed Lavender Absolute and Orange Vanilla in favor of Ginger Bergamot, in an effort to step beyond my usual floral-sweet tastes.
Real bergamot oil and ginger root oil compose the fragrance of this liquid soap, and they offer aromatherapeutic benefits as well as basic olfactory pleasure. To quote Mandy Aftel’s book Essence and Alchemy, the fruit of the bergamot tree has a “lemon-orange scent” that “lifts a depressed mood without sedating and soothes jangled nerves,” while the rhizome of the ginger plant offers the “warm, spicy odor of the root, with a sweet and heavy undertone” and a “high odor intensity.” The intensity of the ginger is indeed evident in Clean Well’s Hand Wash, nearly edging out the lighter bergamot note. It’s the true smell of freshly grated ginger root, the aroma that a lifetime of so-called “ginger” snaps and “ginger” ale never quite prepare you for: tangy, energetically pungent, and surprisingly mouth-watering.
Clean Well’s Hand Wash is packaged in a plastic bottle with a chunky pump applicator, and it emerges as soft, liquidy foam. It’s far gentler than mass-market antibacterial soaps: it leaves the hands feeling squeaky-clean but not stripped dry and tight. In a nice touch, the label is designed to be peeled off easily (it’s marked “Don’t label me”), revealing the cheerful, clover-green hue of the Ginger Bergamot bottle itself. Effective, freshly scented, and reasonably priced, this product is a happy addition to my kitchen sink area.
Clean Well Ginger Bergamot Foaming Hand Wash sells for $6.99 for 9.5 fl. oz. (280 ml). It is available through the Clean Well website and amazon, and at select Whole Foods and Target stores.
Thanks for the review.
Sounds like a coup at that nice price point. I will check it out on my next trip to Whole Paycheck!
Ah, yes…a considerable fraction of my income has been spent there over the past decade.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were keeping the price reasonable for this product!
Oh how I wish I am in the States and can get these. Ginger Bergamot sounds lovely, but Lavender Absolute should smell gorgeous too, just checked amazon.co.uk and was so disappointed that they didn't have it, hope they'll carry them soon…. oh….
Oh, I'm sorry. However, it seems to be a relatively new company, and the hand washes are new products… so there is hope that they might expand, no?
Thanks for the review! I saw these at WF the other day while looking for Kiss my Face's lemon ginger soap. Since I can't ever find that one I'll have to try Clean Well.
Kiss My Face is another line that I really like… I've never tried that soap, but their shave creams and body lotions are great!
I think this stuff is called 'Patently Obvious' in the UK. We make it at work, and it has a similar kind of packaging and foaming action. They sell it at Boots, iirc.
Or possibly not…the websites don't seem to have a connection… The products are very, very similar, except the PO stuff doesn't have SLES.
Clean Well does seem to be a small, independent company… but it's good to know that there are other triclosan-free anti-bad soaps out there!
… make that “anti-BAC” soaps, although I suppose “anti-bad” is the same idea.
I purchased a bottle of the Orange Vanilla, and I must say I'm disappointed with the product. To me, it has a very “off” smell. I don't know whether it's the ingredients of the cleanser or the bottle itself. It smells like, well, plastic.
Hi Tim, I haven't smelled the Orange Vanilla fragrance myself, unfortunately, so I can't comment on it! Sorry about that…
I have to say I am a scent person. I like the idea of the Clean Well line…..but this hand soap is almost intolerable. The smell is horrible and no different than an entirely different scented hand sanitizer I bought. It smells like bug spray and my children cannot stand it. Sorry but I am looking for something similar with a refreshing smell!
Ah well! It’s not for everyone. The lavender blend might be more subtle!