Less waste, less water: NEAT cleaning review

In an attempt to depart from our disposable culture, NEAT has come up with a fresh approach to how cleaning products are packaged.

from NEAT
RRP  £7.00
NEAT cleaning products lined up on a benchtop

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

A place that truly captures our throw-away lifestyles in all its terribleness is the cleaning aisle at any supermarket or homeware shop. You go there, buy a vaguely scented container of chemicals, pour it down the toilet or spray it onto a benchtop, then you go back and buy more. However you try and spin it, that's madness. That's where NEAT comes in.

The continual use of plastic bottles is deeply concerning. Sure, they're recyclable and some have even been made, partly or wholly, from recycled plastic. But less than 10 per cent of the world's plastic has been recycled and the rubbish bins (with the recycling bins right next to them) at many an apartment building testify to that. But are sustainable options viable? And are they any good? What's The Best contributor Chris Williams puts up-and-coming brand, NEAT, to the test.

Jump to:

Editor's Choice: Best for sustainable cleaning

Editor's Choice: Best for sustainable cleaning

Editor's Choice: Best for sustainable cleaning

Enter NEAT

Neat bottles and containers on a benchtop
©Photo: What's The Best

It concerns a great many people, but even those who are bothered by the perpetual consumption of cleaning products tend to keep buying them because there are no viable alternatives that are just as convenient.

Recently, I was sent a collection of cleaning products from a company called NEAT, which claims to have addressed this and come up with a new, simple solution for both cutting out the copious volumes of plastic waste and reducing water use. Sounds intriguing, and I've been looking at these products to see if this is indeed a solution to a dire problem.

What is NEAT?

NEAT refill bottles
©Photo: What's The Best

NEAT began on the premise that as they currently are, cleaning products are mostly water and that it seems a bit daft to be carting and shipping all this water around. It takes up a lot of space, increasing emissions, waste, and so on.

Its solution was to instead produce small, 30ml volumes of concentrate, put into glass jars and high-quality, long-lasting aluminium spray bottles. The idea is that you buy the spray bottles once and restock with the tiny refills instead. You fill the spray bottles with water and add in the refill.

Does it work?

Using a NEAT spray bottle
©Photo: What's The Best

The NEAT cleaning products work as well as any other cleaning solution I have used, only NEAT smells fresher and less like imitation eucalyptus. For a cheese analogy, it's what cheddar is to processed cheese slices.

It is certainly worth noting that the spray bottles are so aesthetically pleasing to the point that they will gain you cupboard space. I am more than happy to have them standing on the benchtop in the kitchen or alcove in the bathroom, which consequently frees up space in the cleaning cupboard. The spray bottles have a little silicone sleeve on the base to keep them determinedly in place.

NEAT spray bottle in bathroom
©Photo: What's The Best


An individual spray bottle with a refill included is £9; a refill is £3, with several scents to choose from and a non-scented one, too. Alternatively, you can buy an Essentials Pack (multi-surface, glass, and bathroom cleaners) directly from NEAT. The spray bottles are 500ml in volume and depending on how generous you are with your spraying, you should get at least a couple of months of cleaning per refill.

This cost is more than the £1 and £2 bottles we normally buy, but the state of the world caused by our preference for cheapness would suggest that perhaps cost saving isn't the only or even most important factor any more. If we want the world to remain intact, that is.


Open NEAT refill box
©Photo: What's The Best

Given that the alternative is the wholly unattractive disposable system we have already, the NEAT cleaning products are a welcome relief.

While the removal of plastic and reduction of water use is indeed brilliant, the crucial importance of cleaning effectiveness remains untouched with the NEAT solutions.

I will certainly be switching to NEAT from now on and it is the first product I have ever reviewed to gain full marks. Well done NEAT.

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**Chris Williams**is a contributor to What's The Best. He also writes for CAR and Parkers.

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