Natura Cloths – Not Just For Cleaning Anymore!

Red Worms Love Natura Clothes

Last April (2007), I wrote about Natura Eco-Friendly Products on the EcoSherpa blog. For those of you unfamiliar (many of you, I would imagine), they are simply a line of earth-friendly cleaning (and related) products, available here in Canada.

We use a variety of Natura products in our home, but we particularly love the Natura ‘Wonder Cloths’ which, unlike most ‘regular’ kitchen cloths we’ve used, don’t start to stink after a short period of time (assuming frequent use and remaining moist). They do eventually get a little smelly, and also break down structurally (seem to be made of something similar to cheesecloth), but are supposed to be fully biodegradeable.

A while ago, I caught my wife in the act of throwing out one of our well-used cloths (she felt that it was starting to stink). Rather than see it go to waste, I decided to saved it from its landill fate and put it to the test in one of my worm bins. I wish I had made note of the exact date I threw it in the bin! It will be fun to see exactly how long it takes to fully decompose. I suspect I will be at least able to come up with a pretty good estimate based on my use of this particular bin. I know I added it shortly after completing my squash decomposition project (sorry for the delay bringing you that video, by the way), so that should help.

For kicks and giggles, I decided to check it out this morning and of course took some pictures while I was at it! As I suspected, the cloth was full of worms!

As you can see, the worms are literally living inside it. I’m not too surprised to see this, since in my experience worms tend to love having some sort of matrix (no, not the kind with ‘blue’ and ‘red’ pills!) around them. I’ve found them deeply buried in corrugated cardboard and corn cobs quite a few times, and I was expecting them to do the same with the cloth.

Just so you know what the cloth looked like before I tossed it in the bin, I’ve included a photo (below) of the one we are currrently using. It looks a wee bit different!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that. This is likely one of the only places where people will appreciate my sense of adventure! (many would think it was simply ‘disgusting’, including the company that makes the cloths – haha!)

I’ll be sure keep you posted on the decomposition process!

[tags]natura, eco-friendly, biodegradeable, green products, eco products, decomposition, red worms, worm composting, vermicomposting, worm bin[/tags]

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    • Kami
    • January 9, 2008

    Those cloths must be great for scraping the cocoons off. The worms seem to like having somthing that gets the cocoons off of them. Do they have those cloths in the US? Also, are they horribly expensive?

    • Alison
    • January 9, 2008

    Hi Bentley,
    The cloths look great when they are new and very interesting when they are breaking down !! 🙂 Are they soft to the touch? Maybe the company could make tea towels and bath towels from the same stuff and maybe even sheets and clothes?Depends on what they are made of I guess.Imagine being able to feed it all to the worms when they are finished with.Come to think of it, I read somewhere of someone feeding their shirt to the worms and it did eventually break down.I don’t seem to think of these things enough.I still am probably burning far to much that could be recycled.I don’t know how you would know if the fabric or whatever would contain chemicals.
    What’s with the addition ?

  1. The natural fibers is something that I had just thought about. We raise alpacas and I was wondering about giving the worms some of the scraps from when we shear. Would the worms eat the air? Would they eat a wool sweater? How about a pair of blue jeans? The dye could be a problem but I would think cotton would break down.


  2. I meant ‘would the worms eat the hair?’.


    • Bentley
    • January 9, 2008

    Hi Guys!

    Kami – you are probably right about them using the material to help them pull cocoons off (didn’t even think of that). I’m pretty sure that Natura cloths are only available in Canada, and only via ‘Home Hardware’ stores. They cost $2.99 CDN, if I remember correctly.

    Alison – they are really interesting cloths. When dry they are quite stiff – they almost feel like they are made of hemp or something (they aren’t). But once you run them under water they soften completely. They are quite thick and absorbent and, as mentioned in the post, don’t develop bad odours for quite some time even when kept wet and in use all the time. As for shirts, I have in fact put a T-shirt in an outdoor bin before. It took quite some time to breakdown, but eventually all I could find was long strands of shirt fibre (cotton).
    Not sure what you mean by “what’s with the addition?”

    Allen – you can definitely use hair. It is a fantastic slow-release nitrogen source! I’ve added the contents of a vacuum bag (largely consisting of cat hair) to my outdoor bin before, and was amazed by how quickly it disappeared.
    I guess dyes in clothes might be something to be cautious about – all depends on the particular type of clothing (I’m sure a lot of clothes would have natural or at least harmless dyes). A wool sweater would eventually breakdown, but I suspect it would take a long time. I actually have a wool-knit cloth in the same bin with the Natura cloth and it is showing no sign of breakdown (need to make sure it is actually wool though – now that I think about it, perhaps it is synthetic wool)


    • Alison
    • January 9, 2008

    Hi Bentley, each time we add a comment we get an addition sum to do.This time it is ” please add 8 and 8 ” I just wondered what the reason was.

    • Bentley
    • January 9, 2008

    Haha! Ok, I gotcha, Alison! 🙂
    That is an anti-spam measure. I’ve been battling spam comments on my blogs and discovered that the ‘can you add’ application (designed to trip up spammers) works very well.

    Hope its ok that I’m putting you guys to work like that!

    • Jim
    • January 21, 2008


    Another company makes them in the US. Here is the link:

    and you can buy them here:

    • Bentley
    • January 21, 2008

    Thanks for sharing those links, Jim! Great to know!


    • nancy j cook
    • July 18, 2008

    The cloths a fab. I bought one for my mom and now she is at me constantly for more. where can I find them. I went to where I got the first one and could not get them. They are wonderful. better than any cleaning cloth I have ever used.

    • Bentley
    • July 19, 2008

    Yeah, I love them too, Nancy. They seem to wear out more quickly that a regular cloth but are great while they last. Nice to be able to toss them in my worm bins when they are finished, too!

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