CHEMICALS have been forced underground at a new business set up by the owner of one of Scotland’s best known independent record companies.

Chemikal Underground label manager Andrew Savage, 42, and his wife Marie, 40, are going into business producing homemade chemical-free cleaning products.

Marie came up with the idea during her eight years as a cleaner, although she was spurred on by her eco-friendly sister Frances McKee, singer and songwriter for the alternative Glasgow rock band The Vaselines.

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The products – named Humblestuff – have already gained a celebrity endorsement, as the logo was designed by singer Aidan Moffat, formerly of Scottish indie group Arab Strap, who were signed to Chemikal Underground.

Marie spent two years developing her new products from her home in Clarkston, Glasgow, based on traditional cleaning ingredients like bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and oils, and now they are ready for sale.

Self-employed Marie, who also worked as a call handler for NHS 24, was so unimpressed with the household products she used in the course of her work that she decided to create her own label.

It is thought this is the first time anyone in Scotland has created and mass-produced effective natural cleaning products from home, designed to be safe for children, pets and allergy sufferers and vetted by Trading Standards.

Marie said: “Andrew is still working with Chemikal Underground and deals with all the artists and the manufacturing process.

“He has never been in a band but his brother was the drummer in The Delgados.

“Andrew has always been involved in the admin side of things.

“He is superbly well organised and he has been a great help; he does everything for the new business that isn’t making stuff really, things that don’t involve producing the products.

“My sister was really encouraging because she’s always used eco-friendly cleaning products. I’d never been particularly impressed with the cleaning products made by big companies and available in shops and I wanted to make something that worked for me.

“So in 2013 I began experimenting with traditional cleaning ingredients like bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and castile soap.

“I wanted to clean an oven without using any of the awful-smelling products that I had used in the past. It was definitely a lot of research and trial and error but, before too long, I had created my own preferred recipes, with good results.

“I then started to introduce the essential oils, for fragrance as much as the antibacterial qualities. From that point people started to comment on the lovely smells.

“The clients I clean for have certainly been impressed with the results and have been very happy to have these products used in their home. I think they are actually quite pleased that I am not using potentially harmful chemicals to do the cleaning.”

At the moment the range includes a multi-surface cleaning spray, toilet bowl fresheners and a soft cleaning paste in aromas such as lemon myrtle, eucalyptus and lime, lavender and sweet orange and clove.

Where they can, the couple use natural ingredients in their range such as bog myrtle (myrica gale or sweet gale), which is a sweet-smelling plant found in Scotland that has natural antibacterial properties.

Andrew added: “I am very proud of Marie, she went out and did the research and created her very own range, which we feel does the same job, if not better, than chemical-based products.

“The feedback she has had from her clients has been excellent.

“We feel people are ready to move away from corporate products and give something more organic and personal a try when it comes to cleaning around the home.

“At £5 for each product it may be a little more expensive, but we hope this will be a reasonable price to pay for piece of mind and a product that is more environmentally sustainable.”