Prospering Company (with a Green Twist): wowgreen International

You might think spraying upholstery cleaner into your mouth on live television would be enough to demonstrate its natural ingredients.

But if you’re Ali Khalil, that would be telling only part of the story of wowgreen International LLC, a Southfield-based manufacturer of non-toxic and environmentally friendly household cleaning products.

“We can take this to the masses and really educate people on how to free their household of toxic chemicals,” says Khalil, presidential founder of wowgreen International.

So fervent is his belief in the purity of the product that he took the unusual step of spraying the upholstery cleaner in his mouth when wowgreen was featured on a live segment of Fox 2 News last fall. While the demonstration more than got his point across, Khalil still can’t say enough about the cleaning products and their potential implications for the earth.

wowgreen International sells its products through independent distributors (much like Avon’s business model) and boasts products that are equal in price to commercial, chemical-based ones. Even when factoring in shipping and handling, says Khalil, wowgreen products are no more expensive than the brand-name ones.

But do they clean as well as, say, some more recognized brands?

“They clean better,” Khalil responds.

While it may seem almost too good to be true, Khalil explains the products technology is really quite simple — if you have an understanding of biomolecular technology.

If you don’t, it is easier to say that the cleaning secret is in naturally occurring enzymes that attack particular molecules. For example, protein enzymes dissolve protein-based dirt like grease and grime. Another cleaning enzyme would work only on soap scum.

While the technology may be difficult to understand, the results are not.

The carpet and upholstery cleaner can remove a wine stain in under 20 seconds, while the tile and bath cleaner removes the nastiest mold and mildew.

Cleaning solutions are packaged in reusable spray bottles. Refills are packs of concentrated cleaner that you mix with water. “We’re reducing the amount of plastic bottles that go into landfills,” says Khalil.

The network of independent distributors ensures those buying the product are not only sold something, but educated about it as well.

“We don’t really sell anything,” says Khalil, “we educate people.”

Whatever you call it, it’s working: Established in February 2009, wowgreen has taken off. It started when a few enterprising scientist inventors approached founding CEO Allie Mallad about a new cleaning solution they developed that uses only natural enzymes.

Mallad, by then an experienced and successful entrepreneur, decided to take a chance and opened the Southfield office last year. Since then the business has grown to 15,000 customers around the country. The goal, adds Khalil, is to have a million customers in five years. wowgreen is also working with Oakland County’s planning and economic development team using several of the county’s resources and services.

To help that goal along, wowgreen is offering a free stain remover pen to new customers who call the call center at (877) 333-9110. The giveaway is part of an Earth Day promotion, but will continue until supplies run out. The hope is that people “celebrate Earth Day not just today but every day,” says Khalil.

While getting the word out about wowgreen’s products is important, adds Khalil, it is far better to educate people and let consumers make their own decisions.

“If you educate people,” says Khalil, “they are naturally going to remove toxins from their homes.”

wowgreen International is located at 1000 Town Center, Suite 2300, in Southfield. For more information on the company visit www.wowgreenuniversity.net or call (248) 213-2160.