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Household chores are necessary for keeping things tidy and sanitized. Whether giving your kitchen counters a good spray, scrubbing your tub or doing a load of laundry, the cleaning products you use really matter. Some cleaning formulas are packed with harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the environment. A worthwhile way to care for the world, yourselves and your family is to use the best eco-friendly cleaning products.
In the USA, big cleaning companies don’t always disclose their ingredient lists. This can leave some serious questions around what’s in their products. Cleaning formulas that contain ingredients such as phosphates and phthalates, which may cause harm to the environment. Single-use plastics and aerosol cans used to distribute many cleaning products are also huge contributors to our pollution problem.
Making the conscious decision to buy eco-friendly cleaning products is something we should all be doing, and here are three great reasons why:
Effective – Contrary to what some people believe, “eco-friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean less effective. Eco-friendly cleaning products work just as well as their chemically based counterparts, and they potentially smell and feel better, too.
Natural – Most of the time, eco-friendly cleaning products are made with all-natural, organic ingredients. They are usually biodegradable, so they break down over time rather than ending up in our oceans or landfills.
Sustainable – Eco-friendly products tend to have refillable options to help you avoid single-use plastics and continue using the same container to dispense, spray or hold your cleaning fluids.
Eco-friendly cleaning is more than sprays and scrubs. Consider the amount of plastic consumed when you replenish the garbage bag or throw out an empty bottle. While the best eco-friendly cleaning products are still rarely found on local supermarket shelves and are swamped by the big brands when they are, it is easy to pick up a less harmful option online. We’ve pulled together the best eco-friendly cleaning brands and products to eliminate any excuse and all the dirt in an environmentally friendly way.
Blueland is one of the fan favorites in the eco-friendly cleaning products realm due to its refillable model and emphasis on eliminating single-use plastics. They’ve got a solution for nearly every type of cleaning from hand soap to dish soap, laundry detergent to counter spray. They sell reusable cleaning bottles and tablets that you place in water to create their cleaning solutions. They have comprehensive ingredient lists for each one of their cleaning tablets as well as explanations of what each ingredient does. Their products don’t contain any phosphates, ammonia or VOCs — and while their ingredients aren’t all-natural, their focus on eliminating the need for single-use plastics is definitely a plus. They make it easy to order refill tablets online and the lack of needing to ship water weight using planes, trains and vans minimize their environmental footprint even more.
You can get started with their products easily with this Clean Essentials kit that includes three labeled reusable cleaning bottles for different spaces in your home, a reusable hand soap dispenser and four different tablets for the cleaning solutions.
2. Safely Clean Freak Kit
BEST NEW BRAND
Chrissy Teigen and Kris Jenner know how to launch successful products, from fashion to makeup to cookware. So when we heard they were teaming up to release a line of eco-friendly cleaning products, we knew the high-profile pair would ensure this was a product worthy of their reputations. Enter Safely, a line of cleaning products that will keep your home and family safe, whether you live in a mansion in Calabasas with seven kids or rent a modest apartment for you and your cat. The lineup includes laundry cleaners, surface sprays, universal cleaners, and even hand soap and sanitizer. We like the Clean Freak Kit, which includes a glass cleaner, universal multipurpose cleaner, laundry detergent, hand soap, hand cream and hand sanitizer. Each plant-based, cruelty-free product is made without the use of harsh chemicals and comes in refillable bottles with refills available on the site. All products are safe for use in homes with pets and children, are non-irritating, and packaged in recyclable containers. Plus, they smell really great, which is how we imagine the Jenner/Teigen homes to smell.
Plant-based power is the energy behind CleanWell’s non-toxic cleaning products. Their range of sprays and wipes are best suited to non-porous surfaces and are capable of killing over 99.9% of household germs, including those that cause the common cold and salmonella. CleanWell products are also completed with a natural citrus scent for a refreshing finish. CleanWell Disinfectant Wipes are particularly convenient due to the resealable pot in which they are stored. Thirty five sheets are included in each pack, and no rinsing is required when used.
4. Bon Ami
BEST FOR BATHROOMS
Okay, this is a bit of a throwback but Bon Ami has been producing a powder cleanser since 1886 that’s hypoallergenic and containes no harsh chlorine, perfumes or dyes. This formula can technically be used anywhere in your home, but I think it’s best suited for cleaning out grout and grime from shower and bath tiles. It’s perfect for porcelain, ceramic and other surfaces common in bathrooms, and is made to be nonabrasive despite being a powder cleaner. How do you use a powder cleaner? You wet a surface, sprinkle this stuff over it, scrub and rinse — easy as pie. It also contains baking soda so it absorbs odors, leaving behind a fresh, clean surface.
5. Better Life
BEST FLOOR CLEANER
Committed to creating cleaning products that are both kind to the environment and tough on dirt, Better Life is a brand created by two dads experienced in the highs and lows of household cleaning. All the products available in their large range are free of sodium lauryl, parabens, ethoxylates and petroleum solvent. They’re also never fragranced with synthetics to ensure their cleaning products are eco-friendly from all angles. Naturally, Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner is one of their most popular products available on Amazon with over 4,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. As with all Better Life products, only recyclable materials are used for packaging, and the biodegradable formulas inside break down up to five times faster than other leading eco-friendly brands.
Developed by doctors and founded by dads, Puracy guarantees their products promote a cleaner environment and are safe for both children and pets. Born from the idea of wanting to keep homes clean without running the risk associated with having harsh chemicals around, Puracy is a proudly American brand based in Austin, Texas. With the purchase of any Puracy product, including their All-Purpose Cleaner, the company donates to family charities. Despite being plant-based and hypoallergenic, Puracy’s non-toxic products are highly effective and clean without leaving streaks.
JUST ADD WATER
It’s as simple as just adding water with DAZZ products. Their reusable bottles come paired with tablets that dissolve to create eco-friendly cleaning solutions. With a proclaimed mission of creating eco-friendly cleaning products which are both safe and sustainable, DAZZ believes you should be kind to the planet without compromising on cleaning quality. The DAZZ Whole House Starter Kit is ideal if you’re new to eco-friendly products and are looking to revamp your cleaning armory. Three varieties of tablets are included. These cover formulas to target the bathroom, windows and glass as well as a general clear.
8. Green Earth Compostable
BEST GARBAGE BAGS
Green Earth Compostable is a brand dedicated to combating the vast amount of plastic put into the ground through garbage bags. Their 100% plant-based bags are designed for use in both industrial and personal environments, and they are available in a range of bin sizes, from 2.6 to 65 gallons. Once the full cycle of composting is complete, the bags themselves decompose completely, leaving only nutrients, water and Co2. Additionally, 1% of all the company’s revenue is donated to charities with a focus on conservation projects.
9. Dapple Baby
BEST FOR BABIES
Dapple Baby is a brand centered around cleaning for babies. They focus their products on the day-to-day have-to-dos of caring for small children. Removing milk film from bottles, wiping high chairs and soaking messes from clothes are all regular chores when there’s a little one around, so having reliable, child-safe cleaning products on standby is a must. Each product within the Dapple Baby plant-based portfolio has been tried and tested by pediatricians and dermatologists for total confidence in their safety. They’re also designed to tackle niche types of cleaning created by babies. For example, their Bottle and Dish Soap doesn’t just clean, it specifically breaks down fats, proteins and carbs to clean off milk film up to 50% more effectively than other leading brands.
10. Mrs. Meyers
BEST HAND SOAP
Mrs. Meyer’s makes excellent hand soap as well as other cleaning products out of a formula that’s phthalate, paraben, DEA and sulfate-free. Their products smell excellent and feel as effective as other cleaning brands that contain harsh chemicals. Their scents come from essential oils and other plant-derived ingredients, and they sell large refill containers so you can use the same plastic over and over again. They don’t sell anything in glass and all of their stuff is liquid so shipping isn’t the best, but none of their formulas are tested on animals and they smell quite nice. Also, the hand soap feels effective in your hands as it suds, and it contains aloe vera and olive oil so it’s moisturizing.
11. Swedish Wholesale
Cellulose and cotton are combined to create the specialty cleaning tools that Swedish Wholesale is famous for. Their biodegradable dishcloths come in seven colors and last up to one year. Designed for a non-scratch scrub, capable of breaking down tough residue and shifting dirt, Swedish Wholesale Dishcloths are extremely versatile for use on multiple surfaces and appliances around your home. With over 20,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it’s safe to say Swedish Wholesale is an extremely popular and trusted brand. Plus, their commitment to being green and encouraging eco-friendly products makes them a brand at the forefront of smarter ways to clean.
BEST ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
All-purpose cleaner is one of the best products to have around your home because it’s designed to work on most surfaces — and this one does so in an environmentally friendly way. Truce is an eco-friendly cleaning company and their all-purpose cleaner does all the environmental things right. It’s hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty-free but also biodegradable with its ingredients, paraben-free and comes in a recyclable bottle. You can buy their cleaner in three different sizes including a spray, a 4x refillable concentrate or a one-gallon concentrate.
13. Branch Basics
This cleaning kit does all the things — first of all, it has solutions for the bathroom, laundry, hand wash, a streak-free window cleaner and a concentrate that can refill each bottle. All of their formulas are also biodegradable and contain no harmful preservatives. Their formulas are plant and natural-based, and free of potentially irritating fragrances. Their model is designed so one concentrate can refill each of the other cleaning products — which makes it more environmental and cheaper for you. They have very positive reviews on their site related to their products’ effectiveness, and none of them are ever tested on animals.
BEST DISH SOAP
Dish soap is a hot topic in the eco-friendly cleaning product world as, besides hand soap, it’s probably the cleaning fluid that gets washed down our drains most often. This one is made with naturally-derived ingredients and readily biodegradable materials that are designed to not mess with the pH balance of our oceans. Their formula is designed to cut grease without irritating your allergies and is gentle on skin while being tough on dishes. It’s free of dyes and perfumes and comes in a recycled container. It also ships in frustration-free packaging which is inherently fewer materials than more extensive shipping containers.
BEST LAUNDRY DETERGENT
Dropps is trying to reinvent how we think about eco-friendly laundry with its powerful but gentle detergents. They make stuff for the laundry room, kitchen as well as scent solutions for your home — but the washing machine is where their magic really happens. Their cleansing formulas are dye-free, phthalate-free, phosphate-free and completely free of animal cruelty. All of their stuff comes in compostable packaging (a major plus) and their shipments are carbon neutral — a rarity. Their products have been third-party lab tested for effectiveness and their ingredients are so clean they won the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year award in 2020. Their Sensitive Skin Detergent is where I recommend starting — as it’s gentle but effective and works in nearly every washing machine.
16. Seventh Generation Cleaning Products
Seventh Generation is perhaps the one brand on this list you’ve heard of — their products are in a few major retailers in the US including Whole Foods and Target. While their products don’t follow the anti-single-use plastics refillable model, they do contain better ingredients than other formulas. Their cleaners are plant-based and use plant-derived cleaning agents that work. I’ve used their paper towels before and love them. They never test their products on animals and they’re all free of harsh fumes and fragrances. They also, as a brand, worked to develop a bio-based product certification, of which all of their products are certified.
17. Common Good
GREAT REFILLABLE OPTIONS
Common Good is entirely dedicated to the refillable bottle trend and we’re here for it. Their formulas are also made with gentle, plant-based ingredients and scented with only essential oils — which is great. But their bottles are where they shine. They sell printed glass bottles for different areas of the home as well as reusable plastic ones. They sell refill pouches with minimal plastic for when you need more cleaning solutions, and all of their formulas are biodegradable. They’ve got solutions for your hands, laundry room, kitchen — you name it, they can clean it. Their refillable hand soap is also a great place to start.
18. Grove Collaborative
If you want a centralized location where you can purchase eco-friendly cleaning products, Grove Collaborative is a great option. They focus on plant-based, plastic-free cleaning solutions and they’ve got an app that makes ordering super easy. They sell your regular cleaning products like laundry detergent, floor cleaners and dish soap as well as deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, air freshener and even candles. Check them out if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for making a lot of your daily cleaning and grooming rituals cleaner. They’re also aiming to go completely plastic-free by 2025, a goal I fully support.
Cleancult is another eco-friendly cleaning product brand that’s perfect for those looking to switch over a variety of products in their homes to more environmental options. Their cleaning products are never tested on animals and are widely available so if you need a last-minute refill of something you can find them at most drug stores. They sell their product refills in recycled milk cartons and their cleaning bottles are refillable and made of glass, making them longer-lasting than other plastic options. Their formulas are also driven by natural ingredients like coconut rather than chemicals so the clean is pure and powerful at the same time. They offer a flexible subscription model where you tell them which of their many products you want — hand soap, laundry, etc. — and how often you need refills and they deliver them to you. They make it easy, relatively affordable and fun.
20. Better Life Stainless Steel Spray
BEST FOR KITCHEN SINK
If your kitchen is filled with stainless steel appliances, it’s probably also filled with fingerprints. Better Life has a huge lineup of eco-friendly cleaning products, including stainless steel polish. The non-abrasive formula cleans grease, grime, dust and yes, fingerprints, while also leaving a protective layer that reduces the occurrence of future marks. Safe for homes with pets and children, the biodegradable spray is made from plant-based ingredients and is free from dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and petroleum solvents.
21. Eco-Me Carpet Cleaner
BEST FOR CARPETS
Vacuuming helps pick up dirt and debris from carpets and rugs, but when it comes to giving your floors a deep cleaning, most homeowners have to invest in a carpet cleaner or cleaning service. Thankfully, there’s the Eco-Me Carpet Cleaner. The natural, pet-friendly cleaner is made without harmful chemicals or toxic fumes and is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and colorants. Made with essential oils, the natural plant-based cleaner can be spread onto carpets or rugs, left for five minutes, and then vacuumed, leaving behind a clean, fresh-smelling floor.
22. The Spruce Pet Stain & Odor Remover
BEST FOR PET OWNERS
Accidents happen to every member of the household and that includes the four-legged variety. Dogs and cats love to return to the scene of the crime, which is why when it comes to stain and odor removers, pet parents want a product that won’t harm their (favorite) child. Using a powerful plant-derived enzyme formulation from organic sources, the Spruce spray can help to remove stains and odor caused by urine, feces, vomit and other organic materials. The cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny-certified spray can be used just about anywhere in the car or home, including on tile, wood, carpets, and upholstery.
23. Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz Washing Machine Cleaner
BEST FOR CLEANING WASHING MACHINES
Sometimes you have to clean the thing that cleans your things. Case in point, the Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz Washing Machine Cleaner. If you’ve started noticing your washing machine smelling less than fresh after your most recent load, it may need its own wash. Front-loaders especially are notorious for getting a musty smell after too many cycles without a deep clean. The septic and marine-life-safe tablets come in biodegradable wrapping and are made with eco-friendly ingredients. The tablets work to eliminate odors without leaving behind a heavy scent, making them a great option for users who are sensitive to scent.
24. Powerizer Complete Multipurpose Cleaner
ALSO CONSIDER ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
It can feel overwhelming and costly to buy products for every room in your home, which is why we are big fans of multi-use cleaners. The Powerizer Complete Multipurpose Cleaner is one of those items. Free from water, fillers, dyes and phosphates and made with plant-based ingredients, Powerizer can be used as a laundry or dishwasher detergent. The cruelty-free and pet-friendly cleaner is septic-safe and can be used throughout the house, including as a toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner or to clean kitchen counters. The non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner is made with stain-fighting natural bio-based enzymes and eco-friendly oxygen whitening color-safe bleach.
25. ATTITUDE Nature Plus Bathroom Cleaner
ALSO CONSIDER BATHROOM CLEANER
Take on your bathroom with a cleaner that can handle the tub, tile, toilet, and tap while doing no harm. Attitude’s Nature Plus Bathroom Cleaner uses caprylyl glucoside, which is an effective cleansing surfactant, and saponin, a natural cleansing agent. The vegan and cruelty-free cleaner is free from synthetic fragrances and can handle just about anything your bathroom throws at it, from limescale to soap scum and grime. The hypoallergenic cleaner is made with plant-based ingredients and crafted with renewable raw materials.
26. Cloth + Bristle Household Cleaner
Cloth + Bristle’s household cleaner is designed to be used throughout the home, is made with simple ingredients and really works. Taylor Galla, Spy’s E-Commerce Editor, tried out this cleaner on her stubborn bathtub grime and it instantly removed all of the soap scum and dried on goop she was hoping to cleanse. It also left behind a pleasant, but not overpowering, scent that brought the tub back to a neutral place. It’s designed to clean all types of household surfaces from granite to marble, harwood and even natural stone, and is made with only water, clay, xanthan gum and essential oils.