There are many reasons to start the transition from traditional cleaners over to “green” or “eco-friendly” cleaners. The environment (all harsh cleaners go down the drain into the water supply), small children (brightly colored traditional detergent pods can kill a child if ingested. Egads!), or perhaps just sensitivities. Whatever your reasons, it’s not an overnight change; it’s a process that takes some time. To help you get started, or give you some suggestions if you started a greener journey awhile ago, here are 25 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products.
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Earth Friendly Product's "Wave" Automatic Dishwasher Gel
Earth Friendly Product’s “Wave” Automatic Dishwasher Gel is made with plant derived cleaning agents, is concentrated, and comes in lavender scent or free and clear unscented. It’s been rated as the most effective all natural dishwasher detergent (and has a built in rinse aid).
Mrs. Myers Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner
This all purpose cleaner is stand out amazing because it smells so good, scented with essential oils and designed to have aromatherapy properties. (Happy cleaning!) There are regular year round scents like Lavender, Basil, and Lemon Verbena, but in the spring they have Honeysuckle, and they always come out with a special Holiday Scent Collection. I highly Recommend the Orange Clove.
The Spaghetti Scrub
The Spaghetti scrub looks weird but does a good job. It’s made from peach pits and corn cobs, by a company called Goodbye Detergent, and as the name would suggest, you aren’t supposed to use detergent for every day small spills and scrubs, only bigger, greasier jobs.
Biokleen Bac-Out Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
This green floor cleaner contains live enzymes and citrus oils to leave your floors “yeah, my kid could eat off that” clean, without weird perfumey smells or harsh chemicals.
Seventh Generation All Purpose Spray Cleaner
Seventh Generation All Purpose Spray Cleaner is available basically everywhere, all natural, contains no overly harsh weirdness, and cuts grease and other general ickynes. These things – along with a pretty low price point and decent quality spray bottle – make it a good “baby step” for people just starting the transition from traditional cleaners to more friendly ones. Seventh Generation also makes an AMAZING botanical based disinfecting cleaner that requires no rinsing, and works really well on toys, remotes, phones and doorknobs.
Eco-Me Carpet Freshener
If you have carpet, you may have noticed that it gets dirty, and sometimes just vacuuming doesn’t do the job. Particularly if you have a herd of animals or small humans you clean up after. Eco-Me Carpet Freshener can help, without questionable ingredients and harsh smells.
Shaklee Basic H2 Household Cleaner Concentrate
This cleaner concentrate is a relatively small bottle of cleaner that will make 48 GALLONS of all purpose, everyday, grease cutting cleaner that has no scent. The Shaklee company has been making biodegradable cleaners for around 50 years, so they know what they’re doing.
Natural Sea Sponges
The Original Sponge, Natural Sea Sponges have been used for thousands of years for everything from scrubbing your floors to scrubbing yourself. They’ve recently become popular again in cosmetics, but they’re also good for using for dishes and other regular cleaning chores. They’re a 100% natural, biodegradable, renewable resource.
Babyganics Toy & Highchair Cleaner
Babyganics Toy & Highchair cleaner is a gentle, non irritating, fragrance free cleaner designed specifically for things that will get chewed on or eaten off of by little ones.
Full Circle Suds Up soap-dispensing dish brush
Green cleaning goes beyond soaps of various sorts and incorporates tools, too! The Full Circle Suds Up soap-dispensing dish brush has a bamboo handle, recycled plastic bits, and plant fiber bristles. Bonus! It’s really pretty, if dish scrubbers could be called…pretty.
Wait until you see number 6! You’ll never want to use anything else for laudry again!
Dr. Bronners Hemp Castile Soaps
You can use Dr. Bronners Hemp Castile Soaps for just about anything. From shaving lather, to veggie wash (gets the waxy-weirdness off), toothpaste to laundry detergent, to washing your baby, you can use it. There are several scents (scented with essential oils), but if you have sensitivities to smells, the Baby Mild may be your best bet. The OTHER fantastic thing about Dr. Bronners is if you don’t want to commit to a GIGANTIC bottle of concentrate that will last you a long time, they also make 4oz bottles so you can try a little and see what you think.
Simple Green Cleaners
Simple Green has been around a LONG time, and they’re known for making very green concentrated cleaner that cleans different things depending on how you dilute it. Well now they’re making an even more “natural” range of cleaners. (That sadly, aren’t green, but are even more simple!) There are window and floor cleansers specifically, but also an all purpose concentrated cleaner (as is tradition).
One of the hardest products to replace when you decide to give up caustic solvents or cleaners is oven cleaner. Bummer. Good News, Everyone! You can clean your oven with baking soda, water, and vinegar. Make a paste with the baking soda and water, rub all over the inside of the oven, and leave it overnight (yes it will turn funky colors). Wipe off with a damp dish cloth, spray with vinegar which will bubble and help scrub/dissolve any remaining baking soda or ickyness, and repeat until clean and lovely.
The Honest Company Hand Soap
If you have sensitive skin or eczema, hand soap probably makes you sad, particularly if you wash your hands frequently. The Honest Company makes a whole range of products that are free of some of the nastier things lurking in a lot of liquid soaps, and cutting out some of these things – parabens, phosphates, triclosan, mineral oil, phthalates – can actually help your skin feel a lot better overall.
Common Good's Products
All of Common Good’s products come in reusable plastic or glass packaging and can be refilled at refill stations all over the US (or via Amazon). Also the Lavender scent takes you to a happy place.
Smart Reusable Kitchen Cloths
If you’re one of those homes (often with children or pets) who goes through a lot of paper towels, the Smart Reusable Kitchen Cloths may be an option for you to consider. They’re reusable as the name implies, and hold up to 15 times their weight in liquid.
For truly gross, stubborn, what-the-heck messes, you may need a degreaser. Citra Solv is an all purpose cleaner, but it’s a little more heavy duty than most of the other all purpose concentrates on this list. Think permanent marker, bike or car parts, the eternal crudd in your oven that no amount of baking soda and elbow grease will clean, that sort of stuff.
Earthworm Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Treatment
Gross bathrooms and mold/mildew happen, particularly if you live in the south. Sometimes you need a little extra umph to keep the grout white, but you don’t want to, you know, die from the fumes. Enter Earthworm Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Treatment. This stuff actually works, and it doesn’t make you question if you’re trading moments of your life for a clean bathroom. Earthworm’s enzyme and plant based philosophy makes products that are safe for everyone, include pet odor removers, upholstery cleaners, and septic maintenance powder and liquid.
J.R. Watkins has been around for over a century, making cleaning products with natural ingredients (and smells!), so they know what they’re about. They also make all purpose cleaning wipes that are completely biodegradable, so you don’t need to feel guilty being that person who sometimes just grabs a disposable wipe to wipe down all the things!
Rockin' Green Laundry Soaps
Rockin’ Green, aside from having the coolest packaging of any natural product we’ve found, makes laundry soaps that are specific to your needs (such as athletic or cloth diapers) and water hardness. That’s a really big deal if you’re washing for sensitive people or have really hard or naturally soft water. Also, their scents have names like “Smashing Watermelons” and “Motley Clean.”
Seventh Generation Emerald and Cypress Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Seventh Generation Emerald and Cypress Toilet Bowl Cleaner a) cleans your toilet bowl really, really well, b) while you should absolutely never lick, drink, or allow your children near cleaners of any kind, this won’t kill them if they get their hands on some, c) it smells like Christmas.
Twist Scour Pads and Salt
Replace your brillo pads with questionable cleaning gunk with these Twist Scour Pads and Salt. Yes, ye olde table salt. Or a baking soda paste. The pads alone are gentle enough to clean cast iron without hurting the seasoning.
Grab Green Thyme and Fig Leaf Room and Fabric Freshner
Grab Green makes an entire range of essential oil based cleaning products that are made in the USA, but far and away one of their best is the Thyme and Fig Leaf Room and Fabric Freshner. Sweet and clean smelling without being harsh or perfume like, it’s a great alternative to febreeze if you have sensitive skin or asthama/allergies. There are five scents in total, and all the scents come in all the cleaners, so if you find one you love, just use it for everything!
Charlie's Laundry Soap
Charlie’s Laundry Soap is pretty magical if you’re someone who has sensitive skin. It has no scent (the package says “If you want flowers, go pick some!”) , but gets the smell out of sweaty workout clothes. It doesn’t fade clothing and is safe and gentle enough for cloth diapers or feminine pads. Also, a little goes a long way, so the first time you use it, you may be temped to double up. Don’t. They also make an equally scent free oxygen bleach.
If you enjoyed this list, check out 25 Easy Hacks To Flawlessly Clean Things You Might Be Cleaning Wrong.
White Distilled Vinegar
Ye old white distilled vinegar is great for cleaning darn near everything. It doesn’t smell good, but the smell does dissipate quickly, and it is disinfecting. It cuts grease and leaves glass so very, very clean. If mix baking soda and vinegar, it will clear up light grease clogs in your drain. (Put baking soda, then pour in vinegar, let sit for about fifteen minutes, rinse with hot water for five. This is called a drain volcano.)
For normal cleaning and glass, equal parts white vinegar and distilled water. To disinfect or kill mold, straight white vinegar. If you see something called “Cleaning Vinegar” the difference is that regular white vinegar is 5% acidity, and cleaning vinegar is 6%. (5% works just fine.)