You want a clean house, but you don’t want to fill it with chemicals. There are a variety of reasons why many people are turning to natural, organic cleaning solutions, from disliking the unpleasant smell of harsh bleaches and pesticides, to fears about cross-contamination in your home, or environmental harm once they’re washed away. Whatever your reason for wanting to go green and take home cleaning solutions back to their roots, here’s the natural cleaning products the experts recommend.
One of the most effective ways to clean stains, rust, dirt, and grime is through abrasion. Using a powder that’s harder than the stain but softer than the surface you want to clean means you can lift even tough marks without damaging your appliances, work surfaces, or glassware. Common abrasive powders include minerals such as feldspar, limestone, silica, and sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, which is actually a type of salt. You might not realize it, but this is the science behind Magic Erasers, although they’re made of melamine foam rather than naturally forming minerals.
Bon Ami Powder Cleanser
Perhaps the original abrasive cleaner, Bon Ami Powder has been on the market since 1886. The original powder was pure feldspar, a soft silicate mineral that is incredibly common, forming over 50 percent of the Earth’s crust. Some versions of Bon Ami now have other ingredients, such as baking soda and limestone, to give more targeted or better smelling cleaning. All versions are hard enough to work on stains and built-up dirt, but too soft to damage enamel, metals, or glass. That makes Bon Ami the perfect eco-friendly cleaning product for tough stains in kitchens and bathrooms.
Meliora Cleaning Products Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub
If you want the same scrubbing power combined with a pleasant fragrance, Meliora Home Cleaning Scrub is another eco-friendly solution. Its primary ingredient is baking soda, which won’t produce quite as dramatic results as Bon Ami but is an effective household cleaner that works on any solid surfaces. Teamed with the soda in Meliora’s product is vegetable soap to help cut through grease, and peppermint and tea tree oils for a fresh, natural scent. If you’re on a septic system, Meliora is a good choice for your household cleaning as it’s certified septic safe, and all its ingredients are rated A from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Every household needs a good all-purpose cleaner on hand for accidental spills, boiled over pots and pans, sink splashes, water rings, and more. You can get great, effective green cleaners that use plant-based ingredients and essential oils to leave your surfaces gleaming and your whole house smelling fresh. Citrus is a popular eco cleaner, as its mild acidity is great at destroying even stubborn stains. You can make your own quick green cleaner by putting salt on half a lemon and using it to scrub stains and hard surfaces such as countertops, sinks, cookers, baths, and faucets. Alternatively, keep one of these premade cleaners on hand and never worry about using harsh chemicals again.
Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
Better Life offers a number of chemical-free cleaners for kitchens, bathrooms, and even nurseries, but their all-purpose cleaner is the original product featured on Oprah, Shark Tank, and Real Simple. This plant-based cleaner uses coconut and vegetable-based surfactants to break up the surface tension of grease and tough stains, and amino acids to destroy them completely. Available in a variety of fresh fragrances, Better Life promises to never contain alcohol, dyes, synthetic fragrances, petroleum, or sodium laureth sulfate.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner
Mrs. Meyer is a name eco-clean fans can rely on. Always made with plant-based ingredients, completely biodegradable, and never tested on animals, this everyday cleaner still packs a punch against dirt and grime. As well as containing a variety of essential oils chosen for their aromatherapeutic properties, Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning solution uses citric acid to break down stains and leave your home fresh and clean. This cleaner also gives back to the community as well as the environment, as the company has a commitment to partnering, volunteering, and donating to eco-friendly projects.
Greenerways Organic All-Purpose Cleaner
Certified organic by the USDA, this plant-based cleaner uses essential oils as the cleaning agent and claims to kill 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria on almost every surface in your home. If you prefer more masculine scents for your cleaners this could be the one for you, as Greenerways uses organic tea tree, spearmint, and lemongrass oils to scent their product.
Eco Orange All-Purpose Cleaner
The orangiest cleaner on our list! Eco Orange markets itself as “the world’s strongest orange-based, earth-friendly household cleaner,” and is biodegradable, non-toxic, ozone-safe, and VOC compliant. Eco Orange is a tougher cleaner than most, claiming to remove permanent marker, carpet stains, nail polish, rust, grease, and even chewing gum from a variety of surfaces. Because it’s sold as a concentrate that needs to be diluted, a little bottle packs a lot of cleaning power and goes a long way.
Toilet and bathroom cleaners
Some tasks need a dedicated cleaner, as you want to be sure that the product you’re using is up to the job. There are plenty of eco-friendly toilet and bathroom cleaners on the market, so you don’t have to resort to abrasive or dangerous chemicals to kill bacteria and keep your home fresh and safe.
Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Certified bio-based by the USDA, fully biodegradable, non-toxic, septic safe and cruelty free, Seventh Generation is the toilet bowl cleaner you’ve been looking for. Strong enough to kill germs and odor, but safe enough not to harm the planet. This cleaner is bleach, dye, and synthetic fragrance-free, so you get a clean toilet without any eye-watering chemical scent.
Bean & Lily Bathroom Cleaner
This clever bathroom cleaner uses eucalyptus and grapefruit to get all your bathroom surfaces gleaming without causing harm. In fact that’s their company motto: “Do the Job, Do no Harm,” and what inspired them to crate a plant-based, pH neutral, pet and child safe degreaser specifically for bathroom use. Most natural cleaning products rely on acidic or alkali ingredients to remove stains by gently breaking them down, so a pH neutral bathroom cleaner might be revolutionary. Because Bean & Lily’s products are pH balanced, they’ll never corrode surfaces or irritate your skin.
Good Life Solutions Daily Tub & Tile Cleaner
Good Life Solutions is a small, family-owned company that produces small batch, high quality, eco-friendly cleaners. Their Daily Tub & Tile Cleaner has only four ingredients, all from the Safer Choice program’s “Cleangredients” list, meaning they’re not only non-toxic and biodegradable, but earth safe too. Each year, Good Life Solutions also donates 1 percent of gross sales to environmental non-profits in order to do more to protect the planet.
Wood and floor cleaners
Wooden furniture and flooring is another area that sometimes requires a dedicated cleaner. Improperly treated wood can warp or be discolored, so using the appropriate cleaner for the job will help it to always look great and last longer. However even with products intended for use on wood, it’s always a good idea to spot check an inconspicuous area first, because you never know how the oil, varnish, or stain might react, even to natural products.
White House Foods Cleaning Vinegar
You can’t go wrong using simple white distilled vinegar for most of your household cleaning needs. The acid in vinegar is what does the trick when it comes to removing stubborn stains, and it leaves behind a lovely shine that makes your surfaces gleam. The downside to using vinegar is the smell, but White House has solved that problem by infusing their vinegar with lavender to leave behind a fresh, pleasant aroma.
Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash Concentrate
Another brand that relies on vinegar for its cleaning power is Aunt Fannie’s. This concentrated solution is safe on most types of flooring, including hardwood, ceramic tile, bamboo, vinyl and laminate, and its ingredients have been awarded the highest health and safety rating for cleaning products by the EWG. If you want to use a vinegar cleaner for your flooring but don’t like its natural scent or lavender you’re in luck, because Aunt Fannie’s concentrated cleaner comes in a variety of fresh scents, including eucalyptus, mandarin, and lime mint.
Truce Wood Cleaner
Truce takes its treatment of your wooden furnishing and fixtures a step further, employing vinegar as its primary cleaning agent, and olive oil to nourish and protect your woodwork. Essential oils give the cleaner a pleasant citrus aroma, and all their ingredients are non-toxic, biodegradable, and pesticide free. Truce also considers the environmental impact of its packaging, using water-soluble inks, recyclable materials that are PVC and CFC free and hypoallergenic. They also sell refill kits which cut down on waste as well as save you money.
JAWS Hardwood Floor Cleaner
JAWS stands for Just Add Water System and is a concentrated cleaner delivered in a small pod that you place inside a spray bottle to activate. JAWS cleaners use plant-based surfactants and ethanol derived from corn in order to provide cleaning power that won’t harm the environment. This cleaner is pH neutral, so it won’t corrode surfaces or irritate your skin. The clever delivery system means less packaging, so less waste and harm to the environment, and the ingredients are all biodegradable and non-toxic. JAWS Hardwood Cleaner is safe to use on more than just hardwood as well, it’s recommended for sealed stone, marble, terrazzo, linoleum, and more.
It’s vital for your health to keep the plates and utensils you eat from clean, and you might worry that you have to rely on chemical soaps and washes to ensure everything is properly sanitized. However there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to your usual dish soap, so your crockery, cutlery, and glassware can be reliably cleaned in an environmentally conscious way, just like the rest of your home.
Ecover Zero Dish Soap
Made from plant-based and mineral ingredients, Ecover’s dish soap promises to be as tough on food and grease as it is gentle to you and your family. Dish soap can be particularly harmful to the environment because of the quantities we use it in, and the speed with which it ends up back in the water table. Ecover’s soap is completely biodegradable so it won’t cause ecological harm, and even their packaging is planet-friendly, as it’s made from recycled materials and Plantplastic, a material made from renewable biological sources or agricultural by-products.
Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets
If you prefer to use your dishwasher instead of hand washing, you can still go green with Ecover’s dishwasher tablets. They use the same plant and mineral-based ingredients as their dish soap, with no fragrances, dyes, or harmful chlorine. Biodegradable and phosphate free to protect the environment, these dishwasher tabs are packaged in recycled cardboard to reduce waste.
Attitude Nature + Hypoallergenic Baby Bottle and Dishwashing Liquid
There are few things you’ll want to get as clean and bacteria-free as your baby’s bottles, and Attitude Nature + steps up with their dishwashing liquid. Its active ingredient is saponin, a plant-based compound derived from peas and beans and known for its antimicrobial properties. As well as killing harmful fungi, bacteria, and viruses, it helps boost your immune system by stimulating the production of T-cells. This dish soap is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and has been awarded a Grade A in the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. It’s also ECOLOGO Certified, meaning it’s a safe household cleaning product that has minimal environmental impact, so you can clean your baby’s bottles, hard toys, and all your dishes safely and effectively, without harming the planet.
Body soaps and hand sanitizers
It isn’t just your home you need to keep clean. You can find plenty of eco-friendly, all natural soaps, shampoos, body washes, and even hand sanitizers to keep your whole family clean and healthy. As more and more people come to rediscover the power of plant-based products for cleaning and everyday hygiene, your choices become cheaper and more abundant.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap
Castile soap is named after the Castile region of Spain, where it was first used, and is traditionally an olive oil-based soap that can be used to clean just about everything, from your body to your dishes. You can even brush your teeth with it. Dr. Bronner’s recipe is organic, vegan, and contains hemp, olive, and coconut oils to make a powerful cleanser you can use anywhere and everywhere. Their packaging is also eco-friendly, made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and their oils are ethically sourced and fair trade.
Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer
This smart sanitizer is just as effective as harsh, chemical cleaners in killing germs. It kills 99.9 percent of bacteria, and has been proven effective against salmonella, MRSA and e-coli. As well as being safe for use as a topical sanitizer, you can spray it on fruits and veggies to remove bacteria and wax coating, or apply it to a multitude of surfaces to clean them before contact. Try spraying it on supermarket carts, door handles, workout equipment, and baby changing tables. It’ll even freshen up a smelly dog if you give their fur a light spritz.
ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer Gel
Also proven to kill 99 percent of germs, bacteria, and fungus, ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizer is made from plant-based ingredients including sunflower seed oil, fruit extracts, and aloe vera, plus jojoba oil and vitamin E to moisturize and protect your skin, unlike chemical sanitizers which often dry you out. All four varieties have fresh, pleasant fragrances and are hypoallergenic and gentle enough for all skin types.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Wash
Go back to nature and turn your tub into the ocean with The Seaweed Bath Co., whose signature body wash is made from exactly what you’d expect: organic, sustainably-harvested bladderwrack seaweed. Seaweed is a fantastic natural resource for keeping your skin clean and healthy, and this body wash contains over 65 vitamins and minerals to protect and rejuvenate your skin. The Seaweed Bath Co. uses only vegan, cruelty-free ingredients with no dyes, parabens, SLS, or gluten, and their packaging is made of 100 percent cost-consumer recycled plastic. Packed with essential oils and antioxidants, this eco-friendly seaweed bath might be the most decadent scrub you’ve ever had.