There are over 62,000 chemicals on the market for use in industrial products and cleaners. Yet, companies are not required by federal law to list them on the packaging. The Environmental Protection Agency only requires companies to list "chemicals of known concern". Feeling a little safe? Well, you may reconsider if you knew that there aren't any testing requirements for most of the chemicals in cleaning products. The Environmental Protection Agency has studied and listed 650 as cancer causing or having adverse human and environmental effects. Only 5 of which have been banned from use. I grew up with a grandmother who insisted "cleanliness is next to godliness" and wanted it so "clean you can eat off of it". Well, I surely won't be eating off of anything after spraying it with those toxins. And, whatever god you believe in, wouldn't either.
Don't worry Grammy, there's an arsenal forming of mean, green cleaning products that leave the entire home and Earth clean. Here's 8 eco-friendly cleaners that made my list:
Remember that high you were warned of getting from breathing in too many cleaning fumes? Well, this plant-based cleaner takes me skipping through lemon verbena fields every time I use it. Before I know it everything is cleaned. Essential oils are used to create scent collections. Yes, you read right. Purchase your cleaning products by scent collections where you'll find multi-surface concentrate, dish soap, and even toilet bowl cleaners. Relieve fatigue as you clean with Lavender or stimulate your senses with a Rosemary scrub.
Their Instagram is full of fresh picked inspiration and DIY projects. Basil is their featured scent for summer. Naturally, you'll find a recipe for Basil, Lime, Chili Popsicles on their Instagram. Thelma Meyers approved of course. She's pretty much the Paula Deen of cleaning. When did household products become so cool that we would want to follow them on Instagram? Don't you just love the time we live in? Mrs. Meyer's is so proud of their products that they created a glossary on their website listing every ingredient they use. No tongue twister words here hidden beneath the packaging.
5 generations of soap makers and as true as they were from the very first day. Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner made with organic and fair trade ingredients comes in three sizes to leave your whole home smelling of spruce and fir needle. Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soaps can also be substituted for certain cleaning projects and come in a variety of scents like Almond, Rose, and Eucalyptus. These concentrates should be diluted before use. Need help with that? Lisa Bronner has you covered with a dilution cheat sheet.
Dr. Bronner's is not afraid to stand for what he believes in and we're happy about it! Social media and product packaging are platforms for the company's beliefs. A typical Instagram post is a celestial background urging followers to treat Spaceship Earth like home. "Fair Pay Today" reads across the Pure-Castile Soap bottles. You'll actually find "Absolute cleanliness is Godliness" on just about every product. And, when they're not busy spraying us with positivity you can find them spraying Magic Foam at concerts and events. Just think, foam shower party that's organic and biodegradable.
Definitely the oldest company on our list, J. R. Watkins, started in 1868 making a naturally derived pain reliever liniment. Their all natural home care line was added in 2007 and includes dishwashing soap, room fresheners, and even bathroom cleaners. They're chemical-free and have been made in the same factory for over 100 years. Vintage isn't only in their design. They've been taking care of us for so long that one of their original offices is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
It's like asking your great-grandmother to prove her recipe is from scratch. You don't want to ask but if you have to know, like I did, the Freedom Code lists all the ingredients they've vowed not to use. Their commitment to natural products has even lead them to offering gourmet herbs, spices, and food coloring. I know it may seem odd thinking of food coloring being produced next to dishwashing soap but when the ingredients are naturally the same it makes sense.
4. Method Home
Design this clean is synonymous to the ingredients used at Method Home. The company began in 2000 with two friends wondering why cleaning products were designed so poorly, smelled stinky, and barely got the job done. The result is a combination of design aesthetic, sustainability, and innovation. You'll find a wide array of cleaning products including air care and laundry detergents in scents that whisk you away. The lime and sea salt scent takes inspiration from days at the beach. "If spring cleaning was more like spring break, it would be a lot more enjoyable". Pretty simple stuff, right?
Method Home take sustainability to a new level. Besides using bottles that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, they have also created the first bottles made from ocean recovered plastic. Partnering with local beach cleanup groups and volunteers, plastic debris was collected from Hawaiian shorelines to develop the grey-resin bottles. The company also boasts the industry's first LEED platinum certified soap factory. Half of the energy used is powered by a 230 ft wind turbine. Solar trees in their parking lot follow the sun throughout the day to maximize energy generation. And to top it off, part of their roof is a greenhouse that produces pesticide-free vegetables for the local community in Chicago.
No stranger to hashtags, #generationgood is a community of people who believe a safe and healthy environment matters. You won't find synthetic fragrances, dyes, or artificial brighteners in any Seventh Generation products. Essential oils and botanical extracts help remove familiar stains without the use of unfamiliar chemicals. Looking for sustainable alternatives for feminine and baby care? Seventh Generation has you covered there too with tampons and diapers that are organic and just as reliable.
Does a cardboard bottle for laundry detergent seem unreal? Well, it is real and Seventh Generation has it. Every other product is packaged using 100% post consumer recycled plastic as well. And, to make recycling easier they include How To icons on the back of each bottle. #generationgood is in good hands.
With humble internet beginnings, The Simply Co. bubbled up from a zero-waste lifestyle blog where Lauren Singer wrote about toxic-free, sustainable cleaning products. A kickstarter campaign was launched, a whole lot of baking soda was used, and an organic laundry detergent was the result. It was created out of passion and people wanting a change. The product is organic, vegan, and animal cruelty-free. Two options are available with only 4 main ingredients in each jar. The Simply Co. proves that simple, natural ingredients are all we need for a true clean.
You'll find giveaways and customer reposts on their Instagram. Building community is how they got started and they aren't letting it go now. With over 14k followers and happy customer reviews daily the new kid on the block has quite a sustainable future. Read up on other sustainable practices at Trash is for Tossers, the zero-waste blog that started it all.
The Laundress believes taking care of fabrics and correcting stains extends the life of your clothing and linens. Therefore, they offer laundry detergents and household cleaners that are phosphate and artificial dye free. Their 100% biodegradable formulas do more than just wash your laundry but rather help preserve them naturally. In this economy where fast fashion rules, a company that values keeping clothing longer is rare to find.
The Laundress New York is actually ran by two laundresses, Gwen and Lindsey, and they know about more than just laundry. Their website is a community where modern day how-to videos and retro advice columns meet to help tackle dirt. Their store-front hosts pop up shops and their Instagram hosts giveaways. Just post a pic of a laundry room moment and receive a $25 voucher to use on their website.
Green cleaning goes beyond just the cleaning products at Ecos. They're manufactured on zero-waste principles powered by renewable energy; solar panels line the roof of all five facilities. Made with plant-derived cleaning agents and essential oils. They focus on how each product impacts the air, land, and water implementing sustainable practices in each of those areas. You can choose from 18 different scents like Honeydew, Cedar, and Lemongrass. There's even a line of pet cleaning products that are chemical free for our furry friends.
The website features The Ecos Family Recipe where you can learn that parsley is a natural odor neutralizer and that potato skins are loaded with sugars that double as cleaning agents. On Twitter they take the time to respond to customer reviews and questions. You'll find retweets about recycling and sustainability.
And, if you're feeling super green yourself how about making your own cleaner? Grab a bottle of vodka, white vinegar, your favorite smell-good essential oil, and some water. The high alcohol content in vodka kills mold and mildew making it a great disinfectant.
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup white vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops orange essential oil
1 1/2 cups water