Get the scoop on the the best green cleaning brands that really work!
Shout. Lysol. Windex. Clorox. Tide. Pledge. Unless you’ve grown up living an extremely green lifestyle, you’re probably pretty familiar with those names and the types of products they represent.
And I’m guessing that like 97% of the population, you’ve got one or two of them under your sink right now.
Why Green Cleaning Matters
Conventional cleaning products are well known for their ability to get the dirty jobs done, but there is a price to pay for their version of “clean”. While they may be good at scrubbing off grime and busting germs, they are not healthy housemates. The ingredients in those secret cleaning formulas are often toxic to breathe, bad for the environment and some are even dangerous to touch with your bare hands. According to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group of over 2000 cleaning products on the American market, cleaning substances have been linked to:
- asthma and other respiratory problems
- release of cancer causing formaldehyde
- elevated risk of birth defects
- chemical burns and allergic reactions
- hormone disruption
Surprisingly, federal laws do not mandate health testing for the chemicals used in most cleaning products and to make matters worse, manufacturers are not required to list ingredients on cleaning product labels. If we don’t know what’s in our cleaning products, how can we make an educated decision about whether or not they are safe to use?
On top of the health concerns, layer in the environmental issues caused by cleaning product ingredients, like algae buildup, drinking water degradation and harm to aquatic life, and these products are not looking very “clean” at all.
What to Look For in a Green Cleaning Brand
The market for non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products has exploded in the past few years but still it can be hard to separate the greenwashing from the truly green. I’ve been adding to my green cleaning arsenal for years and I’ve found that the best green cleaning brands meet these criteria:
- Disclose ingredients (even though they are not required to)
- Contain plant-based ingredients (not petroleum-based)
- Are biodegradable (preferably USDA Certified Biobased Product)
- Do not contain artificial colors or fragrances*
- An A or B rating in the EWG’s cleaning product database (a C rating can also be acceptable – see fragrance note)
- Bonus: are ultraconcentrated or refillable
And of course they need to work. That goes without saying. Eco-friendly cleaning products have come a long way and I would argue that many of them work just as well or better than conventional cleaning products. Sure, I’ve tried a few that were duds, but over the years I’ve found the specific products that work best for me from a bunch of different green cleaning brands.
*A note about fragrance: Artificial or synthetic fragrance had become an evil buzz word in the natural product industry – and for good reason. HOWEVER, fragrance is complicated (as my friend Lindsay explains in this helpful post). Essential oils are usually, but not always a good fragrance option and safer synthetic fragrances (phthalate-free for starters) are also available. The good news is that companies are becoming more transparent about fragrance ingredients and I expect the world of fragrance to become easier to navigate in the future.
My personal preference is for lightly scented cleaning products that smell like something you would find in nature (lavender, pine, lemon) as opposed to strongly scented “tropical breeze” or “floral mist” fragrances. A couple of the products I like do use safer synthetic fragrances and hence have a lower rating on the EWG database.
Best Green Cleaning Brands
(Note: there are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission (at no extra charge to you). Thank you for supporting Mindful Momma if you do!)
So are you ready to swap out some of your old standbys for greener, safer cleaning products? I’ve tried a lot of brands over the years, so I’m here to help!
My recommendation is to start with the three products you use the most and then continue on from there. Maybe that’s dishwashing soap, laundry detergent and an all-purpose cleaning spray. Or maybe it’s the toilet cleaner that’s got to go. It’s really up to you!
BONUS: If you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll get a printable shopping list of my top green cleaning products in 10 different cleaning categories. I have cherry-picked the best ones just for you! (sneak peek below)
Here’s a list of the best green cleaning brands I rely on every day:
(a few of my favorite natural cleaning products are also mentioned in this article in New York Magazine)
Known for: A wide variety of cleaning products
Known for: Dishwashing and laundry products
Known for: Bac-Out odor remover and laundry products
Known for: Cleaning sprays for every cleaning task
Known for: Powdered laundry detergent
Known for: Concentrated, refillable products – you add the water
Known for: Private label cleaning products (get 25% off you first order, plus a 30-day trial and free shipping when you use my affiliate link)
Known for: Dishwashing, laundry and bathroom cleaning products
Known for: Sals Suds biodegradable cleaner
Known for: Orange oil based cleaning products
Don’t forget DIY!
Not everyone has the time or the interest in making homemade cleaning products – but if you are one of those who likes to DIY everything possible, take a look at the DIY cleaning products I’ve got up on the blog (more to come!)
- All-purpose cleaning spray
- Fizzy scouring powder
- Laundry freshener
- Tub & tile cleaning remedies
- 15 ways to use vinegar in the home
What are your favorite green cleaning brands?