Nobody likes a dirty house, but the cleaning products we use aren’t always healthy. Many contain chemicals that leave dangerous residues on surfaces like kitchen counters and more, while some end up in the water system. These can build up over time and can harm wild plant and animal life. If you want to leave as small of an impact as possible on the environment, here are ten natural and organic cleaners to consider:
This brand sells a multipurpose cleaning concentrate, so you can reduce the number of products you buy and reduce plastic waste. It’s made from nontoxic plants and minerals such as purified water, organic chamomile flower extract, and food-grade baking soda. The concentrate can be used for laundry, windows, appliances, dishes, grills, tiles, and even hand and body soap, when you dilute it.
Bon Ami powder cleanser
One of the oldest natural cleaners out there, Bon Ami powder cleanser is essentially a more powerful baking soda. It’s nontoxic and biodegradable, and can be used in your kitchen, on pots and pans, and in the bathroom. Ingredients include baking soda, soda ash, and limestone. It also absorbs odors.
This brand produced the world’s first line of Cradle-to-Cradle certified cleaning products, which means they went through various tests looking at factors like material health and water stewardship. They have a wide range of cleaning products free from parabens, chlorine bleach, ammonia, and other toxins. Instead, they use ingredients like aloe and other plant-based biodegradables. If you want to save on plastic packaging, get their all-purpose cleaner, which comes in scents like mint and lavender.
Seventh Generation makes a huge line of products for every purpose, including cleaning wood and stone. Their ingredients include biodegradable and plant-based substances. It meets the EPA’s Safer Product Standard and is 97% plant-based, as certified by the EPA. People were concerned about sodium lauryl sulfate in their products, but Seventh Generation confirmed the SLS is from plant sources.
Like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers dish soap is made from 97% natural ingredients. The essential ingredient is soap bark extract, which is known for its degreasing powers. The company also makes a multi-purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and glass cleaner. They have a wide variety of scents to choose from, like lavender, basil, lilac, and more. You can even go on their website and get a full, detailed list of their ingredient and where that ingredient came from.
Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
Not a lot of cleaning products are certified organic – the most they usually get is “natural” – but Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is indeed certified both organic and vegan. It’s a multi-purpose cleaner great for laundry, floors, dishes, and more. Ingredients include spruce essential oil. It’s also biodegradable. Dr. Bronner’s other products are also very popular, and include an organic lavender hand sanitizer and 18-in-1 liquid soap made with organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, and other natural ingredients.
Made with organic ingredients (it doesn’t appear to be officially certified organic, however), Better Life’s produce wash is designed to clean up fruits and vegetables. It blends minerals, fruit extracts, and more. It’s non toxic and biodegradable, so no need to worry about messing with the water supply.
Packaging plays the biggest role in cleaning products harming the environment, because most of the chemicals are actually filtered out. It’s the plastic waste that’s the big problem. JAWS cleaners recognize that, and sell concentrated refills for their bottles, so you can keep reusing the bottle. The refill pods are recyclable. They sell hardwood floor cleaner, glass cleaner, kitchen cleaner, and more.
Cleaning concentrates are a great way to get a lot of product without buying a lot of plastic. Biokleen sells an all-purpose cleaner made with nontoxic, plant-based ingredients like grapefruit seed extract and orange oil. It contains no ammonia or other substances on the EPA’s list of priority pollutants. It’s 3x concentrated, so you just need one ounce of the concentrate per gallon of water.
One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to make your own cleaning products. Essential oils are a great tool, since they are natural and smell great. Plant Therapy sells 100% pure, USDA organic essential oils in scents like sweet orange, lemon, and lavender. To make your own cleaning products, just mix with vinegar for an all-purpose cleaner. Their website has directions and tips on how to use their products for cleaning. Plant Therapy is also an EPA Green Power Partner, which means they use renewable energy in the manufacturing process whenever they can.