Prepping for a big spring cleaning? Step one is picking the right type of cleaning product—one that’s right for you and for the planet. With so many new options on the market the question is not only is it nontoxic? But also, is it waste-free? Is it allergen-free? Does it smell nice? Can I use it for laundry, dishes, and windows? And does it actually work to do the cleaning job needed to be done? With that in mind, we looked into the products out there and found a few favorites.
On this list are nontoxic, eco-friendly cleaning products that work well without doing harm, making it easy to replace your conventional ones. Happy cleaning.
From the self-made millionaire founder of Poo-Pourri, the odor-masking spray that’s in practically every American water closet, comes the luxurious, earth-loving home cleaning and aromatherapy line, Supernatural. With ingredients like oils from Litsea cubeba (a plant native to Southeast Asia) and palmarosa (native to India) and refillable containers, these home cleaning agents, incense sticks and nice-smelling oils were an instant hit on Goop. They’re a little pricier than other brands, but if you really love the planet you’ll pony up.
Designed for eco-friendly dishwashing and laundry, Dropps is the compostably-packaged answer to the budget-savvy chore-doer who’s concerned about chemicals in their body, on their body, and in the water supply. Cruelty-free and made with natural, stain-removing enzymes, Dropps comes in non-toxic, premeasured pods for easy cleaning. Made in the USA, third-party tested and gentle on the skin, there’s literally no reason not to level up your laundry-and-dish game with a better-for-everyone solution.
Like Dropps and other natural laundry detergents, Dirty Labs uses a patented formula of natural enzymes to break down stains. Then, according to its website (check out the super-cute, anthropomorphized compounds here), sugar-based stain-lifters grab the dirt, grease and other icky stuff for a petroleum-free, science-based approach to laundry. If you like what they’ve got for your clothes (in aluminum and cardboard packaging, no less), you can also grab their dishwashing powder, canvas tote, all-natural candle or glass detergent dispenser—made with reusable glass, of course.
From the country that brought us canals as a lifestyle, legal weed as a social outing and Vincent Van Gogh, now comes elegant, all-natural home cleaning products. One look at Kinfill’s website and you’ll feel cleaner, cooler and more planet-savvy. Purchase one of their glass spray bottles and a vial of concentrated cleaning solution and you’ll be on your way to effective, all-business un-dirtying in a sleek, sustainable package. Bonus points for buying the full collection of house-cleaning products, complete with a refill subscription plan. Finally, for those clumsy home cleaners (you know who you are), each spray bottle features a helpful rubber base in an aesthetically-pleasing, on-trend color. Ahem, colour.
With its pastiche of white, beiges and pastels, plus photos of three pretty, smiling caucasian women, it would be easy to dismiss Branch Basics at first glance. But a closer look at the story behind this all-natural set of household cleaners and detergents reveals something unique, indeed. Each of the three women behind the brand—Marilee Nelson, her niece Allison Evans, and Evans’s friend Kelly Love—all faced unique health battles. Over the years, Nelson devised her own, all-natural approach to eating and cleaning, which, eventually, helped all three recover. Soon enough they decided to take their experience and know-how to the masses. Branch Basics was born not just as a brand, but also an opportunity to educate (their online course is $99.)
Finally, a few good men enter the clean-cleaning arena. Puracy began when two best-friend-dudes in Austin, Texas, became fathers for the first time. They quickly discovered that non-toxic cleaners weren’t always effective, and set out to develop the holy grail of eco-friendly grease fighters: actual grease-fighting, minus the chemicals. Working with a few M.D.s, they developed an all-natural formula that did the trick and called it Puracy. Now, nine years later, the company has products for every part of your life, from dishwashing to laundry detergent and body care to sanitizer. No family member is left behind: Puracy even has all-natural products for pets.
With a product line similar in scale to that of Puracy’s, Blueland is an all-natural cleaning-product company with sustainable packaging as its core differentiator. In the Blueland model, eco-minded consumers buy their containers once and then simply refill with concentrated powders and tablets which they shake with water in a nontoxic silicone shaker (at-home bartenders will be especially tickled). While the initial cost of the containers might feel steep (a laundry starter kit with reusable tins and planet-friendly, non-plastic pods is $48), over time Blueland is arguably a money-saver that reduces plastic waste, too. Not to mention, the warm glow of standing on a very high horse. Worth every penny.
Did we say Blueland had a pricey fee to enter? Jk. That was before we discovered Common Good and Co., whose Goop-approved products include 2.5 gallon refill boxes for a cool $130 and up. Still, you don’t have to go big to get started: this sustainably-packaged, essential-oil-infused set of products are indeed beautiful, ostensibly nice-smelling and designed with minimal, good-looking labels. A single spray bottle goes for a mere $16.95, while a single cleaner-refill pouch runs in the same ballpark. In contrast to Blueland, the refill pouches are “low plastic” (86% less plastic than normal), and at least some of the ingredients are similar to those of Branch Basics. Common Good and Co. is also woman-owned, proving that everyday heroes (climate warriors and otherwise) are changing the tide in household products. One pouch at a time.
One of the original non-toxic cleaning brands is now one of the most ubiquitous. Founded by Van Vlahakis, who immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1953, ECOS is still a family-run business with products that range from laundry detergent to dish soap, pet products to dryer sheets. Yes, a number of their products come in plastic containers. But the production itself is carbon-neutral, while their employment practices have garnered praise. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s no need to don linen coveralls and go down Gwyneth-approved digital searches to find your next ECOS product. ECOS is widely available, whatever you wear to the market. From Walmart to Whole Foods and Walgreens to Vons, these all-natural cleaning products are just about everywhere, making it easy to clean better.