Cleaning your house can be dirty business. Researchers at the University of Washington tested a variety of popular household products (such as air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, laundry and dish detergents, and the like) for toxic ingredients. Surprise! They found a whopping 133 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the products—even in those labeled “green,” “natural,” or “organic.” What’s the use of cleaning your house with a bunch of chemicals that mar the planet and compromise your health? There are a few brands that are looking to change that. Made with non-toxic ingredients, wrapped in zero-waste packaging, and offering a powerful clean that’s better for you and the planet, these cleaning supplies are the change we didn’t know we needed to make at home.
The Clean Essentials, by Blueland
Blueland made its debut on Shark Tank and landed a $270,000 deal with Kevin O’Leary, thanks to its nontoxic cleaning tablets and environmentally responsible packaging. The Clean Essentials Kit includes three reusable plastic spray bottles (color coded for their specific cleaning solution), a hand soap bottle, and four nontoxic cleaning solution tablets (Multi-Surface, Glass + Mirror, Bathroom, Foaming Hand Soap) that make up to 20 oz. of VOC- and paraben-free cleaners when dissolved into plain old water. When you’re close to running out of solution, you just order more tablet refills—which start at a wallet-friendly $2. ($39)
Cleancult Off-White Starter Kit Bundle
Praised by FC staff writer Liz Segran for its monochromatic, neutral colorway and handsome design, this clean-home starter kit steps up what a cleaning kit can look like by ditching the plastic for shatterproof frosted glass bottles. And unlike Blueland, Cleancult uses liquid soaps and cleaning mixtures made of all-natural ingredients such as coconut oil, citric acid, and sodium gluconate (a mineral-based cleaning agent). Refills come in 16 oz. paper-based milk cartons. ($85)
Dropps Dish Washer and Laundry Pods
Washing dishes in a dishwasher has been found to be more environmentally friendly and water conscious than washing dishes by hand, and with Dropps, dishwashing is about as eco-friendly as it can get. Dropps are lightly scented with natural essential oils (or you can get unscented), they’re biodegradable, and they work. A subscription plan keeps your detergent stocked up without trips to the market, and you won’t have to feel guilty about the delivery—because all Dropps packaging is biodegradable and compostable. (Starting at 14¢ per load)
Grove Collaborative Clean Minute Granite Essentials Set
Made using renewable energy, this granite countertop cleaner is paraben-free and comes packaged in a reusable/refillable bottle. And users love it. “I’ve tried many granite cleaners, this one outshines them all!” says one review. And because it comes with two microfiber towels, you can ditch the single-use paper towels. ($15)
Grove Collaborative Complete Cleaning Concentrate Kit
For anyone with a Grove Collaborative membership, you know this B Corp is serious about making the world of consumer goods a better place. This cleaning concentrate kit comes with plant-derived, orange- and rosemary-scented All Purpose Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, and Tub & Tile Cleaner, which you mix with water into the silicon-wrapped, no-slip glass bottles. Plus, this kit comes with a bonus microfiber towel that you can swap out for those (wasteful) paper towels. ($48)
Common Good cleaning supplies
Starting at less than $10, the well-made cleaning products and detergents from family-owned Common Good go beyond leaving all the toxic ingredients out and make their manufacturing process as eco-friendly from beginning to end. The company uses 100 percent renewable energy to create their products and is Zero Waste Platinum Certified. Plus, their products are completely unscented, for those who prefer it. (Starting at $7)
Method All-Purpose Compostable Cleaning Wipes
Sometimes, you have to clean up a goopy, sloppy mess with something other than an organic linen or cotton napkin. That’s where the Method All-Purpose Compostable Cleaning Wipes come in. These lavender-scented saviors are bundled in recycled packaging, made of ethically-sourced ingredients, shipped in biodiesel-fueled vehicles, and produced in a LEED Certified facility. And can we just mention again: they’re compostable. ($7)
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