We’ve all swept dust under the rug, but we’re also (figuratively) doing it when we use cleaning products that make our planet a little dirtier.
Conventional cleaning products may bring about instant shine, but their use ironically contributes to the build-up of toxic waste and plastic pollution. Which is why it’s crucial to use legit eco friendly cleaning products.
And while these natural cleaning products won’t do the work for us, they will ensure a healthier home and planet, and that surely provides some motivation for those chores.
For some of our top cleaning picks, Ethique, for instance, leaves the water (and plastic bottle) out of the cleaning solution by providing powder concentrate in compostable packaging. Meliora does the same by offering organic eco friendly cleaning products.
While EarthHero curates the best natural cleaning brands and all the eco friendly cleaning tools we could ever need in one easy to navigate platform!
*This post contains affilate links
Meliora is most well-known for their home/meliora-natural-powder-laundry-detergent/” target=”_blank” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”rank-math-link”>eco laundry powder, which uses the power of organic plant-based ingredients to clean without compromising the health of our planet.
And if you need to buy eco friendly cleaning products for anywhere else in the home, this is the brand for you.
Everything is made with non-toxic and high-quality ingredients, like organic coconut oil.
Meliora started with a question: can you name five of the ingredients that typically come in your cleaning products?
Most of us can’t, and neither could Kate, the co-founder of Meliora.
Once she started doing a little digging, she found most ingredients weren’t even listed. Even worse, there weren’t laws in place that required a company to disclose what their products contained.
Knowing that something had to be done, Kate began experimenting with non-toxic and safe ingredients to create green cleaning products.
Meliora discloses all ingredients and only uses those that are effective, people-friendly, and planet-friendly. All of their products feature the MADE SAFE seal and Leaping Bunny logo and are vegan, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free.
Aside from packaging products in compostable and or reusable containers, they ship in plastic-free and recyclable containers.
Everything is produce in their environmentally-responsible Chicago factory by workers who receive living wages.
*Note: Dropps uses RSPO certified palm oil.
Let’s start with what Dropps is known best for— their eco friendly laundry detergent pods.
Made from naturally-derived fragrance and biodegradable ingredients in dissolvable polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) shells, these pods set the stage for eco clothes washing that doesn’t sacrifice convenience.
They are one of the best ways to get fresh and clean laundry without damaging our planet.
Outside the laundry room, Dropps supports an eco friendly household with other products like dishwasher detergent and reusable/biodegradable alternatives to paper towels. The former is made with powerful, mineral-based ingredients and, like the laundry detergent, is free of toxic chemicals.
Several of their most eco friendly non toxic cleaning products, including the Sensitive Skin Scent + Dye Free, Fresh Scent, and Baby laundry detergents are certified by the EPA’s Safer Choice program.
As the first company to offer an eco friendly laundry detergent pod, Dropps offer pure cleaning without the B.S. (bad stuff).
They only use plant-based ingredients manufactured in the United States.
With their products, you can easily tackle the stains on your clothes and the dirt in your home, as well as plastic waste, toxic pollution, and animal cruelty. They never test on animals, and their products are free of toxic pollutants like dyes, phosphates, and phthalates.
While they do use palm oil, it’s RSPO certified.
Because of their compostable containers and 50% post-consumer recycled boxes, they’ve prevented more than 1.7 million plastic containers from being created. Every order also receives free carbon neutral shipping.
*Note: We have attempted to confirm policies with this brand.
From their plastic-free laundry detergent strips (yes, strips!) to their not-paper towels, they have a decent range of items for tidying up.
That includes every cleaning brush under the sun (toilet, dish, copper, coconut, the list goes on!), as well as some hard to find cleaning products, like cast iron conditioner, biodegradable cat litter bags, and a plastic-free laundry stain remover.
All cleaning products are fragrance-free, paraben-free, chlorine bleach-free, and dioxane-free.
Everything, down to the eco-friendly recycled tape used for their shipping, is waste-free and fully home compostable.
Ethical and sustainable products are also important for Well Earth Goods, which is why they only use ingredients that are clean, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free. We’re waiting to hear what their stance on palm on is.
*Note: Both vegan and palm oil free products are available, but not all are. Any palm oil used is RSPO certified.
You might struggle to find the motivation to clean, but you won’t lack choice with EarthHero.
Or rather choices, including PPE, laundry soaps, kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning, floor care, and the cleaning tools for all the above.
Suffice it to say that they carry some of the best natural cleaning products around from a huge array of ethical brands.
Here’s a quick spray of what you can expect to find on their site: all-purpose cleaners, biodegradable scour pads and wooden brushes, Amber Glass Spray Bottles for DIY cleaning products (recipes included on the bottle), Eco Nuts laundry detergent, compostable kitchen bags, TerraCycle recycling boxes, and so so much more.
And you can scrub easy knowing these cleaning agents are non-toxic, natural, and largely organic.
While it’s easy to find several vegan cleaning products, not all are (just look for the logo). Same goes for palm oil, though any palm oil used is RSPO (or otherwise) sourced.
Not all heroes wear capes but EarthHero should definitely sport one.
This certified B Corp is one of our favorite alternatives to Amazon, and a great place to shop guilty free.
Aware that traditional commerce is convenient—but is also killing our planet—EarthHero set out to change the game from the inside.
They decided to only work with brands that manufacture products out of greener materials in a cleaner way. They also look for companies that reduce waste and create lasting quality products.
All of this is reflected in their sustainability logos, which makes it easy for you to shop for the values you care most about (i.e. compostable, BPA free, GOTS certified organic cotton, recycled, etc.).
They also ship their products in recycled boxes, use carbon neutral shipping, and contribute to 1% for the Planet.
So, go ahead, hit that “add to cart” button and buy eco friendly cleaning products here as you’ll be walking the talk as a truly conscious consumer.
Ethique’s eco friendly products for cleaning start with their classic Solid Laundry Bar & Stain Remover.
And they’ve recently added something exciting to the mix: household concentrates. Because most cleaners and dishwashing liquids are made with 93 to 96% water, using a powder concentrate to mix your own is a much more economic and environmentally friendly way to clean.
This is where Ethique and their wonderful bars come in…They have a multi multi-purpose kitchen spray concentrate, a multi-purpose bathroom spray concentrate, and a dishwashing liquid concentrate that’s coming soon. All in bar form!
Just drop it in water, let it dissolve, and voilà!
If you’re looking for eco friendly cleaning alternatives but don’t want to spend hours looking at DIY tutorials and shopping for ingredients, this is probably your best bet.
Everything is made from natural, earth-friendly, biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients and is packaged in certified compostable cardboard packaging.
In addition to natural cleaning products with no plastic, they also make some of the best personal care products, like face moisturizer, deodorant, and hair care.
All of Ethique’s products are 100% plastic free and they’re shipped plastic free, too. With an impressive range of plastic free products like these, it’s no surprise that they prevented more than 9 million plastic bottles from being produced.
Ethique plants a tree for every online order and donates 20% of their annual profits to charity. They’re proudly carbon-neutral, too!
*Note: While not a wholly vegan brand, their cleaning products are vegan.
In addition to a range of natural body care products, Butter Me Up Organics also sells natural eco friendly cleaning products.
Scrub yourself with their organic body wash and shower with their natural all-purpose cleaner.
It comes in a glass bottle and is made with ingredients like organic castile soap, essential oils, and vinegar. It’s safe for pets, us, and our planet.
Other cleaning products include organic dishwasher detergent and dish soap, organic laundry detergent, eco dish sponges, organic toilet spray (aptly named “Poo-Pourri” and made from organic witch hazel and an odor-eating essential oil blend), organic fabric spray, toilet tabs, cleaning brushes, and yoga mat cleaner.
Their cleaning brushes have wooden handles and sisal bristles (derived from the agave plant), meaning they can be composted after use!
Butter Me Up Organics started when founder Jillian grew tired of spending a lot of money on products she knew she could make herself. So she did.
To this day, all of the items are made in small batches in her studio in California. Nothing is outsourced and everything is handmade with love.
As you may have guessed, Butter Me Up Organics is all about ingredients that are pure, unrefined, cruelty-free, and fair trade. You won’t find any synthetic ingredients, dyes, or fragrances.
They are largely vegan, but some products do contain beeswax or organic milk.
As a 100% zero waste company, the brand also uses minimal packaging (i.e. reusable, recyclable, and eco-friendly) and ships everything in 100% post-consumer recycled material and kraft paper printed with sustainable soy inks.
Available: Butter Me Up Organics
*Note: Grove Collaborative carries both vegan and non-vegan cleaning products, as well as those with and without palm oil.
This is your one-stop-shop for sustainable cleaning products because Grove Collaborative’s eco friendly cleaning products repertoire is extensive.
The brand makes its own line of natural household and personal care products that includes all-purpose cleaners, dish soap, room sprays, floor cleaner, glass cleaner, and so much more.
In addition to their collection, they also sell cleaning accessories from several eco friendly cleaning brands like Mrs. Meyer’s, method, Seventh Generation, grab green, Caldrea, and Aunt Fannie—to name just a few.
Most of their products are vegan and everything is cruelty-free.
It’s easy for shoppers to see what Grove Values it meets (i.e. biodegradable, gluten-free, made in the USA, natural fragrance, etc.) by looking at each product description.
Imagine having cleaning products that not only don’t spoil the Earth, but are actually good for it (and us!).
This was the vision behind this Certified B Corp, and they’ve made it possible with their cleaning products, toilet paper, personal care products, and other household goods.
To be accepted as a Grove partner, brands must be transparent about all ingredients and show they are non-toxic, plant-based, cruelty-free, sustainable, and produced using ethical supply chains.
This means a lot of organic ingredients, minimal packaging, Leaping Bunny certification, and a lengthy list of ingredients that they won’t accept. Palm oil doesn’t appear to be excluded though, we’ll be reaching out to confirm.
The brand is currently 100% plastic neutral, and by 2025 they will be totally plastic free. Plastic neutral? That means that for every ounce of plastic they sell, they collect and recycle through Plastic Bank an equivalent amount of pollution.
Grove Collaborative is the first and only plastic neutral retailer in the world.
They also use carbon-neutral shipments and facilities but are on a constant mission to continue reducing the entire footprint (which you can see in their sustainability report).
In perfect alignment with their name, Grove Collaborative also works with Seeding Up in reforestation projects and hopes to plant one million trees by 2022.
For a minimal fee, you can also become a VIP member and sign up for a delivery schedule of all your goodies (easily changeable at any time). Membership perks include not only a safe and clean home but free gifts and discounts.
Available: Grove Collaborative
If you’re looking for eco friendly cleaning products made in the USA, this one’s for you.
A Drop in the Ocean has a range of eco friendly cleaning supplies in bulk for all purposes. They have laundry detergent, surface sanitizer, all-purpose cleaners, and castile soap.
For cleaning enthusiasts and cleaning dummies alike, they’ve got a Sustainable Laundry Bundle, and a Clean All The Things! Starter Kit.
In all the cleaning products, you’ll find natural ingredients like castile soap, coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, and pure essential oils.
A Drop in the Ocean is a Tacoma, Washington-based brand who reminds us that while our actions may seem like just a drop in the ocean, they have an impact.
By purchasing from them, you’re planting 10 trees through their partnership with Trees for the Future, which has so planted 29,400 trees. They also donate 1% of sales every year to ocean conservation.
How’s the ripple effect of your drop looking now?
Not only that, every plastic-free purchase means you’re directly reducing the number of plastic bottles that need to be produced.
A Drop in the Ocean specializes in bulk refills for all beauty and cleaning products we typically need. Even better, they prioritize products that are free of palm oil (or only contain that which is sustainably-sourced), made by women, cruelty free, and made locally.
Everything is shipped plastic free (in compostable, recyclable, or reusable materials), and recycled boxes and packing paper are reused. While they don’t ship carbon-neutral per se, the fact that they plant 10 trees for every purchase offsets 480 pounds of carbon.
Available: A Drop in the Ocean
*Note: Common Good Uses RSPO certified palm oil.
How does cleaning for the common good sound?
That’s what you get with Common Good’s range of “safe, green, and hardworking” products.
For eco friendly kitchen cleaning products, they have the minimalist essentials you need: an all purpose cleaner and dish soap, both with the option to buy an empty bottle and refill pouch, too.
What about eco friendly bathroom cleaning products? They have those, too, in a spray bathroom cleaner and glass cleaner.
And laundry day warriors can now rejoice with Common Good’s refillable glass laundry detergent bottles. Refills come shipped to you in refillable pouches (which are lighter weight for return shipping).
Common Good was launched about a decade ago as a small initiative to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we use.
All of their products have been designed with refills in mind.
According to the EPA, an abysmal 28% of HDPE plastic is collected for recycling in the USA. We don’t even want to know the stats of how much actually gets recycled. That’s why this brand wants you to use yours for refills instead. They have an expanding list of refill stations all over the US.
Pre-refill sustainability is just as important, which is why they use sustainably-sourced ingredients like non-GMO corn-derived plant oils, coconut surfactants, and pure essential oils.
Everything is animal-byproduct-free and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.
Available: Common Good (Continental US online)
We clean something up every day (ok, every week?).
And ironically, most of the products we use to clean our homes are those that end up making our planet a much dirtier place. Not only do they (almost) always come packaged in single-use plastic bottles (that mostly end up in landfills, despite being thrown in the recycle bin), but they contain ingredients we can pronounce.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), cleaning products often produce fumes that may trigger health problems, they’re known carcinogens that cause chemical burns and poisoning—amongst other serious health concerns.
And most of the ingredients in traditional cleaners are harmful.
Chlorine bleach is an eye, skin, and respiratory irritant (and can be fatal if mixed with ammonia, another common cleaning agent). Speaking of ammonia, it can blind you and burn your skin. Triclosan and Triclocarban (used in dish soaps) are linked to hormone imbalance and breast cancer. The list goes on.
These cleaning products are just as toxic for our environment. The US EPA reports that cleaning products release volatile organic compounds (leading to smog), and can contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, which can be toxic for aquatic species and lead to algal blooms.
Somehow a bright and shiny toilet bowl just doesn’t seem worth the damage to our biodiversity.
So why use natural eco friendly cleaning products?
Because chemi-kills are doing the opposite of cleaning, where it counts. Chasing dust bunnies or removing stains with products that have less of an impact is far better for you, your home, and our shared home.
How exactly do we clean up without making our planet dirty?
There are two main things to consider: what ingredients are in these eco friendly cleaning products and how are they packaged?
Here’s how we get through the dirt and grime to find exactly that.
- Non-toxic: Natural and organic ingredients form the basis of what it is to be a non-toxic cleaning product. Instead of harsh chemicals, we were happy to see ingredients like organic castile soap, organic coconut oil, and essential oils being used instead of synthetic fragrances and surfactants.
- Vegan: We’re looking for brands that don’t use any animal-by products. Glycerin, a common ingredient in household products, can be sourced from either animal fat or plant oil. So if we see that, we hope to also see “vegan” or “PETA-approved” in the descriptor.
- Cruelty-free: Not testing on animals in an obvious must, but we also ideally look for brands that don’t sell into China because of their animal testing policies. Leaping Bunny is the premier certification here.
- Palm oil free: Palm oil is commonly found in many packaged products including cleaning products, detergents, and soap. Its derivatives are tricky and include several different names. While it’s difficult to avoid it entirely, we try to stick to brands who only use palm oil that’s certified sustainable from RSPO.
- Ethical sourcing and manufacturing: Aside from creating products that are great for a green home, we love when a brand’s supply chain is just as ethical and green. This is why we look for initiatives like carbon neutral shipping, fair wages, and eco-friendly packaging.
- Thoughtful packaging: At the very least, we’re looking for recyclable packaging here. Even better if a brand uses compostable packaging, or offers options for refills with a glass bottle.
Beyond our tick list, charitable endeavors are the cherry on-top.
We can’t be your parents and tell you to clean your room, but we can help you do so in a way that keeps our planet clean.
And let’s be honest, it makes no sense to clean our bathroom, kitchen, or toilet when doing so leaves behind toxic chemicals and plastic waste that ends up in the landfill.
To borrow the namesake of one of these brands, it may feel like a drop in the ocean when you choose eco-friendly cleaning products, but over a lifetime it will have an enormous impact. After all, sustainable living (much like cleaning the house), is all about being better, not perfect.
Any eco-clean fanatics out there? Feel free to share what products you use, as well as any other tips you have to green our clean.