Environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning products are not only better for the environment, they are also better for your body. As part of my quest to use more sustainable and healthier household products, I decided to create a list of all those preferred products for easy reference.
Researching ingredients at the store may require standing for hours in front of the cleaning product aisle. Trying to determine a product’s relative toxicity, skin irritant levels, or cancer-causing agents can turn out to be quite the task. I’ve seen my fellow brethren holding a bottle while researching on phones, only to sigh and put it back on the shelf.
Advertising and compensation disclaimer: I have NOT received any compensation to recommend any of these products, however, I may receive a commission for the sale of some linked products. This was NOT a factor in my evaluation.
Table of Contents
Methodology and Sources of Research
I used 7 different factors in selecting the cleaning products cited below. In order of importance for my own ranking:
- Skin allergies and irritation
- Respiratory and Asthma
- Developmental and reproductive toxicity
- Personal and trusted friends’ experience in cleaning effectiveness
A major source was the Environmental Working Group. They have a database that made searching for and weeding out products a lot simpler. It may be interesting to discover how bad some of the most common products on the market are for the environment. Here is a working list of some good ones available on Amazon:
All Purpose Cleaners
Hard Water Remover:
- Industrial Strength: CLR PRO Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover is a non-toxic, multipurpose cleaner designed for bathrooms or bathroom related surfaces. It breaks down calcium, lime and soap scum to leave behind a streak-free shine
- Fast Acting: Quickly removes calcium, lime and hard water deposits, soap scum, discoloration and dirt. Cleans and shines stainless steel, countertops, tubs, showers, tile, fixtures and sinks
- Multi-Purpose: Versatile cleaner for home or office surfaces. Use on plastic, ceramic tile, glass, stainless steel, faucet and shower fixtures, shower doors, fiberglass, toilet bowls and sinks
- Cuts through grease and baked-on foods
- Rinses spot-free without residue
- Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance, Colors or Preservatives
- Uses the power of parsley, an herb with antioxidant properties and a natural ability to neutralize odors
- Smells like a fresh garden
- Use it everywhere. Cleans virtually any surface including sealed stone, hardwood floors, painted surfaces, linoleum, vinyl, porcelain, chrome, marble stainless steel, glass and more
Living Room Cleaners
Fabric and Upholstery Deodorizer and Stain Remover:
Wood Furniture Wax and Polish:
HE Laundry Detergent:
- Like a car detailing kit, this has everything you need to keep strollers & car seats clean, odor-free and functioning like new without all the nasty chemicals. This kit also comes with a natural stroller lubricant to eliminate annoying squeaks & squeals.
- Quickly wipe away stains and neutralize funky scents without having to take apart stroller/car seat to launder it. Removes hundreds of messes from Little Ones, including baby food, juice, grease, fingerprints, footprints, grime, streaks, & milk spills.
DIY Homemade Cleaners
A great alternative to buying many of the above cleaners is making your own. I’m a big fan of distilled white vinegar.
Ingredients for All Natural Cleaners:
- Baking soda
Deodorizer and gentle scrub; softens hard water, removes acidic stains, and polishes shiny surfaces like stainless steel without scratching.
- Distilled white vinegar
Deodorizer, disinfectant, mild acid, and preservative; breaks up dirt, grease, mineral deposits, mold, and soap scum.
- Tea tree oil
Disinfectant and antifungal.
Deodorizer, stain remover, grease cutter, acts as a mild bleach when exposed to sunlight.
- Mineral oil
A natural oil that helps to nourish and polish wood
- Castile soap
Plant-based liquid soap gentle soap made with oils such as olive, palm, and coconut, rather than petroleum derivatives or animal fat.
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- Castille soap
- 1/2 of a lemon
Pour baking soda into container. Add just enough Castille soap to make a creamy paste as you stir. Squeeze lemon into paste. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Use with damp sponge or rag.
- 1/2 teaspoon Castile soap
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups water
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray onto window and wipe clean with rag.
- 1/8 cup Castille soap
- 1/8 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 gallon water
- 10 drops tea tree oil
Mix all ingredients in a bucket and mop.
For ceramic and stone floors, eliminate Castille soap, which leaves a film, and use 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water.
For unsealed wood floors, combine 2 cups of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of mineral oil in a bucket. Spread a thin coat over the floor with a mop or soft cloth. Let soak for 20 minutes, then dry mop to absorb excess liquid.
Mold and Mildew Spray
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Tea tree oil
Pour vinegar and water into a spray bottle and use on the moldy area. The smell will dissipate in a few hours.
For areas with persistent mold problems, use tea tree oil instead of vinegar. Combine 2 drops of tea tree oil per 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Tea tree oil will kill most types of mold and help prevent new growth.
There are so many great alternatives, I simply don’t see a reason to continue to use products which are toxic or hurt the environment. It seems very common for companies to continually update their formulas multiple times a year, for better or for worse. I’m hoping with a list like this, I can influence some of these companies to find better formulas.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap was a recurring option for multiple types of cleaning. I’ve never used this before, but several of my trusted cleaning-friends have and support it with great feedback. I’ll be adding this to my arsenal.
From recipes using locally sourced ingredients and terroir-centric cooking, craft cocktails, to the latest in tech and home DIY projects, Michael yearns to share his learned and found knowledge of the world.
Last update on 2023-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API