Looking for an easy, quick, and affordable way to become more sustainable in your everyday life? Try switching to sustainable cleaners – here are our favorites!
UPDATE: see “Sustainable Cleaning – Why we switched to Norwex“
Since writing this post we have now switched to using Norwex sustainable cleaners – much easier and more affordable in the long run…and even more sustainable! Check out our blog post about why we switched or buy Norwex at our Norwex shop.
Our favorite sustainable cleaners
One of my life goals is to start making all of our sustainable cleaners and I have about a million pins on Pintrest to prove it. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet actually had the time to make them and other things have taken priority. But I still want cleaners that are gentle on the environment, our bodies, and our wallet. So in the meantime, we buy affordable sustainable cleaners. Here are the best ones we have found so far – you would find all of these on our shelves if you came over for a visit. Switching your cleaners to sustainable cleaners is an quick and easy way to be more sustainable every day. Let us know any great affordable sustainable cleaners you use in the comments!
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General all-purpose cleaner:
Mrs. Meyers Multi-surface Cleaner – these sustainable cleaners are great on pretty much everything. We use it to clean our counters, bathroom, stove, etc. The cleaner is made with plant derived ingredients and essential oils, is biodegradable, and they don’t test on animals. The bottles are even at least 25% post consumer waste plastic (meaning that the bottles are made of recycled plastic) ! All that and it works really well – even cutting through greasy food stuck on to the stove. And it smells AMAZING! My favorite is the limited edition lilac scent, but they make lots of different unusual scents so you are sure to find one you like (basil, geranium, lavender, honeysuckle, etc.). The scent comes from essential oils so they don’t smell fake, but they will make your room smell fantastic. It’s enough that I actually enjoy cleaning with them (and I’m not particularly into cleaning). The most sustainable (and affordable) way to buy it is in the larger concentrate bottles and then dilute it into your own spray bottle for use.
Mrs. Meyers Dish soap – this dish soap is also amazing. Like the multi-surface cleaner the dish soap is biodegradable, made from plant derived ingredients, not tested on animals, scented with essential oils, and the bottle is at least 25% post consumer waste plastic. And, like the cleaner it smells amazing. I love the lilac, but the honeysuckle is a close second. The soap even has aloe vera in it so it is gentle on your hands, but it works well even on greasy dishes (or hands). It’s gentle enough that I use it as handsoap in the kitchen too, just so my hands smell amazing. It’s never made my hands feel dry. A little bit goes along way – we often dilute it, so a bottle lasts forever (sustainable and affordable).
Ecover Natural Floor Soap with Linseed Oil – this sustainable floor cleaner works really well and is all natural with plant-based ingredients. It is also biodegradable and not tested on animals. The bottle is even 100% plant plastic (and still recyclable). The company even has a externally validated environmental model to reduce impact of the resources they use to make their products. We won a bottle at a sustainability event and we really like using it on our floors. I especially like that it has only 5 ingredients (all of which are natural, even the fragrance). It works really well on tile and stone floors and is concentrated so one bottle will last for a long time. This one is pricey, but now that we know it will last a long time I’ll buy it again when we run out (probably in a year or two…). I know it costs a bit more in the beginning, but it is affordable in the long run since it will last so long.
Biokleen Laundry Powder – this awesome sustainable cleaner all-star is a high efficiency, ultra concentrated laundry powder. This laundry powder is great in both standard and high efficiency washing machines (we used it in our old standard washer before we upgraded to a high efficiency washer). The company is family owned and operated, doesn’t test on animals or use animal ingredients, made without phosphates (which cause dead zones as we discussed in our post on dead zones) and other nasty cleaners, and they offset 100% of their energy use with renewable energy offsets. The powder is super concentrated and works in high efficiency washers. Powder detergents are more sustainable in general since you aren’t paying for water and they don’t weigh as much for shipping so they have a reduced carbon emissions impact. We’ve had our 10lb box for years (seriously…we’ve moved two or three times with it). It really works – we have a farm so we need something that really cleans and this does the trick, even in cold water (we wash in cold water to save energy from heating water). We use the citrus scented one (scented with citrus peel and seeds), but they also make a fragrance free version. It only costs about $0.08 a load if you buy the 10lb size, so it is very affordable as well!
What affordable sustainable cleaners do you use? Any questions about how we use any of the above? Let us know!