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When looking for the best eco-friendly cleaning products or the best sustainable cleaning products, a lot comes into play. How do these products affect you, personally, as well as the other people in your home? How do these products affect the earth? How are these products manufactured, shipped, and packaged? How eco-friendly are those processes? How sustainable?
It’s a lot to answer, but the good news is that there are more options than ever for those looking to lead a greener life. And the quality of these options has drastically improved in recent years.
Here are the best eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning products for your home.
Best Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Cleaning Products
The best eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning solution is a product that can replace as many products as possible in your home. Less is more here, which is why our top recommendations are for all purpose cleaners.
Branch Basics Concentrate
Branch Basics Concentrate is our top pick based on the number of cleaning products it can be substituted for in your home.
It can be used as your surface cleaner for the whole house, for dishes and laundry, for floors, for hard-to-clean spots like your oven or stainless steel, and even glass. In short, this concentrate should replace pretty much every cleaner in your home. You can also purchase their Oxygen Boost for times you’d need a scrub (like tougher dishes) or to go with your laundry.
You can use your own refillable bottles or purchase one of their starter kits, which includes dilution lines for you to get the right mix depending on what you’re cleaning.
Branch Basics is a non-toxic product that is fragrance free, has no preservatives, and is biodegradable. It’s effective for a range of uses, from surfaces to laundry. They also use recyclable plastic for their refill bottles. They are Made Safe Certified, do not test on animals, and are women-owned.
What customers love
- It’s mind-blowing ability to clean just about anything
- Human safe (especially important for those with kiddos in the home)
What customers don’t love
- Unfinished wood is one surface you can’t use it on
- If you don’t want residue (especially if you’re using on glass), mineral free water is required
- Don’t store in cold temperatures – it will freeze
Common Good All Purpose Cleaner
Common Good’s All Purpose Cleaner is a plant-based, natural formula that is as effective as it is eco-friendly. While its use cases don’t extend as far as Branch Basics Concentrate, it can be used on a wide variety of surfaces such as tile, countertops, and porcelain. It is safe to use around kids and pets.
It is a biodegradable formula, Leaping Bunny certified, and made in the USA. Common Good’s mission is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic for cleaning products, so all of their products are meant to be refilled – not purchased separately again. Refill stations are available across the US, as well as can be purchased online in low-plastic pouches.
What Customers love
- The scent (there are fans of all 3 choices)
- Cuts through hard water stains
What customers don’t love
- Using or finding a refill station isn’t always convenient depending on your location
Best Speciality Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Outside of our top winners, there are still many other strong contenders that have specialized uses for quality, eco-friendly cleaning.
Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Wipes
Compostable Cleaning Wipes
While wipes will never be our first recommendation for someone wanting to lead a more sustainable life, there are times when you’ll certainly want a more convenient option.
Our favorite in this category are Greenworks Compostable Cleaning wipes. These wipes can be composted in most composting facilities – making them an excellent eco-friendly choice.
Greenworks is owned by Clorox – which Barron’s ranks as one of the most sustainable companies in the US.
Best Eco-Friendly Product for Your Dishes
Best for Dishes
Blueland is an eco-friendly brand whose focus is on eliminating single-use plastic and cutting water used in the majority of cleaning products (why ship water when you have it at home?). With this set, you get both tablets for your dishwasher and a powder for those dishes you prefer to wash by hand. The tablets come in a reusable steel tin and the dish powder in a reusable silicone shaker. It is certified USDA BioPreferred and Leaping Bunny certified.
Once you purchase this set, you’ll just have to purchase refills, making it an excellent eco-friendly solution all around.
One thing to note is that this product does contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which while studies have shown is safe to be used in cleaning products, some consumers choose to avoid it.
Best Eco-Friendly Products for the Bathroom
Best For Bathroom
We mentioned a lot about Common Good above, highlighting its clean products, refill-focused business model, and all-around effectiveness.
Its bathroom cleaner is no exception. It is also Leaping Bunny certified and just as beloved by users for its scent and reliability.
Best Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaner
Best for glass
Jaws Glass Cleaner is a streak-free, eco-friendly option for your household. It meets the US EPA safe product standards, and operates on a refill model. You can order their starter kit and get a reusable bottle with two refill pods (one pod = one bottle of cleaner). You just add water to get this product working. Their products are made in the USA. This product does contain SLS.
Best Sustainable Cleaning Products
While eco-friendly and sustainable are often used interchangeably, we know that shopping sustainable can mean a lot more to consumers. You may be interested in zero waste or closed loop production, so we wanted to be sure to highlight some products that will help you clean your home in the most sustainable way possible.
Best All Purpose Sustainable Cleaning Products
Best all purpose
All Purpose Cleaner
Veles All Purpose Cleaner is cool. Incredibly, super cool. They claim to be the first “closed-loop” cleaner as this product is actually made from food waste. Their starter bottle is a reusable aluminum bottle, and their refills come in glass with enough formula to fill 2 bottles worth of cleaner.
The one downside to the product is users say the smell can be overwhelming, but the company claims to have changed the formula to address this. And, while it is cruelty free, they cannot claim to be vegan as their product comes from food waste, some of which is sure to contain animal products.
Best Paper-Replacement Sustainable Cleaning Tools
Marley’s Monsters UNpaper Towels
Replacing your paper towels with a reusable option is a great way to create less waste. Marley’s Monsters UNpaper Towels are made from 100% cotton flannel and naturally cling together, so you can roll them up on a paper towel roll.
Marley’s Monsters is a certified BRING rethink sustainable business and they ship plastic-free.
Full Circle Dish Brush
Full Circle is a plastic-neutral company that will be 100% free of plastic packaging by 2021.
Their bamboo-based dish brush is a great sustainable cleaning product for your kitchen and its ceramic base is a convenient way to dispense your soap to put this eco-friendly tool to use.
Full Circle Scrubber Sponge
This two-faced sponge also offered by Full Circle is an excellent eco-friendly cleaning tool that can be used all over your house. It contains walnut shells, cellulose, and recycled plastic.
Shopping by Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Cleaning Brands
While we highlighted the best rated products in each specialty category, if you rather shop by brand, there were a few standouts for most sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Veles comes out on top, but they only offer one product today. Common Good and Blueland’s focus on eliminating single-use plastics while also offering effective, natural cleaning products make them a good go to no matter what you’re shopping for. A
And, lastly, while they didn’t top any of our speciality categories, we like the work that both Cleancult and ECOS are doing. Cleancult offers a refill-model similar to Common Good and Blueland, and ECOS heavily emphasizes sustainable manufacturing, having achieved carbon and water neutrality and are certified zero waste.
While all of these brands can be found online, Common Good and ECOS will be the easiest eco-friendly cleaning supplies to find in stores. If you’re still at a loss while in store, a bigger brand like Seventh Generation is a reliable buy.
Our Research Process
We started our research on sustainable coffee blends referencing the reviews, ingredients, and packaging for well-known green leaders in the space, such as:
- Grove Collaborative
- Common Good
- PUR Home
- Thrive Market
- Branch Basics
- Seventh Generation
Throughout our research, however, we were exposed to many new brands doing incredible work here, such as Veles or Cleancult.
To choose the best in each category, we looked at all available eco-information, as well as customer ratings and personal experience. We emphasized the eco-friendly and sustainable nature of the product first and foremost. If you’d like a specialized list for natural, organic, and non-toxic cleaning products specifically, you can find that here. Additionally, we did not touch on laundry products in this list, but you can find our favorite eco friendly picks here.
Once it was clear which eco-friendly cleaning products customers raved about most, we referenced EWG’s ingredients. While not all products on our list are listed on EWG, those that are have an A or B rating.