If you're into spring cleaning all year round, chances are you've come across eco-friendly and natural products. Made to be healthier for humans, pets, and the environment, we're all for using them to keep our places nice and tidy.
"Using eco-friendly cleaning products is an impactful way for us as individuals to create a cleaner planet," Blueland CEO and Co-Founder Sarah Paiji Yoo tells Hunker. "Many harsh ingredients used in conventional cleaning products may not only be unsafe for people to touch, inhale, or ingest but are often washed down our drains and these chemicals enter our water systems and environment."
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What Is the Difference Between Eco-Friendly and Natural?
Even though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between eco-friendly and natural cleaning products.
"In most cases, natural products claim to use simple ingredients from nature with minimal processing, while eco-friendly products are those that claim to be less harmful to the planet," Public Goods Product Expert Ninah Jackson says.
However, not all natural products are eco-friendly. According to Yoo, some natural ingredients can be hard on both people and the environment. Natural ingredients can be harmful when applied to the skin or ingested if they aren't sustainably sourced.
What to Consider When Buying Eco-Friendly and Natural Cleaning Products
With so many cleaning brands labeled as clean or natural, it's important to know how to shop for the right ones. According to Jackson, brand transparency is one of the most important factors to consider. "By seeking out transparent brands with information behind their claims readily available, consumers can feel confident in the natural and eco-friendly products they are using in their homes," Jackson tells Hunker.
Additionally, there are certain ingredients that shoppers should avoid. "Steer clear of any parabens, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), triclosan, ammonia, and phthalates," Yoo says. "Ingredients to look for are surfactants such as citric acid that break up grease and grime or mild mineral-based cleaners such as sodium bicarbonate."
The Best Eco-Friendly and Natural Cleaning Products and Brands
The home of plastic-free cleaners, Blueland can help you ditch single-use plastic all while keeping your home clean. With starter kits and refills, you'll never have to buy another plastic bottle again. According to the brand, Blueland's eco-friendly finds have helped get rid of over 1 billion single-use plastic bottles from landfills and oceans since 2019.
Our pick: Blueland Clean Suite Kit, $83
Cleancult's selection of eco-friendly cleaning products combines low-waste packaging with formulas crafted with coconut, essential oils, and biodegradable ingredients. Not only can you get discounted bundles with stain remover, refillable hand soap, and spray bottles, but you can also buy each product individually.
3. Public Goods
The membership-based online home goods store offers high-quality personal care, household, and grocery products at affordable prices. In its household category, you can find everything from laundry detergent pods to plant-based cleaner refills made without harsh chemicals.
"At Public Goods, we clearly list all of our products' ingredients, as well as how we are taking environmental impact into consideration on each product page on our website," Jackson says.
Our pick: Public Goods Mandarin Basil Dish Soap, $5.95
Dropps is stocked with laundry and household essentials, including plant-based laundry detergent, softener, and more. Powerful, but natural, Dropps has compostable packaging and is available in a range of scents, with unscented options for extra sensitive skin.
5. Branch Basics
Branch Basics has starter kits, refills, and accessories to get rid of all the grime without all the toxins. To use the cleaners, all you have to do is mix the concentrate with water in a container, whether it's one you already have or one of Branch Basics' stylish and sustainable glass bottles. Plus, you can also buy travel-sized cleaning supplies, so you can take Branch Basics' essentials on the go.
Our pick: Branch Basics Glass Bottle Kit, $40
6. Seventh Generation
With decades of experience in the cleaning industry, Seventh Generation's core mission is to help the people and the planet. The brand offers sustainable and effective cleaning products made with renewable plant-based ingredients and post-consumer recycled packaging.
7. Dr. Bronner’s
Dr. Bronner's has been making Castile soaps and cleaners for generations, and all have natural ingredients and some seriously awesome scents. One of its best-sellers is Sal Suds, a multipurpose cleaner that can be diluted with water for almost any kind of floor. And it can even clean hand washables in a snap.
Supernatural is an ultra-chic cleaning brand with sleek packaging and earth-friendly concentrated cleaners. In its collection, you can find cleaning solutions for wood floors, glass and mirrors, bath and tile, countertops and granite, and stainless steel.
Our pick: Supernatural Cleaning Starter Set, $75
Best known for its sustainable beauty products, Ethique also has a collection of cruelty-free and zero waste household cleaners, including multi-purpose kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dishwashing liquid, and hand soap. Each product comes in a solid, concentrated bar that can be made into a liquid.
Biokleen has a range of household cleaning products, from stain removers to all-purpose cleaners. Notably, the Bac-Out stain remover is made with all-natural ingredients and can get rid of stains and odors on carpets, upholstery, laundry, and more.
Our pick: Biokleen Bac-Out Stain Remover, $28.94
11. Better Life
Made from plant-based ingredients, Better Life has a versatile line of natural cleaning products. Whether you need to scrub down your kitchen, bathroom, or floors, Better Life has you covered.
12. Grove Collaborative
Grove Collaborative is an online shop filled with an assortment of cleaning brands that are effective, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly. In addition to prioritizing sustainable packaging and carbon offset for every shipment, the brand also plans to be 100% plastic-free by 2025.
Our pick: Grove Co. European Dish Cloths (set of 2), $7.95
ECOS is a cleaning brand that ditches harsh chemicals and uses carbon-neutral facilities to create its products, according to the brand. It also has over 140 products that meet the EPA's Safer Choice Standard for human and planet safe ingredients.
Puracy's cleaning collection is made with 99.3% plant-based formulas that are powerful yet safe for sensitive skin. Along with its household cleaning category, Puracy also covers products for babies, kids, and pets.