We got recommendations from top cleaning professionals on the green cleaning products that really work. Here’s what you’ll want to add to your arsenal of cleaning supplies.
Why use green cleaning products?
The war against germs—and ridding our homes from every last one—can feel like a neverending battle. Whether you have kids, pets, or just a general fear of contracting whatever is “going around” there are endless options of industrial strength cleaners to rid your home of whatever you fear. The issue? Using those cleaners can pose bigger problems that can directly affect the health of everyone in your household. As reported by the Environmental Working Group, disinfectants that contain ammonium compounds have been linked to asthma and fertility issues; soaps with triclosan can cause allergies to flare up and may affect thyroid function, while cleaners made from ammonia or chlorine beach are harmful to the environment and air you breathe. But there are ways to safely clean your home without harming the health of your family or the planet. It starts by ditching the harsh chemicals and seeking out green cleaning products. Start by reading labels and looking for green cleaning products that are certified by Green Seal or Ecologo and are free of fragrance, triclosan, and quaternary ammonium compounds. These are the most toxic cleaning products to avoid.
Sustainable Haus Laundry Detergent
“A truly green laundry soap that is effective does not come easy. That said, I just love Sustainable Haus laundry powder. It is amazing—it cleans and deodorizes and is completely organic and handmade by a woman entrepreneur who makes the coconut soap herself.” —Christine Dimmick, public advocate for health and wellness, founder/CEO of eco-friendly, natural home cleaning line The Good Home Co. and author of Detox Your Home.
Naturally It’s Clean
“Naturally It’s Clean Kitchen is what we use for cleaning stone surfaces because it is pH neutral and non-chelating, so it won’t react with the minerals in the stone and damage it. It is also great for cleaning extremely greasy surfaces. Spray the enzyme-based cleaner on range hood screens, let it sit for at least half an hour, then wash it off in the sink. The enzymes loosen the grease and ‘eat’ it up.” —Kris Koenig, Natura Clean, Middleton, Wisconsin. Chemicals aren’t the only thing you have to be on the lookout for. Here are subtle ways your home is making you sick.
Lemi-Shine Multi-Purpose Anti-Bacterial Cleaner
“When we aren’t using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or another homemade cleaner—our favorite go-to cleaner is Lemi-Shine. It is an Austin, Texas-based company that specializes in an array of cleaning solutions. Our favorite is the multi-surface antibacterial spray that has a citrus smell. Its active ingredient is citric acid and it kills 99.9 percent of all germs. —Cheyne Maclaskey, owner, Clean’n Green, Austin, Texas
Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner
“White vinegar is great at cleaning soap scum and floors and eliminates salmonella and E. coli. Vodka (yes, vodka) is great to clean porcelain floors, and shine chrome. But, Simple Green is great as it’s safe for all surfaces, and is nontoxic and biodegradable.” —Juan Catoni, Vice President of franchise operations, Anago Cleaning Systems
Norwex Microfiber products
“The most innovative product line I’ve come across for ‘green cleaning’ are these microfiber cloths and mitts made by Norwex. They are very effective for removing bacteria, residue, dirt/grime, and stains with just water. The cloths contain micro silver which acts as an antibacterial agent, and self cleanses as it dries.” —Steve Evans, Owner, Memphis Maids
Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
“For green cleaning products, there is only one brand we turn to and that is Better Life natural cleaning products. We use the all-purpose cleaner in just about every room in a house. It does a great job cutting through dust, dirt, grease, and grime.” —Marcos Franco, owner, Mighty Clean Home.
Counter Culture Probiotic All Purpose Cleaner
“This spray works very well on granite countertops; it doesn’t leave streaks like some other green cleaning products—it gives an even kind of clean. It also smells really amazing.” —Cynara Turreta, professional housecleaner for 15 years with Matthews Cleaning Service in New Jersey
ECOS All Purpose Cleaner
“ECOS are my ‘go to’ non-toxic cleaners. I have tried just about every ECOS product they make and I know I can trust they’re not adding toxins into my home. They make it easy for all of us to live a little greener.” —Kim Lewand Martin, eco-blogger
HEX Performance Power+ Odor Fighting Laundry Detergent
“We love HEX because it seems like it was created with our spncycl customers in mind: people who work out regularly at their favorite gym or studio and like to look good while sweating! HEX keeps our customers’ pricey and trendy workout clothing in the best condition; it makes athleisure last longer, smell clean, and keeps the elasticity strong and the wicking properties intact.” —Sydney Rosenberg and Jane Brodsky, co-founders of spncycl, a fitness laundry delivery service.
Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner
“This is a non-toxic house cleaner made with natural surfactants and therapeutic oils, including clove, citrus peel, cinnamon bark, and more,” says Rulli. It’s a green household product that has organic and biodegradable materials and is made from Thieves Essential Oil that is highly effective in supporting a healthy immune system and good health. The smell is amazing! —Melissa Rulli, CEO of Eye on Your Home. And if you still have questions or concerns, here are 13 “going green” myths that have been busted.