Natural cleaning products take care of your home and laundry without leaving unpleasant chemical residue that can potentially harm your family and pets. These products are made using sustainable production methods, using nontoxic biodegradable ingredients that will ensure wellness in your home – without negatively impacting the environment.
On the other hand, many popular household cleaners, soaps and disinfectants contain harsh toxic chemicals. These make dishes, floors and counter tops sparkling clean and germ-free. Unfortunately, many are also poisonous if ingested or inhaled. Consider:
- Corrosive cleaners: drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners contain corrosive chemicals that can cause severe burns. Chlorine bleach and ammonia are particularly irritating to the eyes, throat and lungs
- Chemical fragrances: commonly added to laundry detergents and fabric softeners, these may cause headaches, watery eyes and respiratory distress in sensitive individuals
- Subtle toxicity: some household cleaning ingredients contain carcinogens that subtly act as ‘hormone disruptors’. For example, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) are used in detergents and cleaners and mimic the estrogen hormone. Misaligned hormones can decrease sperm counts and increase cancer risks
Simply by purchasing natural cleaning products instead of chemical ones, you are doing your part to reduce impact on the environment. Here are just a few of the big-picture benefits of using eco-friendly cleaning products:
- Environmental protection: when washing dishes or doing laundry with chemical products, these chemicals get released back into the environment.
- Skin protection: chemical dish soaps, detergents and cleaners that can penetrate the surface of your skin and affect your circulatory system. Conversely, eco-friendly cleaners use glycerine, which cleans while actually softening your skin.
- Allergy protection: many people are sensitive to the dyes, fragrances and chemicals in commercial cleaners. Fortunately, eco-friendly cleaning products are very gentle on both the skin and environment.
- No animal testing: to avoid using household cleaners that are cruel to animals, use natural cleaning products that ensure no animal testing. Eco-friendly products include animals!
- Cost savings: natural cleaning products use energy-efficient production methods and natural ingredients. This means they are cheaper to produce, and cheaper to buy. In addition, since they do not harm the environment or the body, the long-term costs savings are also substantial.
Frequently asked questions
Do natural cleaning products really work as well as chemical cleaners? How exactly do natural cleaners benefit the environment? How do natural disinfectants work? Of of these questions and more are answered within our five FAQs.
How exactly do natural cleaning products help the environment?
As the world witnesses increasingly severe typhoons, floods, hurricanes and droughts, people are waking up to the importance of looking after the planet. By using natural cleaning products, you are helping to decrease water and air pollution while ensuring a non-toxic super clean home that is 100% safe for your whole family.
Why are natural cleaning products better than chemical ones?
At home, small children and pets are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemical exposure. What happens if a child drinks drain cleaner? In addition to the risk of poisoning, chemical cleaners can also cause headaches, skin rashes and breathing problems, especially among children and the elderly. Using natural cleaning products from legitimate brands completely eliminates these risks.
Do chemical cleaners really cause cancer?
A National Academy of Sciences report submitted to Congress in 1990 (but not acted in with regulation) showed that 95% of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances were made from petroleum (which is derived from crude oil). Petroleum contains carcinogenic benzene derivatives and many other toxic chemicals that have been linked to birth defects, cancer, various allergic reactions and central nervous system disorders.
Are natural cleaning products better than homemade solutions?
Making natural cleaning solutions with household products is easy. For example, add one part vinegar, one part water, some lemon rinds and a few sprigs of rosemary to make a perfectly natural all-purpose cleaner that can be used throughout your home.
The problem with homemade solutions versus commercially sold natural cleaning products is the effectiveness. Using homemade solutions, your cleaning will be less spectacular and last for a shorter time. On the other hand, commercially sold eco-friendly cleaning products give you cutting edge product sourcing, science and testing for superb cleaning power that stacks up very well with chemical cleaning alternatives.
How do natural disinfectants work?
On the chemical side of the cleaning equation, the most popular (and powerful) disinfectant is bleach. In fact, for many years both the EPA and FDA endorsed it as a viable disinfectant for everything from food surfaces to toys. Unfortunately, consistent exposure to bleach has been linked to respiratory problems, skin reactions (rashes and burns), birth defects, vomiting, headaches and even cancer.
Natural products that can be used in place of bleach include vinegar, tea tree oil, lavender oil and thyme oil, which the EPA now acknowledges as having the same effectiveness as bleach. However, unlike bleach, thyme oil can safely be applied to cutting boards and kitchen utensils without any worries.
Five of the best natural cleaning product brands
While many cleaning brands claim to be safe for the environment, it's important to understand some subtle differences in commonly used terminology:
- Natural: made with non-synthetic products
- Non-toxic: does not contain harmful chemicals
- Green: is good for the environment in some vague manner
In addition to vague terminology, there are no federal regulations that force cleaning product companies to list all included products on packaging.
Since most consumers lack the expertise to accurately determine the true eco-friendliness of cleaning products (and also the effectiveness of those products), our team has done the hard work for you.
Below, we review five of the most trusted legitimate natural cleaning product brands and highlight a range of selected cleaning products for use around your home.
Founded in 1988 as an industrial cleaning supplies company, PURELL Hand Sanitizer was made available to consumers in 1997 and exploded in popularity. Today, their flagship Hand Sanitizer is accompanied by a plethora of industrial-strength all-natural cleaning products for your home.
On the environmental side, PURELL surface sprays have the lowest EPA toxicity rating - less than 100 products in America can boast having EPA’s Category IV lowest toxicity rating. Of those few, less than 10 have the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Certification, as PURELL does.
ECOVER was founded in 1979 by Belgian hippy scientists who were alarmed by the damage to waterways and aquatic life caused by commercial cleaning chemicals. They developed a phosphate-free cleaning product and then began a commercial eco-crusade via the official launch of the ECOVER company.
Today, their entire line of products promotes clean business practices, clean sourcing and clean products for our homes, our communities and the world. Very inspiring!
This brand was inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer. She is an Iowa homemaker. One day, one of her daughters was walking down a cleaning aisle of a supermarket, feeling uneasy about all of the harsh chemical cleaners. That inspired the beginning of a thriving American company on the cutting edge of green cleaning technology.
Today, the Mrs. Myers brand ethically produces a range of natural household cleaning products that are scented with essential oils from flowers and herbs, while at the same time providing maximum cleaning effectiveness.
In 2008, BETTER LIFE Founders Tim Barklage and Kevin Tibbs were watching their toddlers. They noticed that as the kids crawled on the floor, they were picking up toxic cleaning residue. An idea was born.
That idea was to create a range of plant-derived non-toxic household cleaners that would exceed expectations for both environmental safety and cleaning performance.
Today, BETTER LIFE is thriving. That is mainly because their range of cleaning products continue to push the envelope towards more plant power - with ultra-effective household cleaning results.
Founded in 2011, the Greenscents range of products now supplies some of the best retailers in the UK and is also sold in Europe, Scandinavia, South East Asia and the Middle East. Everything is made in a workshop in Dulverton, Somerset staffed by a small but experienced team of passionate artisans.
All products use premium organic, ethically sourced ingredients that contain no enzymes, alcohol, gluten, palm oil, GMOs or animal-based ingredients. Their non-scented range is as pure and hypoallergenic as possible - very good for sensitive skin.
Cleaning house using traditional chemical cleaning products will make your home sparkle. However, every time you pour a bucketful of chemical cleaner down the drain, that contributes to more contaminants in our already polluted waterways.
In addition, strong chemical cleaners are a potential danger to young children, pets and the elderly.
While homemade organic solutions (like washing with vinegar scented with essential oils) will work, they simply can’t match the cleaning power of commercial cleaning solutions.
Fortunately, this roundup of top natural cleaning product brands provides you powerful solutions that will clean your home, protect your loved ones and look out for the long-term health of our planet.