12 Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Graphic by Giovanna Pineda/KCM

Softer on dirt, but tough on damage.

If you’ve ever encountered an avalanche of cleaning supplies on your pantry shelves, you’re not alone. Chances are you’ve had some for years, just taking up space, smelling dodgy, and containing who knows what. While harsh chemical cleaners can do the trick, they’re not good for you or the environment – and if you accidentally mix two that should not go together, the combo could be deadly.

Reducing your cleaning products will save you space, and opting for products made with natural ingredients is also better for the environment. (You may find that some are even more concentrated than those filled with harmful chemicals and toxins.) Often, eco-friendly cleaners last longer and are easier to dispose of safely, saving you money. long term time and money.

Whether you’re looking to create a safer cleaning routine for your kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom, or want to overhaul your routine entirely, there are plenty of options to choose from. Exchanges for sponges, dryer sheets, plastic scrubs, etc. are easy to find online or in many local stores, and you might even find yourself loving them more than your old toxic items. Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly and natural cleaning products.

The best natural and ecological cleaning products

Blueland Clean Suite Kit

For those looking for a unique cleaning kit, look no further. Blueland is an AAPI-founded brand dedicated to making eco-friendly products easy to find, use and buy. This set comes with everything you need to start a long-lasting cleaning kit, including three glass spray bottles with cleaning tablets (to make cleaning solutions for glass and mirror, bathroom and multi-purpose), glass hand soap dispenser and soap tablet, dishwasher tablets and storage container, powder dish soap and dispenser, and laundry detergent tablets and a storage container. As you run out, simply buy refill tablets, place in your containers, mix with water and use as usual.

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Complete set of Cleancult liquid detergent

Stop buying bottles and bottles of liquid laundry detergent and go for a refillable option. This set from Cleancult comes with a glass laundry detergent dispenser and four detergent refills (all in recyclable packaging), a zero waste stain stick and three wool dryer balls. The stain stick requires far less water than traditional stain removers and it will last eons longer. Wool dryer balls can be used instead of dryer sheets to soften clothes, reduce static and shorten drying times because they help absorb moisture.

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ThreeMain Liquid Hand Soap Refills

Small plastic soap pump bottles are extremely useless. Often pumps are not recyclable at all and plastic bottles sometimes end up in landfill with them. Instead, opt for something like this from ThreeMain, which comes in a refillable and infinitely recyclable aluminum bottle. When you run out of soap, simply order a refill pouch, which is 80% less plastic than a regular soap bottle.

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The Laundress’s Signature Detergent

For a convenient and eco-friendly laundry option, consider buying detergents and soaps in bulk. Not only will you have to make fewer trips to the store, but you’ll also use less packaging. All of the ingredients in this detergent are plant-derived and the scent blends lily of the valley and jasmine with soft musk, sandalwood and a touch of citrus.

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Cloud Paper Towels

Bamboo grows much faster than wood and can be used for almost all of the same applications. Because bamboo grows so fast, it’s a more sustainable alternative to hardwoods. These paper towels are just as strong as regular paper towels, but require no trees to craft.

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Papaya reusable paper napkins

To get rid of trees entirely, opt for a reusable option like these Papaya Cloths. They are made from cotton and cellulose, both of which are compostable at home. One cloth is equivalent to 17 rolls of paper towels. When they get dirty, just throw them in the washing machine and they’ll be like new.

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Public Goods Wool Dryer Balls

wool dryer balls

Reduce drying time and eliminate dryer sheets from your routine with these dryer balls. They are made from wool, which naturally absorbs moisture in the dryer, making them a natural alternative to waxy plastic dryer sheets. As they tumble with your laundry, they soften the fabric and also reduce static electricity. They are also infinitely reusable.

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Guppyfriend Microwaste Wash Kit

When you wash clothes and fabrics made of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, they release tiny plastic particles (aka microplastics) into the water that eventually enter our waterways, consumed by organisms – they have in fact now penetrated human blood circulation. Instead, when washing these materials, you can capture these microplastics in a bag, collect them after washing, and dispose of them safely. Simply place your synthetic fabrics in the wash bag, wash your clothes as usual, and remove any remaining particles in the bag. Place them in a paper bag, close it and throw it in the trash. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will help keep these particles out of our waterways for a little longer.

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Grove Collaborative Coconut Scrubbers

Many of the products we use every day are made from petroleum or plastic based products, including sponges. Replace plastic sponges with a natural, compostable option, like these made from coir — a fiber extracted from the fruit husk — and cellulose. The coconut fiber mimics the scrubbing side of a plastic sponge and the cellulose acts as the softer side. When this sponge reaches the end of its life, just throw it in the compost for it to decompose.

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Sustainable dish brush without packaging

durable dish brush

Chances are the dish brushes you use (which normally last longer than sponges) are plastic. This wood, metal and sisal fiber brush will last longer and the brush heads are biodegradable and replaceable. When the brush is too frayed, throw it in the compost, replace the head and continue with your dishes. When the handle reaches the end of its life (many years from now), you can remove and recycle the metal and compost the wood.

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No Tox Life Dishwasher Block Soap

It’s easy to use pump after pump of dish soap when you have stubbornly stuck-on food or stains. The problem is that the bottle always empties faster than expected. A dish block is a solid block of soap that works just as well as liquid soap, but tends to last months longer. Simply rub your damp sponge or dish brush over the block, scrub your dishes as usual, and enjoy months without having to buy more soap.

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Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods

dropps dishwasher tablets

If you have room for a dishwasher, we city dwellers envy you. Using this blessed machine ensures that you save water, and for bonus points, opt for an eco-friendly detergent pod that is free of harsh chemicals and plastic. (A lot of the membranes on traditional pods are made from, you guessed it, some kind of plastic.) These pods from Dropps have a light lemon scent (and there’s a unscented version, too) and are made with natural ingredients. Each is made from polyvinyl alcohol, which dissolves on contact with water.

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