Spruce Cleaners Review: A More Sustainable Approach With Refill Bottles

Plastic Free July is fast approaching, serving as a reminder of the urgent need to change our habits if we are to see a healthier planet anytime soon. While we all know the importance of having reusable shopping bags and water bottles, some things are still not quite on our radar.

Cleaning products are a huge contributor to waste, with everyday essentials often overlooked in our efforts to use less plastic. Sure, it’s easy to overlook these buildups, but with dozens of products under the kitchen sink — from window cleaner to anti-bacterial sprays — alternative options aren’t part of mainstream conversation right now.

So far, we’re hoping Spruce will shift our mindsets back to humble household products with a simple idea.

Founded by Mahira – a woman whose mission is to educate the world about the dangers associated with harsh chemicals and microplastics in our daily lives – Spruce was invented to clean our cleaning products.

But, while this may all sound great and the products really look the part, do they really work? Keep reading below to find out.

How we tested

To keep things incredibly simple, Spruce only has two products in its line, an all-purpose cleaner and a bathroom cleaner. But, right off the bat, they don’t look like your usual products (more on that below), so we tested them both the best way we know how: get your hands dirty and clean.

Using just these two products instead of our usual household routine, we kept the bathroom cleaner just in the bathroom, as the name suggests, spraying on shelves, sinks, mirrors and tiles. We used the Multi-Purpose Cleaner for everything else – from kitchen grime to laptop keys, tables, doorknobs and more. As the cleaning partner of choice, we opted for a mix of microfiber towels, reusable J-rags, and not-so-durable paper towels.


Evaluation: 9.5/10

How it works

The most fun part of Spruce – and perhaps the most impressive – is how it actually works, as what you’ll receive is sure to be different from the standard blue or green liquid we’re used to. Firstly, the containers are made from aluminum in a sleek peach and light blue colourway, which means you can’t see any liquid inside – and, when you receive them, they’re actually empty anyway.

Although they’re not plastic-free – the spray tip and hose are plastic – they’re said to last a lifetime, so there’s no single-use stuff here. And like any other high-quality bottle, the cap can be screwed and unscrewed.

Although it arrives empty, it will of course not stay empty for long. The cleaner actually comes in small, compostable paper packets resembling plant foods that can then be added to your trash can or cut up and added to compost piles at home if you have one. A spilled sachet in the bottle and filled with tap water is then enough to fill an entire bottle and should last a good few weeks.

The formula

Inside each sachet is a powder blend of non-toxic, vegan ingredients that are highly rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for human and environmental safety scales . We’ll post the ingredient list below for those who really know their stuff about home cleaning and eco-friendly products.

Surfactant (vegetable derived from sugars), Citric Acid (food grade preservative), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Sodium Benzoate (food grade preservative), Sodium Bicarbonate (food grade used as mild sanitizer), sodium coco sulfate (surfactant of plant origin from coconut) and organic essential oils all go into the mix.

The result

We thought we’d have a harder time narrowing down our cleaning supplies to these two items, but it was actually incredibly easy and other than avoiding marble countertops, nothing was different.

As for the glass, it wasn’t as streaky as our regular cleaner, so we added a few drops of vinegar to the J-cloth to really give it that shine, which was very unobtrusive to the result . .

Everything looked clean, felt clean and smelled clean and being now aware of the health issues that can be associated with harsher chemicals, our tester would need some serious convincing to go back.

The verdict: spruce

We were pretty blown away by Spruce, both in concept and in its outcome. Not only does it look great, take up minimal storage space under the sink, and smell great without any chemical smell, it also works as well as any other household cleaner we’ve tried in the past.

It claims to work on almost all wood, stone, tile and glass surfaces, but points out that it cannot be used on unsealed surfaces such as old hardwood floors. And since citric acid is a staple ingredient, we’ve also kept it away from our marble countertops in case it etches or discolors, so remember you might still need a few other products for these.

We’d like to see Spruce expand its line to also include dish soap and maybe even venture into clothes detergents. But this kit is a real winner for anyone looking to become more aware of their single-use plastic habits.

Spruce Starter Duo Kit

Buy now £19.99, Wearespruce.co

Looking for more plastic-free July inspo? Take a look at the eco-friendly skincare brand we love

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