Eco Friendly Cleaning Products That Are Sustainable, Reusable, and Non-Toxic
Caring for the Earth and caring for your home used to be mutually exclusive.
Green cleaning products were better for the planet but didn’t always clean like you wanted. The cleaners that eliminated grout and left surfaces spotless were often filled with toxic chemicals that were just as bad for your health as the planet’s.
Today, you can have it both ways.
There are dozens of eco friendly, green cleaning products that are sustainable, reusable, non-toxic, and actually clean.
Here’s our list of the 5 best eco friendly cleaning products to take your cleaning routine from outright toxic to downright green.
Where to use it: Hard surfaces like glass, tile, or laminate; fixtures and appliances
What not to use: Labels with lots of ingredients, plastic bottles
Ingredients to avoid: Glycol ether, APEs, DEA, MEA, and TEA
Multi-surface cleaners earned their name for a reason.
They’re made to get rid of all sorts of messes, from kitchen grease to bathroom odors to deep stains and more. Great for non-porous surfaces like hardwood, tiles, countertops, porcelain, walls, fixtures, and sealed stone, there’s not much a good multi-surface can’t handle.
That said, traditional multi-surface cleaners are made with some pretty scary ingredients, like glycol ether (also known as 2-butoxyethanol, 2-butoxyethanol acetate, or Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether).
Glycol ether is a solvent found in multi-surface cleaners that cuts grease. It has no smell, so you can be overexposed to the chemical without realizing it, leading to a number of medical problems. Glycol ether has been linked to reduced fertility (in women and men), anemia, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney and liver damage, and more.
Today’s eco friendly multi-surface cleaners use natural solvents - like surfactants made from natural oils - cut grease without exposing you to dangerous toxins.
Silicone Dishwashing Gloves
Where to use it: On dishes and glass, or in bathrooms
What not to use: Traditional plastic dishwashing gloves
Ingredients to avoid: BPA
You’re either a sponge person, or you’re a person who has nightmares about all the germs multiplying in your sink overnight.
If you’re the latter, silicone dishwashing gloves are for you.
It can be difficult to get into the crevices of dishes and silverware with sponges or even brushes. Designed with anti-slip grips on each finger and bristles on both sides, dishwashing gloves can easily clean your dishes without hours of scrubbing.
Silicone is dishwasher safe, too, so you can throw gloves in with your plates whenever they’re getting a little grody.
Non-Toxic Liquid Dish Soap
Where to use it: On dishes and glass, to remove paint stains
What not to use: Formulas dyed bright colors and artificially fragranced
Ingredients to avoid: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Fragrances, Polysorbate-20
You probably use your dish soap more than any other cleaning product in your house, so it’s probably better that you choose one that’s healthy for you.
Most common dish soaps are made with sodium lauryl sulfate, commonly referred to as “SLS.” SLS is a surfactant and detergent, and a lot of dish soaps labeled as “organic,” “green,” or “natural” have SLS on their ingredient lists.
But SLS is dangerous. It can damage your respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and nervous systems, and it's carcinogenic. With so many related health risks, SLS isn’t something you want to use on dishes you plan to eat off.
Instead, look for dish soaps that use all-natural surfactants derived from coconut oil or other natural oils.
Wool Dryer Balls
Where to use it: In the dryer
What to avoid: Dryer sheets
Ingredients to avoid: Paper and plastic
Dryer balls might look like a toddler’s plaything - might even have been your toddler’s plaything at one point - but they’re so much more than that.
Dryer balls are the ultimate eco-friendly swap.
- They use less electricity by speeding up drying times by absorbing liquid and creating air pockets between clothes.
- They’re reusable and sustainable, lasting between two to four years.
- They’re non-toxic, completely devoid of any harmful chemicals.
Dryer sheets, on the other hand, have a pretty long rap sheet. Similar to cardboard, they’re paper infused with plastic. Often, dryer sheets are infused with artificial fragrances that can exacerbate allergies and cause respiratory issues.
Where to use it: Wiping up spills, scrubbing stains, dusting
What to avoid: Traditional paper towels
Ingredients to avoid: ...Paper
If you really think about it, we don’t need paper towels. A dishcloth, or set of reusable paperless towels, can do the exact same job, usually better.
And given the effect paper towels have on our planet, switching is a no-brainer.
17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water go into the production of one ton of paper towels. If every American replaced just one roll of paper towels with reusable paperless towels, we could save 544,000 trees a year.
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