Although the market for eco friendly cleaning products seems to have sprung up out of nowhere, business in the green cleaning industry is suddenly booming. While it’s difficult for even the most dedicated organic living expert to stay on top of all the trends, we’re glad that so many companies are experimenting. For consumers who love to shop organic, the end result is an array of novel cleaning products that help promote environmental stewardship.
Eco Friendly Cleaning Products Are Good for Your Health
We’re all sometimes tempted to save a little effort and pick up the really heavy-duty, big-brand stuff. But green cleaning is worth our attention, and not just for environmental reasons. In fact, the great irony of conventional cleaning products is that they often undermine efforts to make our living spaces more habitable. Fast-acting ingredients often have dangerous side effects, and the never-ending quest to eliminate germs might be causing more grief in the long run.
Yes, using eco friendly cleaning products in your home will benefit your loved ones as much as the planet. That’s one of the key reasons we think it’s just as important as the movement to shop organic or buy local foods. We’ve picked a few of our favorite recent finds to highlight the freshest ways to practice clean and healthy organic living all throughout your home.
10 of the Best Eco Friendly Cleaning Products
1. A food wash made from seashells. Brace yourself, because this question is going to sound weird at first: have you ever sprayed sea shells on your pork roast? No? Well, the folks at iGOZEN think you’re missing out on a completely natural method of combating pesticides, toxins and bacteria. iGOZEN products, such as their Meat/Fish Cleaner, incorporate a very fine powder made from sea shells. After mixing this powder with water, simply soak your food before mealtime and you’ll remove a variety of unhealthy contaminants.
2. Fight mold and mildew with crab shells. A mold infestation in your home isn’t just an aesthetic problem – serious health consequences can result. Clear Shell Mold & Mildew Inhibitor, from Zep Commercial, “provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to other mold and mildew prevention products that are less effective,” notes a company spokesperson. Those conventional mold zappers contain bleach and ammonia, which can cause just as many problems inside your living space as the fungus you’re trying to protect yourself from. Clear Shell, on the other hand, is made from natural crab shells.
3. A green sanitizer for your child’s toys. Trying to maintain a safe, clean household for your kids can be a real challenge. Every object a toddler touches might as well be labeled with a giant sticker that reads “I TASTE GREAT,” and that’s why you need to work extra hard to ensure that the things they get their hands on are as clean as possible. Enter the Toy & Highchair Cleaner from BabyGanics. This spray, completely free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates, blasts away dirt and harmful chemicals on surfaces.
BabyGanics seeks out the most environmentally friendly packaging and labeling so that they can keep BabyGanics items out of landfills. The company is a member of the Organic Trade Association, and all BabyGanics products are “made from sustainable, vegetable-based ingredients.”
4. Laundry soap that grows on trees. Make no mistake about it: Sinfully Wholesome is committed to organic living. All of their products are wildcrafted, meaning that the active ingredients are collected straight from nature instead of being cultivated or farmed. They’re also certified organic, and all products come packaged in Lokta paper, the “most environmentally friendly paper on Earth.” If you’re looking to shop organic with flair, though, you’ve got to try their Nepalese Soap Nuts. These dried berries are naturally full of saponins (organic soap compounds). Soap Nuts is the perfect all-natural detergent for those with sensitive skin.
5. An eco friendly cleaning product for your hiking gear. For the adventurous among us, Nikwax makes a full line of eco friendly cleaning products geared towards climbers, hikers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts. If environmental stewardship is your bag and you’re in the market for footwear-cleaning gel or an outerwear wash, Nikwax is the obvious choice. As a company spokesperson says, “Nikwax is 100% water-based and biodegradable and does not contain fluorocarbons or VOCs, which means it is safe for your family, your washer and the environment.”
6. A kitchen brush made from coconuts. The Japanese All-Purpose Cleaning Brush, from Kaufmann Mercantile, is a hand-held brush that can be used to scrub tin, stainless steel, cast iron, wood and even cooking grills. The brushes are made from natural fibers obtained from coconuts. That’s impressive enough, but it’s also worth noting that the fibers of the brush use natural fats to prevent mold and rot.
7. Natural detergent for your dishwasher. Concerns about the environmental impact of phosphates have led to big changes in detergent formulations over the past five years. As a result, the process of dishwashing has become more environmentally friendly overall. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t further decrease your ecological impact when looking for ways to keep your plates and glasses spotless. Smarty Dish dishwasher tabs, from Method, are derived from natural sources. They’re completely non-toxic, plus they ship in minimal packaging to reduce plastic waste.
8. Cleaners inspired by oil spill disasters. Looking to renew the shine on that end table you inherited from your great-grandmother? This line of surface cleaners from Murchison-Hume utilizes colloidal technology (the scientific principle used in oil-spill-cleanup operations) to wash away dirt. Their products are biodegradable, they’re manufactured from sugarcane, and you can spray them on any surface that water itself won’t damage. The Everyday Furniture Spritzer from Murchison-Hume is actually the first furniture cleaner for domestic use that can be applied to both hard surfaces and upholstery.
9. Spray-on enzymes that fight odor. The real power of Everyday Stain & Odor Remover from Earth Friendly Products comes from enzymes. When it comes to removing odors, enzymes are king. Enzymes don’t just counteract the chemicals that make a stink – they break them down into their component parts. And they’re very specific about the sorts of chemicals they target, so they won’t have unintended effects on other materials or on our environment. The non-enzyme portion of Everyday Stain & Odor Remover is sourced from plant materials, and all of the ingredients are entirely biodegradable.
10. Scrubbing powder that uses “the good bleach.” Bleach is bad stuff, right? Whoa there, not so fast. There are actually two kinds of bleach: chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. Chlorine bleach is serious stuff, and it’s an environmental contaminant. Oxygen bleach is about as effective as the chlorine stuff, but it breaks down into water and oxygen.
So when you note that the surface scrubs made by Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day contain ash and oxygen bleach, you’ll know that they pass the environmental stewardship test. These cleaning powders can be used on tile, porcelain, steel and cookware without scratching. Plus, they come in a range of pleasant fragrances (sourced from natural oils, of course).
A Fridge Cleaner That Uses Pure Activated Oxygen
If you want to prevent germs and mold from thriving inside your refrigerator (and who doesn’t), you’ll want to protect your family with one of the most eco friendly cleaning products you’ll find. BerryBreeze™ injects activated oxygen into your fridge, where it circulates and works 24-hours a day to neutralize microbes. It keeps your fridge clean and fresh-smelling while at the same time helping to prevent food-borne illnesses. When microbial activity is reduced, your foods will stay fresher for longer, and that means less food waste and healthier, more nutritious meals.
If you’re into environmental stewardship, sparkling-clean refrigerators and food safety at home, then you’re going to be into BerryBreeze™. Did we miss your favorite eco friendly cleaning products? Please let us know in the comments below!