By Crystal Mendoza.
A clean home is a happy home; there’s nothing better than a spotless floor, freshly cleaned sheets, or a sink without dishes. We use an assortment of products in our homes, but do we really know what chemicals are lurking inside them? Or what the environmental impact of using these items are?
The home care brands we use are tokens passed down through generations. But as we pull back the veil, we learn the hidden truth behind our beloved products. For example, many common household cleaners contain known irritants, allergens, and carcinogens. Additionally, they are filled with 90% water in disposable plastic containers, contributing to unnecessary waste. Even toilet paper isn’t innocent: 27,000 trees are cut down every day to create virgin pulp for toilet paper!
But here’s the good news…there are better options out there! You don’t have to sacrifice good quality products for sustainable living. You can have your cake, and clean it too (is that how the saying goes?) Read on to learn how these 10 innovative home care brands are changing the way we approach home cleaning.
Price Range: $5 – $69
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, sustainable packaging, women-owned, MADE SAFE certified
Our homes are a safe haven; you would never purposefully clean your house with toxins, and yet, many of us do so without realizing it! That’s why Branch Basics created a simple cleaning system that is plant-based, GMO-free, fragrance-free, biodegradable, and cruelty-free. Additionally, they are MADE SAFE certified, ensuring that 5,000+ toxic chemicals are not found in their products.
One bottle of their concentrated formula can replace dozens of toxic cleaners; it’s universal enough for kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and laundry. Just fill the Branch Basics bottle with water, add concentrate to the fill line, and you’re ready to get started!
Price Range: $6 – $83
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, women owned, Leaping Bunny, Cradle to Cradle certified
The founders of Blueland realized that disposable household cleaners are contributing to our growing waste problem; plastic containers are rarely recycled (only 5% of plastic is recycled globally) and may lead to microplastic pollution in our waterways and oceans. Blueland offers acrylic bottles for a one-time purchase that are refilled using dehydrated tablets designed to clean bathrooms, kitchens, mirrors, and laundry. Since the tablets are dry and stored in compostable pouches, transportation is cost-effective and packaging waste is greatly reduced.
Blueland products are made without parabens, ammonia, harsh chemicals, and are cruelty-free. They are also Cradle to Cradle certified platinum, meaning the products support a circular economy. A sustainable inspiration to us all!
Price Range: $9 – $61
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, Leaping Bunny certified
The founder of Common Good started her company after she became concerned with the ingredients found in many common household cleaners. She created an assortment of cleaning products, including hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, and surface cleaners that are non-toxic, vegan, and fragranced with essential oils. To ensure full transparency, a comprehensive list of ingredients can be found on the brand’s website. The products are also Leaping Bunny certified, meaning the company has pledged to remain cruelty-free.
Common Good is reducing their waste by encouraging consumers to reuse their bottles. Pouch refills can be purchased online or bottles can be taken to refill stations nationwide, making sustainable living more accessible!
No Tox Life
Price Range: $3 – $40
Why We Love Them: sustainable, Non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, women-owned
No Tox Life is a family-owned business focused on vegan home and body care. Their flagship item is a plant-derived dish block that looks unassuming, yet packs a powerful cleaning punch! Although the product is meant for dishes, the soap can be used on carpets, stains, countertops, or a variety of other messes. The dish block is 100% biodegradable, made without palm oil, cruelty-free, and is long-lasting (this sustainability vlogger claims her current block has already lasted 4-5 months).
Dedicated to zero waste practices, No Tox Life uses donated cardboard for shipping, including Amazon boxes. Upcycled boxes are filled with recycled paper and sealed with water-activated paper tape. Even the packing peanuts are biodegradable and water-soluble (made from cornstarch)!
Price Range: $25 – $75
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, women owned, USDA Certified Organic
Supernatural is a Certified USDA Organic home care company that incorporates mysticism into its sustainability practices. After all, they believe cleaning the home should be seen as a cleansing ritual, not a chore!
The Supernatural Cleaning Set comes with four reusable 13 oz glass bottles: bath/tile, counters/granite, glass/mirrors, and wood/floors, which can be refilled with vials of concentrate, “made from nature’s finest plants, minerals, and essential oils.” You can learn more about their ethically-sourced and cruelty-free ingredients here. The packaging is 100% recyclable and their carbon footprint is reduced by not having to ship heavy products or waste clean water. Last but not least, two trees are planted for every starter set that is purchased!
Price Range: $8 – $50
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, women owned, USDA Certified Organic
Counter Culture has a lineup of all-purpose sprays, air fresheners, and floor cleaners that use probiotics (good bacteria) to organically break down grease and grime. They reject the social norm of killing 99% of bacteria and do so by using live cultures to clean counters (I love a clever brand name). This technology was first created for a livestock farmer who wanted to reduce chemical exposure to his animals, so yes, this product has been used to literally clean a pigsty!
Counter Culture products are USDA Certified Organic using non-GMO microbes and organic materials during the fermentation process. They also ensure their products are free of allergens, animal-testing, and artificial fragrance.
Price Range: $2 – $34
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, PeTa’s Cruelty-Free, EWG Verified, ECOLOGO
Attitude is a home care brand that aims to reduce, reuse, recycle, and also reforest. They offer a wide range of products to clean the entire house that are safe and effective enough to use around kids and pets. Purchasing bulk refills is a great way to reduce plastic waste; additionally, one tree is planted for every product purchased (615,000 trees planted so far). The eco-refill liquids are contained in boxes that are easy to store and designed to be completely recyclable (including the internal plastic bag and nozzle).
But their accomplishments don’t end there! Attitude’s cleaning products are 100% vegan, PETA certified, EWG verified, and ECOLOGO certified. When it comes to sustainable living, I think it’s safe to say that this brand has the right Attitude.
Price Range: $6 – $33
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, women-owned, BIPOC-owned, Leaping Bunny certified
PUR Home is a Black-owned household cleaning brand made with non-toxic high-quality ingredients. The all-in-one zero waste liquid concentrate can be used for a variety of purposes, including dishes, kitchen surfaces, floors, laundry, bathroom surfaces, windows, mirrors, and more. The dry laundry detergent is contained in cardboard bottles that are 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
The founders uphold the following core values: people, environment, community, sustainability, and minimalism. Additionally, PUR Home is Leaping Bunny certified, ensuring that the company’s products (and the company’s suppliers) are free of animal testing. A certification they wear as a badge of honor!
Price Range: $17 – $180
Why We Love Them: sustainable, non-toxic, ethical, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, Forest Stewardship Council
Dropps was started by a group of textile engineers, turned detergent scientists, who created a sustainable alternative to laundry and dish detergent. Believe it or not, Dropps created the original laundry pod in 2005 before the other big brands. The pods are colorless, phosphate-free, NPE-free, and cruelty-free, earning themselves the EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year award in 2017.
Dropps uses corrugated cardboard suppliers that are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, in addition to paper tape and sustainable shipping labels. The company remains carbon neutral with a combination of ground shipping, landfill gas collection projects, and carbon offset purchases (the equivalent of removing 138 cars off the road for a year).
Who Gives a Crap
Price Range: $12 – $52
Why We Love Them: sustainable, ethical, Certified B Corporation
How many of us wish we could make $50,000 by sitting on the toilet? Simon Griffiths turned that scenario into a reality when he refused to leave the toilet until he reached his financial goal on IndieGogo (all via live stream). With this initial investment, he and his friends launched Who Gives a Crap, a sustainable plastic-free toilet paper company that uses recycled office paper and bamboo to create TP. After all, using virgin pulp to produce toilet paper leads to unnecessary deforestation.
In addition to carbon-neutral shipping, 50% of all profits are donated to WaterAid, a social impact nonprofit that provides access to clean water and helps build toilets around the world. It’s no wonder why Who Gives a Crap is a Certified B Corporation!
So there you have it. We no longer have to put our health at risk in the name of cleaning. We don’t have to fill our homes with disposable plastic containers. And we DEFINITELY don’t have to cut down trees to wipe our bums!
Dare to learn more about sustainable living? Download the GoodHuman app to explore more innovative household products that you can feel good shopping for.
And if you’re interested in also learning how you can reduce your food waste at home, you can check out our tips here. Looking for DIY projects for your garden and home? You can find some of those here, too.
**All images courtesy of corresponding brands.