We didn’t always use all-natural cleaning products in our test kitchen. But we do now. The reason is simple. A couple of years ago, Amy developed severe allergies and chemical sensitivities. The kitchen started making her sick. We knew we had to do one of two things. We could excuse her from all cleaning duties. Or we could start looking into natural alternatives to chemical cleaners.
Although Amy loved the first idea, it wasn’t really practical for our small crew. So we started testing various natural cleaning products. Some we found online. Others we pulled from the shelf at our nearby Whole Foods. Amy also started bringing hope samples from a trade show called Natural Products Expo West. And from those, we were able to find many products that worked for us, (and a few that didn’t).
There are a few things we learned through our research that you may not know about all-natural cleaning products. First of all, there is some evidence that chemicals in cleaners (as well as personal care products) can negatively impact libido. So, even if you don’t have chemical sensitivities, you may want to make a switch for the sake of your sex life.
Next, it’s important to know that not all cleaners marketed as natural are created equally. Cleaning products are not required to list all of their ingredients. Which mean, it is possible that product could advertise as “natural” and “safe” and still have a harsh ingredient.
But if you don’t know from the ingredients, how can you feel assured? There are a few ways to check if you’re getting what you hoped from an all-natural cleaning product. You can look for the EPA’s certification, the (DfE) label. You can also see if it denotes that the product is low VOC or no VOC, (low in or free of volatile organic compound). And, if you’re also looking to support companies doing good work and working toward a healthy environment, you can also look for notations that it’s fair trade or biodegradable.
We’re going to be honest, a lot of the time, all we use is a spray bottle of vinegar and water, lemon juice for stains and a bit of baking soda for the grit. But because that doesn’t work for quite all of our needs, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite all-natural cleaning products. This collaborative list offers input from all of our team members on which of the products we’ve tried give great results.
Made by ECOS, a leader in plant-based cleaning products, this highly concentrated dish soap is gentle on the environment and your skin. It’s also vegan-friendly. We particularly like the one scented with lavender oil–it’s an aphrodisiac, after all! But it comes in a variety of scents. So now instead of dreading dish pan hands, you can indulge in the zen of washing dishes. That’s a cleanse we can embrace.
This all-natural cleaner is safe on everything. Its toxicity level is lower than that of tap water. Which means it’s a safe choice for cleaning kitchen countertops. It also works on floors. We like the lemongrass scent. It’s light and doesn’t linger. But it does come in orange as well as scent free.
Puretergent is a favorite of ours in the new wave of eco friendly laundry detergents. Unlike many of the companies whose products we’ve tested, Puretergent focuses on one thing: laundry. Grey water-safe, biodegradable, in earth-friendly packaging, Puretergent comes in three color-coded formulas. There’s a color-safe formula (lavender) that works on all fabrics. And there’s another (blue) that works hard on tough stains and makes whites gleam. Bur for sensualists, there’s gentle (in yellow), perfect for soft, fuzzy fabrics, fine linens and lingerie.
There are many other good, all-natural cleaning products on the market. You can get some guidance by checking the Environmental Working Group Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
And if you’re looking for natural products for your body, you don’t want to miss this Indian Spice Love Oil from Good Clean Love.
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