In the last post, we looked at how to choose the safest and most eco-friendly store-bought cleaners. This in mind, I thought I’d share my top picks for store-bought green cleaners.
I like homemade green cleaners best, but as I noted in the previous post, it’s hard to get everyone in my house on board with DIY cleaners. There’s a slight learning curve.
You have to know stuff, like what baking soda is good for, how to use salt to clean and how to mix up the proper amount of natural soap vs. H2O. If we only kept homemade cleaning supplies in the house, it would be hard for me to get help with cleaning. Basically, until I can get everyone else up to speed, we do buy some green cleaners.
Table of Contents
Favorite store-bought bathroom cleaners
Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir Scent – This toilet bowl cleaner works great (read my review). In fact, I think it’s better than homemade toilet bowl cleaner – which is rare for me. It smells nice and leaves the toilet very clean.
Favorite store-bought general cleaners
For general, every-day cleaning my favorite store-bought product of all time is Ecos All Purpose Cleaner Parsley Plus. It smells AMAZING and works like a charm. Plus, I really like Ecos products in general.
I also really like Ecos Orange Plus Cleaner which smells and works great. Better though is Ecos Orange Plus Concentrated All Purpose Household Cleaner, which I always see on sale at local grocery stores. Because it’s concentrated, it costs less and makes TONS of bottles. The last time I bought this I got ten or so bottles of cleaner out of it. You have to mix it yourself, but it gets everything clean, from sinks to counters to cupboards to grease stains and even glass. It’s one of my favorite store-bought green cleaners.
I also will use plain old soap for cleaning. For instance, you can buy a huge bulk container of Liquid Castile Soap, add some to a spray bottle with water and use it to clean. Plus, you can refill reusable hand soap pumps with it, wash dishes and even use it for laundry.
Favorite store-bought laundry products
For laundry, Biokleen Citrus Laundry Powder is my favorite. It’s super inexpensive and works great. I only buy the powder though, as the liquid costs more.
If you’re looking for a good liquid laundry soap try Vaska Laundry Detergent. Vaska works really, really well – read my review. The downside is it’s more expensive and hard to find. None of my local grocers carry it.
Favorite store-bought dishwashing products
Washing dishes is relaxing for me, but the price of eco-friendly dish soap and dishwasher detergent is anything but. Most of the time it’s really expensive, and often greener dishwasher detergent works terribly.
That said, you may have to shell out more cash for one that actually works. So far, the two best dishwasher detergents I’ve used are Seventh Generation Auto Dish Pacs (Free and Clear) and Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets.
I’ve tried tons of eco-friendly dishwasher liquid detergents and had little luck – i.e. they seem to leave stuff dirty. Both of these choices above cost more, but aren’t toxic and do work, so although I think they’re a little over-packaged, they’re what I’d recommend.
As for hand washing dishes, I’m not too particular. Soap is soap to me in this case. I tend to buy the least expensive natural, non-toxic soap I can find for when we hand wash. One of my favorites though is Ecos Dishwashing Liquid in Natural Almond.
Favorite store-bought hand soap
I like to buy plain soap in bulk and refill reusable hand soap containers. That’s your greenest option. That said, if you’re looking for a store-bought version, we’ve tested and like the following:
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap – in lavender or basil
- Ecos Hand Soap
- Seventh Generation Hand Wash
Though the brands above are good, I really suggest you skip disposable pumps. Buy handsoap in bulk at your local co-op or a Whole Foods, when possible and refill your own reusable pumps.
Favorite store-bought fabric refreshers
Because I have kids in the house, I sometimes like to use a fabric refresher on the couch and chairs. Most conventional fabric refreshers are icky though and I haven’t found a homemade one (yet) that doesn’t stain fabric.
The best green choice I’ve found is Ecos Stain & Odor Remover – it smells nice and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Biokleen Bac-out Fresh Lemon-thyme works well, but costs more and you don’t get as much.
Store-bought cleaners I never buy…
Oven cleaner, wood cleaner, floor-specific cleaner or glass cleaner. I’ve tried some natural store-bought versions of these products when companies have sent them to me, but overall, you don’t need them. I use baking soda, salt or soap and water to clean the oven. I use the Ecos orange cleaner I mentioned above to clean glass and wood.
As for floors I just use steamy hot water because I have a Shark 2-in-1 Vac-then-Steam. We don’t use carpet cleaner, we just vacuum regularly and use soap for spot treating, plus have the carpets cleaned annually.
Brands to watch for
If you just want to check out brands and see their product line, here’s some help…
- Ecos – My favorite brand of eco-friendly household cleaners. Fairly inexpensive in my opinion and easy to find. Read my Ecos company review.
- Seventh Generation – Has pros and cons along with a decent line of cleaners. Plus, you can find them everywhere and usually on sale. Read my Seventh Generation company review.
- Biokleen – Best company for greener, inexpensive laundry products. I like their household cleaners too, but rarely buy them as most come with more expensive price tags.
- Ecover – This company is super hit or miss at my local stores. You may find their products, but you’re just as likely not to. They’re comparable price-wise, but I tend to go with other companies first.