You’re ready to switch from Mr. Clean to something more ecofriendly. The problem is, it’s a Wild West of product labels out there — lots of brands claim to be “natural” or “organic,” but unlike the USDA-certified organic stickers you can look for in the Whole Foods produce section, you won’t find any such federal regulation in the housekeeping aisle. (These companies aren’t even required to list their ingredients, meaning they can sneak in chemicals without mentioning them anywhere on the bottle.) So to guide us through a cleaning-supply shopping spree, we consulted the experts — Micaela Preston of mindfulmomma.com, Danny Seo of Naturally, Danny Seo — on which kitchen sprays, laundry detergents, and all-purpose baking-soda scrubs are actually healthier for our homes.
A plant-based cleaner that works just as well as the chemical-filled ones. Preston recommends the all-purpose spray, but there’s also a stainless-steel polish, a product that not many other natural cleaning brands carry.
Haven sits on the higher end of the natural-products spectrum. Their all-purpose scrub has baking soda in it, so it bubbles up when you use it.
Seo uses this CFDA-certified organic hand sanitizer, but to clean any bacteria and dirt on his fruits and veggies, not hands. It also removes the wax coating that often covers apples and cucumbers.
Last March the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Safer Choice Label for cleaning products. Ecos was one of the early adopters of the label and this fabric-freshening spray doesn’t use artificial smells, unlike Febreze.
Danny Seo, who founded his own natural-goods-focused magazine, prefers DIY cleaning sprays, so he makes a mixture of white vinegar, water, and lemon that breaks down grime and grease, while also disinfecting and removing odors. This bottle conveniently holds it all in one place.
Preston’s favorite pine toilet-bowl cleaner comes with Ecover’s recently redesigned packaging.
Biokleen’s most well-known product has an enzyme that breaks down odors, but also removes stains like chocolate and wine.
While many detergents have “fragrance,” the broad and unspecified term is a catchall for thousands of different chemicals. Grab Green uses essential oils and safe synthetics, so this lavender-and-vanilla detergent is safer than conventional ones. And feel free to use it on your favorite bamboo bed sheets.
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