One of the easiest ways to live an eco friendly life is to swap out the products you currently use for green ones! We’ll explain exactly which sustainable swaps for the home are the best for the environment and your wallet.
The best natural cleaning products of 2022
There are different levels when going green. There are super simple swaps and then lifestyle changes. We will help you with a good, better, best outline so you can find the right solution for exactly where you are right now!
Look for our good, better, best ratings
Good – safer versions of the products you already buy at the big box stores
Better – next-level shifts to reduce packaging and shipping waste
Best – the most eco-friendly, zero waste products or approaches
Eco friendly products on a budget
Many people want to take the plunge to live a greener life, but they’re worried about cost! Who can blame them? There are plenty of super expensive natural cleaning products on the market.
We want to help you see that using eco friendly cleaning products can actually be cheaper or just a little more expensive than conventional brands. You may need to spend more upfront for reusable bottles or cleaning concentrates, but those products should last a long time.
Don’t let cost be a barrier. So many household products contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other harmful substances. Look up your current products at the EWG website.
It’s not just about the environment, but your own health and well-being.
Any products that are more expensive than conventional ones are often offset by the more affordable ones.
Keep reading to see how you can turbocharge your plastic-free cleaning journey for FREE, too!
I encourage you to read this post with an open mind and look for the products that will save you in the long run.
1. Washing dishes
- Good: Buy an all-natural dish soap without harmful fragrance.
- Better: Purchase your liquid dish soap in bulk and refill your container.
- Best: Switch to a dishwashing block. These require no plastic jugs to recycle and can last a very long time.
Dishwashing blocks require a slight change in routine as you rub a scrub brush on the soap before scrubbing each dish. They last a long time and cost less than you’d think. Go on, be brave and try something new!
Don’t forget your zero waste scrub brush.
If you wash dishes by hand, this may be a trickier solution, but you can turn any soap into liquid soap with a little time!
2. Hand soap
- Good: Buy nontoxic liquid soap free of fragrance, dyes, and preservatives.
- Better: Dilute castile soap in your hand soap container.
- Best: Switch to bar soap
Bar soap is extremely affordable, easy to find, and there has been a resurgence in handmade soap brands. It’s old school cool.
I find that the only disadvantage is that used soap bars can look lumpy and worn out pretty quickly. Solve this problem by using a handmade soap saver or a vintage dish.
Simplify the switch with this zero waste cleaning kit! Perfect for a housewarming gift, too.
3. Dishwasher detergent
- Good: Buy eco-friendly liquid dishwasher detergent
- Better: Look for powdered eco-friendly dishwasher detergent
- Best: Switch to plastic-free dishwasher tablets
Personally, we switched from cheaper eco-friendly powdered tabs and had to supplement them with a drying agent, liquid detergent, AND a detergent booster. So, we decided to spend slightly more to try Dropps dishwasher tablets.
They are packaged completely plastic-free, have carbon-neutral shipping, and compostable packaging. We tried the lemon tablets and were (and still are) shocked at how much cleaner our dishes are. We hit subscribe on them right away.
Good to know about Dropps: The lemon tabs do contain fragrance, but it hasn’t bothered my sensitivities. You can opt for unscented to be on the safe side. See all of our favorite eco-friendly products in one easy place!
4. Rinse agents for your dishwasher
- Good: Look for brands with citric acid like Lemi Shine.
- Better: Pour a couple of glugs of plain white vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher.
- Best: Switch to high-quality eco-friendly dishwasher tabs to remove the need for this product entirely.
We stopped wasting money on rinse agents when we switched to better dishwasher tablets. Our spoons are finally sparkling! You have no idea how many products we tried to get this result.
5. Laundry Detergent
- Good: Find all natural laundry tablets like this brand
- Better: Buy nontoxic and eco-friendly laundry detergent powdered in bulk
- Best: Spin some soap nuts around your washer (for real!)
Personally, we’ve used Biokleen laundry detergent for years! It’s strong, effective, and has no artificial fragrances. Each box lasts us almost a year! Plus, since it’s powdered, we aren’t paying to ship water across the country.
If you want the convenience of laundry tabs and powdered detergent combined, there are zero waste laundry detergent tabs available, too.
6. Fabric Softener
- Good: Buy fabric softener refills to reduce plastic waste.
- Better: Order zero-waste fabric softener pods.
- Best: Skip this product completely.
We haven’t used fabric softener in years. There is really no need and fabric softener can cause your towels to be less absorbent. It can take a little getting used to, but the ultimate zero waste fabric softener is to use none at all.
7. Dryer Sheets
- Good: Order hypoallergenic, naturally scented dryer sheets to reduce carcinogens.
- Better: Switch to wool dryer balls. They last forever, are inexpensive and help increase your drying speed.
- Best: Skip the dryer entirely and line dry your clothes.
We keep 6 wool dryer balls in your dryer at all times. They last for a very long time! We also pull a lot of products out of the washer to air dry, especially blankets, sweaters, and pants.
Recommended for you: How to Find the Best Eco Friendly Mattress for Your Budget
8. Window Cleaner
- Good: Buy an eco-friendly window cleaner in a spray bottle.
- Better: Pour some white vinegar in a reusable spray bottle.
- Best: Wet down a towel with water, wipe it over the surface, and use a glass polishing cloth for a streak-free shine.
We literally recommend only ONE microfiber cloth (despite the concerns over microfiber) because of how effectively it dries without the need for anything else except water. Look for their glass & polishing cloth.
We’ve tried most of their products and this is the one that works better than cotton. When we find an all-natural alternative, we will be sure to let you know!
We are all about living simpler, cleaner lives.
We want to shrink our carbon footprint while saving money and eating real food. Stick with us on this journey so you can do the same! We’ll send you a special gift right away to get you started on your journey.
9. Cleaning Spray
- Good: Buy an all-natural cleaning spray brand instead of the highly fragranced grocery store stuff.
- Better: Order your cleaning products as plastic-free concentrates.
- Best: Dilute a tiny amount of Sal Suds in a spray bottle and refill as needed.
We looked into all of the eco-friendly cleaning solutions before and noticed the best ones are really expensive. Even the concentrates cost more to refill a bottle than to buy a brand new one from Target! We have a passionate love affair with Sal Suds because one bottle cost us about $12 and it takes one tablespoon PER Gallon to dilute for cleaning. This means our one 32 oz. bottle will last a very, very long time.
We will probably break the glass bottle before we hit the halfway mark on the bottle. You can use it as a shower cleaner, too! We use a squeegee after each shower to reduce the build-up. Every once in a while, we use this natural polish to remove all the water spots from our shower.
10. Mopping Solution
- Good: Buy a natural mopping liquid.
- Better: Dilute Sal Suds in your mop bucket.
- Best: Find a used steam mop or Swiffer and replace the head with a reusable cotton pad.
We scored an electric steam mop for $5 at our local thrift store and bought a reusable pad to replace the missing one. Since this product simply uses water to clean, we do not need any additional products.
When we do mop, we use our beloved Sal Suds! We also use it to clean out the litter box, scrub the shower, clean the counters, wipe down the fridge shelves, etc. It can even be used in a carpet cleaner!
11. Cleaning Towels
- Good: Swap out our conventional paper towels for recycled ones.
- Better: Snag a set of lint-free cotton cleaning cloths.
- Best: Upgrade to the fabric to organic cotton for better sustainability.
Organic cotton is best so aim for those! Our cotton towels are so handy, we pretty eliminate the need for paper towels. We do keep them on hand for pet emergencies and cleaning up bacon grease. We just found these bacon sponges though, and may not need to buy paper towels ever again!
Our Favorite Organic Kitchen Towels
We also snagged a large pack of organic cotton flour sack towels that we use for hand towels in the kitchen. They are perfect: large, absorbent, easy to clean, and they match everything.
Be sure to green your TP, too.
One of the very first posts we ever wrote was about eco-friendly toilet paper. It’s so easy to find an appropriate replacement!
TL;DR: Look for recycled TP or bamboo brands like this one.
Make Shopping for Natural Cleaning Products Easy with Grove Co
One of the easiest ways to get the natural cleaning products, clean skincare, and tree-free paper products you’re looking for is to shop at Grove Co!
Grove Co has been an online source for green products for years. They sell tasteful, beautiful, and effective cleaning products and tools. I especially love their metal cleaning bucket and those gorgeous glass spray bottles.
Jumpstart your green cleaning routine with their FREE Move Beyond Plastic Set for new customers.
- Grove Co. Hand Soap Refill
- Grove Co. Glass Soap Dispenser
- Grove Co. All Purpose Concentrate
- Grove Co. Reusable Spray Bottle
- Grove Co. Cleaning Caddy
- Grove Co. Scrubber Sponges
- Free Shipping & VIP Trial
They offset shipping so it’s carbon neutral and they use recyclable aluminum for all of their concentrates. I’ve used Grove Co for years and think you’ll love what you find!
Sustainable swaps for cleaning products
There are so many other ways to green your home! We love using natural cleaning products and find them to be a perfect starting point for beginners. Which of these swaps are you going to try?
When you’re ready for more eco-friendly tips, check out…
View all of our favorite green products on Our Faves page!