In part one of this post, I discussed my journey to find safe cleaning products to use in the home. My knee-jerk decision to make all of my own products turned out to be disappointing, so I began my secondary journey which was to find store bought options that used safer ingredients, but were also effective. This search proved to be frustrating for a few different reasons:
First, there are a ton of products labeled “natural”.
Second, the “natural” label came with a higher price tag.
Third, these “natural” expensive products were often a let-down and didn’t work as well as their chemical laden counterparts.
I’ve made special trips to Whole Foods, ordered highly rated products on Amazon, and tried the basic items from Kroger and Target in attempts to narrow down ones that would become staples in our home. I am not a science-loving gal, so I have a hard time memorizing which chemicals are bad and which are deemed safe. I was really just shooting in the dark and going with natural brands until I discovered EWG.org. Their guide to healthy cleaning has really become a highly coveted resource for me as it ranks products based on their toxicity. Because of my family history, I am specifically looking at the cancer rating. Anything that shows even a slight risk, I pass on. Not every cleaning product on the market is on there, but it definitely helps when trying to make a good decision.
One big thing I have learned is that brands aren’t consistent. Their counter cleaner may be rated really well, but their dishwasher pods are terrible. This has been one of the most challenging hurtles as I would love to find a brand that I know I can trust no matter what the concoction. Unfortunately, I haven’t found this holy grail of manufacturers just yet. Another tricky thing is that brands will update their products and change ingredients, so it’s important to check in every few months and make sure nothing has drastically changed.
After all of the trials and tribulations, here are the products that I am currently using:
Dish Soap: Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid Free and Clear. I regularly hand wash two staples in our kitchen: Lyla’s bottles and our wine glasses. I love that I can get this at the grocery store (usually with a coupon at Kroger), it suds up as well as other cleaners, and doesn’t leave a residue.
Laundry Detergent: Indigo Wild Zum Frankincense and Myrrh. I discovered this product through a hug. I asked the person what that wonderful smell was and this was the response. I’ve never looked back.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Simple Truth from Kroger. This unfortunately isn’t ranked on EWG.org. It does its job, but is pretty watery. I think when I run out, I’m going to try the Seventh Generation one.
Dishwasher Detergent: Seventh Generation Powder Free and Clear. Finding an effective dishwasher detergent has been without a doubt the hardest of all cleaning products. I have been through probably a dozen different options only to find the dishes weren’t clean or there was that annoying crumbly residue in the bottom of all of my glasses and bowls. That drives me crazy! I had shamefully settled back with Cascade after the long line of disappointments. Recently, I decided to give Seventh Gen a try again. I had used it before, but was unimpressed with the results. So far so good, so I’m hoping this will be a keeper!
Hand Soap: Indigo Wild Goat’s Milk Bar Soap. I’ve recently gone old-school and replaced our pumps with bars of soap. I love the Indigo Wild brand as the scents are so fresh and they literally last down to the last little slippery chunk. I often put liquid in our powder room if we have guests over, but love the simplicity of the bar for day to day use.
I have my eye on some recipes for natural laminate floor cleaner, so I will update once I get around to trying it out. So far, I haven’t found an effective laundry stain remover. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!!
Please note this post does contain affiliate links. Read more here. However, I am not being paid to mention EWG.org. I use this as a resource all the time and highly recommend it to anyone interested in what’s in their cleaning and beauty products.