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Monday, April 6, 2015

Cleaning Up My Cleaning Routine

For years, I've tried to use the "greenest" cleaning products available, staying away from nasty chemicals.  I've found that if something makes the skin peel off my hands, it's probably not something we should be using around the house.

About 13 years ago, I became a big fan of Method cleaning products.  At the time, they were one of the few "green" cleaning products on the market, and they had such nifty packaging and marketing that drew me to become a huge advocate of their products.  I've also always been a fan of Seventh Generation products for years, since they're based out of Burlington, VT, my home town!

Fast forward to 2015, when I became a bit skeptical of Method's "green" claims.  On Sunday, while everyone was having their Easter fun, I spent several hours, knee deep in the Environmental Working Group's Cleaners database.  My quest was to to find the best-rated products I could for each task in our home.

Good news - several of the Seventh Generation products I use were all rated as an A or B by EWG.  Bad news - all but one product from Method rated lower than a B.  This sadly proved that I've been greenwashed for years by Method!  So disappointing!  But thank goodness for references like EWG to become more informed.

Now, I know that the best cleaning products are those you make yourself, and I do still make some of my own cleaners that I use for my own purposes around the house.  However, our cleaning people get confused by such non-labeled, multi-use products, that it becomes a chore in itself to try to explain what's what and that the spray bottle of vinegar is for cleaning!  Several of the items I researched are also things I would not even know how to make (nor have time), such as laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent.

If you're on a similar quest to find the healthiest cleaning products for your home, I've compiled a list of the best-rated products readily available online, and where I purchased them for the cheapest price.  I compared, and  In general,'s prices were double that of and, so I stopped looking at their site after the first few products!  In some cases, the prices between VitaCost and Drugstore were close, but a limited-time promo on one site or the other made one site a better deal today over the other.

All Purpose Cleaner
  • Sun & Earth All Purpose Cleaner, Light Citrus (only available at VitaCost)
  • Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Emerald Cypress and Fir (Check between and VitaCost, depending on promos)
  • Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile Cleaner - Emerald Cypress and Fir (Check between and VitaCost, depending on promos)
  • Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Concentrated Pacs (45 count package) - Free & Clear ( only has the larger size package)
  • Sun & Earth Hypoallergenic Dishwashing Liquid - Light Citrus Scent (only available at VitaCost)
  • Ecover Natural Rinse Aid for Dishwashers (VitaCost)
Glass Cleaner (a nice-to-have when I don't have time to make myself)
  • Sun & Earth Glass Cleaner (only available at VitaCost)
  • Biokleen Chlorine Free Oxygen Bleach Plus Powder (Check between and VitaCost, depending on promos)
  • Ecover Non-Chlorine Bleach Ultra (VitaCost)
  • Ecover Stain Remover (VitaCost)
  • Biokleen Laundry Liquid (Check between and VitaCost, depending on promos)
  • Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets - Blue Eucalyptus and Lavender (Check between and VitaCost, depending on promos)
  • Ecover Natural Fabric Softener - Morning Fresh (this was the only liquid fabric softener I could find with a rating of B - all other scents are Cs or lower. This specific scent is only available at VitaCost)
Wood Cleaner
  • Method Wood for Good Daily Clean Almond (VitaCost)
Things I make myself

I hope this list is helpful to you!  I know I'm going to keep it handy for my next reorder of products in a few months.  Here's to safe cleaning!