As part of my vague New Year’s Resolution to “be healthier,” I’ve been trying to make better choices in many parts of my life. Part of that is trying to remove a lot of the chemicals from my, and my family’s, life. But it is hard! Labels are misleading, chemicals are complicated. What will clean my dirty house and not ruin the world? And, as most mom’s know – going green isn’t always cheap.
So, I took some time and evaluated just about every cleaner that Healthy Living carries. Now, I didn’t call in biologists to help me with this – so I can’t tell you the germ-killing effectiveness. BUT – I did test them all out in my kitchen. This is possibly the cleanest that room has been since my children were born. The things I do for you guys! Amber, VT Mommies resident cleaning expert, and owner of OCD Cleaning weighed in with her expert opinions as well.
Common Good All-Purpose Spray – Refill
www.commongoodandcom.com – $5.72 (16 oz) (36 cents/oz)
This is the cleaner we currently use. I really like that I can purchase the glass bottle and refill it at Healthy Living. There is unscented and tea tree – which has a subtle fragrance, and I prefer. That having been said – the only ingredient I could pronounce was “water.” Not tested on animals. Biodegradable.
www.mrsmeyers.com – $4.79 (16 oz) (30 cents/oz)
Mrs. Meyer’s was the best smelling of the group, by far. The scent was fairly strong but not overwhelming, and you can layer the scents with hand soap, soy candles, as well as laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and toilet cleaner. There are refills for the all-purpose cleaner as well, but the scent is significantly less when using refills. Listed as cruelty-free, but I couldn’t pronounce most of the ingredients.
www.citrasolv.com – $3.99 (22 oz) (18 cents/oz)
Cruelty-free and vegan, but a few big words on the ingredient list. It smelled nice, a light citrus scent. Amber tells me that this is the most effective on kitchen grease, and believes in keeping on hand for stovetops and microwaves. (We spill a lot of eggs on our oven – is that odd?)
www.vermontsoap.com – $7.99 (16 oz) (50 cents/oz)
Vermont Soap Organics was definitely the most expensive of the group. But it’s also very local, based out of Middlebury.
I was able to easily pronounce all the ingredients, and this cleaner is certified organic, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. And it’s hard to NOT like something called “liquid sunshine”! The scent is very light – my husband was eyeing me oddly as I kept sticking my nose on the table to see if I could smell it better.
www.seventhgeneration.com – $3.99 (26 oz) (15 cents/oz)
I was pleased to see that the Seventh Generation bottle indicated that it was disinfecting. Especially after this past winter – disinfecting is high in my list of priorities. I had a hard time reading the ingredients on this one too – but there were significantly fewer ingredients than in several of the others cleaners. This local product – out of Burlington – was priced lower than any of the other choices on a per ounce basis. There was no real scent to it. Expert Amber likes this as a good general cleaner for all jobs.
www.biokleenhome.com – $5.49 (32 oz) (17 cents/oz)
No animal testing here either. Made with renewable energy offsets, no hazardous materials used.
www.audrasproducts.com – $4.99 (17 oz) (29 cents/oz)
This smelled like mint fluoride at the dentist. Not necessarily what I want my kitchen to smell like, but this was one of the two cleaners where I could pronounce all the ingredients. This product is also cruelty-free and vegan.
I went for the “green” cleaning cloths as well – purchasing Full Circle, recycled cleaning clothes www.fullcirclehome.com – 5 for about $10. They are made of recycled materials and apparently absorb up to 7x their weight. They worked okay – I wasn’t amazed by them, but not horrified either. Although I was really surprised when I went to wash them – the directions indicate that you should wash them in cold water, which I think is kind of weird for cloths I just cleaned my nasty, nasty kitchen with. So I didn’t. I washed them in warm – they came out fine. Truth be told – I’m just as happy cleaning with my husband’s old t-shirts, and those are free.
These all seem like better choices than what I have been using previously – you know the kind where you need to ventilate the room after cleaning – so no bad choices in this group. And while I didn’t love the scent of Audra’s, the combination of being able to pronounce all the ingredients plus a middle of the pack cost, made it pretty appealing.
VT Mommies received a discounted rate on products purchased for this review as part of our partnership with Healthy Living. The views contained are my own.