Monday, June 13, 2016

Natural cleaners - my review

Fresh as a daisy?

I thought I would do a review on some of the natural products that I've been trying in an effort to find ones that work well and are healthier options for my family.  

Here we go...

Laundry room: 
For years I used to use All free and clear, then I switched to Costco's Environmentally Friendly because it was less expensive.  Then I discovered that it received an "F" from the Environmental Working Group, which put me on the quest for something better.
I tried Seventh Generation's Natural 2x Concentrated Liquid Laundry detergent (free and clear).  It received a "C".  While it seemed to be a healthier option it also seemed to leave the whites a bit dingy - and it's expensive.
Conclusion:  I'll keep searching.  The scent of the Seventh Generation is nice.

Dryer Sheets: 
I used to use Bounce then switched to Costco's version because it was half the price, but it also received an "F" from EWG.
I've been using Mrs. Meyers Clean Day dryer sheets. (I've tried both basil and lavender scents)  it is improved only up to a "C", but it does keep static down and I like the scent.  
Conclusion:   I am going to have Ellie make some wool balls as seen here.
I can scent them with natural essential oils.  I think this will be the most healthy and cost effective option for reducing static cling.

Dish Soap: Again I formerly used Kirkland Signature's Environmentally Friendly liquid dish soap. 
Can you guess the grade from EWG?  Yep, "F".  I've been using Seventh Generation Liquid dish soap - free and clear.  I like it.  It seems to work well cutting grease while not wrecking havoc on my hands.  I think it received a "C".  
Conclusion:  Dr. Bronner's and Biokleen both received an "A", so I will give each one a try to see how well they clean and what they smell like.  

Dishwasher soap:  Before all our dishwasher woes, we used Cascade Complete dishwasher gel. Our new dishwasher recommends Finish Pods.("C") Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pods scored a little better. ("B")
Conclusion:  Even though the Kirkland brand received a "B" it is the most economical and the pods do a great job at cleaning the dishes. I also like that the wrapper is biodegradable. 
Seventh Generation does make a pod that scored "A" so I will order them from my next Grove Collaborative order to see how they work and figure out the cost point.  If they too expensive I can live with a "B" grade and use the Kirkland signature dishwasher pods.

Rinse Aid: - Our Bosch recommends Finish, but I've switched to Seventh Generation Rinse Aid free and clear.   It received an "A".
Conclusion:  This is an easy switch to make.  


Tub and Tile cleaner:  I used to use Scrubbing Bubbles.  It worked wonderfully, but the fumes are strong.  I have tried both Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day and Method.  Both smell awful.  I don't mean strong, but clean smelling fumes - I mean like ... dog urine.  I'm sorry.  That's probably rude to say, but it's true.  It smells awful and reminds me of just that.  
Because I couldn't stand the smell of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Lemon Verbena bathroom cleaner, I tried Method Antibac, bathroom cleaner.  It also smells awful, and it didn't score well with EWG. 
Neither of them clean well.  Soap scum is building up and it doesn't feel clean.
Conclusion:  In spite of its failing grade, I am switching back to Scrubbing Bubbles. Even though the fumes are strong, the scent is not offensive, and it cleans like a champ! 

Toilet Cleaner:  I switched from Lysol Cling to Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day.  Again, I could not stand the smell!  I tried Method brand, which isn't quite at pungent, but still not a nice smell at all.  Both are not cleaning as well as Lysol either - leaving stains in the bowl.
Conclusion:  Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day received a "B".  Other scents are available (lavender and basil) so I could try those.  I haven't tried just plain baking soda either, but if all those options don't clean it well, I'll be returning to Lysol as well.  I need to feel like my bathrooms are clean and disinfected.  

. . . . . 

I think I've come to these overall conclusions:  
1. Some natural products do not clean as well as their harsh counterparts.
2.  Some natural products smell awful!
3.  Natural cleaners are expensive!
4.  If it goes into our mouth (via our dishes) or touches our skin (our clothing) then I will make every effort to find the most healthy, (but also effective) option for our family. 
5. Since that isn't the case with the bathroom cleaners and the "healthy" versions don't seem to clean well or smell good, I am willing to use the harsher "F" products in order to have a clean (disinfected, no-soap-scum- clean smelling) bathroom. 

How about you?  Have you tried any natural products that you are super happy with?  I'd would love to know about them.  :-) 


I'm sharing with some of these blogs. 


  1. I used to use harsh chemical-filled products throughout my house. Then I transitioned to almost all natural products. I use orange peel infused vinegar for general wipe-down cleaning and floors; I mix essential oils with baking soda for a scrubbing cleanser; I mix hydrogen peroxide with lemon for a great bathroom cleaner and vinegar with lemon for the kitchen. I use 1 pt Dawn to 2 pts peroxide for laundry spot removal. etc, etc. I use Dr Bonner's for hand washing and Seventh Generation for dish washing. I use a peroxide/lemon combination for laundry bleach and Soap nuts/berries for laundry detergent. No more chemical smells in my house and I love the way the natural products work. My only issue is static cling. No matter what I try, I can't get rid of it. My daughter-in-law even made me some dryer balls and I still have static cling. Oh, well, I'll keep trying. Enjoying your blog!

    1. Maria,
      I'll have to try some of your suggestions. I'd so much prefer natural cleaners over the chemical ones.
      Thanks for stopping by.


  2. I recently tried Seventh Generation dish soap and dishwasher tabs and love them! No weird chemical smell after the dishwasher finishes (like the Costco one - always a strong smell when you open the door.)

    Also, for laundry, since I ran out of my plain goat milk soap bars (which I make my homemade laundry soap out of) I decided to try Biokleen liquid laundry soap. I happened upon a 48-load bottle of for $4.99 at Marshall's and it gets an "A" on I am about to try it tomorrow and if I like it, I plan to go buy out the shelf at Marshall's (and maybe hit a few of them!) I saw it for $15 on Amazon.

    Biokleen's concentrated all purpose cleaner also gets an "A" but I don't love the smell. I love Mrs. Meyer's just like you... but it gets a "C". It's my little splurge.

    Now if I could only wean myself off of AJAX. I use it for toilets, shower tile, and sinks. Baking soda didn't cut it.

  3. Oh... I did at last ditch my Costco dryer sheets. I purchased some wool balls for the dryer but haven't tried them yet. I've been using Seventh Generation unscented liquid fabric softener in the wash and love it.

  4. Nice to hear some fresh natural products to use!

    Thanks for linking up with Welcome Home Wednesdays! Live every Wednesday at 7AM CT.

    liz @ j for joiner


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