News Treehugger Voices These Are the Green Cleaning Products I've Been Loving Lately Three different companies, three different approaches, same impressive results. By Katherine Martinko Katherine Martinko Twitter Senior Editor University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is an expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. Learn about our editorial process Published May 27, 2022 01:07PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Branch Basics News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Whenever an eco-friendly cleaning company asks to send me samples, I jump at the opportunity—as long as I like what I see on their website in terms of ingredients, packaging, and philosophy. It's hard to find innovate green products where I live in rural Ontario, Canada, so I gladly accept whatever these companies want to send my way. I give their products an honest review. I use every single item in its entirety, usually during my Saturday morning house-cleaning sessions. My husband, who's the bathroom cleaning expert, has plenty of feedback on the various cleaners as well. Some impressed us more than others. What follows is the list of products we liked the best over the past year—just in time for your spring cleaning. Branch Basics Branch Basics I love the fact that the entire company revolves around a single bottle of concentrated formula (33.8 fl oz) that is then diluted into whatever you need it to be—all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, foaming hand wash, floor clear, even laundry detergent. It works better than any green product I've used before, leaving sinks and counters sparkling clean, and it smells heavenly. I attended an info session hosted by Branch Basics' founders in March 2021. They emphasized the need to rethink our definition of "clean" and to move away from the powerful yet harmful substances that are often used to scour our homes. Replacing synthetic chemicals with effective natural ones is a simple way to improve air quality in the home, and to reduce the number of plastic bottles required to do the same job. On a side note, the founders explained that soap is different from a disinfectant in that it removes germs, rather than kills them, making it more beneficial and effective. Soap dismantles the pathogen, breaks down the fatty lipid layer, and makes it inactive, whereas a disinfectant usually needs a "dwell time" of between 30 seconds and 10 minutes to kill germs. Even then, it might miss some. That's why if you're concerned about sanitizing, you should clean with soap first before spraying with disinfectant. Meliora Meliora Cleaning Products This company has been around for a long time and I am consistently impressed by the simplicity yet cleverness of its product line. I've been using its laundry detergent and oxygen booster for months and my family's often-very-dirty clothes are spotless. The Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub works wonders on our grimy white porcelain sinks. Guests had lots of questions about the bar of Plastic-Free Dish Soap that sat on the edge of the kitchen sink for months, handy for swiping with a cleaning sponge. Meliora makes all of its products in a factory on Chicago's West Side and promises that they will meet three basic requirements—they'll work to get your house clean, they're people-friendly, and they're planet-friendly. It has a clear chemical use policy on the website that promises each ingredient is certified by MADE SAFE and Leaping Bunny. Many of the ingredients are also organic. Everything comes in paper bags or cartons. The laundry and oxygen booster canisters were recently redesigned to be entirely made of paper, as opposed to cardboard canisters with metal caps that had to be pulled off for recycling. This means they use 45% less packaging than before and you can order refills in paper bags. Cleancult Cleancult I'd read and written about Cleancult before, but hadn't tried it myself until I got a box of colorful cartons delivered to my door. I've never seen such a pretty array of cleaning products! They come packaged in what are essentially milk cartons to refill glass bottles, also sold by the company, but you'd never mistake them for milk with the colorful graphics. These cartons are recyclable in many parts of the U.S. (not where I live in Canada), though you can also ship them back to the company for recycling. I've been using the all-purpose cleaner, hand soap, and bar soaps. The all-purpose cleaner is great. It cuts through the scum on my bathtub, sinks, and counters without any trouble. My husband raves about the bar soap, says it's the nicest we've ever had in the shower. He left the paper wrapping out so we wouldn't forget to order more. Guests have asked about the lavender-scented hand soap in our downstairs bathroom. I don't usually use liquid hand soap, but I have to admit it's a nice touch and it smells great. While Cleancult's model may not be as close to zero-waste as Branch Basics or Meliora, it has undeniably built a smart refill system that's a major improvement over conventional cleaning products in single-use plastic bottles. Shipping is carbon neutral, too, offset through a partnership with carbonfund.org. Keep these companies in mind if you're shopping for clean and green cleaning products. You won't be disappointed.