I must admit I did not think much about what type of cleaning products I purchased before I had children. But once I did, like many of you reading, I became obsessed with reading labels on just about everything and became much smarter about my shopping decisions- and that includes safer cleaning products.

The benefits of using eco-friendly cleaning products are plentiful. Leslie Reichart, author of Joy of Green Cleaning, tells Care.com, that when you use many cleaning products, “harmful chemicals are being released into the environment.” Those chemicals reach not only the person cleaning, but those around who are breathing in any chemicals lingering in the air or on surfaces.  As an alternative, Sara Snow, author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Livingtells Care.com that changing to greener methods, “helps reduce pollution to our air and waterways, and it minimizes your impact on global climate change with fewer smog-producing chemicals.” Other benefits include affordability (vinegar should be a must-have for every household), better air quality (goodbye strong chemical smell!) and knowledge of ingredients (i.e., reading a list that you can actually understand). Not to mention, many green products use recyclable packaging which is better for the environment.

Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly cleaning products:

Better Life Natural All Purpose Cleaner

This plant-based all purpose cleaner cuts through grease, grime, soap scum, hard water stains and can even be used as a laundry pre-spotter. It’s safe and effective on ALL surfaces making it a good, basic cleaner to have around the house + it’s free of all the yucky stuff (VOCs, alkyphenol surfactants, and petroleum) and not tested on animals.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap

You’ve likely seen Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soap around – this timeless cleaner can be used on just about anything, and that includes your body! Yes, you can go from washing your floors to hopping in a shower using the same product. With no synthetic detergents or preservatives, Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Pure-Castile Soap offers organic and vegan ingredients for the skin and when diluted, it’s a great for your floors and dishes!

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Basil Scent Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Another multi-purpose favorite is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Everyday Cleaner. Not only do their scents smell delicious, but they are committed to being good for the environment. Mrs. Meyer’s products are petroleum-free, formaldehyde donor-free, contain naturally derived ingredients, animal by-product-free, dye-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, aluminum-free. In other words, free of all the bad stuff! Not tested on animals, either, which just gives them another thumbs up in our book.

Ecover Zero Dish Soap

Widely acknowledged as one of the best natural dish soaps out there, Ecover Zero is made with renewable, plant-based and mineral ingredients. Its non-toxic, biodegradable formula is tough on stuck-on food, but gentle on your skin and the planet while being fragrance, dye and chlorine free. Never tested on animals, the bottle itself is made with recycled plastic and Plantplastic. It’s a win win!

Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap

Seventh Generation products have definitely entered the mainstream, which is good news for all eco-friendly cleaners. Made with plant-based ingredients, Seventh Generation is an EPA Safer Choice Certified Product. Cuts through grease and tough residue but also free of fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or triclosan. The hypoallergenic formula is great for those with sensitive skin, too. 

The Laundress Baby Detergent

Has baby’s favorite WubbaNub gotten dirty? Try allergen-free The Laundress baby detergent, which is non-toxic and eco-friendly to clean. You’ll just need a mesh bag for your Wub, then drop in the washer (allow to air dry). We love the instructions for cleaning a WubbaNub on Clarks Condensed!