Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cleaning Products UPDATED

Household Cleaning

Most of my cleaning recommendations remain the same, with GreenShield scoring top marks in every category. Unfortunately it seems that GreenShield is harder to find in stores now, with Whole Foods taking it off the shelf in many stores to make room for their own similar (read: copy-cat) formulas.  I'd rather support an independent business than the Whole Foods brand, but, in a pinch, the Whole Foods stuff will do, I suppose. :)

Hand Washing Dish Soap

Better Life DISH IT OUT Natural Dish Liquid, Unscented gets top scores with EWG's new Health Cleaning Guide.  And rightly so!  It uses only glucosides as its detergents (the safest way to go if you've gotta use a detergent) and doesn't have anything bad!

Dishwasher Soap

I just learned about this one and I'm so excited to try it out!  It's almost too good to be true...a certified organic dishwasher soap!

Squeez by GreenShield Organic.  You can find this line of products at most Whole Foods stores and at Lowe's!  And speaking of GreenShield...they're my top picks for the following categories...

Kitchen Cleaner

GreenShield Organic Kitchen Cleaner

Bathroom Cleaner

GreenShield Organic Bathroom Cleaner

Toilet Cleaner

GreenShield Organic Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Glass Cleaner

GreenShield Organic Glass Cleaner 


All-Purpose Cleaner

GreenShield Organic All-Purpose Cleaner
I use this one a lot.  I use it to clean my countertops in the kitchen, to clean up sinks, mirrors.  Great stuff.

Alternative to Scrubbing Bubbles
When we went organic, that was one of the things I really missed---my Scrubbing Bubbles.  With the Scrubbing Bubbles you just sprayed it on and as you wiped or rinsed it off, the soap scum disappeared.  When I stopped using it, it was back to using the old elbow grease on the soap scum in the bathtub. And it was hard to find a good method for cleaning the bathtub.  Baking soda and scrubbing brushes, steam cleaners...nothing really did a good job without a ton of effort. But then I found this: method bathroom cleaner.   Now, do keep in mind that this is not a perfect product ingredients-wise.  It still contains synthetic fragrance, and a couple other questionable ingredients.  However, the fragrance didn't trigger my asthma like Scrubbing Bubbles does, and is a heckuva lot better ingredients-wise. They're up-front about their fragrance in that it's partially synthetic, but state that it is free from phthalates, NPE's and carcinogens and also has been tested for skin irritation and allergies.   To my delight, it did exactly what the label said.  You can spray it on your shower tile or bath tub, let it sit for just a little bit, and then just wipe it.  The soap scum just comes right off, no scrubbing needed.  All with no overwhelming fumes.  What a dream!

Laundry Detergent


Soapnuts, yo!
Have you tried soapnuts yet?  You can use them as a laundry detergent, hair wash, all-purpose cleaner--so many things you can do with them!


GreenShield also has some good ones, too.




DIY Recipes

Window and Glass Cleaner

1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water


This works amazingly!  It gets your windows and mirrors sparkling clean without streaks!

Removing Coffee/Tea Stains

Baking Soda!

Just take a paste of baking soda and water, use a sponge to scrub and the stains disappear! Use it on your mugs, in your sink, tile--wherever those tannins from coffee and tea are lurking!

Handwashing Dish Soap

50 g (about a handful) soapnut shells
4 cups of water

Bring water to boil and add soapnuts. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let it cool and then strain out the soapnuts and put the liquid in to a 1 qt mason jar.  Use 1/4 cup in a sink full of hot water for hand washing dishes.  Don't be fooled by the lack of bubbles--it's still doing its job!  Store remaining liquid in fridge. Can also be used for cleaning and shining jewelry, as a shampoo, and a veggie wash.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dish it out has a methyl paraben in it :(
Also do you think its better to use a liquid foundation with parabens in it versus an organic fpowder foundation that you can possibly inhale? I have Alima pure but stop using it because of this. I love living nature but it wasn't recommended. I'm stumped :(
Btw o love these recommendations and I love your company!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Where are you seeing that Dish It Out has methyl paraben? Neither their website nor the EWG listing shows this. Is there something I'm missing?

Powder vs. parabens...neither! Check out my previous article with makeup recommendations for the best of the best!

Jill Anderson said...

Have you checked out the eco-me line? That's what I am currently using. What do you think of it?

Michelle said...

We have been using Greenshield detergent for a while, but feel as though it doesn't clean real well-- probably because we have hard water.

What are your thoughts on sun and earth laundry detergent?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Stephanie! I'm excited about the GreenShield Organic Automatic Dishwasher Liquid Detergent. It sounds like you haven't tried it at all yet - is that right? I'm interested in finding out if it etches glass at all. Unfortunately, after reading some reviews of the natural dishwasher detergents, I learned that some of them permanently make the glass look cloudy - I think they called it etching. It doesn't harm the glass, I don't think, but I don't want my glasses turning all cloudy - they are beautiful when they are crystal clear. If you have used it...have you had any issues with that? If you haven't, can you tell us about it after you have used it for a while? I'd be interested to see how it goes. I, too, have hard water and don't want to damage my glassware...

Thanks!

Amelia said...

Stepanie - would love to know what you think of the 7th generation range of products - their MultiPurpose Disinfecting Cleaner (it says powered by Cleanwell on the label) and their Dishwashing Detergent. Also do you have a recommendation for automatic dish liquid/gel/powder? Thanks!!

shelley Birnaum said...

I tried the GreenShields Automatic Dishawashing Gel and it didn't clean my dishes well and left a residue. I do not have hard water. I was so disappointed. I am about to try the laundry detergent I hope that works.

Renee said...

Thanks for the great product advice! I love Naturoli products as well. Also, I use Miessence makeup and it is wonderful. Was glad to see it made your pick. What do you think about Lavera mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick?

Anonymous said...

According to my bottle of Dish It Out, it contains 0% parabens. I use their whole line and they are very conscientious of what they use in their products. There has been an issue with the EWG ratings of their products, but they are working to get the correct info out there.

Jennifer said...

Biokleen didn't make the list? They are my favorite all purpose cleaner and detergent! Now please don't tell me anything bad about them!

Joy said...

Nothing But Soap makes 100% natural, handmade, vegan Laundry Soap, Reusable Dryer Bag Sets, Bleach Alternative, Dishwashing Soap for automatic dishwashers, Lemon Cleaning Scrub, All Purpose Cleaners, Linen/Room Spray and Oven Cleaner. http://www.naturaljoybeauty.com/servlet/the-LAUNDRY-%26-CLEANING/Categories

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lists!!

What do you think about Biokleen. I was under the impression they were a safe line and have been using the laundry detergent F&C, dishwasher powder, dish soap liquid and Bac -Out. This brand is popular within the cloth diaper community.

Ana said...

Thanks for the lists!!

What do you think about Biokleen. I was under the impression they were a safe line and have been using the laundry detergent F&C, dishwasher powder, dish soap liquid and Bac -Out. This brand is popular within the cloth diaper community.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Biokleen has some decent products. I used their all-purpose cleaner for years. I've switched over to Green Shield though, because it's a better choice and doesn't contain GSE, like most of Biokleen's products contain.

Anonymous said...

We use and LOVE ecostoreusa.com!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Um, really? "No Nasty Chemicals?" Eco Stores Conditioner:

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Glyceryl Stearate, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Oil, Pimpinella Anisum (Aniseed) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Coumarin (Cassia) Oil, Litsea Cubeba (Evergreen) Oil, Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) Oil

Quaternary ammonium compounds galore? Phenoxyethanol? Those are nasty chemicals to me!

yamilet said...

Hi stephanie,

since i've started eating organic foods and using organic personal care products i've started researching organic household products, so thank you for choosing this topic in your post. i'd also like to know what you think of the seventh generation products and the green works products.

Anonymous said...

Poofy Organics is coming out with cleaning products (laundry detergent pods, automatic dishwasher pods and all-purpose cleaner) under the "I AM goddess" line.

Anonymous said...

We only use ecostore's household cleaning products... not any of their other personal care products. Are there problem ingredients in their household cleaning products? I'd really like to know since it was recommended by another blogger who blogs about "chemical free" and "safe" products. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info! I'd like to try the Better Life products, but most of their products contain soy and corn which I'm allergic to. :( I'll have to try the Greenshield products!

Joelle said...

Hi Stephanie, I see your a fan of Green Shield but you didn't say anything about the laundry detergent. I would like to try out the laundry detergent in the lavender scent as my grocery store carrys it. What are your thoughts? I know you recommend soap nuts but I feel my clothes need a little scent :) Thanks!

Amelia said...

Hi Stephanie - Can you share your opinion of Seventh Generation products - their cleaners and dishwashing detergent etc. And THANK YOU for making all this complicated information so easy & accessible for the rest of us!!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

@Joelle--yes! Their laundry detergent is good too.

Re: Seventh Generation...well, they're better than the conventional stuff, but still contain a lot of chemicals like methylisothaizolinone and SLS, so they didn't make it to my top picks.

drake911opr said...

Do you really feel like soap nuts get your clothes clean? To me the hardest part about going organic is that, in general, organic laundry detergent doesn't smell fabulous and I'm super big on smells. I've been using Rockin Green. It smells good in the bag but you can't smell it on my clothes once they've been laundered. I like for my husband to tell me I smell good and he doesn't say that a lot anymore since I've switched to all organic products.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Yes, we've had nothing but great reviews with soapnuts.

For a great smell, one thing you could try, is a B&B Design-A-Spray! It would be more for your skin, not your clothes, but we have lots of great feminine scents that I'm sure your husband would love on you. Hibiscus--Ylang Ylang--Vanilla, Coconut Lime, Lemon Coconut, Pineapple Orange, Geranium Lavender, Lavender Vanilla. Lots of options!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for all the awesome information!!
What are your feelings on the rest of the Better Life line? I know you dont endorse entire collections but I love the kits. I'm a big kit person, lol!
Thank you again!!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

From what I can tell, the Better Life line seems to be good!

Debbie said...

I tried Greenshield dishwasher soap and it worked ok in my hard water (I put vinegar in the rinse), but I thought it smelled horrendous. Every time I emptied the dishwasher, it smelled like someone vomited inside it. I have now switched to Green Mission organic dishwasher soap and I much prefer the smell and it seems to work a bit better too. I like the Greenshield laundry soap but have since switched to Green Mission on that as well as it's slightly cheaper and I think it too works slightly better. I add baking soda to my laundry as well. These are all soap-nuts based soaps. I love soap nuts but I can never tell when they are no longer effective so probably trash them before I should. My husband does his own laundry and helps with towels and sheets too and he refuses to use soap nuts so this is our best option. I previously used all Bi-O-Kleen products but the laundry soap had a smell I didn't like. I also prefer certified organic so I know that the ingredients are accurate. I now use vinegar or baking soda to clean everything in my home that soap doesn ot. However, I do still use Bac-Out on dog puke stains. It's the best thing for those! Great post, thanks for the info. I will have to try that dish soap as I am not thrilled with the one I use.

Jen said...

I love Better Life products and switched over about a year ago. Their floor cleaner, dishwashing detergent, screen cleaner, glass, stainless, and granite cleaner are staples around here. I even use their wood cleaner on wood and leather furniture. I'm excited to try your pick for the bathroom because I haven't found a good one with our hard water yet. I've found with all the green dishwashing products that you have to be careful on how much you use. Alot goes along way and vinegar really helps.

Isabel said...

Hi Stephanie,

You stated that the Better Life product line seems good to you in your Nov 4, 2012 comment. However, I just purchased a whole whack of Better Life products and noticed that all of the products, except the Dish Detergent, contains Methylisothiazolinone as the last ingredient. Did they reformulated their products? Does that mean these products should be avoided? Can you please provide some feedback? Your technical knowledge is really appreciated. thanks!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Hi Isabel,
This is why I never endorse full product lines as ingredients change all the time and purity can vary from product to product. I do recall going through their website and looking at a few of their products ingredients lists and wouldn't have recommended them if they had listed methylisothiazolinone. Either they reformulated or they didn't have that ingredient listed on their website. I do remember they had their ingredients listed differently on their website. (Now you have to click on the picture and try to make out what's on the label.) I remembered being able to easily look at the ingredients on their website previously. So, something has changed. Some people are highly allergic to methylisothiazolinone, so if you are one of these people, definitely avoid. As far as should you keep and use these products, that's up to you.

Caryl said...

Hi Stephanie, do you think the Green Shield Lavender scent laundry detergent is a good choice? I'm wondering if I should try it or stick with the unscented free and clear. Also, any suggestions to help with static? I've been using wool dryer balls but still have a lot of static in my clothes. Thank you!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I think so! When I don't use soapnuts, I use the very product you mentioned! It really doesn't have a strong smell at all.

Debbie said...

Stephanie, I was at our local WF grocery store and looked for Dish It Out. It was there, yay! I put it in my cart and then I remembered to check the ingredients list and took it out of my cart. It was totally different than the list you've linked to so I don't know if this is an old formula or something new and they haven't changed their site but it was not great. Then I looked around for something else and noticed a new product by Seventh Gen. The word "organic" was in the title of the product with a "tm" (trademark symbol) next to it. Disgusting! It was far from organic judging by the ingredients list. How do these companies get away with all of it? I check the labels almost every time I buy a repeat product because you never know when it's going to change!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Oh wow, that's really disappointing to hear! I'll have to look in to this...

Lindsey said...

Did Dish it out change their formula?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Their website hasn't changed their ingredients and I haven't been able to find it locally to investigate so the jury is still out...

Stephanie Greenwood said...

UPDATE on Dish it Out--I have verified that the ingredients have NOT changed and the correct (and safe) ones are listed on their website. :)

Jen C. said...

Hi Stephanie,
What about "organic fragrance" that is in some of GreenShield's products? I though products with the vague "fragrance" ingredient were good to avoid??
Thanks,
Jen

* Nancy * said...

Stephanie, what do you think of The Honest Company's line, especially their cleaning products?

* Nancy * said...

Stephani, what do you think of The Honest Company cleaning products?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I never judge a product by brand name alone---do you have an ingredients list for the Honest product you're looking at? In general, from what I remember, they're a better, although not perfect choice.

Anonymous said...

I use mostly Honest Company products for cleaning and a combo of their bath and body stuff and yours. What are you refuring to with your better but not perfect comment. Is their something major I need to be concerned with as far their products go??

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Oh it really depends on the product. Let's see...going through a few products on their website...

For instance in their conditioners they'll use a lot of quaternary ammonium compounds.

Their surface cleaner contains sodium coco sulfate (which contains sodium lauryl sulfate, phenoxyethanol (estrogen mimicker) and ethoxylated chemicals (PPG-4 Laureth/myreth-5) and methylisothiazolinone (allergen, neurotoxin, developmental toxin).

Their hand soap contains sodium coco sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine, phenoxyethanol and grapefruit seed extract.

The shampoo + body wash appears to be okay (not up to my standards but no big red flags.) So it really depends on the product--you have to read the ingredients.

Apple Dapple Pancakes said...

I just found your site and want to try the handwashing dish soap! Thanks for the easy recipe!

Michelle said...

Has anyone used or heard of KD Gold? They have some good reviews, but they don't actually post their ingredients because they claim to be "safe."

Here is a link to their website and a blurb about what is in their product.

http://www.kdgoldrtu.com/index.php/faq

What’s in KD Gold™?
KD Gold™ is a proprietary, bio-based formula consisting of fatty acids, vegetable- and plant-based enzymes and minerals, organic alcohol, coconut oil, folic acid, and natural vanilla, mixed with de-ionized water. All of KD Gold™’s ingredients are found on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) List. Because of this safety factor, NO WARNING LABEL OF ANY KIND is required to be placed on KD Gold by any Federal, State or municipal agency.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Hard to say, Michelle, without a true disclosure of ingredients!

cleaning products philippines said...

Nice article!

Brittany Daniels said...

Stephanie, have you ever heard of the company, Eco Nuts? They sell organic soapberries in larger quantities. They also have an organic liquid laundry soap with soapberry extract that can be used in HE washing machines. Their website is econutsoap.com. They also make household cleaners with most being certified organic. Finally, they sell Bambooee Reusable Paper towels which are made from bamboo.

Ethan and Anna said...

Hi, is it true that laundry detergents are regulated by the FDA to contain a preservative such as the isothiasolines? I heard it had to kill certain bacteria like pseudomonas and fungus? Is this true? Maybe that is why they add preservatives to the company's products. They pull them off the shelf and test them for bacteria and find out they are not preserved. Thank you for your great post.