The weather is changing and flowers are blooming, which means one thing—it’s time for spring cleaning. While there are thousands of brands to help clean those dark corners in your home, many of these products contain harsh chemicals and animal-derived ingredients that are toxic to the environment (and your abode). Luckily, a plethora of cruelty-free, vegan cleaners are available to keep your house (or apartment) sparkling and the environment free of toxicity. Here are five of our favorite household products that (almost) make spring cleaning fun.
1. Mrs. Meyer’s
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are inspired by a real woman named Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine. The company was started by one of Meyer’s daughters and has flourished as a cruelty-free household name due to the fact that all of Mrs. Meyer’s products are vegan, made with essential oils, and are phosphate- and cruelty-free. The brand also offers products in interesting scents from basil and rosemary to radish and geranium, while offering a variety of multi-surface cleaners, a toilet bowl cleaner, and laundry detergent.
2. Dr. Bronner’s
From cleaning your kitchen to laundering your clothes, Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soaps can do it all. This magic concoction of essential oils and natural ingredients creates conscious lather from just a few drops (as the packaging says, ”dilute! dilute!”). All soaps—which come in scents such as peppermint, tea tree oil, lavender, and almond—are completely cruelty-free and follow a Moral ABC (a mantra that suggests humans benefit when they help each other) created by founder Emmanuel Bronner.
3. Sun & Earth
Since 1988, Sun & Earth has produced non-toxic cleaners for people, their homes, and all their furry friends. The company’s factory runs on 100-percent wind power and saves approximately 76,000 square feet of cardboard each month by recycling its packaging materials. Sun & Earth also fights against animal testing and uses only biodegradable plant ingredients. While Sun & Earth is sold primarily only on the East Coast, products can also be found on websites such as Amazon.com, Soap.com, iHerb, and Jet.
Priding itself on green cleaning, ECOS uses lavender and parsley as odor neutralizers, orange oil and vinegar as a degreaser, and coconut and potatoes as effective cleaning agents. ECOS products are biodegradable, greywater- and septic-safe, and made using 10-percent renewable energy.
Bio-Pac cleaning products exemplify how earth- and animal-friendly you can be while still getting a fresh cleanse. Bio-Pac’s products are biodegradable and solid in refillable, recyclable containers. The brand, founded in 1991, also offers a range of laundry and dishwashing supplies, and donates a percentage of its profits to groups involved in wilderness and watershed preservation. If your local retailer doesn’t carry Bio-Pac, look for products on the company’s online store.
Emma DeBono is a freelance journalist, vegan, and avid traveler currently based in New York City.
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