When trying to save green without harming the environment, the next best thing to making your own household cleaners is to shop for the least expensive eco-friendly products on the market.
While green products tend to cost more than their conventional counterparts, you can still employ green cleaning on a budget if you know where to look and which brands are known to be more economical.
Keep in mind the least expensive option may not necessarily be the most effective. A few of the companies also offer coupons on their websites.
Here are a few examples of budget-conscious products to help you add green to your shopping list without breaking the bank:
Green Works Natural Clorox Wet Cleaning Wipes
What it does: Multi-surface cleaner for kitchen and bath
Pros: Safe for multiple surfaces, 99 percent natural, biodegradable, coconut-based with plant oils. Good Housekeeping, the Sierra Club and others consumer groups have praised Green Works for its cleaning power and its efforts to be more environmentally responsible. Its products tend to be less expensive than competitors.
Cons: Clorox has gotten a bad rap with its reputation for creating harsh, toxic chemicals. Some of its green products contain artificial dyes and scents.
Seventh Generation Dish Liquid
What it does: Cleans dishes, reported to be tough on grease
Pros: Plant-derived ingredients, hypoallergenic, natural, non-toxic and biodegradable, no fragrance or dyes, non-irritating, scented with whole essential oil and botanical extracts, available in unscented and Free & Clear versions. Seventh Generation was reported to be the first company to disclose its ingredients. The company also offers coupons on its website. Consumers give Seventh Generation products, including this one, rave online reviews.
Cons: Not all Seventh Generation products are well received across the board. Reviewers reported having trouble with streaks from its glass cleaner and the laundry detergent not removing stains. Some of the products may be more expensive than competitors.
Simple Green Stone Daily Cleaner
What it does: Cleans granite, marble, Corian, Silestone or any engineered stone product.
Pros: Item is described as containing no harsh chemicals, solvents or mineral spirits. Its package claims it is non-toxic and biodegradable, resistant to fingerprints and water stains, leaves no greasy film or residue to collect stains or dust, and it restores luster. Also works on porcelain and ceramic tiles.
Simple Green products have done well in product reviews by Good Housekeeping and others. The all-purpose cleaner made Good Housekeeping’s list of best green cleaners. The publication’s testers found the cleaner handled heavier jobs, like scouring barbecue grills and concrete floors, better than most of its counterparts.
Cons: Reviews are mixed as to whether this cleaner leaves a dull, streaky residue on countertops.
Mrs. Meyer’s Countertop Spray
What it does: Multi-purpose surface cleaner, degreases, removes odors from the kitchen, bathroom and elsewhere around the home.
Pros: Naturally-occurring ingredients such as vegetable protein extracts, and essential oils. Mrs. Meyer’s products are reportedly based on aromatherapy and are free of ammonia, chlorine, bleach, paraben and phosphates. Plus, none are tested on animals.
Cons: Some reviewers complained about the strong fragrance in this and other products. They also claim some of the products are not natural, anti-bacterial or chemical-free and may not be well suited for people with chemical sensitivities.
Check out these websites for coupons and more information on inexpensive green cleaning products:
Have other thoughts on green cleaning on a budget? Leave us a note in the comments below.
Editor’s note: Zep and SC Johnson are Mother Nature Network sponsors.