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We Spring-Cleaned mbg HQ With Natural Cleaners & These 14 Worked Best

Emma Loewe
March 15, 2019
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Collage of natural cleaning supplies
Image by mbg Creative
March 15, 2019

Spring cleaning season is upon us! In the coming weeks, mbg will be sharing some of the easiest, most effective tips and tricks we've heard for nixing germs at home. (Check out what we've run so far here.) Today, we're highlighting the 11 plant-based products that worked wonders in our recent office scrub-down.

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1. Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes

A mainstay around mbg HQ, these wipes are great at soaking up small spills and refreshing dusty desks. They smell of woodsy citrus, thanks to lemongrass and oregano essential oils. While the product does contain SLS, a cleaning agent that's derived from environmentally taxing palm oil, Seventh Gen sources their palm oil from sustainable producers.

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes ($38.94/ pack of 6)

Seventh Generation

2. 9 Elements Bathroom Cleaner

P&G is stepping into the plant-based cleaning industry with this new line of laundry and household products. The name references the brand's commitment to using nine ingredients or fewer in every product. The bathroom cleaner has only six (vinegar, essential oils, citric acid, sodium citrate, deceth, and water) and was powerful enough to get out some caked-on food and grime stains on tile.

9 Elements Bathroom Cleaner ($4.99)

9 ELements

3. cleancult All-Purpose Cleaner

This one is a mainstay in my bathroom at home, and I'm going to start keeping it on my desk at work too. It's that good. The magic ingredient here is the saponified coconut oil—basically, coconut oil that's been turned into a soap. It's combined with essential oils and aloe vera to make a refreshing, powerful cleaner. cleancult also offers a 1:1 giveback model, so for every pack of soap they sell, they donate a pack to people in need in Puerto Rico, where the company does most of their manufacturing. The company's latest innovation—paper-based packaging that resembles milk cartons—aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by the cleaning industry.

cleancult All-Purpose Cleaner ($8.99)

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4. Supernatural Starter Set

Besides serving up what is potentially the best name for a plant-based product ever, Supernatural soaps tout some eco-friendly accolades. The "extrasensory cleaner" comes in a set with small vials filled with four types of concentrate—glass and mirror, bath and tile, wood and floor, counter and granite—that you can add to water. The idea is that this compact, plastic-free box is all you need to clean your whole home. Looking at the concentrate's otherworldly packaging feels like a trip to Topanga Canyon, and smelling it is an escape to the woods after a rainfall.

Supernatural Starter Set ($75)


5. Society To-Go Surface Wipes

Society is a new members-only shopping platform that sells streamlined versions of everyday essentials like bar soap, deodorant, and stain removers. These wipes come in a small, portable container so neat freaks can carry them around all day and feel equipped to tackle any stains they come across. They're hearty cleaners, and the direct-to-consumer model that Society uses also means that they're super cheap.

Society To-Go Surface Wipes ($5 with Society membership)

society wipes

6. Counter Culture All-Purpose Cleaner

It was only a matter of time before the cleaning industry caught wind of the probiotic craze. This new brand packs 13 probiotic cultures in each bottle of all-purpose cleaners, floor cleaners, and air/fabric refreshers. Each one smells vaguely of kombucha and delivers a gentler clean, leaving beneficial microbes untouched.

Counter Culture Probiotic All-Purpose Cleaner ($7.99)

counter culture
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7. Branch Basics Concentrate

This is another product I use all the time at home, and it's one of the most powerful plant-based cleaners I've come across. If you let it sit for long enough, it can tackle pretty much any stain, thanks to a super-clean ingredients list formulated for people who have chemical sensitivities. It also comes in concentrate form, so one bottle will last you a long, long time.

Branch Basics Concentrate ($49)

branch basics

8. Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar

White vinegar is a mainstay in most recipes for homemade cleaners, and its high acidity levels make it a powerful cleanser. While the harsh smell can be off-putting for some, Aunt Fannie's has solved that problem with its Cleaning Vinegar mixes, which balance things out with essential oils. Pro tip: Go for the woodsy, minty eucalyptus scent.

Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar ($6.99)

aunt fannys

9. Saint Olio Aromatic Cleaner

Saint Olio cleansers come in three intoxicating scents that combine essential oils in unexpected ways (think: grapefruit, sweet orange, and neroli). They are a treat to use, and the glass bottles they come in are beautiful enough to display on your counter with pride. They're on the pricier side, but you're paying for those potent, high-quality oils.

Saint Olio Aromatic Cleaner ($20)

Saint Olio
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10. Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap

A mainstay in the cleaning industry for years, Dr. Bronner's is always a good bet. The Castile soap works on just about everything—from counters to mirrors to faucets—and lasts forever. The company is also doing important work in the regenerative agriculture space and is committed to creating household products that are easier on the earth.

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap ($18.49)

dr. bronners

11. Love, Home & Planet Multipurpose Cleaner Spray

Unilever unveiled a new home-cleaning line early this year, and it's already causing quite a buzz. Available in major retailers like Target, Love, Home & Planet is free of parabens and dyes so you can feel good about using it on your counters, mirrors, sinks, etc.

Love, Home & Planet Multipurpose Cleaner Spray ($3.99)

Love home & planet

12. Mrs. Meyers Scent Sachet

No desk drawer clean is complete without a sachet to keep it smelling amazing. These ones from Mrs. Meyers combine essential oils and recycled wood pulp to keep your space fresh for up to 60 days. The Lemon Verbena scent is especially dreamy.

Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Scent Sachet ($3.99)

Mrs. Meyers
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13. The Laundress Home Spray

The Laundress is a big name in the non-toxic laundry space, and its fabric sprays are just as effective on furniture as they are clothing. A quick spritz on couches and chairs left them smelling refreshed —no bleaches, phosphates, or artificial colors necessary.

The Laundress Home Spray 8 fl oz ($10)

The Laundress

14. method Floor Cleaner

Straight from a new, ultra-sustainable factory in Chicago, method cleaners are made using naturally derived ingredients that don't cause irritation. This one wipes the floor with competitors (sorry, had to).

method squirt + mop hard floor cleaner ($5.99)

Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.