I’ve always gravitated more toward “clean” and “green” products – both for myself and for our home. However, I took a heightened interest in this when I was pregnant and trying to avoid unnecessary chemicals. I was shocked at how many seemingly “green” and “clean” products were misleading in their branding and labeling, and actually contained a shocking number of chemicals and toxins. So many cleaning products – even widely know and beloved brands that are marketed as “natural” – are so misleading in their marketing!
I was fascinated and intrigued by this, and I started doing a lot of research into truly “clean” products. I want to be using safe, effective, and natural products for our family, not falsely marketed chemicals. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon the app Think Dirty. It is a convenient app that reviews and grades thousands of cleaning and cosmetic products, awarding them a score out of 10, with 0 being the “cleanest” and 10 being the most “toxic.” The app has dozens of categories and an easy search feature to look up your favorite products. If you’re interested in learning more about their scoring guidelines, you can read their rationale here.
One really crazy thing I learned from this app is that Dreft laundry detergent – the stuff marketed as a “gentle” cleaning alternative for newborn baby clothes – has a score of 9 according to Think Dirty. Plain old Tide detergent has a score of 4! My pick? We use Seventh Generation Natural Landry Detergent, which has a score of 0 on Think Dirty. I absolutely love this product, and it does a great job getting out tough baby stains, even without pre-treating. Plus it leaves our clothes smelling clean and fresh without the strong, overpowering, and chemical smell of artificial perfumes. I use this detergent for all our laundry, not just my daughter’s clothes, and I would never go back to anything else! We also use Seventh Generation’s dish soap, which works great and smells amazing! Especially considering that this is a product I’m using to clean the dishes and utensils my daughter is eating and drinking from, it’s super important to me that this product be safe, chemical-free, and effective. This dish soap definitely checks those boxes for me!
As for household cleaning, my absolute favorite product is Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap. This product also scores a 0 on Think Dirty, and I use it for EVERYTHING. It’s a concentrated cleaning liquid that you dilute with water, so one bottle of this stuff has lasted us for months and can be used as hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, multi-purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner… the list goes on and on. We’re currently using the lavender scented soap, but they have all kinds of different scents. If you’re into essential oils, you can even buy the unscented kind and add your favorite oils to scent it yourself. I bought a pack of glass spray bottles from Amazon to make our multi-purpose cleaner, and I keep a bottle of this in both our kitchen and bathroom. It works amazing on everything from kitchen grime, grease, and dried on food, to soap scum and hard water stains in the shower. I can’t say enough about this product – it’s “clean” and natural, it’s safe and effective, and it’s so cheap! A 32-oz. bottle costs $16 on Amazon, but it can be used for everything! Plus when you only use a few ounces at a time to make a bottle of cleaner, it seriously lasts forever. The photo below shows my bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, which is still nearly full after months of use! Not only is this product safe and effective, it’s also saving our family money!
Are you a clean living family? What are your favorite natural products?