Once upon a time, I became interested in using “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” cleaning products in my home. Maybe back then I was less conscious about actually being sustainable but rather couldn’t stand the headache that often occurred after deep cleaning my home from the fumes of those super-duper effective cleaning products.
After trying several brands of “eco-friendly” cleaning products over the last few years, I realized that none of them reallllyyyy got the grime out where I wanted it to, especially in the bathroom. Or the products smelled a bit too natural – like a really smelly sneeze (yuck).
(One thing I should note too is that since I’ve worked in restaurants/cafés, I’ve been spoiled with using those commercial-grade cleaning products – the ones that make everything super squeaky clean, so when I clean my own home, I need it to be THAT noticeably clean.)
Notes about “Eco-Friendly” Cleaning Products
Alright, alright. I’m getting to the product review, I promise. But before I do, I want to address several important things when it comes to “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” cleaning products.
- “Eco-friendly” and “sustainable” products aren’t a trend. To say so would be an insult to people who have been using more natural products their whole life. For example, my mom has always refused to purchase cleaning products with bleach. Instead she makes her own cleaning concoctions with things like vinegar, baking soda, citrus peels, etc. It’s not because she’s oh-so sustainably trendy, it’s because that’s how she learned how to clean where she grew up (a small, humble home in a province in the Philippines).
- Just because it’s a natural cleaning product, doesn’t mean it’s safe. These marketing gurus like to trick people and label products as “natural” but actually contain things like fragrances, dyes, allergens, and irritants that may not be good for people who have asthma, other respiratory issues, and people who have sensitive skin allergies/irritation. Some multi-purpose cleaning brands that have received an Environmental Working Group (EWG) rating of D and below are Seventh Generation, Method, Green Works, etc.
- Yes. There are environmental impacts from cleaning products. Just to name a few: water pollution (chemicals washed into streams & rivers), air pollution (volatile organic compounds in cleaning products can affect indoor air quality & outdoor smog), and waste (many containers are not made from recyclable materials and O M G, so much empty plastic bottles. Not to mention, some of the more hazardous materials need special energy for transport & disposal). ‘Green’ products typically are more biodegradable, lower in toxicity and VOC, have minimal packaging, and produced with less energy.
OK, ok. Getting closer to the product reviews.
Blueland Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
I heard about Blueland after hearing recommendations from YouTubers who try to live a more ‘sustainable’ lifestyle… and hearing that it actually works. After digging through Blueland’s website and reading about them in various articles, here’s a few facts that intrigued me enough to make a purchase:
About the Products:
- The packaging is reusable, BPA-free acrylic (for the spray bottle) and the refills are little tablets wrapped in compostable paper packaging. The best part is that the refills start at $2!
- Products are made without: triclosan, parabens, phosphates, ammonia, chlorine bleach, phthalates, or VOCs.
- Blueland is Certified Platinum Material Health by Cradle to Cradle, EPA Safer Choice, USDA BioPreferred, Leaping Bunny (cruelty free).
About the Company
- “Better for You and the Planet” is their brand mission.
- They’re constantly innovating and on a mission to reimagine all the categories of household packaged goods with innovating form factors and environmentally responsible packaging.
- The carbon footprint involved in shipping Blueland refill tablets is a fraction of that of a standard single-use plastic container of cleaner or hand soap.
After going through all their products, I decided to only purchase the Multi-Surface Starter Set, $16 and Bathroom Starter Set, $16 (since multi-purpose & bathroom cleaners are what I mostly use anyway).
I guess I should say that I’m O.K. with the current cleaning products I use. Some are more “eco-friendly” and some are not. However, I want to switch to using only ALL eco-friendly products and decrease my use of disposable plastic in general. In this review, I’m going to compare those two Blueland products with the ones I currently use:
- All-purpose cleaner (counter tops, glass, door knobs, etc.): Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface, Clean Day Basil
- Bathroom cleaner: For countertop, sink, toilet cover & toilet seat, I use Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface, Clean Day Basil. For tub & tile, I use either a homemade cleaner made with Dawn dish soap + baking soda + splash of hydrogen peroxide + drops of essential oil (for more casual cleaning) OR Clorox Bathroom Bleach Foamer (for deep cleaning).
And finally, the product reviews:
- What you Get: 1 reusable spray bottle + 3 multi-surface cleaning tablets (although I only received 1) + instruction sheet
- How it Works: Fill up the bottle with hot/warm water, drop in the tablet, watch it dissolve, and it’s ready to use! Makes 20 oz of cleaner.
Multi-Surface Cleaner. Overall, I like this a lot. I used it on several surfaces: countertop, stovetop, and kitchen sink. On my stovetop was where I really saw its effectiveness – I used this cleaner after cooking something that had a lot of splashes and grease and I was very happy with the results. In case you’re curious, to me it smells like… warm lemon…? Not a bad smell, but not as pleasant as the Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface cleaner. After using it several times, will I be making the switch? Yes. I will.
Bathroom Cleaner: First of all, I reeaaaalllyyy like the smell – it’s minty and eucalyptus-y, and much better smelling that the products I currently use. More importantly, I think this worked pretty well. I used it in my entire bathroom – countertop, sink, toilet cover, toilet seat, tub, and tiles. It took away the grime and soap scum by just wiping (not too much scrubbing happened since my tub & tiles weren’t super dirty). Overall, I think this will replace both the Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface cleaner. Also, in comparison to my concoction of soap + baking soda, this one is just so much easier to apply on the surface (rubbing vs. spray) AND it reduces the plastic I go through from the dish soap. All good stuff here.
I think if you’re interested in making a switch to more eco-friendly cleaning products, Blueland is the one to try. I don’t really have anything bad to say about the brand and the products. I love how it is definitely ‘better for you and the planet’.
I also love that it’s affordable. Maybe the starting cost isn’t cheap (purchasing the bottles/packaging for the first time), but the refills are relatively inexpensive (starting at $2).
Another important thing to note is that none of their cleaners claim that they kill bacteria (unlike some competitive eco-friendly brands who claim their ability to kill 99% of germs), so I’m still going to be using my disinfectant wipes from time-to-time. Other than that, I’m very happy with my purchase and I’m definitely going to re-order refill tablets for both cleaners.
I’m also looking forward to trying some of their other products. The ones I’m interested in trying next is the Dish Soap, Hand Soap, and Dishwasher Soap. Maybe I’ll write a part 2 review.