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Less is definitely more when it comes to our cleaning products and cleaning our homes should not come at the expense of our health or the planet. If you want a home that's a green cleaning machine, you might want to consider Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products.
The cleaning products we use should be…well….cleaning not cleaning AND adding harmful chemicals to the air we breathe in. Conventional cleaners come with warnings on the bottles for a reason! Have you ever thought about that? As it turns out many of the products we use to clean our homes are actually dirty!
Eco friendly cleaning products have come a long way in the last 10 years. I remember the first time I bought one, almost 20 years ago now. I wish I could remember the name. It definitely did not work as well as I hoped it would. That is simply not the case today. Natural cleaning products and the brands that make them are certainly improving the health of our homes.
The Best Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products
It's fair to say that the world of natural cleaning is much more than just plant-based ingredients. Eco-conscious consumers are demanding more, we are looking for safe, clean cleaning products that work....minus all that plastic packaging. Oh, and they need to be ethical and sustainable too! OBVI!
Companies are answering the call and offering us eco friendly refillable cleaning products that work! But shopping for sustainable refills can be a challenge especially if you are trying to avoid greenwashing. At the end of this post, we've got a guide on "why use Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products in Your Home?" and "how to shop for Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products?".
1. The Unscented Co.
I've used pretty much all of The Unscented Co.'s cleaning products and recommend them all. This brand is committed to making it easier for you to shop for eco-friendly refillable cleaning products, giving us a huge reason to love their green mission even more.
For starters, all of their cleaning and zero waste products will arrive at our door in refillable containers. Second, if you are sensitive to any kind of scents, then this is the brand for you. Founder Anie says "we believe powerful cleaning can be free of fragrances and we could all be better for it."
The dish soap will keep your dishes and the planet squeaky clean. It's an effective formulation made with plant-based ingredients. It comes in a plastic bottle that you can either reuse or refill with one of their 4 or 10L refill boxes (which comes with a spout for ease of use).
The laundry detergent is tough on stains, color-safe, and can also be used with cold water. It's safe for HE and standard washers and comes in a bottle that is made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR). It's fragrance and dye-free, and you can get 78 loads out of it! Whoa! When you run out, you can choose to refill it using either a 4L or 10L refill box.
All of their refillable home cleaning products are vegan and cruelty-free. The Unscented Co. is deeply committed to ingredient transparency, which makes it easier for the consumer to know what they are purchasing. Some of their products (soap bars) do contain RSPO-certified palm oil.
When you decide to buy take-home bulk cleaning products, you are helping to remove thousands of plastic bottles from the environment. Plus, switching to their bag-in-a-box refills for Laundry, Hand, and Dish Soap can reduce plastic use by at least 80%!
When it comes to product packaging, their approach is reduction and eco-design from the very start. They are always rethinking designs and working with suppliers toward that goal.
I simply love the fact that all of their products are made with sustainably sourced, safe, biodegradable ingredients that are designed to be refilled again and again! The at-home refill station kit is the best money can buy. It is a great option for starters and will look so fabulous in your home!
Review: The cardboard box is sturdy and easy to stack. There is a handy pull-out spout that doesn’t leak at all. I gifted a bottle to a GF who has sensitive skin, this is what she said: “the BEST, most gentle (yet effective) laundry detergent I’ve found in a 20-year hunt for detergent that is gentle on the most sensitive, allergic and eczema prone skin.”
About The Unscented Co.
The Unscented Co. is also certified by B Corp, which means it meets the highest standards when it comes to environmental performance and public transparency.
They do this by working with small, local, family-run businesses and by developing close relationships with their suppliers to enhance the local community. In fact, 84.5% of their purchases come from privately owned Canadian businesses.
It takes exceptional quality, an original formula, a standout scent, and ultimately high performance to make me swoon and now that I've had a chance to play with my @mintcleaning_ haul, I must confess to loving each of their cleaning essentials.
The Cleaning Scrub packs a cleaning punch that surprised me, especially tackling the soap scum in my shower. It's made using simple ingredients like sodium bicarbonate, a gentle abrasive that cuts through grime and remove dirt. Sodium percarbonate is the same thing as oxygen bleach and does an amazing job at tackling stains.
You can use this scrub on ANYTHING! Stovetops, sinks, tubs, toilets, stainless steel, counters, window sills, and floors. I've also used it as a stain remover on laundry, carpets, and couches. Simply sprinkle a tiny amount on the stain and gently scrub with a cloth or scrub brush, rinse and dry clean.
For regular cleaning sprinkle sparingly on surface and scrub clean with a wet cloth or sponge. Need a refill of your scrub?! Now available in a 500g refill bag. Each bag will refill your scrub jar twice!
I fell in love with Mint's All-Purpose Cleaner quickly! It comes in a handy spray bottle that can be used everywhere from your kitchen to your bathroom and is infused with grease-fighting properties thanks to the lemon, cedar, mint, bergamot, and tea tree essential oils. It comes in a 500ml reusable glass bottle and they offer recyclable pouches to refill your bottles!
It's simple to use, spray sparingly on surface and wipe clean with a dry or wet cloth or sponge. Smudges on the wall? Splatters on the ceiling? These are no problem for Mint's All-purpose cleaner.
You won't find any unwanted ingredients like synthetic fragrances and SLS here.
Review: Overall, I loved all the products from Mint. Not only did they do a great job at cleaning and cutting grease, but I found them all less-drying to the skin, loved that all of them can be used for multipurpose. All of them left a light minty scent which I was surprised how much I liked.
About Mint Cleaning Products
Home cleaning gets a lot greener thanks to Mint, which believes eco-cleaning shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. Made in Ucluelet, British Columbia, this female-founded company offers a range of kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room products that are handmade in small batches with the highest quality ingredients that optimize results while being eco-friendly, all-natural, and non-toxic.
Making them on of the best reusable cleaning products in Canada
etee has one of the most innovative Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products for your home. Thier plastic-free dish soap comes in a biodegradable pod that is made from ethically sourced beeswax and tree resin and is fully compostable.
Each pod is packed full of 100% plant-based ingredients. No nasties like SLS or sulfates here. And you can get a whopping 13.5oz out of 1 pod. Which would be the size of a typical bottle of soap you'd buy at the grocery store.
It has a lovely citrus scent (they have an unscented version) which will leave your kitchen smelling so fresh. They actually partnered with scent guru Christine Chanter Botanicals to create it.
With etee it's totally possible to clean your home and lower your carbon footprint at the same time thanks to thier concentrated formulas that power away grease, food, and residue from your dishes. A small squirt of this soap will go a long way.
Using nothing derived from formaldehyde nor any preservatives, dyes, or phthalates, this soap’s power lies in its natural bacteria-fighting ingredients. It’s also biodegradable, gentle on the hands, and made in locally in Toronto, Canada.
Review: This soap is remarkably versatile: I’ve used it inside and outside of my home. It’s great to clean the BBQ or even your car. It doesn’t leave any residue. One thing to keep in mind. When you add the water, give the jar a good shake and then let it sit for about an hour before you use it. I found this allows the product and water to mix properly. You will also not see major lathering you are used too, but that’s okay, it still works like a charm.
etee carries a wide range of zero-waste essentials for your home and body and it's why they are on my list of the best online zero-waste stores, zero-waste laundry detergent, and non-toxic dryer sheets. They ship goods to you plastic-free using cellulose tape! Even their office is powered by renewable energy! They are fast becoming one of my top picks for eco-living.
Looooove this Quebec company for these eco friendly refillable cleaning products. Their Eco-Refills are the perfect alternative to single-use bottles you get to buy your fav products with up to 80% less plastic. Gotta love that!
I was first introduced to Attitude's products a couple of years ago while researching products for an eco segment for CTV. I was instantly impressed. A lot of the time people find it hard to transition to greener cleaners because they don't look and feel the same as the ones they are used to. That is simply not the case with Attitude.
I have used all of their cleaning and laundry products, the list is too long to add here. Don't judge, I love to clean! All of them are super effective, made with supernatural ingredients, all made with EWG's strictest standards in mind: free of cancer-causing chemicals, mutagens endocrine disruptors, and other ingredients of concern.
Free of parabens, phosphates, dyes, and phthalates, this soap is a win for both the environment and household safety.
The refillable dishwashing liquid has 4 scents to choose from. My top pick is the citrus zest. It's a refreshing dose of goodness that cleans my dishes very well, leaving no spots or residue.
Their refillable house cleaning products are also ECOLOGO® (no environmental contamination at every step) and PETA Certified, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and palm-oil-free.
Let's talk about their packaging. The refills come in a cardboard box that is FSC certified for forest stewardship. Inside the box is a plastic bag that can be recycled. You need to rinse the bag before you place it in the recycling bin. The whole bag with the top can go in the blue bin.
All their other products do come in plastic packaging, it is plastic #2 which has higher recycling rates as noted before.
My recommendation is to go with the refill options they have. When you buy in bulk you will save a ton of cash. These guys basically have a really great "attitude" when it comes to taking care of our homes and the planet. USE CANDICEB10 at check out for 10% off.
Review: Overall I am so happy with these products. The soap suds up, washes well and no spots are left when air drying. I cook a lot and didn’t have any issues getting backed on greasy food off my pan. I burnt some gravy on the bottom of a pot, I added some water and a few drops of the dish soap, let it sit for an hour and it just slid of! Very good!
Manufactured in Canada Attitude has the strictest standards when it comes to sourcing ingredients and sustainable development principles, even their factory is designed with the environment in mind.
They also have an in-house lab which is unusual for a personal care company. It allows them to have full control over the ingredients, process, and quality.
5. Eco & Amour
If you are even in the Toronto area and you are able to pop in, please do! This is possibly the cutest and most stocked eco-store you will find. Not to worry, you can find all of their goodies online too.
When it comes to making cleaners that are better for mother earth and your health, female founders Sarah and Laura (love them both so much) offer zero waste cleaning products that are tough on clean but gentle on the planet.
The dish soap, like all their products, is palm-free, biodegradable, and tough on dirt, formulated with plant-based ingredients and organic essential oils, which leave the kitchen smelling so lovely.
Obsessed with the hand soap, its citrus scent comes from lemon and orange essential oils. Since we have to wash our hands too much these days, this is the perfect hand soap to get it done and keep those hands free of germs naturally.
I suggest you purchase the BPA-free plastic pouches as they need fewer packing materials and won't break in transit.
Review: I’ve been using their dish soap, hand soap, and all-purpose cleaner. All of them are so good, no BS! Theirs is actually the best green all-purpose cleaner for my home. It’s made right here in Toronto with naturally-derived fruit sugars and fast-acting enzymes to help tackle soils and spills. It has a lovely clear, fresh scent. You can use it on floors (even wood), glass, walls, in the bathroom, and even in the car.
About Eco + Amour
Eco + Amour carry EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink when it comes to green products for the home. I have been introduced to some pretty innovative products thanks to them! Reusable cue tips anyone?
Their motto is "Refill today for a better tomorrow". Totally on board with this! Another added benefit they make and sell some of the best zero-waste skincare and haircare products called Lines Of Elan which are both local and ethical, so make sure to check them out!
Meliora offers cleaning essentials for the whole home, all formulated with no palm oil, no preservatives, no dyes, or artificial fragrances. Instead, you will find a short but mighty list of ingredients all working in harmony to clean even the toughest dirt.
The premise is simple with their just add water-cleaning products. You simply add the pre-made tablet to their reusable spray bottle (you can also use your own bottle), then fill the bottle with warm water, the tablet will dissolve then you simply spray and clean.
Their Laundry Powder canister contains 128 HE (64 Standard) Loads. It's their best seller and offers great value, too. The cardboard/steel canister is easy to recycle or reuse, and it comes with a stainless steel scoop. All scents are made from Certified Organic essential oils; no fragrance blends that contain undisclosed ingredients.
Meliora is vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and palm oil-free.
You can sign up for a subscription and have the cleaning tablets delivered right to your door when you need them! Every tablet eliminates the need for a new plastic bottle! I mean you've got to love that!
Review: I love the fact that it’s one item that you can use pretty much anywhere in your home for cleaning walls, floors, and countertops, this plastic-free cleaning product is non-toxic and made with ingredients like organic coconut oil which helps to get rid of grit and grime.
Meliora means better in Latin and that's exactly what these products are, better for you, me, and the planet. Their B Corp Certification ensures that they have fair living wages for employees. Through partnerships with 1% For the Planet and Women’s Voices for the Earth, they commit 2% of their annual revenues to environmental and charitable nonprofits.
Grove Cleaning Concentrates are made with concentrated cleaning formulas that pack a punch. Choose from multi-purpose cleaners, floor cleaners, glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and tub & tile cleaners.
I particularly love their hand and dish soap. I buy the refills (which come in aluminum bottles) and use my own containers.
For the all-purpose, tub-and-tile, and glass-cleaning sprays I recommend buying them in the glass they come in and then refilling them with the tiny corresponding concentrates, which come in glass bottles with aluminum lids. Remember to recycle those.
They are so easy to use. Fill the bottle with water, and leave enough room at the top for the concentrate. Then simply add the concentrate to the bottle. Both come in beautiful scents, choose from lemon & eucalyptus and orange & rosemary.
The refills are 100 percent plastic-free and 100% recyclable. They're also plant-based, biodegradable, and have no synthetic fragrances. Their in-house cleaners are all vegan and all-cruelty-free. If you want free shipping, sign up to be a VIP member for $20 per year. Shipments are carbon neutral and packaged in FSC-certified materials.
Review: Loved the Tile and Tub Cleaner. Worked great and removing hard water stains and was especially good on my glass shower doors.
About Grove Co.
Grove Co. checks all the boxes, they are currently plastic neutral and want to be 100% plastic-free by 2025! They are a certified B Corp that carries thier own in-house brand as well as some of your other favs like Method, Dr. Bronner, and Dirty Labs.
Some of the brands they carry do contain palm oil and are not vegan either.
We love finding new products for you to try and we were thrilled to find Spruce, who are based in the UK. Spruce wants you to break up with toxic chems and single-use plastics for good, by opting for their reusable bottles and plastic-free refills, that are delivered to your door.
Spruce offers a bathroom and multi-purpose cleaner that combines the cleaning agents of super-natural ingredients that rate highly on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and European Chemical Agency (ECHA) for human and environmental safety.
All products are formulated without bleach, ammonia, chlorine, VOCs, phosphates, parabens, petroleum, SLS, triclosan, artificial dyes, or synthetic fragrances. They check all the boxes for our ethical criteria too.
I recommend your start with the Starter Kit Duo. You get a full-size all-purpose cleaner and the bathroom cleaner. Both come in Aluminum bottles that you can recycle, so please do! What I love about this is the versatility of both products.
Use the multi-purpose anywhere in the home on tiles, countertops, stone, wood, and most sealed surfaces. The bathroom cleaner is ideal for tubs, tiles, ceramic, stainless steel, and porcelain surfaces.
Spruce's cleaners are so easy to mix. Empty refill contents into your refillable Eternity bottle, fill with tap water slowly to avoid excess foaming, and get cleaning within minutes. No need to shake. Use only one refill pack per bottle. Each refill makes a full-sized 500ml bottle of cleaning solution.
Most customers get through using a full bottle of cleaner every 2 months. The refill sachets only weigh 4 grams, roughly 140 times lighter than a typical 500ml cleaning spray bottle.
Spruce's refills are packed in 100% plastic-free, home and industrial compostable paper. Dispose of it with your food waste (which we hope is not sent to the landfill). Cut it up into small bits and compost it at home. The pack will turn into rich fertilizer for your plants. Alternatively, dispose of it in your regular waste bin. Do not recycle with paper or plastic.
From online reviewer: “Smells amazing and great design of the bottle- actually feels like I’m using a real luxury cleaning product! Love the convenience of being able to order on repeat every few months. Think the concept is great- no nasties and good for the environment too!”
As a certified B Corp, every Spruce starter kit you purchase removes ocean-bound plastics equal to twenty-five plastic bottles. Working with their partner Plastic Bank, they remove ocean plastics from high-poverty coastal regions.
They ship our extremely lightweight bottles without water content. Their refills are super-concentrated and weigh under 5g as opposed to 500g of a typical water-filled bottle. That’s one percent of your typical store-bought, toxin-filled, alternative.
9. Common Good
Founder and CEO, Sacha Dunn created Common Good after finding it difficult to find safer products for her home and her family. The wonderfully scented, refillable household products she’s created are without any concerning ingredients.
All of their formulations are also plant-based and biodegradable, with unscented and scented options in bergamot and lavender made from 100% pure essential oil.
Find starter sets for clean clothes, hands and counters including their laundry glass bottle set, clean hands set, kitchen caddy set or their all purpose cleaner refill pouch and glass bottle set, just to name a few.
You can also shop for empty glass bottles for hand soap, as well as hand sanitizer and refill pouches, or shop their refill stations for all the essentials at your fingertips.
From online reviewer: “The lavender scent is so beautiful, and this soap cleans my dishes better than any store soap I’ve tired!”
About Common Good
As the company works to eliminate plastic entirely, their refill stations come in 65% post-consumer recycled cardboard which can be recycled curbside. The plastic liners inside the cardboard boxes can be recycled through their closed-loop program — just follow the instructions, fill out the return form to get a label and send off your used plastic liners for recycling through UPS.
Blueland is a Cradle to Cradle Certified cleaning products brand making plastic free alternatives more accessible for everything from hand soap, dish soap and toilet cleaner to body wash and facial cleanser.
That’s why all of their bottles, and packaging are carefully selected: cleaning bottles, hand soap bottles, dish soap bottles and tins are all recyclable, and the wrappers for tablets are biodegradable and industrially compostable.
Get started with their Clean Suit which features reusable containers and the tablets or powder for foaming hand soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and their glass + mirror cleaner!
Other best sellers include The Clean Essentials featuring everything you need for foaming hand soap, multi-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and their glass + mirror cleaner, or the Hand Soap Duos with 2 reusable 9 oz forever bottles and 6 refill tablets in an assortment of scents.
From online reviewer: “I won’t lie I was a little hesitant to purchase this product. Love their soaps. It does such a great job. I’ve washed everything from workout clothes to delicates and it works wonderful. Would highly recommend.”
Also a certified B corporation, CEO and Co-Founder Sarah created Blueland after discovering that the plastic she was throwing away was winding up in the water and food she was feeding her baby in the form of microplastics.
Why use Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products in Your Home?
Aside from all the plastic waste, cleaning our homes should not come at the expense of our health or the planet. I am a firm believer that less is more and that is certainly the case when cleaners are concerned. You simply do not need separate cleaning products for every job in your home.
Take a close look at the cleaners hiding in your kitchen cabinet, and look at the labels, and are there warnings right on the bottle? Like this:
- Causes irreversible eye damage
- Causes skin irritation
- Prolonged or frequently repeated skin contact may cause allergic reactions in some individuals
- Vapors may irritate
- Harmful if swallowed
- Do not get in eyes or on clothing
- Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors
- Use only in well-ventilated
- Hazardous to humans and domestic animals
Considered Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) many conventional cleaners are harmful to aquatic life too!
So how do you know if your cleaners have toxic chemicals?
It’s not that easy, In Canada, there are no legal requirements for companies to warn us about the health and environmental hazards associated with long-term exposure to chemical ingredients in their cleaning products. Most of us are exposed to cleaning products and their residues at low levels every day and when you flush these cleaners down the drain, they have terrible consequences for aquatic life.
How to shop for Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products?
Like with everything on The Eco Hub, I am looking for brands who walk the walk and talk the talk! Brands that are thinking about a circular economy and brands that manufacture and source ingredients ethically pay their workers a fair wage.
Our Ethical Criteria include:
Good ingredients: Ingredients are super important when it comes to green cleaning products. That's why we have a list of 14 toxic ingredients commonly found in cleaning products that we use for reference.
Vegan: We favor products that have ZERO animal ingredients or derivatives. Certifications include: Leaping Bunny, PETA, and Choose Cruelty Free.
Cruelty-free: Animal testing is archaic and we do not support brands who test their products on animals. We also consult the ingredients list for materials derived from animals.
We do feature brands and products that use things like, beeswax, but we always make sure it is done as ethically as possible. If this is something you are concerned about, we make note of which products are vegan-friendly and which are not.
Palm oil-free: Palm oil is quite taxing on the communities where it is produced. With ethics and sourcing issues that are still very tenuous and very present, we try to avoid them wherever possible. Some brands do use RSPO-certified palm oil, and we will let you know which ones do.
Sustainably sourced: We also consider ethical sourcing practices. This refers to how the materials and ingredients used in their products are made, under what conditions, and where they are produced.
Better packaging: Packaging is a huge deal when it comes to eco-friendly cleaning products because we are drowning our oceans and ecosystems in plastics – the preferred material for packaging of all sorts.
In terms of packaging options, we favor products that come in compostable or reusable packaging wherever possible. Recyclable packaging is fine too, where it will actually be recycled. Things like glass, cardboard, and aluminum are far more likely to be recycled than plastics.
Where plastics are concerned, they are very difficult to avoid sometimes. If you are forced to buy products packaged in plastic make sure it is easily recyclable plastic (polyethylene terephthalate aka PET) and follow your local recycling center’s instructions on how to recycle properly. Knowing the types of plastic helps.
If this isn’t done properly, plastic containers are even less likely to be recycled, where only a measly 5-6% of plastics are actually recycled in the US, and only 9% are recycled in Canada.
Septic-safe: We do our very best to feature cleaning and laundry products that are septic safe. These products are usually natural and biodegradable, and they will properly break down within the tank without affecting the bacteria. One of the biggest culprits for endangering Septic Systems are household and cleaning products
Learn more about our ethical criteria. It will give you the tools you need to make more sustainable choices.
Bottom line when it comes to Eco Friendly Refillable Cleaning Products
Keeping your home clean naturally is the first step to keeping it healthy. All of the brands I have chosen are doing great things in the world and are proving that you can have a sustainable business.
All of them give us options for safe cleaning products that work minus all that plastic packaging!
I absolutely see refillable cleaning products as the future of cleaning but I'd love to see them available in big box shops. Hopefully, if we demand more of it, it will become a reality. In this case, I am going to say thank goodness for online shopping.
Are you a clean -freak like me? Do you have a brand you want to share? Tell us in the comments below.
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