Nearly gone are the days of mindless loyalty to the same toxic nasties mom used for cleaning. In cleaning products, we have more choices than ever. This is good news for our pets and us. I prefer to keep as few noxious chemicals in my home as possible, and I stay away from products tested on animals.
The following is a list of some of my favorite products and methods. No matter what we use to clean, it’s important that we keep our babes away from cleaners. As we well know, natural ingredients don’t mean products are okay for our pets to come in contact with or ingest.
The makers of Method use non-toxic, plant-derived ingredients. They don’t test on animals, and they use recycled materials to make their vessels. They also say their products are safe to use (responsibly) around pets. I use the dish soap and all-purpose spray cleaner. It smells clean and amazing—not chemically and harsh— and it does its job well.
I love Mrs. Meyers. Holy cow, does it smell divine. It also cleans well. I’ve used their hand soap and general purpose cleaner. Love it. Mrs. Meyers is transparent, uses recycled and plant-derived materials, and is cruelty free.
After trying several dishwasher detergents, I settled on Ecos Wave. They have the EPA Safer Choice label. They have no animal testing, and they use plant-derived ingredients. Ecos also cleans my dishes well without leaving them murky.
I also find Ecos liquid laundry soap works well. It’s mild and smells great. I keep a bottle on hand to use when I run out of homemade laundry detergent.
If you decide to try DIY cleaning products, which I recommend you do, remember that ingredients such as washing soda, baking soda, essential oils, and other ingredients are often tested on animals. Here are a few resources for getting these items in cruelty free form:
- Baking soda – Bob’s Red Mill (bobsredmill.com)
- Borax – Mountain Rose Herbs (mountainroseherbs.com)
- Essential oils – Essential Oil Company (essentialoil.com)
- Washing soda – make your own: Bake a ½-inch layer of baking soda in an oven-safe dish or pan at 400 degrees for an hour. Stir halfway through. You’ll notice it’s grainy and flat when it’s ready. If may take longer than an hour depending on your oven and the amount of soda in your pan.
I love dryer balls. Dryer sheets have nasty, nasty chemicals and most smell like it, too. Dryer balls, with a few drops of essential oils, soften and dry clothes like a charm. There are many articles scattered over the internet that explain how to make these. Or you can purchase them (Etsy has tons).
I haven’t done a ton of research about toilet cleaner products. Actually, I haven’t done any research. Instead, I use baking soda to scrub, vinegar to disinfect, and essential oils to deodorize. If this is what you choose, keep pets away from essential oils.
Homemade laundry detergent is simple and cheap. All you need for a batch is one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda, and one bar of soap. I use DR. Bonner’s soap because it’s yummy and cruelty free.
Grate or shave the soap and zip everything around in the food processor for a few seconds. If you don’t have a processor, grate the soap on the finest side of a cheese grater and mix by hand. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load depending on size/grime.
Plenty of products, ingredients, and methods allow us to clean our homes without harming animals, the earth, and ourselves. These are a few. Research. Experiment to find what works best for you and your home. Always read labels. Know what’s in the products you bring into your home and the processes involved in making them. Use them with care around your pets, no matter the ingredients.
What sort of animal-friendly products, ingredient, or methods do you use in your home? Tell us in the comments below.