lemon, baking soda, vinegar, and sponge

I’ve been on something of a rampage when it comes to cleaning products lately. So this time, instead of telling you about all the bad things in your multipurpose cleaner, I’m going to throw some kudos out there to the companies that aren’t just capitalizing on the green revolution. These companies really are concerned with the environment, if we can use their products as evidence of this fact. I would be happy to use any and all of these products in my home. And because I’m me, I’ll also give you a couple of DIY tips to make your own all-natural cleaner at home.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is usually a good bet when it comes to cleaning products. Their All Purpose Cleaner is a USDA Certified, Biobased Product that is VOC-free (VOCs are volatile organic compounds), and nontoxic. The cleaner is safe on most surfaces and creates no toxic or harsh fumes. Grab a bottle of Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner if you need a product that kills 99.99 percent of germs. Influenza A, the H1N1 strain, and the common cold don’t stand a chance against this product, which uses the antimicrobial properties of thymol to fight germs.

Greenshield Organic

As the only USDA Certified Organic cleaning line currently available, GreenShield Organic offers another earth-friendly alternative to products that aren’t good for the environment. Their Multi-Surface Cleaner removes grease, dirt, and grime from any washable surface around your home. Try the Surface Wipes for quick cleaning jobs; the nontoxic cleaner leaves a fresh invigorating scent from organic peppermint oil.

Shaklee Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate

Looking for a bottle of concentrated multipurpose cleaner? Look no further than the biodegradable Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate by Shaklee. The 16-ounce bottle makes up to 48 gallons of the eco-friendly cleaner that you can use for anything from windows and countertops to grease-laden ovens and barbecue grills. The corn and coconut-based product is nontoxic, pH balanced, and contains no chlorine.

DIY if You Don’t Want To Buy

You know I couldn’t write this piece without giving you a DIY option. In the case of multipurpose cleaners, I have to recommend vinegar. It’s just the best. Mix it with some water in a spray bottle and get to work. Add a little fresh lemon juice for a natural antimicrobial — and a nicer scent than just straight vinegar — or add a little baking soda for really tough jobs. Resist the urge to make a homemade volcano when doing so, if you can.

Originally published on June 5, 2014, this article was updated in June 2020.

By Megan Winkler

Eco-nerd, solar power enthusiast, DIY diva and professional coffee drinker, Megan has written everything from courses in healthcare and psychology to interior design and cooking advice. She has a master’s degree in military history, owns two chainsaws, is a collector of strange trivia and a world renowned Pinterest pro. She is constantly looking for better ways to do things.