Parents' Best Green Cleaning Products of 2020
Baby Bottle Soap
For the pile of bottles and kiddie bowls in the sink: Use Babyganics Foaming Dish + Bottle Soap to reduce the amount of water you need to remove tough stains (hello, milk residue). Testers liked the pump-bottle style and the cute design.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Coconut oil and essential oils team up in Indigo Wild Zum Clean Aromatherapy Laundry Soap to degrunge whatever your kid dripped on his favorite shirt. Testers were into the tea tree–citrus version. In the words of one parent, “I can see this scent reminding me of our home for a long time.”
Baking soda removes odors naturally.
All-purpose Cleaners (A Three-way Tie!)
Even with gentle ingredients like baking soda, Dapple All Purpose Spray is up to cleaning the boiled-over stove sludge from when you were responding to a “Mom ...” call coming from the playroom.
Testers got aromatherapy vibes from the soothing peppermint scent of Truce All-Purpose Cleaner. Green bonus: The company ships the cleaner as a concentrate, and you add water at home. The clever packaging cuts down on carbon emissions.
A multitasker that can go from kitchen to kid’s room
If you like to clean with vinegar but dislike the strong smell, there’s Schmidt’s Cleaning Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaning Spray. It incorporates cedar and cinnamon oils for a lovely scent and wipes away without leaving a film.
Worried about the runny nose on your kid’s playmate? Clean toys stat with Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray. You don’t need to rinse it off, so you can degerm the entire playroom during naptime. Testers raved about the subtle, natural scent.
Even without prerinsing, the Dropps Unscented Dishwasher Detergent Pods clean spaghetti sauce–stained plates and sticky cereal spoons without leaving spots or a powdery residue. And the pods are free of dyes.
Pair AspenClean Natural Glass Cleaner with the company’s hardworking microfiber cloth to wipe toddler smudges off windows and mirrors. “It doesn’t leave any streaks,” said one tester. The star ingredient: organic lime essential oil.
With a longer-than-typical spout, Lemi Shine Toilet Bowl Cleaner makes it easier to deal with gunk under the toilet’s rim. Testers liked that its bubbles stick around for more than one flush and that it uses citric acid instead of bleach.
Let’s give it up for versatility. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Surface Scrub, a nonscratching powder made with mineral salts, works on shower tiles, stainless-steel fridges, and cookie sheets.
The quick-drying Squeak Floor Me Floor Cleaner means more playtime and less waiting. And it can clean up multiple floor surfaces: Our testers tried the vinegar-based solution on wood, stone, and tile—the results were shiny for all.
Recognizable ingredients like vinegar and essential oils
Baby Laundry Detergent
For spit-up stains on bibs, burp cloths, and one-pieces, Go Organic Baby Laundry Detergent in Free & Clear cleans like a dream. “I usually have to wash my baby’s laundry twice to get the milk smell out, but this detergent worked the first time and didn’t have an obnoxious scent,” said one tester.
Spritz Boulder Clean Foaming Bathroom Cleaner on your tub and sink to remove residue from bath bombs, bubble gum–flavored toothpaste, and other messes you never imagined pre-kids. Testers were surprised by how much the spray foams up for extra cleaning oomph.
Removes hard-water stains like a champ.
Go zero waste with Cleancult Liquid Dish Soap. You get a glass bottle and 14 ounces of a lemongrass-scented solution—an appealing aroma that tempted one tester’s kid to use it as hand soap. (Better idea: She can help with dishes!) Refills come in paper milk cartons that can be recycled.
Unlike most other pods, the Dropps Unscented Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods feature a film that “dissolves completely during a wash,” said one tester. Eco-perk: Once in the water supply, the biodegradable ingredients break down entirely.
Cleaning Kits Worth the Splurge
Big-batch solutions and refillable bottles can go a long way.
With the Branch Basics Starter Kit + Oxygen Boost, you can make three 24-ounce bottles of all-purpose, glass, and bathroom cleaner and still have enough of the concentrate left for 64 loads of laundry. The Oxygen Boost removes marks in sinks and tubs. Order a refill when you’re out.
Cleaning Kits Worth the Splurge
Add tap water and dump one of the five included capsules of salt, vinegar, and water into the base of the Force of Nature Starter Kit. Press the start button and watch as electricity converts the mixture into a multipurpose cleaner. The kit makes five bottles’ worth of solution; refills are available.