The Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products In The UK That Work

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Let me share with you my favourite environmentally and eco-friendly cleaning products from eco-conscious brands, that actually work, updated for 2023.

The eco-friendly cleaning products market can be mind-boggling. First, you’ve got to distinguish which products are actually sustainable and environmentally friendly from the cleaning products that are simply greenwashing. Then you’ve got to find the products that actually work.

To help cut through the noise, I want to share my favourite eco-friendly cleaning products that I use on a frequent basis in my house. All of these products have been independently verified through sustainability certification schemes. I also find that these products either match or exceed the cleaning performance of their harsher counterparts.

The Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products That Actually Work

Flat lay of cleaning products, eucalyptus leaves and lemons with a blue text box that says the best environmentally and eco friendly cleaning products that actually work

Here are my favourite cleaning brands and products that are the real deal when it comes to their eco-friendly credentials and effectiveness.

Eco-Friendly Dish Washing Products

Here are my top eco-friendly cleaning products when it comes to hand-washing dishes, and the dishwasher.

For The Dishwasher

For the dishwasher, I haven’t found a way to make my own dishwasher detergent that works. Instead, I like to use Ecoleaf Dishwasher Tablets (£5.69 for 25).

With built-in rinse-aid, degreasing agents, and powerful cleaning action, these tackle our dirty dishes and glassware with ease.

In terms of ingredients, it’s 99% good news. Made from plant-derived ingredients, the dishwasher tablets are free of phosphates, SLS, SLES, parabens, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. These eco-friendly cleaning products are also certified cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. The one downside is that they do contain palm oil.

Find out more about other options in my guide to plastic-free dishwasher detergent.

For Hand Washing Dishes

Although I make a lot of my own cleaning products, making effective washing-up liquid has always eluded me. As such, for handwashing dishes, I have been using Bio-D washing-up liquid for years and years now.

I was initially sceptical the first time I used the washing-up liquid as it seemed quite watery compared to other eco-friendly cleaning product brands. My fears were unfounded as I found it’s got great cleaning power. So much so that it is now the only liquid we use.

What’s to love is that Bio-D’s eco-friendly cleaning products are plant-based and vegan-friendly, certified cruelty-free, and made in the UK.

What’s more, all of their ingredients are natural and plant-derived. This means they are free from triclosan, phthalates, petroleum derivatives, formaldehyde, chlorine bleach, genetically modified ingredients, and synthetic fragrances. Many of its products are also palm oil-free too.

Bio-D washing-up liquid costs around £2.70 for a big 750ml bottle. I pick it up at Ethical Superstore but it is also available at Oxfam.

If you’re into bulk buying, it’s only £14.82 for 5 litres at Ethical Superstore. This can last me at least one year, so saves money in the long run. My favourite scent is the pink grapefruit one – it’s so lovely and fresh smelling!

Laundry

I mostly make my own laundry powder. However, when life gets just too busy, I do admit I sometimes use shop-bought laundry powder from eco-friendly cleaning product brands. I, therefore, keep a bag of Bio-D laundry powder under my kitchen sink.

I’m really happy with its cleaning powers, even at 30°C. I even used it on my daughter’s washable nappies for over two years, which was a real test of its cleansing and freshening powers!

Speaking of washable nappies, I also found Bio-D’s laundry bleach fantastic at sanitising and keeping washable nappies looking clean. It’s an oxygen-based antibacterial and sanitising in-wash whitener odour and stain remover, that does not contain chlorine bleaching agents.

Even though we are well beyond the nappies stage, I still use the laundry bleach now to remove stains and to keep whites light and colours bright. Don’t be frightened by the term ‘bleach’ – it doesn’t work in the same way as chlorine bleach. In fact, this product is great for tackling stains or smells, even on colourfast items. You can find out more in my guide to eco-friendly bleach.

For more recommendations, do check out my guide to the best eco-friendly laundry detergents, as rated by Ethical Consumer Magazine.

I tend to use vinegar as a fabric conditioner, but if this isn’t for you then try my guide to the best eco-friendly fabric conditioner brands.

Washing Wool and Delicates

For washing wool and delicates, I’m a fan of the Clothes Doctor range of eco-friendly cleaning products. The wool and cashmere laundry liquid (£14.50) is admittedly a bit spendy. However, this stuff really takes care of your best knitwear.

This specialist laundry liquid is made in the UK with plant-derived and cruelty-free vegetarian and vegan ingredients. And it’s packaged in a plastic-free and recyclable metal bottle.

What’s more, the laundry liquid is lightly scented with delicious-smelling sandalwood and patchouli. As well as smelling divine, these scents are natural moth deterrents, This means it can help to deter pesky moths from nibbly on your best knitwear.

If you wear silk clothing, their silk wash (£14) also does a top job of looking after your silk garments the eco-friendly way.

Sustainable Surface Cleansing

Glass bottle of Miniml eco-friendly surface cleaner.

I do make my own surface cleansing products because it’s so quick, cheap, and easy. However, again, when life gets busy, and I’ve run out of ingredients, I do keep a bottle of surface cleanser under my sink just in case.

We’re hand-down Miniml fans when it comes to cleaning surfaces the eco-friendly way.

Miniml is a refillable and eco-friendly cleaning product brand. As well as being able to order Miniml products online, you can also find eco-friendly refill stations around the UK, for topping up its glass bottles of washing-up liquid and surface cleaning products.

For those shopping online, bulk delivery containers can be returned and reused to reduce waste. What’s more, all Miniml products are vegan, cruelty-free, and completely biodegradable. 

I particularly love its French Lavender eco anti-bac surface cleaner (£15.45 for a 5L refill carton or £3.99 for a 1L refill). It smells lovely and cleans easily.

You get a lot for your money in comparison to some other cleaning product brands, and I use it all around the house. I even dilute it in water to use as an eco-friendly floor cleaner. Basically, if I’m not using my own homemade cleaning products then I’m using this. Lavender is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so it meets all of my needs.

💷Get 10% off all cleaning and laundry products by using the code CLEAN10 at the checkout.

The Eco Brands I Avoid

There are many supposedly environmentally and eco-friendly cleaning products brands that I avoid.

Ecover and Method, for example, were bought by consumer goods giant SC Johnson in December 2017.

SC Johnson owns household cleaning brands such as Duck, Shout, Glade, Pledge, and Windex – none of which use environmentally friendly ingredients or take action on single-use plastic. What’s more, Ethical Consumer Magazine says SC Johnson has been linked to animal testing, tax avoidance strategies, unethical palm oil sourcing, and more. A clean sweep it is not.

What About Zero Waste Cleaning Product Brands?

In the past few years, there has also been a proliferation of zero-waste and plastic-free dissolvable eco-friendly cleaning product brands pop up – from dissolvable sachets to dissolvable laundry sheets.

Here’s my review of five different just-add-water cleaning products, in case you are looking to make a switch.

So far I have to say I’m not a fan of the dissolvable laundry sheets. One dissolvable laundry sheet product made a terrible sticky mess of my washing machine. I don’t have any recommendations at present for them. If this changes I will update this post!

So there you go, a round-up of some of my favourite environmentally and eco-friendly cleaning products, and my not-so-favourite ‘eco’ products. Any favourites you want to add? And any products you’ve tried and have been disappointed with?

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