Cruelty Free Cleaning
Before I entered the veg lifestyle, I didn’t think much about what I was cleaning my house with or what I was putting on my face and body. I bought what was cheap, and what I thought worked. I never really stopped to think about the chemicals that were in these products. And I certainly didn’t think about all the innocent animals that were being tortured and tested upon by the companies who made these products! But then I learned the truth: that companies that aren’t cruelty free perform horrific experiments on animals, and fill their products full of cheap animal byproducts like glycerin and stearic acid, which are often made from animal fats from cows, pigs, and even euthanized cats and dogs. And I was putting this stuff on my body and cleaning my house with it?!? Yuck!


But fortunately, there are PLENTY of ways to keep your house squeaky clean without exploiting innocent little creatures. So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite cruelty free and vegan cleaning products. I’m kind of a clean freak, so I prefer products that actually, ya know, work. These are things I’ve been using over the years that I find work really well and don’t break the bank. (PS… I’m not a paid spokesperson for any of these products. If I gush about them, it’s because I honest-to-goodness really like and use these things in my home!)


For countertops, glass and general cleaning of just about any surface:

I love to use plain old fashioned white vinegar. I mix it, in a spray bottle, in a 50:50 ratio with water. I  like to add a  few drops of essential oil to the bottle as well (especially tea tree oil, since it’s great for killing germs and mold).   I’ll use this spray on my counters, and just about anywhere there’s a mess. I also use this solution to mop the floor. It’s super cheap and it WORKS. (If you find that this cleaner is leaving your mirrors streaky, I’ve heard you can add a squirt of dish soap to the solution to solve that problem. But I use this on my windows and mirrors with a microfiber cloth and I don’t have any issues with streaks.)


For scrubbing:

For scrubbing soap scum and the like, I will either use baking soda (Bob’s Red Mill is cruelty free brand) or Bon Ami powder. Bon Ami is made from clay, and doesn’t have any scary ingredients. It’s also a cruelty free company. An added bonus, both of these things are also super cheap!


For washing dishes:

Ok. Here’s where I make a little bit more of an investment in my cleaning products. I really, really love those little dish tabs that you just pop in your dishwasher. You know the ones. The thing is, most of the companies that sell dish tabs aren’t cruelty free, and their products are loaded with chemicals that’s being washed all over a surface you’re going to eat off of. Uh. No thanks. Fortunately, there are a few companies that sell dish tabs that aren’t tested on animals and aren’t loaded with toxic chemicals. I’ve tested out several of these brands, and the one I find works the best is Method Smarty Dish Plus. It’s non toxic and certified cruelty free. Sure, it’s a little more expensive than some other brands, but I figure I’m saving money on my countertop spray, so I don’t mind spending a little more on these dish tabs.


For hand washed dishes, I still like to stick with Method brand. I use their Power Foam Dish Soap. I find that it really cuts grease really well, while some of the other cruelty free brands tend to be a little weak in this department. In general, I find that Method’s products work really well, but they’re a little bit more expensive, so I tend to only use them where I really need them.


For toilets:

I dunno. I feel like the key to a clean toilet is scrubbing it frequently so that it never actually starts to look gross. Ugh. I really can’t stand a gross toilet. I mean, who does? But you don’t have to attack your toilet with bleach and chemicals and all that nasty stuff. That’s just something the cleaning industry does to scare you because they want you to think your toilet has to be disinfected. It doesn’t. I clean my toilet with vinegar and tea tree. And a good scrub brush. If there is a little grime in there, put a little baking soda on your toilet brush and buff that shi…. I mean STAIN out!


For laundry:

We’ve recently become a cloth diapering family, and we’ve  just switched to a cloth diaper-friendly Charlie’s Laundry Soap powder. It seems to be working great so far, and it’s nontoxic, free of animal ingredients, and isn’t tested on animals. Check, check, check. For fabric softener, we like to add vinegar to our wash (it doesn’t leave a scent, and it really does help soften clothes!), and we also sometimes us a fabric softener dryer spray made by Method, or dryer sheets by Mrs. Meyers. A lot of dryer sheets on the market use animal fat as a softener, so make sure you’re using a cruelty free company so that you’re not drying your sheets in gross dead animal lard. Yuck!


For hands and bodies:

Ok, so what cosmetics and bath products I use deserves its very own post. But for your basic hand washin’ and body scrubbing, we are huge fans Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. We love that Dr. Bronner’s soap is cruelty free, organic and fair trade, and doesn’t have any crazy chemicals or fragrances. For hand soap, we buy foaming hand soap dispensers and fill them with half water and half  Dr. Bronner’s soap to make our own inexpensive foaming hand soap (or you can just buy foaming hand soap and reuse the bottle when it’s empty, we do this with Method soap). Dr. Bronner’s is also great for washing dirt of your body, your dog… pretty much everything.


So if you’re thinking about transitioning your home to a cruelty-free one, don’t forget about cleaning products! It’s been relatively simple and easy for us to keep our house clean and our budget happy by sticking to a combination of homemade and store bought products.