The Best Green Cleaning Products For Your Buck

The Best Green Cleaning Products For Your Buck

Your mom had a floor so clean you could eat off of it.

At least, you thought you could.

More and more people are concerned about the host of toxic chemicals in cleaning products, which are bad for both the environment and our health. The same ingredients that provide that “clean” (read: chemical) smell can be carcinogenic, corrosive, and cause asthma. So, we try to buy “green” cleaners whenever we can, but labels like “phosphate free,” “no-bleach,” and “bio-degradable,” complicate our basic question: What’s the safest and eco-friendliest choice for our money?

altTo settle the question once and for all, we looked up the health and environmental impact ratings for popular green products, peered at their ingredients, scoured review boards to judge their efficacy, and -- for those of you who are put off by strong scents -- even gave them a whiff.

Check out our findings below; we’ve marked one product in each category that we think is has the best bang for the buck.

Brand Price Green Rating (out of 10)* Scent Effectiveness (out of 5)*
Dishwashing Soap
Trader Joe’s $.12/oz 4.9 Mild 1
Ecover $.15/oz 4 Mild 5
Seventh Generationalt $.15/oz 8.25 Mild 5
Method $.17/oz 7.5 Mild 3
CVS Earth Essentials $.19/oz Doesn’t disclose all ingredients. Mild 3
Green Works $.30/oz 8.7 Mild 5
Mrs. Myers $.31/oz 4.9 Very Strong 5
All-Purpose Cleaner
CVS Earth Essentials alt $.04/oz 7** Strong 5
Trader Joe’s $.09/oz 4.9 Strong 5
Ecover $.15/oz 3 Mild 5
Seventh Generation $.15/oz 8.3 Mild 5
Method $.17/oz 7 Strong 5
Mrs. Myers $.31/oz 6.9 Very Strong 5
Green Works $.40/oz 8.7 Strong 5
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Ecover $.15/oz 5** Very Strong 5
Seventh Generation alt $.15/oz 9.3 Mild 5
Method $.17/oz 7.5 Moderate 5
Mrs. Myers $.31/oz 4.9 Very Strong 4
Green Works $.40/oz 8.7 Mild 5
Laundry Detergent
Ecover $.15/load 4 Mild 5
Seventh Generation $.15/load 6.3 None 3
Method alt $.17/load 7.5 Mild 4
Mrs. Myers $.31/load 4.9 Mild 4
Green Works $.40/load 8.7 Moderate 5

*We determined a green rating by averaging the health and environment ratings from Good Guide. Effectiveness was judged by looking up aggregate ratings and reading reviews on retailer sites and blogs.


**In the absence of a Good Guide rating, we researched the toxicity of individual ingredients.


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