Our Favorite Non-Toxic Cleaning Products: The Brands That Keep Your Home (And The Planet) Spick & Span
7 Mins Read
One of the most popular topics of conversation in Hong Kong is the city’ poor air quality. However, you may be surprised to learn that the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that over 70 percent of our exposure to chemicals happens indoors. One great thing that can really improve your air quality is ensuring you and your family are using non-toxic cleaning products. Not only are conventional cleaning products a real strain on your respiratory health, they contain a whole sew of harmful ingredients that you don’t want anywhere near you or your family such as VOCs, toluene, formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, and xylene. Not to mention labels that include things like sodium laurel sulfate, chlorine bleach and propylene glycol, things you probably go out of your way to avoid in your personal care products. These chemicals go into your body, but they also go into our oceans, our rivers, our soil and our air…What you clean your home with has a huge impact on our environment and it’s worth reviewing what’s in your cabinet and give some of the below brands a shot. They are all great choices, available here in Hong Kong and all much kinder to the planet.
Founded in Shanghai by parents looking for non-toxic home cleaning products that were safe for their kids and the earth, Soapnut Republic is a very eco-friendly cleaning solution. Their products use soapnuts, so named because their fruit has been used for thousands of years by people in South America and Asia as a natural soap-the drupe fruit contains naturally-occurring surfactant- as well as a natural insecticide. Soapnut Republic harnesses the power of this non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients, and adds nothing but essential oils, vinegar and baking soda to create a line that can safely clean your entire home. They have a well-priced line of liquid hand washing soap, liquid dish soap, a fruit and veggie wash, a full line of home cleaning products, as well as some laundry items. The brand, which launched only a few years ago, has been popular from the get-go and has quickly gained traction: their fruit & veggie wash also were a Natural & Organic Products Asia 2015 Award Winner for Best New Natural Living Product Award, a real feature in their eco cap.
Vegan Alert: Soapnut Republic products are cruelty Free and PETA certified.
Made with plant-based extracts exclusively, Resparkle is an Australian-based line of NASAA certified organic cleaning products. In addition to being organic, Resparkle is a true pioneer of clever packaging: the brand is focused on reducing packaging as much as possible: they provide reusable spray bottles and you simply screw on a refill “pod” which contains the active ingredients and add water and voila, you have yourself a brand new cleaning product for one tenth of the packaging. This system proffers huge savings on materials, storage, shipping, energy and of course, money. The pods are cheaper to ship, cheaper than having to replace the original product, take up far less storage space, seriously reduce plastic waste in landfills… Can you tell we’re fans? Hope more brands will adopt this practice. Resparkle has a full range of products for dishes, the kitchen, bathroom, floors and laundry, as well as a disinfectant, and they even have a special line for nurseries including a toy cleaner and baby laundry detergent.
Vegan Alert: Resparkle products are cruelty Free.
Founded by an organic gardener-cum-hippie in New Zealand in 1993, ecostore has become a global brand with seven product lines covering everything from bath and body care to household products. The brand prides themselves on avoiding nasty toxins and using plant and mineral based ingredients that are produced renewably and are biodegradable whenever possible. Case in point: their laundry range touts New Zeland’s Environmental Choice label. In addition to a variety of scent options, many products are available fragrance-free, what they call ultra sensitive, for those with severe allergies (it’s popular for children with hayfever and ashtma). Of all the brands featured here, they have the widest range of dishwashing products including dish soap, dishwasher tablets and dishwasher powder and a dishwasher rinse aid. With Ecostore’s range being so wide, they have quite a few specialty products such as cream cleanser and liquid scourer.
Vegan Alert: Ecostore products are PETA certified.
Ecostore products range from HKD 68 – 98. You can purchase them online via AwareStore; many of them are also available at good supermarkets including Marketplace by Jason’s. ThreeSixty and Nature’s Purest.
Hailing from Malaysia, newer brand BacOff offers a range of products that are free from ammonia, chlorine, phosphates, SLS, triclosan and other nasties. In fact, their ingredients are certified by Australia organic label NASAA. The brand pays special attention to the most vulnerable beings in our lives: they have two products specifically designed for baby nurseries: an all-purpose cleaner and a sanitizing deodorizer, and they also have a cleaner and a deodorizer that is specially formulated to be safe for pets. In addition, they have a veggie wash, a dishwashing liquid, a hand washing soap and a non-alcoholic hand sanitizer. For businesses, they also have a range of commercial cleaning products that come in larger sizes and are better suited for office and industrial use. Following in Soapnut Republic’s footsteps, BacOff won the Best New Natural Living Product Award for their fruit & veggie wash at this year’s Natural & Organic Products Asia, a testament to their popularity in the industry and their products.
Update 2020: BacOff has ceased operations.
The Green Concepts cleaning product range, which hails from the United States, may be one of the greenest products on the market: the products have obtained a long list of ecolabels including the US’s Green Seal and the Australian Environmental Choice certified and Design for the Environment and many more. For home usage, they offer four products: a general cleaner, a stain remover, a bathroom cleaner and a glass cleaner. Their products, except the stain remover, are available in economical combo packs that include a spray bottle, refill concentrate and a micro-fibre towel. We love that the concentrates also come in one gallon sizes, which seriously reduces packaging, as you can conveniently dilute them with water. They are also a great choice for business: they have a large janitorial range in industrial sizes.
Vegan Alert: Green Concepts products are certified Cruelty Free.
One of the oldest non-toxic brands on the (global) market, Country Save dates back to 1977. Their products are phosphate-free, biodegradable, gentle on skin and allergies- it is especially formulated for people who have sensitive skin. Many of the brands above offer laundry detergent but if you are a die-hard laundry powder fan, then Country Save is for you. Their laundry powder, which is also Design for the Environment-certified, is very economical and comes in large sizes. Here in Hong Kong, you can find their dish detergent, laundry liquid, liquid powder and their non-chlorine bleach.
Vegan Alert: Country Save products are certified Cruelty Free.