Monday Motivation: “Clean” Cleaning Products

Last week I shared all of the non-toxic personal care products that we have switched over to, and this week I wanted to share our cleaning products! This is a BIG topic to cover in one blog post, so hopefully I can do it justice. The thing is, commercial cleaners are not the safest option for your family! The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning evaluates 2,500 cleaners for chemical safety, so you can look up your cleaners and make informed decisions. As a general rule, look for plant-based, biodegradable soaps and cleaners. I get all of our cleaning products from Grove Collaborative – all of their products are free of harmful chemicals, and once you find cleaners that you like, you can schedule a shipment to come every month (or more or less often!) depending on how often you go through your supplies! Grove is also offering a free starter set with their first purchase – you can click on any link in this blog post or read on to the end for more details!

I’ve broken it up into categories… but let’s get into the nitty gritty of exactly which products we use.

Dish & Hand Soap

Our skin is our biggest organ, absorbing anything we put on it. Traditional hand soaps can contain phthalates, parabens, and sulfates, while cleaning products can contain solvents. It’s always important to do your own research and understand what you’re putting on your body (you can use the Environmental Working Group’s website to check your products). 

For hand soap, we use Grove Gel Hand Soap – I bought this set which includes a glass dispenser – that way you can reduce plastic use and keep filling up the same dispenser (just order the dish soap refill next time). The hand soap does come in a few different scents but we actually get the “free & clear” – it’s made with aloe vera and is free of synthetic fragrances and dyes. For dish soap, we love Aunt Fannie’s Probiotic-Powered Dish Soap! All of Aunt Fannie’s dish soaps received an “A” on the EWG’s website because they have such clean ingredients, and they even contain essential oils to soften your hands during dish duty.

Dishwasher Detergent

We use this detergent for our dishwater – it received an “A” on the EWG’s website – which is hard to come by in detergents (which is pretty crazy considering since we EAT OFF THE PLATES afterward!). I’m a big fan of Seventh Generation in general, and this dishwasher detergent is great – it does a great job of cleaning our dishes and it’s chlorine-free, phosphate-free, and fragrance-free. And although it might seem counterintuitive, the pods are actually better to use than liquid soaps, since liquid soaps are more likely to contain preservatives.

Laundry Detergent

We ditched the conventional scented detergent long ago. Recently we have been using this Laundry Starter Set which includes a dispenser that gives you the right amount of detergent every time (the starter kit is enough for 33 loads of laundry). The actual detergent it comes with is dye-free and more than 96% bio-based – we get the unscented Free & Clear formula to be extra safe. Because the detergent doesn’t have a smell, but we still want our clothes to smell good, we use wool dryer balls! Wool dryer balls are an all-natural, chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets – they’re even gentle enough to use with baby clothes 🙂 I add a few drops lavender essential oil to the balls before placing in the dryer to make our clothes smell good (by the way, you can choose any essential oil combination you want, it doesn’t have to be lavender).

Multi-Surface Cleaners

Cleaning wipes are definitely the most convenient of all cleaners – they’re so dang quick and easy to grab (much easier than grabbing your roll of paper towels). I feel good about using these cleaning wipes, since they’re compostable and made from 100% bamboo instead of trees. I use them to clean everything – my dining table, stove, stainless steel appliances – and am very impressed that they don’t leave a residue behind.

For glass cleaner, we use Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Vinegar Wash. It does have a strong vinegar smell, but it gets the job done! It’s completely plant-based and non-toxic, and it gets smudges, handprints and dust off of your windows and mirrors – I use it on the big mirror in our bedroom constantly before filming Try-On Hauls, lol! It does take a while to wipe off, but the outcome is amazing.

All of these products are available through Grove Collaborative, and they are offering a free gift for first-time customers when you sign up here! I really love the Seedling toilet paper that’s apart of the free gift (ESPECIALLY since toilet paper is hard to come by these days, lol!). Seedling paper towels and toilet paper are made from soft and absorbent bamboo fibers instead of trees – bamboo is super sustainable since it only takes three months to grow back after being harvested (whereas trees take 20 years!). I love that I can get all my favorite brands like Mrs. Meyer’s and Seventh Generation from Grove… and also discover other amazing and sustainable products like Seedling!

*Thank you to Grove Collaborative for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Leave a Comment


  1. Laura Leigh

    This is amazing – thank you for sharing! Literally ordering everything!

    xo Laura Leigh

    • Tiffany

      Same here! Thank you Caitlin for all of the information that will help keep us safe and in the “know”! I am also going to order everything! I purchased the Green Pan set you recommended and ditched all other pans! your monday motivation posts are my favorite, thank you!

  2. Mauree

    You should look at Branch Basics or Blueland cleaners! I’d love to hear your thoughts on them 🙂

  3. Very interesting post! I love that tip about adding essential oils to your dryer balls btw!
    Xx Janine

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I’m always looking for new clean brands and products to try. I also really love Aunt Fannie’s disinfectant wipes!

  5. Hailey

    Do you find the prices are cheaper on Grove or is it for the convenience of shipping?

  6. Definitely try Branch Basics!!!! One glass bottle of concentrate can be mixed with water to fill 5 other glass bottles for glass cleaner, laundry detergent, multi-purpose cleaner, dish soap, etc…

  7. Morgan

    Love these posts on non-toxic living! Please keep them coming as it can be overwhelming to switch over and know what is really and truly clean!

  8. Kara

    Thank you all this information! I’m always trying to find alternative for cleaning products!

  9. Tyra Bone

    Caitlin – I love your posts and information. My daughter and I love following you. I especially love that you are doing everything you can to live toxin free. We do the same. I wanted to share a company to look at as well Pure Haven Essentials -personal care and home care all toxin free. I started using and now am a consultant but just really buy for our family. A few friends use, but I’m not a sales person type, more of a this is what I use and share when I see an opportunity. Here’s my site – -but feel free to not just look at my page but the main page.
    As I was looking at your recommendations the one for laundry has a toxic chemical in it methylisothiazolinone. It is a powerful biocide “preservatives” used to kill off microorganisms, giving products a longer shelf life. Here is a sheet to more ingredients that are toxic –
    I also saw some questionable ingredients in your lotion, shampoo and conditioner.

    I hope this information helps you. Prayers for a wonderful pregnancy with your daughter. I have 3 and their just the best. They are all now in college or grad school. One is a senior at High Point University by you. The one who follows you and introduced me to following you is just starting at Wheaton College in IL.

    Best to you always, Tyra

  10. Courtney R.

    Really love this post! I appreciate all the research and your resources you included. Quick question about the cleaning wipes.. I’ve been trying to find a clean alternative to clorox wipes for over a year now, but they never mention anything about killing germs or bacteria, which is more important than ever. Do the wipes you mentioned, or any others you’ve tried, kill germs and bacteria or are they just a multi surface type of cleaning wipe?

  11. I love it that you use and are in support of clean/green, non toxic products. This is so important and can make a huge difference in our lives when we do use products of this kind. With the size and impact of your social media and blog following, this is such a positive thing to influence people on. I’m so glad you do!

    I’ve been interested in checking out Grove Collaborative for a long time now. I definitely will one of these days!


  12. Thanks so much for sharing!! I am so excied to start cleaning up my cleaning products!