Ready to tackle some deep cleaning? Whether you’re scrubbing bathrooms, washing floors, laundering bedding, or doing that random thing you have the energy to do once every three years (hello, cleaning behind the fridge!), there are a wide range of products and supplies on the market that claim to effectively deep clean your house naturally. In fact, there are so many available it can be difficult to know which ones are sustainable, eco-friendly, and safe for daily use. Our experts share their essential non-toxic, sustainable cleaning products and supplies and guide you step-by-step through deep cleaning your house naturally.
Confused about which products are actually safe for your home and the environment? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, common marketing terms like "natural" and "green" aren't regulated or standardized, which means that any company can use these terms on their labels and advertising without meeting any specific criteria.
However, there are some things you can look out for to help determine if a specific product is actually natural:
According to Alex Gamboa Grand, co-founder of Way of Being, it’s important to use natural cleaning products because conventional products can cause a host of problems for your household and for the environment. “Not only are conventional cleaning supplies some of the most toxic products found in most homes,” she said, “but they also pose a problem to the health of the planet because of plastic packaging and single-use disposable products.”
This is why she and her co-founder decided to stock their store with better options. “There are products that are completely safe to use, better for the environment, and also as effective or more than conventional options.”
Switching your household to natural cleaning products has a range of benefits, including:
Plus, natural cleaning products are just as effective as conventional options—sometimes, the natural option works even better. Gone are the days when natural cleaning products weren’t up to tough deep cleaning tasks. There are lots of products available today that are just as effective as traditional products, and for a variety of cleaning tasks—streak-free glass cleaners, all-purpose concentrates, products for grout and tile, countertop sprays, bathroom sprays and detergents.
“The cleaning supply brand we're most obsessed with is Meliora,” said Grand. “Their All-Purpose Cleaner is the most effective option we've ever used, no extra elbow grease required. It comes in a tab form that quickly dissolves in water. And the Dishwashing Block is one of our most popular products. Both products are options we feel like we'll be using for the rest of our lives.”
The range of available products doesn’t stop at all-purpose cleaner and dishwashing products. There are great options available for a variety of cleaning tasks like glass and mirror cleaners, dishwasher tabs, laundry powders, bathroom and tile sprays, oven cleaner and more.
In addition to effective cleaning products, there are also sustainable and zero-waste cleaning supplies available. Many standard cleaning supplies—like scrubbing brushes, brooms, and mops—are made from plastic and eventually end up in a landfill. And, single-use supplies like wipes, paper towels, and dusting cloths that you use one time and then toss have become common place in household cleaning. Investing in reusable options made from sustainable materials is gentler on the earth and will save you money in the long run.
A swap that Grand recommends is switching to a dish scrubbing brush made from wood or coconut fibers instead of plastic fibers. “This is a super easy swap because you don't have to change anything about the way you wash dishes, but it's saving a lot of plastic from the landfill and running down your drain.”
Now that you’ve gathered all of your products and supplies, it’s time to create a deep cleaning schedule that works for you. According to professional organizer and household cleaning expert Shantae Duckworth, you should create a deep cleaning schedule that includes daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly or twice yearly tasks.
Daily: Every day, aim to wash dishes, run at least one load of laundry, and wipe down countertops. “This includes bathroom countertops,” explains Duckworth. “Many people for get to wipe down their bathroom countertops every day, but it’s a space that collects lots of dirt and grime. As a bonus, wiping them down every day will preserve your countertops longer.”
She also suggests a daily 15 minute tidy. “At the end of the night before bed, set a timer for 15 minutes and do a quick tidy of your space. Put everything back where it goes, hang up coats, organize mail, fold up your throw blankets nicely and tidy the throw pillows. This sets the stage for you to get a great night’s sleep and you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day.
Weekly: Clean out the fridge, clean the bathrooms, vacuum and dust, sweep and mop, and launder bedding.
Monthly: Walls, baseboards, mudroom and laundry room, and decluttering projects. “The monthly timeframe is a great time to do room by room decluttering for common spaces or closets,” says Duckworth.
Quarterly or twice-annually: Appliances, such as your dishwasher, washer and dryer, or oven; and drawers, cabinets, and pantry. “This is also a good timeframe to do a closet edit,” said Duckworth. “Seasonally rotate clothes, donate things you no longer want or need, and figure out what you need to purchase for the next season.”
Make deep cleaning easier and less overwhelming by establishing a routine that works for you. “Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, and longterm basis,” said Duckworth. “Give yourself grace and time to figure out what will work for your household. Once you have a routine that works for you, you’ll find you’re not cleaning as much, because your spaces will be well-maintained and less dirty. The process goes quicker, because you know exactly what to do.”
You can also get other members of your household involved in deep cleaning tasks through clear communication and delegation. Duckworth has found that with her clients, it works best to give everyone an opportunity to pick the task they want to do and a window of time to accomplish it.
“Have a family meeting. Explain the deep cleaning project, assign certain tasks to everybody, and set a timeline.” said Duckworth. “You come up with the project structure, let them decide what task they want to do, and let everyone work at their own place and get it done within a certain time frame.”
Deep cleaning can be overwhelming, but you can tackle it with great natural cleaning products that you love using paired with a well-planned cleaning routine. When you take the time to order products and supplies that you feel proud to use and are effective, and setting up a realistic cleaning and deep cleaning schedule that works for you household, you’ll create a cleaning routine that keeps your home sparkling clean and you’ll feel good about the positive impact you’ve made on the environment.