test-14 Green Cleaning Alternatives for a Happy, Healthy Home
Healthy Home
14 Green Cleaning Alternatives for a Happy, Healthy Home
Swanson staff • September 27, 2023

14 Green Cleaning Alternatives

Who doesn’t love the uplifting power of a clean home? There’s just something about washed dishes, fresh laundry and swept floors that speaks to the simpler luxuries of life.

While it feels good to have a clean home, many popular household cleaners contain harsh ingredients and toxic chemicals that can cause physical harm, despite following cautionary instructions. Sprays make it easy to breathe in toxic particles,1 while some laundry detergents feature chemicals which can be absorbed into the skin and thereby present health concerns for certain populations.2

Cleaning Chemicals and Their Effects on Health

Cleaning chemicals can also add to indoor air pollution, which can be twice as polluted (or worse) than outside air.3 Many household products may also contain ingredients which have been linked to unhealthy effects on the human body.4 For example, bleach and ammonia make a noxious gas when mixed,5 but even solvents with citrus or pine bases featuring terpenes like limonene (a source of citrus scent) may react with ozone in the air to make formaldehyde.6

To put it frankly, this means that we’re often replacing typical dirt and dander with other substances that can actually have negative effects on our health and wellness.

“Green” Cleaning Products

Luckily, it’s easy to do something about this problem. Specialized green cleaning products have become more and more popular and cost effective over the years. Even better, you can quickly and safely make your own cleaning solutions from ingredients you probably already own! And if you like, you can customize the scent to your aromatherapy needs. Sounds pretty great, right?

Healthier Cleaning Product Alternatives

Put on your reusable rubber gloves because here are 14 simple alternatives to get you started on green cleaning:

1. Baking Soda

The fine grain of this classic kitchen staple makes it perfect for scrubbing sinks, tubs and showers. It also makes an effective air freshener. Place in a bowl in the fridge, sprinkle some in old shoes and dust on the carpet before vacuuming to banish unpleasant smells. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent.

2. Washing Soda

Like baking soda’s older sibling, washing soda is a tougher version of this cleaning powder. Buy some or make your own. Use like you would baking soda or add to a load of laundry so you can put in less detergent.

3. White Vinegar

Mix with equal parts water for a simple, nontoxic cleaning solution. This is particularly great for cleaning surfaces that come into contact with food, such as fridges and counters. It’s also safe to use on sinks, tubs, furniture and produce.

4. Swanson Unscented Laundry Soap

This is a great alternative to big-brand detergents, which are chocked with toxic chemicals and harmful fragrances. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you miss the scent of clean laundry.

5. Swanson Dishwashing Liquid

Swanson offers a dishwashing liquid made with plant-based ingredients and scented using grapefruit peel oil.

6. Dishwasher Packets

Made without fragrances and formulated without phosphates for a powerful dish cleaning formula.

7.  Swanson Liquid Hand Soap

Scented with lavender oil, this gentle, yet effective, hand soap features tocopherol (vitamin E) and grapefruit seed extract.

8.  Lemon Essential Oil

Mix 10-15 drops with half a cup of olive or almond oil for a great wood polish perfect for cutting boards, furniture and décor. You can also mix this essential oil with equal parts water and vodka for a healthier disinfecting spray.

9.  Reusable Washing Cloths

Don’t throw away paper towels when you clean—use cloths instead! It’ll save you money in the end and spare some unsuspecting trees. If you’re really thrifty, save old dishcloths or towels for this.

10.  Reusable Spray Bottle

This spray bottle is perfect for mixing some of the solutions above, and is made out of glass instead of plastic, which can leach chemicals over time. Plus, you can reuse it over and over again, saving you money in the long run!

11.  Multi-surface Natural Scented Spray

This multi-surface spray is truly exceptional. It’s tough on dirt and grime, plus it makes the whole room smell nice. Use it all over on hard surfaces.

12.  Stain and Odor Fighting Liquid

If you have kids or pets, then this liquid will definitely come in handy. Use it to remove stains and odors from carpets, furniture and more—whatever they manage to get messy!

13.  Wool Dryer Balls

These are a great alternative to dryer sheets, which are surprisingly chemical-laden. Toss them in the dryer to decrease drying time and get fluffier fabrics. Add a few drops of essential oil for added scent.

14.  Air Freshener (and Body Spray!)

If you’re not so keen on homemade sprays, this is a great alternative. Best of all, this is safe to use in your home and on yourself!

Sometimes it can feel challenging to change old routines and habits, but with the right cleaning products on your side, finding new and healthier alternatives to housekeeping is easier than ever!


Always serving our customers,

Your friends at Swanson

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


1. Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals. American Lung Association. Read source

2. Is There Such a Thing as Healthier Laundry Detergent? Texas Health Resources. Read source

3. Indoor Air vs. Outdoor Air. Medical Association of Northwest Arkansas. Read source

4. Cleaning Supplies and Your Health. Environmental Working Group. Read source

5. Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Cleaners. Washington State Department of Health. Read source

6. Formaldehyde in Indoor Air. United Kingdom Cleaning Products Industry Association. Read source