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Ask the Experts: What Is Green Cleaning?

Last Updated: August 23, 2022

Breathe a little easier knowing how to do a deep-down clean using green cleaning products that are healthier for both you and the environment, with tips from our cleaning experts.

You don't need to spread harsh chemicals around the house to get a really deep-down clean. Make the switch to green cleaning, and get the cleanliness you’re looking for without the fear of what's lurking inside those conventional cleaning products.

With more than 100 years of combined industry experience, our green cleaning experts at Grove Collaborative break down why it’s time to make the switch — and they should know, since they help curate the safe, effective, and downright indulgent green cleaning products offered at Grove. Read more to learn how to make the switch to green cleaning.

What is green cleaning?

Green cleaning is all about choosing effective and sustainable cleaning products that aren't just healthier for you and your loved ones — they're healthier for the environment, too. Grove makes it easy to trade out the brands you've grown up with for greener products that will transform the way you clean and care for your home.

"Green cleaning is important as it encompasses the choice of products that focus on human safety and environmental safety as two key drivers, while minimizing any potential tradeoff on efficacy of the product," says Clement Choy, Ph.D., Grove Collaborative's senior director of science and formulation.

The products we offer meet a stringent list of requirements to ensure they’re safe for humans, safe for the environment — and cruelty-free to boot! Many of our natural cleaning products are Leaping Bunny certified.

The real deal on green cleaning products

You may have grown up thinking that the harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaning products are necessary for killing bacteria, stopping the spread of viruses, and generally getting a thorough clean of all the surfaces in your home — but that's far from true.

"As the technology and chemistry of green ingredients advance over time, the efficacy of green cleaning has improved significantly, and in most of the instances, it matches efficacy from conventional products," says Choy.

The ammonia, chlorine, ethanolamines, parabens, and phthalates found in typical grocery-store brands aren’t necessary — and they come with a laundry list of harmful effects for humans.

Are green cleaning products effective?

Nature has a way of providing ingredients that are highly effective when it comes to cleaning. But chemical concoctions that mimic the natural effects of plants are cheaper to make and easier to mass-produce than just using the actual plant.

Green cleaning products utilize the oils, essences, and non-toxic chemicals of plants to effectively clean your floors, windows, dishes, bathroom, clothes, and everything else in your home that needs cleaning.

"Using cleaner and more natural ingredients in home cleaning products can be beneficial to our health and well-being and can also be gentler on the environment around us," says lead Grove guide Angela Bell. "There is a misconception that green cleaning means sacrificing efficacy, but this is certainly not the case with Grove’s products."

Homemade vs. store-bought green cleaning products

Nature provides us with ingredients that can really pack a cleaning punch. There was a time when going green pretty much meant you were forced to make your own cleaning products at home or pay exorbitant prices for natural cleaners, which weren’t easy to find.

Today, there are green cleaning products specifically designed for practically every task around the home — bathroom cleaners, laundry detergents, kitchen degreasers, dishwashing soaps, floor cleaners, and many more are readily available and highly effective.

Homemade green cleaning ingredients

A simple trip to the grocery store provides you with many of the ingredients you need to make effective green cleaners at home. DIY cleaning products are a little tricky, because when you start looking for recipes, you’ll find huge variations in mixtures, amounts, and wait times. But if science lab was your jam in school, gather up some baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt, and experiment with what concoctions work best for you for different jobs. Otherwise, choose from numerous ready-to-go green cleaners at Grove.

"When I began my natural journey, my only option growing up in rural Maine used to be DIY solutions like vinegar and water," says Bell. "I loved to experiment, but didn’t always have the time or the expertise to really hit the mark. Today, I love Grove Co.’s cleaner concentrates with their amazing plant-based fragrances, paired with reusable glass spray bottles."

Store-bought green cleaning products from Grove

If science lab was the bane of your existence and you have no desire to create your own custom cleaning products, let Grove do the hard work for you. Our team of experts carefully vet all of the brands and products we offer, giving you ultimate peace of mind, knowing that the items you order will help you achieve your green cleaning goals. Not only are they more convenient, but they’ve also been rigorously tested to ensure safety and efficacy.

"Homemade green cleaning products are essentially limited to a single primary ingredient, such as baking soda or vinegar for efficacy," says Choy. "Store-purchased branded products provide formulated ingredients, which are designed to effectively tackle the jobs."

Why make the switch to green cleaning products?

Not only are green cleaning products more environmentally friendly, but they’re also a healthier choice for use around yourself, your family, and your pets. The substances found in typical cleaning products can cause or contribute to a wide range of short-term and long-term health issues — including skin and lung irritation, chemical burns, and hormone disruption — before being swept down the drains and into the environment, only to pollute our precious water sources and poison the creatures who live there.

Grove makes it easy to make the switch to natural cleaning products — you can rest assured that all of the products we offer align with our high brand standards.

Carefully sourced ingredients

We demand absolute transparency about the ingredients that go into the products we offer. You'll never find hidden toxic ingredients in our natural cleaners — just plant-based, sustainably sourced ingredients you can trust.

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An eye on ethics

Providing the best ingredients isn't enough. We also take a close look at the company itself, to ensure they treat their employees, community, and planet well and that everything they produce is entirely cruelty-free.

A focus on sustainability

Sustainability is one of our core values, and that’s why we review the supply chain of every brand, making sure that every aspect of production is done with a conscious effort to protect the planet and its inhabitants.

It’s not just pretty packaging

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When you’re purchasing green cleaning products for your stockpile, pay attention to the packaging, which is as important to sustainability as the ingredients. Grove is committed to drastically reducing our plastic consumption as a company. Currently, we are plastic neutral — we offset every ounce of plastic we sell by removing an ounce of ocean-bound plastic from the environment. Better yet, we have taken a pledge to be plastic-free by 2025!

Reusable glass bottles with cleaning concentrates for easy refills mean you can go through as much cleaning solution as you want without fear of loading up landfills with tons of plastic spray bottles. There are even colorful sleeves that will help you distinguish one type of cleaning product from another.

Before you tackle your next spring cleaning checklist, make the switch to green cleaning products, and see the difference it can make in your cleaning routine.

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