Best Baby-Safe Cleaning Products (plus what to avoid!)

Baby-Safe Cleaning | The Organic Beauty Blog

With all the research that’s come out in the last several years into environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors, a whole slew of common baby and household products have been labeled with major red flags.  We know so much more now that we did 20 or 30 years ago — I shudder to think about the products that were used on and around us when we were babies!

Most of us know the big bad ingredients to avoid by now: parabens, phthalates, bleach, sodium lauryl sulfate (if you don’t know about these, read this) — but so much more awful stuff in lurking in the products some of us use every day, from soaps and detergents, to air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and even candles.  And of course, don’t even get me started on edibles — especially so much of the foods marketed to babies and kids… I’ll save that for it’s own post ; )

Guys, this is something I am really passionate about, and I’ll admit, I get really upset when I see a mom slathering her baby in Johnson & Johnson’s or buying Tide detergent.  There are so many inexpensive, safer brands out there that make it so easy for most families to make these changes.  With all the dangerous stuff out there that our babies will at some point be exposed to, this is something that is totally, 100% in our control as mindful parents and caregivers.  We love our babies so much… why would we ever consciously expose them to chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances, inflammation, growth problems, allergies and asthma, and even cancer down the line??

Here’s the clincher.. even if a product is touted as “natural” or “organic” doesn’t mean it’s safe.  You always have to check the ingredients and run it through the EWG database.  I was using a bunch of stuff I thought was safe and totally wasn’t (I marked those bad boys in bold below).  Even the most diligent of us need can’t be careful enough!

I’ve long since been on a mission to totally naturalize my home, but since having a baby, I’ve definitely taken it up a notch, and gotten even more diligent with the ingredients in everything I use, both in my home and on my own body, and of course, on baby.  These baby-safe cleaning products have been my standby’s for a clean, non-toxic, and healthy home. Almost all these products score an EWG Rating of A (one or two are B’s).

Laundry:

  • Ecover Zero Laundry Detergent and/or Fit Organic Baby Laundry Detergent
  • Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods
  • Ecover Liquid Fabric Softener or Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets (note: no fabric softener, even these, should be used for baby.  Instead, use wool dryer balls with a few drops of essential oil!)
  • OxiClean Laundry Baby Stain Soaker, Fit Organic Baby Laundry Stain Remover, or Babyganics Stain Eraser, Fragrance Free
  • Worst options: Clorox, Downy, Woolite, Resolve, Shout, Tide, Mrs. Meyers Detergents, Cheer, Gain, Ajax, Era, The LaundressBabyganics 3x, All, and much more.  All of these scored an F.

Dishes:

  • Puracy Natural Dish Soap
  • Seventh Generation Dishwasher Pods
  • Sun & Earth Dishwashing Liquid Extra Concentrated, Light Citrus or biokleen Automatic Dishwasher Liquid
  • Seventh Generation Rinse Aid, Free & Clear
  • Worst options: Palmolive, Cascade, FINISH, Ajax, Method, Dawn, and Trader Joe’s brand, all of which scored an F.

Cleaning:

  • Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Citra-Solv Citra Clear Window & Glass Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir
  • Seventh Generation Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir
  • Whole Foods Market green MISSION Organic All-Purpose Spray Cleaner & Degreaser, Lemon Zest
  • Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate, Fragrance Free
  • Best option: Distilled White Vinegar with water and a few drops of lemon essential oil (optional); for any baby-related cleaning, I use a homemade cleaner made with distilled water, thieves oil, distilled vinegar.
  • Worst options: SoftScrub, Ajax, Lysol, Pledge, Clorox, SOS, Formula 409, Murphy Oil, Method All-Purpose, Mr. Clean, Fantastik, Windex, Tilex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Kaboom, and more. All of these scored an F.

Air Fresheners:

  • Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Mists
  • Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • Essential oils in a diffuser.  I like lemon/lavender/peppermint or Purification/lemon combos.
  • Worse options: Air-Wick, Febreze, Glade, Lysol or Renuzit — all of which scored D’s or F’s.

Hand Soaps:

  • Puracy Natural Hand Soap, Lavender and Vanilla
  • Pangea Organics Liquid Hand Soap, Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom
  • Dr. Bronner’s
  • Worst options: Molton Brown, Mrs. Meyer’s, Jergen’s, Soft-soap, Method, L’Occitane, and so many more liquid hand soaps; Yardley of London, Body Shop, Palmolive, Dove, Lever, Dial, and so many more bar soaps

Hand Sanitizers:

  • The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray
  • Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer (Fragrance Free is best, though the scented ones are ok too)
  • EO Everyone Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • Worst options: Purell, Wet Ones, Crabtree & Evelyn, and more.

Do you have any other EWG A-rated cleaning and home products you’ve used and loved? Please share them in the comments below!

Want more green cleaning and naturalizing tips? Check out my guide, 4 Steps to Naturalizing Your Life!

13 Comments
  • Nikita
    January 1, 2017

    Really shocked about Method, I just went to Tar-gay and bought a slew of Method items to clean my bedroom/nursery for baby arrival!!. I especially picked up 2 bottles of their antibacterial cleaner 🙁

    Back to the drawing board.

    What products would you recommend to clean hand me down toys both hard and fabric?

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      January 29, 2017

      I know, right? Very disappointing.
      My fave toy cleaner is a homemade vinegar + water + Thieves Oil spray I use for fabrics and hard toys (which I also use to clean the high chair tray). Totally natural, safe for things that inevitably go into baby’s mouth, and really effective at cleaning and disinfecting!

      Xoxo
      Natasha

      • Anissa Milligan-Fountain
        May 4, 2017

        Is cleaning vinegar just as good? With water mixed and oils

    • Hayley
      May 4, 2017

      I was just as shocked about babyganics. Honestly, I just switched to melaleuca. After hearing about them for a few months, I finally decided to help my friend out and give them a whirl. I’m so glad I did! Try watching some of the videos on the products. My babies are the reason I decided to go safe and green. They are soo ecofriendly and great. Email me at melaleuca_hayleyh@yahoo.com if you need additional info.

  • Megan
    January 25, 2017

    It’s amazing how so many of the cleaning products marketed as green, and safe have horrible and toxic ingredients. Yet, people just buy them assuming the advertising is correct. I would rather make my own with essential oils or use products that are made from them.

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      January 29, 2017

      Megan, I totally agree! I was shocked to find the EWG rating for some of my favorite “green” cleaning brands. Once I had my baby, I became so much more militant about keeping everything truly green and natural! And essential oils are amazing to that end.

      Thanks for reading!
      Natasha

  • amanda
    February 4, 2017

    this is all great information, thank you. wish i had seen this before buying the Method All Purpose cleaner! what would you recommend for a baby-safe floor cleaner?

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      February 5, 2017

      Hey Amanda!
      I like Babyganics floor cleaner, or just straight up vinegar + water with an essential oil!

      Xo
      Natasha

  • Carrie
    March 5, 2017

    For laundry detergents, do you recommend any other brands? Ecover zero has SLS listed as an ingredient along with methylisothiazolinone. Is this just the best option in the market? Thanks!

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      March 6, 2017

      Hi Carrie!
      Unfortunately SLS is in ALMOST every laundry detergent out there. Attitude, Fit Organic, and Dr. Bronner’s are the few that don’t. Also, most natural powder detergents are free of SLS as well!
      The EWG Cleaning Guide is a good place to check, although they do give A ratings to many products with SLS — I use it as a quick resource to check ingredients!

      Best!
      Natasha

  • Melissa
    April 7, 2017

    What ratio of vinegar to water do you use? Do you know if lemongrass and lavender essential oils are safe as a addition to the cleaner?

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      April 10, 2017

      Hi Melissa!
      I use about 1:3 or 1:4 vinegar to water, depending on the potency I’m going for. Lavender and lemongrass would be fine! Here are some more good combos:
      http://pin.it/zHyxfu4

      Xoxo
      Natasha

  • Hayley
    May 4, 2017

    Really helpful and surprising information!! Thank you.

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