The 8 best natural cleaning products we tested for every room in your house

A group of cleaning products sit on a granite counter in front of a beige wall.
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Whether you have skin sensitivities or allergies or just want to be more environmentally conscious, there are lots of reasons people choose to buy natural cleaning products. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of reasons you should buy green cleaning products. For example, some ingredients can harm reproductive health in wildlife, while others release volatile organic compounds that can reduce indoor air quality

But "natural" is a broad term, and products don't necessarily need to fit a universal standard for brands to label them as such. For this guide, we've mostly tested products that meet criteria for low toxicity to humans and the environment, based on third-party certifications. (We explain the certifications in our FAQs below.) We also used several tests to determine how well these products clean. You can read our testing methodology here. 

Note that these products aren't disinfectants, so you shouldn't rely on them to kill viruses and bacteria. 

The best natural cleaning products in 2022

Best natural all-purpose cleaner: Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar, $7.49 at Grove 
Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar is a powerful all-purpose cleaner that works on many surfaces. 

Best natural laundry detergent: Attitude Laundry Detergent, $12.34 at Amazon
Attitude Laundry Detergent works well in hot and cold water to eliminate stains and odors. 

Best natural odor remover: Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Eliminator, $8.39 at Target
For pet stains and odors, Biokleen Bac-Out is the best natural cleaning product we've tried. 

Best natural dishwasher pods: Attitude Dishwasher Tablets, $14.99 at Amazon
Attitude Dishwasher Tablets leave dishes clean and streak-free.

Best natural dish soap: ECOS Dishmate Dish Soap, $3.49 at Kroger
For handwashing dishes, ECOS Dishmate Dish Soap does a great job of eliminating stuck-on food.

Best natural bathtub cleaner: Bon Ami Cleaner, $1.79 at Target
Lightly abrasive, Bon Ami is great at getting gunk off tile and tubs.  

Best natural marble and granite cleaner: Sensitive Home Marble and Granite Cleaner, $7.99 at Sensitive Home
A non-acidic spray, Sensitive Home Marble and Granite Cleaner is made for stone countertops.

Best natural floor cleaner: Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash Concentrate, $10.99 at Amazon
It only takes a little of Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash to get floors streak-free and clean. 

Best natural all-purpose cleaner

A bottle of Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar sits on a granite countertop in front of a kitchen sink.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar is a powerful all-purpose cleaner that works on many surfaces.

Vinegar is a cleaning staple for a reason. It works well on a variety of messes, and it's the main ingredient in Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar. It also includes caprylyl/myristyl glucoside (a surfactant), triethyl citrate (a solvent), linalool (fragrance); and litsea cubeba fruit oil, peppermint oil, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, and spearmint oil (fragrances).

In our cleaning tests, the vinegar helped it perform well in cleaning mustard. When we compared it to our own mix of water and vinegar, it cleaned more jam and dried-on egg. 

The eucalyptus scent isn't overwhelming, but you can still detect an odor of vinegar. As with any vinegar cleaner, you may not want to use it on some stone countertops.

Best natural laundry detergent

A bottle of Attitude Laundry Detergent sits on some clothes in a white laundry basket.
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Attitude Laundry Detergent works well in hot and cold water to eliminate stains and odors.

Pros: Works well in cold water, different fragrances and unscented options available

Cons: May not work on stubborn stains, may not be widely available in stores 

Over the years, we've tried a slew of eco-friendly laundry detergents that left our clothes smelly and couldn't always handle tough stains. This was often especially true when doing cold washes. Attitude's laundry detergent did well in both hot and cold water. 

In a load of smelly workout gear and deodorant-stained T-shirts, the Attitude detergent took care of both in a regular cold-wash cycle. The wildflower scent leaves almost no odor behind, so clothes and towels are essentially free of fragrance after they're cleaned. 

The detergent's ingredients include plant-based surfactants, citric acid (water softener), glycerin (a compound used to make soap and lotion), and sodium chloride (salt). 

To get a better clean, you can try using a bit less because, as with many detergents, the recommended dose is a bit higher than you may need.

Best natural odor remover

A bottle of Biokleen Bac-Out cleaner sits on a laundry tray in front of a dryer.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

For pet stains and odors, Biokleen Bac-Out is the best natural cleaning product we've tried.

Pros: Great for many bio-based stains, fresh smell

Cons: May not be suitable for wool, silk, or leather; no unscented option

Sometimes you need enzymes to break down certain stains. For pet accidents and odors, as well as other issues like body odor, Biokleen's Bac-Out is one of the best. 

Bac-Out works well on fabric and upholstery, and you can also add a few sprays to stinky laundry. You may want to test it in an inconspicuous area first, and it may not be suitable for natural fibers like silk, leather, and wool. The lime scent is fresh and noticeable when you move clothes from the washer to the dryer but fades after drying.  

Most of Bac-Out's ingredients are plant-derived, including the enzyme-producing bacteria cultures, C12-16 pareth-7 (an emulsifier), tetrasodium glutamate diacetate (water softener), disodium citrate (pH stabilizer), and citrus species leaf oil (fragrance). It also contains a preservative, phenoxyethanol, that is not plant-based.

Best natural dishwasher pods

A box of Attitude Dishwasher tablets sits on the open door of a dishwasher.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

Attitude Dishwasher Tablets leave dishes clean and streak-free.

Pros: Cleans well, no scent 

Cons: No ability to change dose with tablets, may not be widely available in stores 

We ran several loads of dishes using Attitude's dishwasher tablets and were impressed with how clean they came out. They also didn't have a fragrance, which isn't true of all dishwashing pods we've tested. Several glasses that had dried-on smoothie bits came out sparkling. 

The pods' ingredients include sodium percarbonate (oxygen bleach), sodium citrate (water softener), sodium chloride (salt), sodium carbonate (washing soda, a stain remover), sodium silicate (anti-corrosion agent), and glycerin (a compound used to make soap and lotion). 

When we ran a smaller load, the tablets did leave some soapy residue in the bottom of the dishwasher. Unfortunately, there's no way to use less detergent with pods or tablets.

Best natural dish soap

A bottle of Ecos Dishmate Dish Soap sits on a black granite countertop next to a kitchen sink.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

For handwashing dishes, ECOS Dishmate Dish Soap does a great job of eliminating stuck-on food.

Pros: Good cleaning ability, many scents and fragrance-free options available

Cons: May be difficult to find in some locations

Many dishwashing liquids can leave behind lingering fragrance that interferes with whatever you're eating and drinking. ECOS Dishmate has a pleasant, lemony scent while you're washing that doesn't linger when you put the dishes away. (There's also a fragrance-free version available.) 

During our tests, ECOS was great at getting dried-on food off. We paired it with Swedish dishcloths and found the liquid helped break down tough food, from dried cheese to day-old barbecue sauce. It was also fairly gentle and didn't overly dry out our hands.

The liquid is made up of plant-derived surfactants, preservatives (phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin), tetrasodium glutamate diacetate (water softener), natural fragrance, citric acid (pH adjuster), and essential oil components (citral and limonene). 

Best natural bathtub cleaner

A canister of Bon Ami sits on a white bathtub in front of a white tiled wall.
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Lightly abrasive, Bon Ami is great at getting gunk off tile and tubs.

Pros: Lightly abrasive with scratching many surfaces, cleans stubborn stains

Cons: Slightly tricky application, not suitable for surfaces like mirrors and windows 

Bon Ami has been around for well over a century. It's a lightly abrasive cleaner that works as well on stainless steel pots and pans as it does on bathtubs. It contains ground-up feldspar, which gives it a bit of grit that helps scrub away buildup. Because of that grittiness, you don't want to use it on certain surfaces, including windows and mirrors. 

Bon Ami comes in a canister. You sprinkle the powder on your surface then mix with warm or hot water before scrubbing and rinsing away. It's not as convenient as spray products you may be used to.

In addition to feldspar, Bon Ami also contains calcium carbonate (an abrasive), sodium carbonate (washing soda, a stain remover), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, an abrasive stain remover), and C10-C16 alkylbenzene sulfonic acid (a surfactant).

Best natural marble and granite cleaner

A bottle of Sensitive Home Marble and Granite Claener sits on a granite bathroom countertop.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

A non-acidic spray, Sensitive Home Marble and Granite Cleaner is made for stone countertops.

Pros: Leaves stone countertops shiny, non-acidic, fragrance free

Cons: Getting some stains off took a bit of scrubbing, difficult to find in stores  

Because countertops made of quartz or granite don't always fare well with acidic cleaners like vinegar, you shouldn't use some all-purpose cleaners on them. The marble and granite cleaner from Sensitive Home has a pH of between seven and eight, so it won't harm any sealants you may have on your countertops.  

We liked the way the Sensitive Home spray left our granite countertops shiny with minimal buffing. We did find we had to work a bit to remove some dried-on stains. 

In addition to water, the Marble and Granite cleaner contains ethanol (an alcohol and solvent), citric acid (water softener), alkyl polyglucoside (surfactant), potassium cocoate (hydrotrope or mixing agent), hydrogen peroxide (oxidant and whitening agent), and sodium hydroxide (pH adjuster).

Best natural floor cleaner

A tub of Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner sits on a wooden floor in front of a red-handled mop.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

It only takes a little of Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash to get floors streak-free and clean.

Pros: Useable on tile, linoleum, and sealed hardwood; leaves floors streak-free

Cons: Strong odor, not suitable for all floor types

As with the Aunt Fannie's all-purpose cleaner, the floor cleaner did well on all the stains you'd expect vinegar to tackle, including removing a good amount of dried mustard. It also performed the best in our egg and jam tests. 

Because it's a concentrate, you use 4 ounces per 2 gallons of water to make your cleaning formula. The diluted mixture we made left floors streak-free and shiny, especially compared to the water-and-vinegar mix we made ourselves for comparison. 

Diluting helps cut the powerful scent of vinegar but not completely. 

The ingredient list for Aunt Fannie's floor cleaner includes distilled white vinegar, caprylyl/myristyl glucoside (a surfactant), polyglyceryl-6 caprylate (an emulsifier), polyglyceryl-4 caprate (an emulsifier); and litsea cubeba fruit oil, peppermint oil, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, and spearmint oil (fragrances).

What else we tested

A bottle of AspenClean Floor Cleaner sits on a wooden floor in front of a red-handled mop.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

What else we recommend and why

AspenClean Floor Cleaner: This floor cleaner performed very well in our tests, doing surprisingly well with the mustard stain. However, it's very difficult to find in stores or online. 

Branch Basics The Concentrate: There's a lot we like about Branch Basic's concentrate. It's very versatile in a lot of areas, but for laundry, it's not as powerful in cold water as Attitude's detergent. 

What we don't recommend and why

Blueland Laundry Tablets: While these tablets worked well in warm and hot water, they couldn't remove odors on a cold cycle. However, we like many of the company's other cleaning products.

Our natural cleaning product testing methodology

A piece of cork flooring with circles labeled egg and mustard and samples of each item in the circle to show testing for of the best natural cleaning products in 2022.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

There are many cleaning products that claim to be natural, safe, and effective. We researched cleaning products with certifications from Green Seal, the EPA's Safer Choice, and the others listed in our FAQs section. Then we tested many options to see which ones worked the best. 

All-purpose, floor, and countertop cleaners: We left jam, egg, and mustard to dry on laminate, cork, and granite samples. We then tested how well each cleaning product was able to remove the messes after 15 passes back and forth. We compared the results not only to each other but to a homemade mix of water and vinegar. 

Dishwasher tablets: We ran a regular load of dishes arranged according to the manufacturer's instructions. The dishes contained three glasses stained with smoothie remnants, two plates with dried-on cheese, three stained coffee mugs, cutlery with dried-on condiments, and then a mix of dishes that were of comparable soil levels across loads. We looked for visible signs of cleanliness and streaking. 

Dish detergent: We stained plates with dried egg, dried cheese, and dried barbecue sauce to test how well the liquid was able to remove them when used with a Swedish dishcloth. 

Laundry detergent and stain removers: We used a teaspoon of each detergent in cold, warm, and hot loads of the same mix of T-shirts, workout gear (shorts, shirts, socks), undergarments, dresses, towels, and jeans, depending on the type of load. We examined how well the detergent removed deodorant stains and odors from the workout gear, especially after a cold cycle. 

Natural cleaner FAQS

A bottle of Sensitive Home Marble and Glass Cleaner sits on a granite countertop with its EPA Safer Choice label.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

What constitutes a natural cleaning product?

Natural and green cleaners can mean different things to different people. Some only consider lemon, baking soda, and other naturally occurring items as truly qualifying for the label. Others accept cleaners with plant-derived ingredients as natural as well. Overall, the types of products many consider natural or green are lower in harmful or toxic chemicals than many traditional cleaners. 

What are the main certifications and do they matter? 

So many companies put out cleaning products that they label as natural or eco-friendly that it can be difficult to differentiate between legitimately less-toxic options and green-washed versions that can still pollute the environment. The EPA's Safer Choice Certification, the Green Seal Certification, and UL Ecologo Certification all have clearly defined criteria for ingredients that include efficacy, human health, and environmental standards. You can read more about them below.

Why buy natural cleaning products? 

Many traditional cleaning products release VOCs, pollute the air and water, and can injure eyes or the skin, according to the EPA. Cleaning products that are truly greener try to reduce or eliminate all those effects. Natural cleaning products are also great for those with allergies or skin sensitivities, pregnant people, pet owners, and people with kids or who are pregnant. 

What is the EPA's Safer Choice Certification?

Products with Safer Choice Certification meet the EPA's Safer Choice Standard. The ingredients meet health and environmental safety criteria, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment. The products must also pass performance standards. There are over 2,000 products in the database

What is Green Seal Certification? 

A Green Seal-certified product meets standards around human health (including toxicity, carcinogenicity, skin sensitization, and flammability), environmental effects (including acute aquatic toxicity and bioaccumulation), and waste minimization (including recyclability of packaging and product efficacy). 

What's UL Ecologo Certification

Underwriters' Laboratories, or UL, certifies a range of products for safety. Its Ecologo mark indicates a product meets third-party environmental standards in several areas, including materials, manufacturing, health, environment, and performance.

What is USDA BioPreferred Certification

This voluntary labeling program through the USDA helps customers identify products that are made with renewable agricultural materials, renewable chemicals, and forestry materials, as opposed to petroleum-derived products. 

What is the Environmental Working Group?

The EWG is a nonprofit that rates products based on whether or not they include ingredients that it deems hazardous. Some scientists have criticized the group's methodology. 

What's a surfactant? 

Surfactants help reduce surface tension in water, allowing soap or detergent to mix in and trap dirt. 

What's an emulsifier?

Emulsifiers help mix substances, like oil and water, that don't usually combine on their own.

What are parabens? 

Parabens are chemicals that have often been used as preservatives in cosmetics, cleaners, food, and medicine. Studies have linked their presence to coral damage.

What are phthalates? 

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastic more durable. There are some indications that they harm animals' reproductive systems.

What are sulfates?

Sulfates are detergents that help cleaners and cosmetics lather and trap dirt. Some people find they irritate their skin or dry out their hair.

Find more great cleaning products from our guides

Person cleaning a window with a spray bottle and towel
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