Are Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products More Expensive?

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Every year you may come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions or goals. They may be something like saving more money, losing weight and getting in shape, or even becoming more environmentally friendly. This year, it’s this last one that got me thinking about cleaning products.

I buy and use lots of cleaning products, specifically eco-friendly cleaning products. As I browse Amazon or go to stores like Wal-Mart or Lowe’s, I compare prices, and while I was doing this, this question came to my mind – Are Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products More Expensive?

The answer depends on what kind of eco-friendly cleaning products you are using. And what cleaning products they are compared to price-wise.

There are a variety of eco-friendly cleaning products. Some you can buy as is, some you can buy for other household uses and use to clean with, and some you can make yourself.

Before I discuss this, I want to explain what eco-friendly cleaning products are and their benefits.

What Are Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products?

Eco-friendly or environmentally-friendly refers to preserving the planet’s environment and as a result, human health. Eco-friendly cleaning products can also be called “Green” cleaning products.

Green or eco-friendly cleaning products usually have one or more of the attributes below:

  • Non-toxic or low toxicity
  • Biodegradable
  • Uses reduced or recycled packaging
  • Low VOC content
  • Plant-based or from another renewable source

Types of Eco-Friendly Cleaners

As mentioned earlier, there is a variety of eco-friendly cleaning products, and they can come in different forms. Here are some below:

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Floor cleaners
  • Stone/ Wood cleaners
  • Counter cleaners
  • Air fresheners
  • Microfiber cloths 
  • Cleaning pacs
  • Some sponges

Household Products

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol (plant-based)
  • Tea tree oil
  • Castile soap

Do-It-Yourself Home Cleaners

Cleaners you can make yourself from household products, essential oils, and or natural soaps.

There is a large market for eco-friendly commercial cleaning products. We will dive into those next.

Eco-Friendly Commercial Cleaning Products

Over the years, the cleaning industry has put more attention on preserving and saving the environment and the health of people. Due to this, well-known cleaning brands, and new brands, created cleaning products that were natural and or environmentally friendly. Many of these cleaners are made with plant products instead of petroleum or harsh chemicals.

Here are some cleaning brands that sell eco-friendly cleaning products below:

  • Seventh Generation
  • Great Value Our Promise
  • Mrs. Meyer’s
  • Ecos
  • Odoban
  • Aqua Chempacs and Cleanpacs
  • Ipax Atlantic
  • Sustainable Earth by Staples

Green and Eco-friendly Labels and Certifications

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Cleaning product manufacturers can have their cleaning products tested for sustainability, safety, health, among other standards. If they pass, they can get labels or seals and certifications that show the product is environmentally friendly. Some of them are below:

Government Issued

  • Safer choice
  • Biobased
  • Organic

Nonprofit Organization Issued

  • Green Seal
  • Cradle to Cradle
  • EcoLogo

What Are the Benefits of Using Eco-friendly Cleaning Products?

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To put it plain and simple, the benefits of using eco-friendly cleaning products are that they help preserve and save the environment as well as the health of yourself, your family, and your pets.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals in conventional store-bought cleaners can cause breathing and skin problems. These harsh chemicals can also be dangerous if accidentally consumed by children or animals.

Harsh chemicals can also pollute the air and water in the environment.

Eco-friendly cleaning products are generally non-toxic with a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content. They can also be biodegradable and from a renewable resource.

Avoid Waste and Recycled or Minimal Packaging

Using some eco-friendly cleaning products repeatedly helps avoid waste. Other eco-friendly cleaning products use recycled packaging or minimal packaging. Some examples are below:

Microfiber Cloths

Using microfiber cloths instead of paper towels or cotton cleaning rags can help save trees and water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of cleaning products.

Cleaning Pacs

Cleaning pacs use the same plastic bottle repeatedly and avoid extra manufacturing of packaging and plastic bottles and excessive waste and plastic bottles from entering landfills.

But what about the cost of eco-friendly cleaners? Are eco-friendly cleaning products more expensive? 

Cost of Being Environmentally Friendly with Your Cleaning

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How much is the cost of being environmentally friendly with your cleaning? It depends on the products you are using.

You can use natural household products as cleaners, and they are typically low priced and very affordable. The most popular natural household products –  baking soda and vinegar are usually a few dollars at the most.

If you make DIY home cleaners using household products and essential oils or Castille soap, you will usually pay more money. But they are still affordable and generally come concentrated and will last longer.

But where people usually see a difference in the price of eco-friendly cleaning products is at the store, Amazon, or another online store.  When you go to the store, eco-friendly cleaning products are on the same shelf as conventional cleaning products, and eco-friendly cleaning products are normally higher priced. 

And the comparison isn’t always straightforward. An eco-friendly cleaning product can be the same price as a conventional cleaning product, but the size and volume may be significantly larger than the eco-friendly cleaning product. Or there may be a package of two or three regular cleaning products for the same price as one eco-friendly cleaning product.

So why are eco-friendly cleaning products more expensive?

Why Are Eco-friendly Cleaning Products More Expensive?

The reason eco-friendly cleaning products are more expensive can depend on a few things. 

Plant or Biobased Ingredients

Cleaning products made of plant or other biobased ingredients are more expensive to make and manufacture than cleaning products made of synthetic ingredients.

Packaging

Depending on the type of packaging the cleaning products are using, specifically recycled can cost more than regular packaging. 

Certification

To obtain one of the certifications and labels listed earlier, including becoming green certified, may incur substantial fees. 

Because of these reasons and others, the cost of manufacturing green and eco-friendly cleaning products can be higher than other cleaning products. 

So this begs the question, are eco-friendly and green manufactured cleaning products worth the extra money.

Are Green Cleaning Products Worth the Extra Money?

If you want to use household cleaning products or make your own using essential oils or other natural ingredients, you will have peace of mind knowing that they are non-toxic and eco-friendly. The cost will probably be less or around the same price as purchasing conventional cleaning products at the store.

If you use eco-friendly and green manufactured cleaning products that have an environmentally friendly certification, you will also have peace of mind knowing that the ingredients in the product were tested and the packaging is minimal or recyclable.

Eco-friendly manufactured cleaning products aren’t going to pollute the environment or make you, your family, or your pets sick. In my opinion, that’s worth the extra dollar or two.

Conclusion

As I  mentioned earlier, eco-friendly cleaning products are cleaning products that benefit and help preserve and save the environment and your health. They can also come in various ways, including natural household products, DIY cleaning products, and manufactured cleaning products you can buy at a store or online.

Natural household products like baking soda and vinegar are great for cleaning and are very low-priced and affordable. DIY eco-friendly cleaning products are also affordable and can consist of natural household products, in addition to essential oils or other natural soaps.

Manufactured eco-friendly cleaning products can tend to be more expensive than conventional brand-name commercial cleaning products. The reason for this is that their ingredients, packaging, and eco-friendly certifications can be costly.

If you’re interested in learning more about green cleaning products and green cleaning, take a look at our article What Everyone Needs to Know about Green House Cleaning

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