Cleaning products 🧹

This is quite a long post as I detail all the cleaning products I currently use, so I’m popping the TL;DR up at the top here.

TL;DR: What nice cleaning products would you recommend for improving wellness in the home? Bonus points for high ethical credentials. What household cleaning products do you use, and which are your favourites that you’d recommend? What are your thoughts on probiotic cleaning?

Wasn’t sure if I should make a new thread here, or hijack one of the similar-but-not-quite-right threads in the form of cruelty free products, or perhaps the subscriptions thread (which is largely made up of cleaning subscription products), or perhaps even a b-corp, as they hold a lot of weight for me in this product category.

If it wasn’t obvious from my juice and smoothies thread, I’m on something of wellness phase at the minute, which really has me reevaluating certain products I use and broadening my mind to trying/integrating others into my life.

Household cleaning products are definitely things I consider to be wellness products. They have a strong impact on the environment I live in. From the furniture I use, to the clothes I wear. Good products improve wellness.

And it’s safe to say the skin care and wellness industry are starting to cotton on to that notion, and have started expanding their product lines into the cleaning cupboards. Primarily with air fresheners and fabric fresheners (or atmosphere mists as they tend to call them), and laundry detergent (or laundry shampoo as they call them). I’m personally here for that trend. I think there’s some learnings and technology from their industry that could be applied to cleaning cupboard products. One of which I’ll be asking about shortly. (Need to be careful here or I’ll be starting a a skin/hair care thread next :eyes:).

So I thought I’d share the cleaning products I use and hopefully to tap into the breadth and wealth of the knowledge and experiences of the Monzo community to help me (and others) refresh, simplify (or expand) my cleaning cupboard with better, kinder, and nicer products.


Laundry care

Right now I’m all in on Smol. I’m satisfied but not in love to the point of brand loyalty. I’m always on the look out and open to other alternatives. I use:

  • Smol bio laundry capsule
  • Smol fabric conditioner (not used on towels)
  • Smol stain remover

I’m wanting to ditch bio without compromising on cleaning power losing stain removing capabilities, whilst still being able to wash my clothes at 15 degrees. The obvious choice would be to swap to Smol’s fragrance free capsules and ditch the stain remover. But that’s too easy. And I’m wanting to explore what else is out there. And I’m hoping to find something that cleans better and leaves my clothes feeling nicer.

I find myself really missing the old Method liquid detergent that had a pump rather than a funnel/cap. The most interesting brand I’ve discovered on my Google adventures in this area is Tallow + Ash. It’s a liquid detergent with the funnel/cap dosing approach which is the main turn off I have. But I’m open to giving them a try.

On the dryer side, I don’t use any laundry care products there besides some wool dryer balls. I used to spray those balls and my laundry in the dryer with The Laundress fabric spray for the fragrance, but they had a major product recall last year and shut down their operations completely. So I’m open to suggestions on those products.


Surface care (general household cleansing)

I use Hypochlorous Acid for just about everything in this department. Have done since Ecocer acquired Method. It’s effective, it’s mineral based, and it’s kind to the environment. It’s more effective than bleach, but far gentler than bleach and is even safe to be ingested. It’s safe for pets too, and I also use for cleaning paws. It doubles up as a first aid product too. Aside a temporary bleach-like smell, it’s all fragrance free which is just how I like it. So it’s a product I’m very content with (for now at least) in my arsenal of cleaning products. I use Dew but I’m open to exploring other similar products, particularly given that it took off during covid (it kills covid) and now new brands are popping up.

I also do have and use Ishga’s alcohol based sanitiser. It’s great for cleaning surfaces and doubles as a nice hand sanitiser (though not as nice as Espa’s).

For leather upholstery I use Furniture Clinic’s products because I’ve long believed theirs to be the very best (recommended by my cleaner many years ago). I’m definitely open to, and looking for, alternatives. There has to be kinder products that clean and protect just as well, if not better.

For floors, the carpet is vacuumed with a Dyson cordless cleaner, and the hard floors are cleaned with a spray mop containing my Hypochlorous acid solution. For carpet accidents I use this Simple Solution spray. It works very effectively on just about everything. I’m open to and looking for alternatives though.


Air care

I just use Oderase. That’s it. It eliminates odours as opposed to masking them or fragrancing (surely that should be a word?) them. I’m not big on fragrances. And I’d rather fragrance be a separate thing from the cleaning process. I’m looking for a nice fabric freshener though.

But Oderase actually cleans the air, eliminating VOCs even, and without upsetting my air purifiers like other air sprays do. Again, I’m open to other products to try.

And on that note, the Dyson Air Purifier probably counts as a product here. I love it.


Probiotics-powered cleaning?

This seems to be a relatively new innovation in household cleaning that’s taken right out of the skin care industry playbook. Probiotics, it turns out, are quite effective at gently cleaning and improving the condition of your skin because the live microbes continue to do their job long after you apply the product. So that same thinking has no been applied to household cleaning products.

It was an accidental discovery on my part when I found this product on The Guardian’s stocking filler list at Christmas. But the idea has definitely captured my interest, though there isn’t much research on it from what I can see.

In addition to byMatter, I’ve since found two others who are selling probiotics-powered cleaning products:

I’m particularly interested in Simple Goods probiotic laundry detergent and might give it a try. I’m curious of these probiotics cleaning products have been tried by folks here. And if they have, what are your thoughts? And if you haven’t, what are your thoughts on that particular innovation?


So community,

What nice cleaning products would you recommend for improving wellness in the home? Bonus points for high ethical credentials.

What household cleaning products do you use, and which are your favourites that you’d recommend?

What are your thoughts on the idea of probiotics cleaning products?

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The cheapest £1-£2 bleach or alcohol based products to clean around the house. Bactericidal/virucidal additives in washing + generic brand washing pods.

Cheap and proven to be effective. Don’t think I’d do anything differently if I earned 3-4x what I do now.

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Which do you use?

Dettol is my go-to.

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I tend to use Smol stuff tbh, no idea if it’s any better than standard stuff but makes me feel better using refillable stuff.

If I need something quick because I forget to order then I use OcenSaver antibacterial spray

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Thank you!

Been an age since I’ve last used Dettol. Which compartment of the washing machine does it go in do you know? Just in case it clashes with Smol’s stain remover.

The trend in cleaning right now definitely seems to be trying to replicate how our bodies fight and neutralise infections as a replacement for chemicals. Which, if it works (and Hypochlorous acid does, at least) I’m pretty into it.

Don’t worry, @Revels will be over in a minute with an incredibly obscure post hidden away in a dusty corner of the community to merge this into.

Is there any reason why you wouldn’t just use Smol non-bio? I do, and find it works just as well as the supermarket brands.

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I’ve used Smol’s non-bio before. It doesn’t clean as well as the bio does (they blame me using Samsung’s super eco cycle and say it’ll be similar with other brands).

Tallow + Ash claim theirs to be effective in a cold wash though. Plus I like the idea behind their approach to fragrancing. Smol’s is non-existant since moving to Scotland (must be a difference in the water) unless I use the fabric conditioner, which smells like Banana.

I think if I Stick to Smol it’ll be in moving to the fragrance-free one and ditching the stain remover and hoping for the best.

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:hear_no_evil: I use a microfibre cloth and… water

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If someone puts this much effort into talking about cleaning products they should probably be knighted (with a sterile sword), not merged.

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It’s probably worth taking a look at the operations that cycle takes. It may be that it’s running almost as a pre-wash and draining shortly after filling and thus draining a lot of the soap away?

It’s super annoying trying to figure out how these washing machine programmes work - with some of them you’re effectively forced to use the dosing drawer if you want a proper wash. Even though we use Smol, we still keep a bottle of Fairy for those occasions.

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Personally I use a selection of Bower products for cleaning around the house. Their bathroom spray is borderline magic as it’s the only thing I’ve found to break through the dense limescale in the bathroom.

It’s eco friendly and comes in reusable pouches. You refill your bottles then post the pouches back to Bower.

But I suspect an even eco-friendlier option might be one of the products I’ve seen competitors make that comes in a tablet and you dilute it yourself. Then no one is shipping water around. But for now I love Bower too much to switch.

I use their cleaning sprays, their sanitising spray and their hand soap.

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Ah, that’s a good shout, thank you!

I would have thought it would be similar/the same as the old washing machine I had in England though, as this is just a new Samsung model of that same machine. The only difference is the cycle lasts 2 minutes longer on this one.

I’ll do some investigating :face_with_monocle:

It’s funny you mention them, because I’d just been looking at their non-bio frangrence free laundry liquid prior to posting this thread. I found your link to them in the b-corp thread (I think) when I was triple checking that revels couldn’t revels me! :laughing:

I’ve tried the tablet approach products before, and there’s something about those I just don’t get on with. I much prefer the refills in larger bottle/pouch/carton that you can just return or recycle or reuse yourself.

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This is good to hear as I was genuinely a bit worried I was missing a trick!

I have very sensitive skin so I am a bit cautious of any products that are too harsh. So far despite doing a great job cleaning, the bower products haven’t set my eczema off. But I haven’t tried any laundry products. Swapping washing power in the past has led to huge outbreaks so I will probably superstitiously stick with Ariel forever and ever amen.

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I was at a packaging show the other day where the Founder of Smol was talking about their innovations + somewhat first to market approach in stuff. Not sure how much was truly ground breaking, but from the smol segment I heard was at least an interesting approach.

I tried to get on with Smol but it seemed to trigger an allergy in my pets, so I’ve not been back. (No hard evidence of that mind, just correlation).

I’m a mix of Method and Ecover - but perhaps they’re not as green I’ve been lead to believe, would love to find alternatives but primarily worried about stuff for tender sensitive skin (Both mine and my pets).

(Edit, although Dew sounds very interesting)

What I would very much love an alternative for is dishwasher tablets.

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Absolutely same. The only expensive one I use is for my stone kitchen surface - I use HG as nothing else gets stains out of it. But generally, I use cheap cleaners, it’s the elbow grease that goes into it that matters!

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This was my absolute favourite laundry detergent I’d ever used. Gutted that they discontinued it. Refills used to come in huge pouches for about £15. Would last a year’s worth of loads.

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Oh speaking of expensive but I wouldn’t trade for the world;

This steel cleaner is absolutely wonderful for metal sinks;

Never seen my sink so shiney and water mark free.

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