The Best Cleaning Products
Most Luxe Spray
The white-grapefruit scent of Murchison-Hume Counter Intelligence is as pretty as the tinted bottle, which is nice enough to sit out on the counter as a tidy-up reminder for the less vigilant. Like all the green picks here, this combats germs without chemicals, so it’s safe to use in food-prep zones. Also in juniper berry scent.
To buy: Unfortunately, this item is no longer available. A similar products can be found here.
Best Anti-Germ Spray
Most Addictive Spray
Parsley Plus is green to the nth degree—nontoxic and effective, with an unbelievably fresh and cheerful parsley scent that you’ll miss between cleanings.
To buy: $2.50, homedepot.com.
Spray With the Most Muscle
Keep Fantastik With Bleach on hand for times you’re really angry at grime. Incredibly powerful, it out-performed all others tested. (When removing a spot from a white wall, the spray left the wall whiter than it was originally.) It’s not shy on chemicals, so keep the windows open.
To buy: $3 at supermarkets and amazon.com.
Best Unscented Spray
Nothing but clean. There are no scents, dyes, or ammonia in Better Life What-Ever!, so it’s good for chemically sensitive people, those with asthma, or anyone trying to green the cleaning caddy. It’s popular among our cleaning-obsessed staffers.
To buy: $7, drugstore.com.
We love the bright citrus scent and the retro packaging of J. R. Watkins in Lemon. Watkins has been making natural products for more than a hundred years, so even if you’ve never heard of the company, rest assured that it has serious green cred.
To buy: $5, amazon.com.
Most Versatile Wipe
Keep stereo speakers perfectly clean, go at stainless steel without fear of streaking (many wipes warn against use on stainless), and swab sealed wood and glass items to boot. Pledge Multi Surface wipes leave you with no excuse for dirty surfaces.
To buy: $4.50 for 25 wipes, at supermarkets and walmart.com.
Best Bang for Your Buck Wipes
Clorox Green Works offers an abundance of wipes at a reasonable price. The muscle comes from corn and coconut, both natural cleaning agents.
To buy: $6 for 62 wipes, at supermarkets walmart.com.
Longest Lasting Concentrate
Mere teaspoonfuls of Shaklee Get Clean Basic H2 power gallons and gallons of home-mixed cleaner. It comes with instructions for creating three different strengths (for glass, general cleaning, and grease cutting).
To buy: $12.50, shaklee.com.
Best Aromatherapeutic Concentrate
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose contains a pleasing mix of geranium, rose, and clove oils—famed spirit-lifters that smell like heaven.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
Concentrate With the Mildest Scent
The soft, lemony fragrance of Ecover All Purpose is refreshing, not overpowering. Made by a super-green company, so you can feel extra good about choosing it.
To buy: $6, amazon.com.
Bonus: Real Simple’s Favorite Rubber Gloves
If Lady Gaga did her own dishes, she would wear Home Trends Arm Length gloves. The upper-body equivalent of waders, they’ll protect your skin in even the splashiest cleaning fury. Thick, textured palms create a nonslip grip, and the gloves are easy to spot under the sink. At about 22 inches long, one size indubitably fits all.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
Bonus: Real Simple's Favorite Cleaning Bucket
The Casabella Eclipse bucket is made from recycled soda bottles (hence the color), with clever channels along the inside bottom that trap dirt down below, keeping water cleaner. It’s easy on the eyes, too.
To buy: $13, casabella.com.
Bonus: Real Simple's Favorite Scrubber
A functional item transformed into a thing of beauty, the delicate Casabella Sparkle scrubber handles glasses, porcelain, and nonstick surfaces just as well as its supermarket rivals (without that toxic “new sponge” smell). Then it rinses bright and clean to perch like a little ornament on your kitchen sink.
To buy: $9 for six, casabella.com.
See all Daily Finds from this month