Olivia Lisle(@Livcollage) for Varsity

I have a rather niche and perhaps peculiar passion. I love cleaning - granted, not all cleaning activities and chores- but the ones I do love, I love. If I were a F.R.I.E.N.D.S character, I’d be Monica.

This passion only truly blossomed since being at university, where I’ve greatly enjoyed tending meticulously to my own space: that is keeping my room clean and tidy. My love for cleaning also only truly developed since discovering many eco-friendly, plant based, ‘non-toxic’ and cruelty free cleaning products. And, to take it one step further, the brands that I love also have brilliant and aesthetically pleasing designs, as well as smelling fantastic. So, if you’re interested in some eco-friendly, non-toxic, pretty, and scintillatingly scented cleaning products, read on!

They use plant-based, biodegradable ingredients, packaged in 100% recycled bottles”


The first brand to mention, that I have  absolutely loved using, is Method! They have such wonderfully designed packaging and all their products smell fantastic and (probably more importantly) they clean so well! They use plant-based, biodegradable ingredients, packaged in 100% recycled bottles. This is as well as being certified cruelty free. They have a very popular ‘Wild Rhubarb’ all-purpose anti-bacterial cleanser which smells fantastic and cleans so brilliantly, I use it for almost everything. They have the same product in different scents, such as ‘Orange Yuzu’ and ‘Peach Blossom’ and then a specific all-purpose bathroom cleaner ‘Water Mint’. I love their ‘Ylang Ylang’ shower cleaner, which they also have in ‘Passion Fruit’. 


Mountain View

No rabbits in this makeup bag

They have several other cleaning products, such as washing-up liquid, hand soap, concentrated cleaners and laundry products. Overall, their products work so well, and their aesthetic is wonderful, as is their scent. The brand truly believes in ethicality, for the environment, animals, humans and the future of the planet. 


Another very popular brand that espouses the eco-friendly movement is Ecover. Their website states that their company focuses on ‘respecting the planet and looking out for nature’ as well as ‘fixing our waste culture and making an impact’. Like Method, their brand really promotes the act of refilling and not tossing aside your bottles. Their brand offers laundry, dishwashing and general household cleaning products.

The products I specifically recommend are: their stain remover (it’s absolutely incredible and legitimately removes every stain) and their ‘Waterlily and Honeydew’ and ‘Lime and Lotus’ laundry cleaners. I also absolutely love their ‘Pomegranate and Fig’ washing up liquid: it works wonderfully and smells incredible. They have many, many different scents and products, loads of which I haven’t tried yet and am excited to discover. Their philosophy is fight for nature, fight against plastic and fight against fashion waste for the future of the planet with a kind and understanding motto of ‘progress not perfection’.

Other Brands

Both Method and Ecover can be found in many supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s and health food stores; speaking of Sainsburys, They have a line called Greencare, which is a great and accessible way to start eco-cleaning. Another brand I found in Sainsbury's is ‘Wilton’. They have wonderfully packaged products  and smell incredible. They use plant-derived ingredients and are certified vegan.  Mainstream brands that have created eco-friendly/plant-based cleaning products also include CIF and Dettol. Just be sure to give the specific product a quick check, and you’re good to go!

There are also a few smaller brands that are brilliant and eco-friendly, these being: Miniml (I love their coconut laundry detergent, as well as their vanilla hand soap and body lotion!); Ecoleaf, ‘Ecozone’, ‘Bio-d’, ‘If you care’ and ‘Kinn’.

In Cambridge, there is a store called ‘Arjuna Wholefoods’ and ‘Harvest’ health food stores on Mill Road. There, you can purchase some of the brands mentioned. There is also a cafe/thrift store which also does refills for eco-friendly cleaning! Furthermore, there is a website called Plastic Freedom which supplies eco-friendly cleaning products. Alongside the brands mentioned, they attempt to make it accessible to refill the bottles provided in store, which goes a long way for helping the planet and reducing unnecessary consumption.


There are also several DIY cleaning ideas you can follow upon researching online. Oftentimes they involve using bicarbonate of soda, which is brilliant at removing stains on mugs, for example. Similarly, lemon juice and vinegar are brilliant for removing dirt and grease. The acidic nature dissolves mineral deposit and dirt and kills bacteria. The DIY possibilities are often very simple and very effective and can be stored in glass/re-usable bottles.  

It is so great that eco-friendly cleaning has become more accessible as it has many environmental, social and individual benefits. It aids in saving natural resources as eco-friendly alternatives use less energy and less quantities of raw materials and you reduce your carbon emissions. You also reduce the amount of waste created. It is a simple, and now accessible switch, that benefits the beautiful planet we live on.