Keeping House

by Rona Berg


There’s a lot to avoid about cleaning, including the task itself.

My cousin Leslie is an artist, which may lead you to fall into the stereotype and think that she thrives on chaos and disarray. In fact, the opposite is true. Leslie can’t think clearly (or creatively) unless the house is in order—and that includes the closets!

While I live in awe of an orderly life, mine is somewhat more of a mess. Thankfully, I’ve got the inner life pretty well in order. But the external piece—rampant tidiness across the board—is something I can only strive for. And, I am a stickler for natural cleaning products.

For me, cleaning with natural ingredients and avoiding volatile and nasty-smelling chemical compounds is non-negotiable. After all, according to a recent story in The New York Times, many of the chemicals in cleaning products sold in the supermarket “... may include volatile organic compounds, known to cause asthma, headaches, allergic reactions and potentially even cancer or organ damage.” The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested over 2,000 cleaning products and found that over half contained ingredients that irritate the lungs. If you give a moment’s thought to your baby crawling over a kitchen floor mopped up with bleach or ammonia, or your dog, absorbing it into his paws, you’ll want to be careful about what you use.

The solution is easy, right? Stick to natural brands. Not so fast! In an era of greenwashing, not all “natural” products are, well, natural. And that’s why more people are hearkening back to the old days and concocting DIY versions with vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and elbow grease. But if you’re super-busy, like me, that is not an option.

Here are some clean store-bought brands that smell good and clean well, with ingredient decks that will leave you worry-free. And for me? The good news is, cleaning, after all, is not rocket science. I don’t need to rise to Marie Kondo standards. But if I am willing to improve, it will always get better.


Super Naturals:

Some brands do it right, and here are some that do.


BIOKLEEN | All-Purpose Cleaner Bac Out Stain + Odor Remover biokleenhome.com

ZUM CLEAN | Sink & Surface Scrub indigowild.com

ECOS | All-Purpose Cleaner ecos.com

MRS. MEYER'S | Multi -Surface Everyday Cleaner mrsmeyers.com

COUNTER CULTURE | Probiotic Floor Cleaning Concentrate countercultureclean.com

METHOD | Squirt + Mop Hard Floor Cleaner methodhome.com

DR. BRONNER’S | Pure Casti le Soap drbronner.com


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