Cleaning products are a necessary part of life. But if you’re avoiding plastic, those bottles can take up to 1,000 years to decompose! So, your house may be clean but what about your planet?
And then, there are the ingredients.
Conventional cleaning products may contain toxic ingredients and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can have both short- and long-term health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These include asthma, headache, allergic reaction, nausea, and dizziness.
What’s an eco-conscious individual to do? Cruelty-free cleaning product startup Cleancult is taking on the conventional cleaning industry. Not only do they come in paper-based milk cartons instead of plastic bottles but they’re also shipped in paper mailers and full of green ingredients that are better for you and the planet. And Cleancult will even deliver these products straight to your door.
What’s Inside the Bottle Matters
The ingredients in everyday cleaning products are one of the driving forces behind Cleancult. “I looked at the back of my bottle of laundry detergent and didn’t see any ingredients listed,” founder Ryan Lupberger tells LIVEKINDLY.
Under the terms of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, the group can’t request that chemical companies prove the safety of their ingredients unless the agency can prove that the product poses a health risk. Per Scientific American, the EPA only requires companies to list ingredients with a “known” risk. But, the EPA has also approved most new applications within three weeks, despite more than half of them not submitting information on toxicity.
What about green cleaners? “I tried the other ‘natural’ cleaners but was surprised when they had ingredients I didn’t understand and formulas that didn’t work very well and were covered in plastic packaging,” says Lupberger.
Instead of questionable or ineffective ingredients, Cleancult harnesses the power of coconut oil. It tackles grease and grime just as well as the products we’ve sworn by for so long. Coconut contains antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, so it does more than just make your stovetop shine.
“Our mission is to make natural cleaners that really clean, with ingredients you can actually pronounce, with packaging that’s truly zero waste,” says Lupberger. He adds, “We searched far and wide for the cleanest, most natural materials and we came to coconut as the strongest option.”
Cleancult puts its coconut oil through “saponification,” which literally means “turn into soap.”
Coconut oil mixed with sodium hydroxide causes a chemical reaction. What you’re left with is an eco-friendly coconut-based soap that’s better for you and the planet.
Other ingredients include saponified olive oil, zemea propanediol (a bio-based preservative), citric acid (which is tough on mold and bacteria), and essential oils. All products are also palm oil-free.
Cleancult’s product lineup includes all-purpose cleaner, liquid dish soap, hand soap, dishwasher tablets, laundry tablets, and bar soap. All products are fragranced with essential oils except for the laundry tablets—sensitive skin-havers, rejoice.
Cleancult wants to help you break up with plastic. Your first order comes with a premium glass bottle filled with your product. When you’re out, they send refills in low-cost, recyclable milk cartons. Kits come with a silicone funnel for mess-free refills.
“I tried to find eco-friendly packaging but all green cleaners were packaged in petroleum-based plastic packaging—that never made sense to me why better for the world brands were packaged in such heavy plastic,” says Lupberger.
You can rest easy about the emissions from delivery, too—Cleancult’s shipment process is carbon-neutral. The company offsets shipments by partnering with environmental agencies for initiatives including reforestation, renewable energy, and conservation. Carbonfund.org reviews shipping data to ensure that the process stays green.
To learn more about Cleancult, visit the website.