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Cleancult Makes It Easy to Get Into Natural Cleaning — But Does It Work?

This eco-friendly cleaning brand is powered by coconut oil.

cleancult natural cleaning products

Some products show up everywhere: subway ads, Instagram, celeb endorsements. With this series, we're testing such products to conclude one thing: Does it live up to the hype?

What's everyone talking about?

Cleancult, a nontoxic, cruelty-free cleaning brand based in New York and Puerto Rico that has recyclable and reusable packaging and a transparent ingredients list.

What's the buzz about?

Unlike other eco-friendly cleaning brands that use the “just add water” approach to creating DIY concentrates, Cleancult's formulas are readymade and come in recyclable milk cartons. Product refills are also available on a one-off or recurring basis and range from $5-15 each.

Also, no part of Cleancult's line should ever end up in the trash — the packaging is recyclable, the bottles are made of glass and silicone and are endlessly reusable (even for something other than cleaning products), and the formulas themselves are completely biodegradable.

Where's all the hype coming from?

    So does it live up to the hype?

    hype meter

    How'd we come to this conclusion?

    There's a time for potent bleach cleaners, and then there's a time for more gentle, nice-smelling, all-natural formulas. Cleancult is in the latter group, but a well-stocked home cleaning arsenal should probably have both types, especially now.

    I used Cleancult's Complete Home Bundle to kick off my spring cleaning, and the 16-piece bundle covers the kitchen, dining area, and laundry room with its formulas, tablets, detergents, soaps, and wool dryer balls. The cleaning solutions pair seamlessly with the bottles and containers that are shipped with them, though you can buy a cheaper bundle without these containers, if you're repurposing something you already own.

    cleancult bottles

    This brand is definitely geared toward the consumer who likes to read ingredient labels — their site and social media offer plenty of information on everything from the material of their recyclable cartons to their efforts in contributing to the Puerto Rican economy, where their PR offices and research lab are located.

    The Cleancult Laundry Detergent, Dish Soap, Hand Soap, and All-Purpose Cleaner list saponified coconut oil and olive oil as their first ingredients, and these are typically found in soaps, body washes, and even facial cleansers. These ingredients also have low toxicity ratings from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), making them safe for most people to use without irritation (although coconut allergies do exist). While these products also contain surfactants that help to loosen grime on the surface level, they harness coconut oil's antibacterial properties as well.

    cleancult hand soap carton and bottle

    From the unboxing to the actual use, Cleancult makes it really easy to swap these products into your routine. The Hand Soap, Dish Soap, and Detergent were a delight to use, and I found them to be just as effective as their drugstore counterparts but enhanced with all-natural, lovely scents (Cleancult's grapefruit-basil fragrance completely beats out the Mrs. Meyer's lemon verbena scent I was using before).

    However, the one product to use with caution is the All-Purpose Cleaner. I don't know for sure if the culprit is any of the oil-based ingredients in the solution, but when I sprayed liberally onto my kitchen tabletop, counters, and desktop and wiped away, there was obvious, slightly greasy streaking. And don't even think about using it on your mirrors. It's better to use this cleaner in small doses, as smaller spritzes do seem to lessen the streaking effect, but it's just not ideal.

    What's the bottom line?

    You may be seeing Cleancult pop up in your local drugstores (it's also on Amazon), and I encourage you to give it a try if you're interested in swapping out your usual hand soap, dish soap, or detergent for something that displays its ingredient list loud and proud.

    The all-purpose cleaner simply didn't live up to the hype for me, but I think that the good qualities of this brand outweigh the bad. The steps that Cleancult is making toward more transparency and eco-friendlier packaging in the cleaning product space is encouraging to see.

    Complete Home Bundle
    Cleancult cleancult.com

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