Kitchn Love Letters

I Finally Discovered an Eco-Friendly Cleaner That’ll Keep My Porcelain Sink Gorgeously White

published Mar 21, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

I’m always on the lookout for cleaning products that are tough on grime but easy on the planet — and me! The last thing I want to deal with after housecleaning is a headache from harsh fumes or cracked, dry, and itchy hands from strong chemicals (I should know, I’ve endured both on too many occasions). Thankfully, there are lots of eco-friendly cleaners on the market these days. 

One of my new favorites is Meliora Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub. It’s biodegradable and as gentle as using baking soda, but with the fancy benefits of a luxe cleaner — namely, a fabulously fresh and minty scent and soft, lush suds. It actually makes cleaning an enjoyable experience, so I’ve been looking for ways to put it to good use.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

What first drew me to the stuff is how transparent the company is about what’s in its products. Not only does Meliora list every ingredient right on their product, but it also describes what each ingredient is, which is so helpful! I’ve spent a lot of time trying to decipher what’s in other cleaning products over the years and most companies are tight-lipped about what they use. When you do find a list, it takes hours of scouring Environmental Working Group’s website to figure out what’s potentially dangerous (and in what way) and what’s benign. 

Upon digging in even further, I realized this was a company I was happy to buy from. In addition to being transparent about its ingredients, it has lobbied in support of cleaning product right-to-know acts, is a certified B Corp, is made right here in Chicago, participates in 1% for the Planet, doesn’t test its products on animals, and it even uses all non-plastic packaging! Any company that puts ethical business practices above profits gets a big thumbs up from me.

Of course, none of this would matter much if the company’s products didn’t work, but they really do! I am very into the Gentle Home Cleaning Scrub, and my favorite way to use it is on my porcelain kitchen sink. It’s always getting discolored from food and coffee stains. Turns out, the scrub turns the sink from dingy to bright white in seconds. It’s made with baking soda, so I don’t have to worry about harming the porcelain with a harsh abrasive, and because the scrub also has vegetable soap, any lingering greasy food residue just melts away. I’ve run some unofficial tests to compare it to regular baking soda, and even baking soda and vinegar, and the vegetable soap makes the scrub work a lot faster. Plus, the minty tea tree scent is 1,000 times more pleasant.

Credit: The Kitchn/Danielle Centoni
Look at these results!

I also love to use this scrub on my pots and pans when they need a bit more scouring oomph than regular dish soap, and to clean the top of my stove, which is chrome. It easily melts the burnt-on food bits right off, never scratching or leaving a powdery residue. And while the scrub doesn’t eliminate all stains from the interiors of my enameled Dutch ovens, it definitely takes the edge off.

Fun fact: Meliora is a Latin word that translates to better. Better it is! The Meliora scrub is a versatile and gentle yet effective cleanser, just like baking soda. When I’ve tested it side-by-side with plain baking soda, they both work about the same, although the Meliora scrub is faster and more effective at melting away grime because of that vegetable soap.

Of course, it’s definitely pricier than baking soda ($14 for 12 ounces versus $4 for 16 ounces of baking soda), but again, it’s far more pleasant to use, and doesn’t require as much elbow grease. Plus, I love the company’s values! It’s a cleaning product I actually feel good about using on many levels. For me, that’s worth the extra bucks. 

Do you have any eco-friendly cleaners you love? Tell us in the comments below.