I've spent the last few years culling down my cleaning supplies to just the essentials and switching over to natural cleaners where I could. Despite a brief stint making our own laundry detergent (this was before we had two small children), I never had enough time or motivation to make my own cleaners. I enviously pined away at beautiful glass bottles of homemade cleaners on Pinterest and resolved to hiding even my favorite cleaners under the sink.
Until I discovered cleaning concentrates — the perfect compromise between store-bought cleaners and homemade ones. They make me feel like an environmental superhero and a domestic goddess in one fell swoop.
Here's how I discovered cleaning concentrates: A few months ago I started ordering household supplies online though Grove Collaborative as a means of cutting down my trips to Target and hopefully sticking to my budget. I could order my favorite Mrs. Meyers dish soap and Seventh Generation bathroom cleaners and have them delivered each month instead of making a bi-weekly run to Target for household supplies (and thus not also filling my cart with impulse purchases from the Dollar Spot). Spoiler: I didn't end up quitting Target all together, but I did find that detergent delivery improved my cleaning.
Recently, Grove introduced a line of cleaning concentrates and I instantly fell in love. I could use my own spray bottles to "make" cleaners and ditch a few of those mainstream packaged cleaners.
Not only do I feel like a cleaning queen every time I pour a small package of concentrate into a clean bottle and add some water, but I've also gotten to customize my cleaning caddy into a Pinterest-worthy stash of brown, blue, and clear glass bottles. Small as it may be, seeing it under the cabinet or out on the counter brings me joy — despite the fact that I'm cleaning with it.
While I started with the Grove Collaborative concentrates, and still love their all-purpose cleaner for kitchen counters, I've found that the Seventh Generation glass and surface cleaner does a better job on mirrors and windows.
Buy: All-Purpose Concentrate, $6 for two 1-ounce bottles at Grove Collaborative
I like to think the small packaging of concentrate (and reusing my own spray bottles) is also producing less waste. Yes, there's probably even less waste in making my own cleaners from vinegar, essential oils, or lemon juice, but cleaning concentrates have helped me find a sweet spot of convenience, consumption, and joyful cleaning.