8 cleaning products that are effective, affordable and environmentally friendly

Step up your cleaning game with these helpful solutions.
By Megan Foster

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Have you made any New Year's resolutions yet?

If you need some inspiration, you may want to consider making 2020 the year of "clean living." For some, that means prioritizing fitness and health — for others, it means sticking to natural beauty products.

For "HouseSmarts" host Lou Manfredini, having a clean lifestyle means using household products that are effective and environmentally-friendly.

Below, check out his DIY and store-bought solutions to ensure you're making the right cleaning choices for you and the environment.

All-Purpose Cleaners

All-purpose cleaners are ideal for everything from countertops to bathroom mirrors. With so many options on the market, it's tough to choose which one checks off all the boxes when it comes to efficacy and eco-friendliness.

To make your own DIY cleaner, mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 gallon of water

Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner

Alternatively, Lou recommends this dye-free, bio-based cleaner that's free of harsh chemicals. Simply spray your surfaces and wipe clean with a reusable cloth.

Common Good All-Purpose Cleaner

All of the cleaning products from Common Good are made with plant-based ingredients. They are safe for kids, pets and the environment.

Biokleen Bac-Out Stain + Odor Remover

This popular cleaner has nearly 3,000 reviews and a 4.4-star rating on Amazon.

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"Trust me when I say this is literally the only odor product I will ever use again. It’s truly amazing," said one buyer.

Carpet Cleaners

Stains are inevitable — and these simple solutions will make getting that wine stain out of the carpet so much easier.

To make your own DIY solution, mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1-part white vinegar
  • 1-part water

Add the vinegar and water to a spray bottle and spritz directly on the stain. Let it sit for several minutes and then clean with a sponge dipped in warm, soapy water.

Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Cleaner

This biodegradable liquid cleaner removes grime, dirt and grease stains with ease. Plus, it made without added dyes, synthetic fragrances or brighteners.

Laundry Time

These solutions are on the top of our list when it comes to laundry chores.

To make your own DIY solution, mix together the following ingredients and use 1 tablespoon for light loads or 2 tablespoons for heavy loads.

  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 1-2 tablespoons of castile soap gratings

Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Liquid

The Biokleen laundry liquid is an affordable option for doing household laundry. One bottle can be used for 64 loads.

Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap

These might look funky, but they can do some serious work. The Eco Nuts are actually dried berries that when put in water, produce a natural solution that gently cleans laundry!

Toilet Cleaners

Most of us don't enjoy this particular task, but it's a must. Manfredini has some options that will make cleaning toilets a little less of a burden.

To make your own DIY solution, mix together the following ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Essential oil
  • Small spray bottle
  • Baking soda

Combine vinegar and essential oils in a spray bottle and spritz the toilet bowl. Let it sit for several minutes. Next, sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush.

Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Tackle stubborn stains and smells with this concentrated toilet bowl cleaner. It works hard to clean your toilet bowl, but it's also plant-based and eco-friendly.

Saving Paper

Paper towels aren't environmentally friendly — and can be expensive over time. Save the earth and your pockets from some serious damage with this helpful set of reusable cleaning cloths.

E-Cloth Microfiber Towels

This starter kit includes four large microfiber cloths along with a glass and polishing cloth to leave mirrors and windows squeaky clean.

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