I’ve recently been trying to exclusively use green products in both my home and my cleaning business. I’m happy to report that for the most part green cleaners work as well as chemical cleaners. However, bleach is still the incomparable winner in the removal of tough toilet and tub stains as well as mildew. So except for houses that exclusively want green cleaners, I still use Comet and Clorox Clean-Up when needed, but not liberally like before.
I have exclusively switched to green cleaners for all glass, mirrors, and windows. Besides vinegar water which unfortunately smells like vinegar, I have tried four green cleaners Seventh Generation Free and Clear, Method Glass and Surface Cleaner, Bio Green Clean and Green Works Glass and Surface Cleaner.
Seventh Generation Free and Clear is probably my favorite for my business, because it is reliable, fairly inexpensive, easy to find in most stores, and works well. One of my weird complaints from a professional cleaner perspective is how odd some green cleaners smell. I personally love essential oils, but they are often strong and much different than what many people are used to smelling. So I’m comfortable with using Seventh Generation Free and Clear in all of the homes that I clean. On the website, it states that it works on stainless steel. This is not really true, like all other green cleaners and most chemical cleaners unless designed specifically for stainless steel, it streaks especially on larger areas such as the refrigerator. It will work okay for touch ups between getting out the chemical laden stainless steel cleaner. It does work great on windows and mirrors.
Method Glass and Surface Cleaner also works very well, but it is more expensive than the other green cleaners. I use it in my own home, because it is fun. Why is it fun? It smells like Mint. When you use it with Method’s Eucalyptus and Mint Bathroom Cleaner it is heavenly but also quite strong. I do not use this combination in other people’s homes without express permission. I have used the occasional Method Cleaner in other people’s homes, but their products have unique scents like Almond, Grapefruit, Lavender, etc. making them repulsive to some people. Method is my favorite in my home, because I love unique smells, because it helps keep me motivated to clean my own home. I do not use it commercially due to expense and strong scents. Method can leave minor streaking if the glass is dirty. I can usually get any streaks by cleaning it twice, first to remove the dirt and second to leave a streak-free finish,
Bio Green Clean has a hard to describe scent. I think it smells very lightly of grass, but there is no detectable odor when used throughout a home. It is quite expensive unless mixed to about a 10 to one solution. My husband was completely convinced by Ed Schultz of its effectiveness. I hesitated to try it due to expense. Overall, it works as good as any other green multi-surface cleaner, but does seem to streak more.
I ordered a quart for $36.95 from their website. According to their own website, one quart will make 1 to 4 gallons of cleaner depending upon the strength that it is mixed. I have a 3:1 mix that I’ve used on surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens. It does a good job cleaning, but I don’t think that it does as good a job as its hype states. However, I think it leaves streaks that are hard to remove on many surfaces. I am careful not to spray it on any glass shower or tub surfaces or there is a streaky film. When using it on mirrors, I’ve found that the only way to prevent streaks, is to use a teeny bit with a lot of water a ratio of about 20:1 in a spray bottle. Since I have to try so hard to keep it from streaking, I do not ever use it on mirrors.
Since it does remove soap scum, I’ve found if you spray it on at about a 5 to 1 ratio, scrub to a soapy level and rinse well it doesn’t streak.
Green Works Glass and Surface Cleaner is readily available at most grocery stores. I think it has an okay smelling citrous-y smell. It works well and doesn’t leave streaks. It is also cheaper than many other green cleaners and is often on sale for less than $2.99 per bottle. Except for my client that has allergies to almost all scents, I am considering buying it again in the future when my Seventh Generation Free and Clear runs out, mostly due to cost. I haven’t had any problems with it, however, some people have left reviews that it streaks.
I never find coupons for Seventh Generation, but Target often has sales or cartwheel app coupons for 10-15% off Method products and my local Safeway has Green Works on regularly on sale. One of the other ways that I’ve found to save money is to mix a 50/50 vinegar and water solution with green cleaner in a spray bottle. For example fill, 1/4 of bottle with white vinegar, 1/4 bottle with water, and the other half of the bottle with your choice of green cleaner. The scent from the green cleaners masks the vinegar and water, and I’ve noticed a slight improvement in any streaking or film. Vinegar and water doesn’t leave streaks.