Have you grabbed my new book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home ? I am so excited to share it with you.  Through the book I guide you through my findings about what is in our homes and our daily-use products. If you’ve followed along on Clean Mama you know that I am all about natural products that are truly safe for your family.

Along the way I have recommended products that I believed to be 100% safe that actually weren’t. I corrected those inconsistencies and started making my own DIY cleaners as a result. You can see my DIY cleaning recipes here on the blog. I wrote a whole book on DIY cleaners back in 2014 here and a book on my cleaning routine complete with simple and safe DIY recipes – Simply Clean, 2017. I’m really excited to share some Healthy Home Swaps with you. This is a series intended to test out known safe products and simply share my findings and opinions with you, hopefully making a swap a little bit easier. I’ll continue to test out products with the hope that you’ll consider swapping out your everyday product for a safe alternative.

First up? Cleaning concentrates. Some day I’d love to have my own cleaning concentrate in Clean Mama Home but for now I’ll tell you what I like about these concentrates and you can choose one that works for you if you’re so inclined. (You can purchase the spray bottle, the spray label, and the bar mop towel in Clean Mama Home if you’re interested!)

What is a cleaning concentrate and who is a cleaning concentrate for? A cleaning concentrate’s purpose ranges from company to company but the main goal is that the concentrate can be mixed up with water or used in a variety of different concentrations (hence the name concentrate) to clean just about everything in your home. Looking to simplify your household products? A cleaning concentrate might be just what you need. Like to mix up DIY recipes and would rather not switch everything to a cleaning concentrate? I’d recommend the EO All-Purpose Soap or the Sal Suds – they’re less expensive and can replace some cleaners and save you some cash.

Why should you worry about what is in your cleaning products? There is little to no regulation on ingredients and what is considered safe so you need to do your research and decide what you are okay with. I’ll be sharing information with you in little doses here and there as I always have been but I hope you understand that you should be concerned. If you’ve been using a cleaning concentrate, I encourage you to check it out and see if it’s safe to continue using. What cleaning concentrates are not good for you? On the EWG (Environmental Working Group) site there are hundreds listed in the C-F range but a few common ones that you might be using are Pine-Sol, Simple Green, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. These range from C-F – I aim for A’s when I recommend products. If you can’t find your product, you can always type in ingredients and see what they’re rated too.

Here are a couple differences I noticed in my testing and use in my home

All of these can be used as a laundry soap and dishwasher detergent with the exception of the Thieves concentrate. As far as scent, they are all naturally scented with essential oils, not fragrances – stay away from fragrance, with the exception of Branch Basics which is unscented.

EO All Purpose Soap

Very light citrus scent, most economical, can be used as hand and dish soap as well as dishwasher and laundry detergent. Scented with essential oils. This is my favorite scent in the concentrates.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner

Rated an A on EWG.org – pine scent, works great on hardwood floors, can be used pre-treat laundry and as a laundry soap. According to the label: 1 1/2 teaspoons per gallon of water for general house cleaning and 1-2 teaspoons per load of laundry. I use a drop or two in a spray bottle for general cleaning.


Made by Young Living, this cleaning concentrate uses essential oils to clean and ward off germs. A spice-y citrus scent is prevalent. Care needs to be taken when used around small children – if you choose this option make sure you follow the dilution from YL. Works well for most surfaces but not as a laundry detergent or dish soap (you can purchase those separately).

Branch Basics

Branch Basics is a great company that is on the forefront of natural living. This product is a reformulation as they found their original product’s ingredients weren’t what they thought they were. This concentrate is unscented but I can detect a very, very slight soapy scent. You can purchase spray bottles and foaming soap pumps to make your own DIY kit at home.

Please note that none of these companies know that I am talking about their products, this is just me testing out products for efficacy and most importantly safety and passing that information on to you. I have added referral links when they are available (my policy is here.)

Here’s how they come out on price – regardless of the cost, generally an all-purpose concentrate will always be less expensive and less wasteful than purchasing bottles and bottles of cleaners. Pricing per use depends on how you mix it up and use it.

EO All Purpose Soap $10.99 / 32 oz ($.34/oz)

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner $24.95 / 32 oz ($.78/oz)

Thieves /$29.97 / 14.4 oz ($2.08/oz)

Branch Basics $49 / 32 oz ($1.53/oz)

Do you use a cleaning concentrate? Have you tried any of these cleaning concentrates? What are your thoughts?