Vegan Wonder

Unlock the Secret to Spotting Vegan-Friendly Cleaning Products: A Comprehensive Guide

Whether you’re mopping up a spill in the kitchen, tackling a stubborn stain in the laundry room, or wiping down the bathroom, your daily cleaning routine likely involves a smattering of products that help keep your home sparkling clean. But if you’re vegan, you may not realize that not all cleaning products are created equal when it comes to animal-friendly ingredients.

What Makes a Cleaning Product Vegan?

Similar to food products, cleaning products can carry labels that indicate they’re vegan-friendly. But what exactly does it mean for a cleaning product to be vegan?

  • The product doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
  • The manufacturing process is cruelty-free.

While some companies may choose to undergo third-party audits to earn vegan certifications, other companies may label their products as vegan based on their own internal standards. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for on the label.

Why Choose Vegan Cleaning Products?

Beyond the ethical considerations of reducing demand for animal-derived ingredients, there are other benefits to using vegan cleaning products. For example, many plant-based cleaning products are also more sustainable and better for the environment than those made with animal ingredients. And some people may find that they’re less likely to cause irritation or other health issues.

How to Spot Vegan Cleaning Products

If you’re shopping for cleaning products and want to ensure they’re vegan, here are some key things to look for.

Certifications and Seals

Some cleaning products carry certifications or seals from vegan organizations, making it easy to identify them as vegan-friendly. Here are some common ones to look for:

  • The Vegan Society: This UK-based organization has been certifying vegan products since 1949. Look for the “Vegan Society” logo on cleaning product labels to know it’s been independently verified as vegan.
  • Leaping Bunny: This is the logo of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, which is a program of the animal protection group, The Humane Society International. Products with this logo have been certified as cruelty-free and vegan.
  • PETA-Approved Vegan: Products carrying this label have undergone verification by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ensure they meet the organization’s standards for being vegan.

While not all vegan cleaning products will carry these certifications, they can be a helpful shortcut for identifying vegan-friendly options.

Language on the Label

If a product doesn’t carry a vegan certification, you can still look for specific language on the label that indicates it’s vegan. Here are some terms to look for:

  • Vegan: This simply means that the product doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
  • 100% Vegan: This means the product and all its ingredients are vegan.
  • Plant-based: This can be a helpful term for identifying vegan products, as it generally means the product is made from plant ingredients rather than animal ones.
  • Cruelty-free: This means the product was produced without animal testing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the ingredients are vegan.

Keep in mind that some companies may use these terms in ways that aren’t strictly accurate, so it’s important to rely on other sources of information as well.

Ingredient List

If you want to be sure a product is vegan, one of the most reliable ways is to check the ingredient list. Here are some common animal-derived ingredients to avoid:

  • Tallow: This is animal fat, typically from cows or pigs.
  • Lanolin: This is a wax that’s often extracted from sheep’s wool. It can also be listed as “wool grease” or “aneurine.”
  • Beeswax: This is a wax that’s produced by bees to build their hives. It can also be listed as “cera alba” or “cire d’abeille.”

If you see any of these ingredients listed on the label, the product is not vegan.

On the other hand, you can also look for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. For example, instead of tallow, you might see vegetable-based surfactants (which help cleaning agents mix with water) derived from coconut oil, corn, or other plants. Instead of lanolin, you might see glycerin derived from plant sources like corn or soybeans. And instead of beeswax, you might see essential oils and other natural fragrances derived from plants.

Popular Cleaning Products and Vegan Options

Laundry Detergents and Fabric Softeners

Many major brands of laundry detergent and fabric softener now offer vegan options. For example, Seventh Generation and Method both offer vegan laundry detergent and fabric softener. Look for the “Vegan Society” logo or the “Leaping Bunny” logo to be sure.

Dish Soaps and Hand Washes

Dish soap and hand wash manufacturers also offer vegan options. Dr. Bronner’s offers a variety of vegan dish soaps and hand washes, as does Method. Look for the “Vegan Society” logo or the “Leaping Bunny” logo to be sure.

All-Purpose Cleaners and Degreasers

For all-purpose cleaners and degreasers, try brands like Seventh Generation, Method, and Better Life. These companies offer a range of vegan options, and many carry the “Vegan Society” or “Leaping Bunny” logos.

Bathroom Cleaners and Disinfectants

When it comes to bathroom cleaners and disinfectants, Clorox is one major brand that offers vegan options. Look for the Clorox “Green Works” line, which carries the “Vegan Society” logo.

Transitioning to a Vegan Cleaning Routine

If you’re looking to transition to a vegan cleaning routine, you might want to do it gradually, especially if you want to avoid buying lots of new products. Here are some tips for making the transition:

  1. Start by replacing the cleaning products you use most frequently with vegan options. For example, if you do a lot of laundry, you might start by replacing your laundry detergent with a vegan option.
  2. As you run out of cleaning products, replace them with vegan options. This can be a good way to gradually build up your supply of vegan cleaning products without having to buy everything at once.
  3. Consider making your own vegan cleaning solutions. For example, you can make your own all-purpose cleaner using vinegar, water, and essential oils. There are many recipes available online.
  4. If you want to be sure you’re getting all the animal-derived ingredients out of your cleaning routine, you might want to read labels carefully and avoid products with ingredients like tallow, lanolin, and beeswax. However, keep in mind that some ingredients can have multiple sources (for example, glycerin can be plant-derived or animal-derived), so it’s important to look for plant-based versions whenever possible.

By taking these steps, you can build a vegan cleaning routine that helps you live more ethically, while also keeping your home clean and healthy.