By Catherine Poslusny

In parts of the US, greywater is the future for ethically sustainable homes. They cut water use by repurposing the “dirty” water from your showers, sinks, washing machine, and dishwasher to water your lawn and garden, or do even more. Because 30% or more of household water is used for landscape irrigation, watering your yard with greywater is a win for the planet and your water bill. But using a greywater system means you’ll need to stick to plant-friendly, greywater-safe cleaning products for cleaning, laundry, and body.

Most of the things that make greywater unsafe for you to drink—dirt, hair, food debris—are perfectly safe for your outdoor plants. Some may even help them grow! However, certain chemicals in common household cleaners can build up in the soil and hurt or kill your plants. And your pets and neighboring wildlife won’t appreciate them either.

The key words are biodegradable and non-toxic. But even these phrases can mean a lot of things. Avoid anything with salt and sodium compounds, boron (borax), and chlorine bleach. And look for certifications like Green Seal, NSF Certified Organic, USDA Certified Biobased, and EPA Safer Choice Certified.

Our recs for greywater-safe cleaning products can help you reach your net-zero water goals.

Force of Nature Cleaner

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Great for everywhere!

Force of Nature multi-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, and deodorizer

Force of Nature is probably different from any other cleaner you’ve used before. It’s a cleaning system that uses electricity to convert water, salt, and vinegar into a powerful all-purpose cleaner, deodorizer, sanitizer, and disinfectant.

Uses: Safely tackle your home’s toughest messes on virtually any surface, including showers, bathtubs, toilets, mirrors, countertops, sinks, windows, tile, porcelain, wood, plastic, vinyl, pet toys and feeders, baby toys, sports equipment, and more.

Certifications and awards: Green Seal, Carbonfund Carbonfree Partner, Leaping Bunny, Clean Label Project Purity Award, EPA registered, National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition

What we like:

  • As effective as bleach without the toxic chemicals, residue, or fumes
  • Dissolves grime, oil, grease, soap scum, and sticky messes
  • EPA-registered sanitizer and medical-grade disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs, mold, and mildew

Bath and body products

Bottle of Avalon Organics Therapy Thickening Shampoo, Biotin B-Complex - photo

Avalon Organics Therapy Thickening Shampoo, Biotin B-Complex

Avalon Organics products care for your body using natural ingredients. Their Thickening Biotin B-Complex Shampoo is made with a mixture of botanicals and essential oils that strengthen as they clean. This plant-based formula includes biotin, saw palmetto, quinoa protein, and vitamin E to nourish and build volume.

Certifications: NSF Certified Organic, EWG VERIFIED, Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • Vegan, biodegradable, and made without animal testing
  • No GMOs, phthalates, or synthetic colors or fragrances
  • pH balanced
Bottle of JASON Restorative Biotin Shampoo - photo

JASON Restorative Biotin Shampoo

With a name inspired by the Greek word for “healer,” the JASON brand focuses on creating safe, gentle personal care products. The JASON Restorative Biotin Shampoo cleanses and restores moisture and strength. It’s made with nutrient-rich biotin, pro-vitamin B5, and ginseng and lavender extracts.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrolatum, or artificial colors
  • Vegan, biodegradable, and cruelty-free
  • 100% recycled-content bottle


Pillow-bag of J.R. Watkins Hand Soap Gel, Aloe and Green Tea formula - photo

J.R. Watkins Hand Soap Gel, Aloe and Green Tea

J.R. Watkins has been in the plant-based personal care products business since 1868. Their gentle hand soap line has eight different scents, all formulated with plants and skin-nourishing ingredients. The Aloe and Green Tea scent is made with calendula, oat, and vitamins D and E.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • Gentle enough to use multiple times a day
  • No parabens, dyes, phthalates, or silicones
  • All packaging is recyclable and made with post-consumer recycled plastic

Laundry detergent and more

Box of Dropps Sensitive Skin Detergent, Unscented plus some of the clear-liquid pods - photo

Dropps Sensitive Skin Detergent, Unscented

Dropps uses plant-based ingredients to create laundry detergent pods that are safe to use on baby clothes, pet gear, delicates, and intimates. The pods are made without fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, phosphate, or optical brighteners. They’re apportioned to clean clothes without leaving soapy residue.

Certifications: HE compatible, Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • Made with CleanGredients, the EPA’s ingredient database supporting safer chemistry
  • 100% carbon-neutral shipping
  • Dropps is partnered with Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservancy organization
Package of Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Sheets, Fragrance Free - photo

Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Sheets, Fragrance Free

These Eco Sheets are hypoallergenic, vegan, and free of phosphates, parabens, and bleach. These detergent sheets clean just as well as liquid detergents, but take up a fraction of the space. They dissolve in cold or warm water within seconds and can easily be torn in half for smaller loads.

Certifications: HE compatible, Leaping Bunny, 1% for the Planet, Compact By Design

What we like:

  • Biodegradable and compostable packaging
  • Earth Breeze’s entire supply chain is carbon neutral, and all shipments are carbon offset
  • Every purchase of Laundry Detergent Eco Sheets donates 10 loads to those in need
Bottle of Oasis Biocompatible Laundry Detergent - photo

Oasis Biocompatible Laundry Detergent

Oasis Biocompatible Laundry Detergent was specifically designed as a greywater-safe cleaning product. This super-concentrated formula is sodium-free. When it reaches your lawn or garden, microorganisms will break it down into carbon dioxide, water, and plant nutrients (6% potassium and 1% sulfur). It may come in a big plastic jug, but this laundry detergent will last and last.

Certifications: HE compatible

What we like:

  • pH balanced, won’t make soil alkaline
  • Small business
  • No phosphate, sodium, or plant toxins
Bottle of Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover, 16 Oz. - photo

Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover

This stain remover’s plant-derived formula is guaranteed to safely remove all clothing stains and odors, even set-in stains. The 99.96% natural solution is made with purified water, natural minerals, and plant-based enzymes, cleansers, softeners, and preservatives.

What we like:

  • No sulfates, phosphates, bleach, peroxide, brighteners, salicylates, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, animal by-products, perfumes, or dyes
  • Named “The Best All-Purpose Cleaner” by New York Times reviewers
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
Two bottles of Fit Organic: All-Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent - photo

Fit Organic: All-Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

Fit Organic Laundry Detergent is gentle on skin and fabrics—even baby clothes—and made without sodium, synthetic detergents, polymers, brighteners, dyes, or perfumes. This detergent comes in a big plastic container, but its ultra-concentrated solution cleans 150 HE loads or 75 standard loads per 100 oz bottle.

Certifications: HE compatible, USDA Certified Organic, Leaping Bunny, Certified Vegan, Oregon Tilth

What we like:

  • No synthetic detergents or artificial surfactants
  • Powerful enough to tackle tough stains and odors without damaging fabric or leaving soapy residue
  • No animal testing

Greywater-safe cleaning products for your kitchen

Photo: three bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day dish soap with basil scent

Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap, Basil

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are all inspired by flowers and herbs. This basil-scented dish soap is made with plant-derived cleaning ingredients, essential oils, aloe vera extract, and glycerin. It cuts through grease and grime while making your kitchen smell like a summer herb garden.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable packaging
  • No parabens, phthalates, or animal-derived ingredients
Multiple bottles of Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap, Free & Clear

Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap, Free & Clear

Seventh Generation was founded on a simple concept: consider how your decisions will impact the next seven generations. When it comes to dish soap, that means renewable, plant-based ingredients to fight grease and dried-on food. This biodegradable, hypoallergenic formula tackles tough residue without fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or triclosan.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny, USDA Certified Biobased, EPA Safer Choice Certified

What we like:

  • 100% recycled and recyclable bottle
  • Never tested on animals
  • Safe for sensitive skin
Bottle of ECOS Dish Soap, Bamboo Lemon - photo

ECOS Dish Soap, Bamboo Lemon

ECOS was founded with a mission to create healthier, more sustainable cleaning products. Their Bamboo Lemon Dish Soap is made from gentle-yet-powerful, plant-derived cleaners, including coconut, that leave dishes sparkling. This concentrated formula is made without harsh chemicals, and can double as hand soap.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny, EPA Safer Choice Certified

What we like:

  • A few drops on your sponge can clean a sinkful of dishes
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 100% vegan
Package of ECOS dishwasher sheets on white background

ECOS Liquidless Plastic-Free Dishwasher Detergent Sheets

These plastic-free ECOS dishwasher sheets are made with plant-powered ingredients that give dishes a spot-free shine. Skip the liquids, powders, and leaky pods. Simply fold the sheet four times, put it in your dishwasher compartment, and start.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny

What we like:

  • 100% plastic-free
  • No synthetic fragrances, TEA/DEA, 1,4-dioxane, dyes, parabens, or phthalates
  • Just as effective as liquid or powder dishwashing detergent, but it comes in smaller packaging
four spray bottles of Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner, Fresh Morning Meadow Scent - photo

Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner, Fresh Morning Meadow Scent

This Seventh Generation product is made from 100% essential oils and botanical ingredients. The completely biodegradable formula handles grease, grime, and dirt anywhere in your home; even on laminate and stainless steel surfaces.

Certifications: Leaping Bunny, USDA Certified Biobased, EPA Safer Choice Certified

What we like:

  • No rinsing required—just spray and wipe clean
  • No harsh chemicals, petroleum-based solvents, glycol ethers, phosphates, acids, caustics, dyes, or artificial fragrances
  • Spray cleaner bottles and spray heads are 100% recyclable and made from recycled materials

The author:

Catherine Poslusny is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist based out of Norman, OK. You can find her at

Our team researches products, companies, studies, and techniques to bring the best of green building to you. Elemental Green does not independently verify the accuracy of all claims regarding featured products, manufacturers, or linked articles. Additionally, product and brand mentions on Elemental Green do not imply endorsement or sponsorship unless specified otherwise.

Looking for more cleaning products certified healthy and sustainable? Check out “Eco Cleaning and Disinfecting in the Time of COVID.”