Why I Stopped Using Only DIY Green Cleaners

DIY Green Cleaners

I have a confession to make… I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning. In fact, that is why I started using multipurpose homemade green cleaners in the first place… I could clean the majority of my house without the need for a bucket full of cleaning products.

Green Cleaner Troubles…

Unfortunately for my DIY green cleaners, vinegar stinks and borax is controversial.

Try to make a green cleaner without either of those and it is tough to make an effective one, especially because my non-negotiable standards are:

  1. It must not leave the surface worse than before I cleaned it (no trading dirt for bacteria for chemical residue)
  2. It must not kill my children if they accidentally ingest it
  3. It must work (or course!)
  4. It must be able to be used for more than one thing so I don’t end up with a closet full of bottles
  5. I don’t have to find a hazardous waste disposal location to get rid of it

Vinegar: The Problem

Vinegar has gotten a reputation as an all purpose green cleaner on its own and while it certainly has its place in a natural home, it isn’t the panacea it is made out to be for a few reasons:

  • It doesn’t actually remove dirt very well. In fact, the “cleaning” action often associated with vinegar is simply degreasing as many surfaces contain both grease/oil and dirt or is a result of the cleaning cloth used.
  • It may not disinfect well either. Research is still divided on this, but vinegar may not be an effective natural disinfectant and experts typically recommend other well-proven substances like hydrogen peroxide instead if disinfection is the goal.
  • It stinks. Not a scientifically backed problem but one that my kids make sure to point out every time I use it.

It CAN be a great degreaser and I have used it as a rinse aid in my dishwasher when we’ve lived in places with hard water, but on its own, it isn’t a cleaner per se. That being said, I do still keep a bottle of white vinegar with organic orange and lemon peels around the house for degreasing and descaling, I just don’t use this as my all purpose cleaner.

Borax: The Problem

You know when kids get in a fight and you try to find out what actually happen but get a long story and multiple answers? That is how I feel when it comes to borax. On the one hand, it is touted as a great green cleaner, but on the other people claim that it is harmful and deadly.

As I’ve explained before, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle with borax being generally safe to use in cleaning but not in personal care products as much of the research on the actual dangers of borax is actually on boric acid (not the same thing chemically).

While I would still feel safe using Borax for certain purposes around the house, I’ve also been experimenting with alternatives, as the mention of borax as an ingredient in a natural cleaning recipe will typically get dozens of comments from those on both sides of the debate and there are safe alternatives.

Unfortunately, my original all-purpose cleaner that works really well contains borax and doesn’t work well without it, so I was back to the drawing board!

The time… oh, the time…

The other part of the story about why I don’t exclusively use DIY cleaners anymore is because of time. I have (almost) six kids and a dog, and a house, homeschooling, and a blog, and even a couple of friends. I wouldn’t trade any of those things for the world, but to keep all of them happy and healthy requires time.

I still do make many of my own natural cleaners and virtually all of our food from scratch, but I had to free up some time and when evaluating my options, I realized that homemade cleaning products was one area I could do this. To be fair, when I first started out, this wasn’t possible, both because of our budget and because there were few or no good natural cleaning options available to purchase.

Thanks in large part to people like you who research and choose healthy options, there now are natural cleaning options available to purchase so DIY isn’t the only option. I’ve also gotten quite a few questions from readers who don’t want to make their own cleaners and am glad to find budget-friendly and effective natural options to share.

My Favorite Pre-Made Cleaners

Short story… I’ve finally found several pre-made cleaner concentrates that I absolutely love, that are cost effective and that work really well:

Again, I still think DIY cleaners are awesome and a great alternative to harmful chemical cleaners, but I’m excited to have found another good option. Simple recipes like homemade all-purpose cleaner and vinegar based cleaners are great, but I’m also glad to have some pre-made options to choose from when I want to.

30+ Uses for Green Cleaners

With just a few green cleaners (homemade and from concentrate) it is possible to literally clean your entire house from top to bottom. In fact, for about $50, I can clean my house naturally for over a year!

Here’s how I use these basic green cleaners in our home:

  1. All Purpose Cleaner: Dilute 1 teaspoon of sal suds concentrate into a spray bottle (at least 16 ounces) on all hard surfaces in our house. (Homemade option: this all-purpose cleaner recipe)
  2. Dish Soap: As a natural dish soap I dilute 1/4 cup sal suds in a 16-ounce foamer bottle. (Pre-made option: EcoMe Dish Soap)
  3. Glass and Windows: I dilute 5 drops of Sal Suds concentrate in a glass spray bottle with filtered water and wipe with microfiber. (Homemade option: This is one area where vinegar is effective and can be used to make a simple cleaner for glass with this recipe).
  4. Fruit and Vegetable Wash: 1 drop of Sal Suds concentrate (or 1/2 teaspoon of liquid castille soap) in a sink or bowl full of water to wash produce.
  5. Laundry: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Sal Suds concentrate per laundry load as needed. This homemade version also works really well and there are other good pre-made options like BioKlean liquid laundry soap  or Ecover zero.
  6. Stainless Steel: To clean stainless steel without streaks I dilute a few drops of Sal Suds in a spray bottle of water.
  7. Stain Treating: There are many natural ways to treat stains (here’s a helpful chart), and 1/4 cup Sal Suds Concentrate diluted in a spray bottle of water is a great all-purpose pre-treat for stains.
  8. Carpet Cleaning: To clean carpet naturally I pre-treat stains with a 1:10 dilution of Sal Suds in water and then use 1 drop of the concentrate in a steam cleaner (full tutorial here).
  9. Bathroom Cleaning– Make a floor to ceiling bathroom cleaner with 1 tablespoon Sal Suds concentrate in a spray bottle of water with 10 drops of lemon essential oil (optional, but for freshness).
  10. Hard Water Stains: To remove hard water stains I use either Sal Suds all purpose cleaner or Bon Ami.
  11. Glue and Adhesives: Use a 50:50 mixture of Sal Suds and water. Spray on, let sit 5 minutes and scrub off.
  12. Oven and Stove: I make a natural scouring powder for use in oven and stove cleaning or use Bon Ami.
  13. Floor Cleaning: I add 1 tsp of Sal Suds concentrate to a mop bucket to mop the entire house.
  14. Grout Cleaner: I use a 1:3 Sal Suds dilution to clean tile grout or use homemade scouring powder or Bon Ami for tough stains.
  15. Blinds: I make a spray of 1 tablespoon of Sal Suds in a spray bottle of water to clean blinds or if I’m feeling really ambitious, I take them all down and add to a bathtub full of warm water with 1/2 cup Sal Suds, soak for 15 minutes and scrub. Air dry before hanging.
  16. Urine stains: a 1:15 dilution of Sal Suds with 5 drops of lemon essential oil works great on urine stains and smells in the bathroom. For mattress urine stains, I sprinkle with baking soda, then spray with this mixture and wipe up.
  17. Cloth Diapers: To pre-treat and wash cloth diapers (no residue and completely removes ammonia smell) I pre-soak in the washing machine and add 3 tablespoons Sal Suds and 1 cup baking soda.
  18. Shave Soap: In a foamer bottle, I use a (1:5) dilution of Liquid Castille Soap as a shave soap.
  19. Foaming Hand Soap: Liquid Castille soap diluted in water makes a great foaming hand soap that costs pennies per bottle. Here’s how I make it.
  20. Face and Body Wash: Combined with raw honey and water, liquid castille soap makes a great face and body wash.
  21. Shampoo: Castille Soap and coconut milk make a moisturizing shampoo.
  22. Baby Wipes: Diluted in a foamer for DIY baby wipes (I wipe with cloth wipes).
  23. Dog Wash: A few drops to a teaspoon of liquid castille soap makes an effective pet wash.

What types of cleaners do you use? A skeptic like I was? Will you give it a try?

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Reader Comments

  1. I started using Branch Basics for cleaning after seeing another of Katie’s posts on it and it’s great. BUT I found it to be pretty drying as a hand soap, so I have therefore not used it as a shampoo or face wash or anything like that. Anyone have a similar experience or thoughts?

    • Hey Ephie, it’s typically the water that can dry out the skin and adding more soap concentrate helps make it less drying because of all the coconut oil!

    • I have found that Ava Anderson Non-toxic’s moisturizing hand soap is absolutely amazing. It’s the first soap I’ve ever used that doesn’t require me to put lotion on after using it. They have a full line of non-toxic products for body and home. I can’t leave my personal website on here, but you can easily find the company website by googling them 🙂

      • Oh, and also- you can put it in a foaming dispenser- 4 parts water, 1 part soap. Lasts much longer that way 😉

        • Thanks so much for the tip! I checked out the products and they look great. I will definitely be giving them a try!

    • Branch Basics just discontinued their soap concentrate because they realized the company in charge of mixing their formula was making additives that are less than eco friendly in other words, synthetic. Katie, instead of just pulling your branch basics info off of your site, you should inform the people who follow your page.

      • Hi Lila…. I don’t disagree. I removed the links as I research and do plan to write a follow up when I feel that I have enough information to be able to share the situation fully. From what I have found in researching so far, the formula they have was safe, but it just had a synthetic ingredient that they were unaware of due to a disclosure issue from their formulator.

        • Katie I find that this kind of situation happens often from the products you choose to promote for monetary gain, I feel i can no longer trust your recommendations for products in the future. I do appreciate your opinions however i hope these repeated situations will cause you to reevaluate all the items you are currently affiliated with and that you would put more time in researching things more thoroughly before promoting products to your audience.

          • Hi Randy, thanks for your comment and I’m sorry you feel that way, as I always research and test with my own family every product before I ever promote it on the blog, which I fully disclose here: https://wellnessmama.com/affiliate-disclosure/. I’m not sure what you are referring to other than BB in this post, but I am also upset that the product was misrepresented (though again, even the emerging results of toxicity reports show that it is still safe).
            Have I made mistakes in my usage and recommendations in the past? Of course, I’m only human, and I’ll very likely make more in the future, just as you will. The truth is, there are many products I could promote and make double the amount I do, but which are of inferior quality. I only promote those items which I personally purchase and use for my own family, so I can assure you if I make a mistake in the product I’m promoting, it’s affecting my family’s health as well (tough again, with BB, I’m yet to see any evidence that it is not safe for use, but I am very upset about the misrepresentation). I’m also constantly researching and re-checking the research on any recommendations and updating if I find a better product. I certainly don’t do this perfectly, but I do it out of a genuine desire to find the best options for my family and for readers.

          • Randy, you are being way too hard on Wellness Mama. If the people that own Branch Basics were duped about the ingredients, how in the world could WM be held accountable? I still trust that Branch Basics is 100 times more safe than what’s in the local grocery store products for cleaning. I also know that if WM has a safety issue with a person or product she will not endorse it, for any amount of money. She’s very respected in the community and if a product is good enough for her family, it’s sure good enough for mine!

        • Hi Katie, Looking forward to a follow up post on BB discontinuing their soap. Such an unfortunate situation. Please share your insight with us as soon as possible!

        • I just wanted to let you know BB is completely safe. Just because it has a synthetic does not mean it’s bad. Good synthetics exist. However, BB was discontinued because they don’t have a full ingredients list. thought I should let you know!

          • I still love BB. I don’t think it is a huge deal that one part was synthetic when I don’t feel any reactions to it like I get with other cleaners. I don’t use it on my body anyway. It works beautifully and I’m so glad I knew about it before they discontinued it and ordered enough to last me a while. I hope it comes back or that they reformulate and it works as well.

    • I love Branch Basics and am running very low while waiting for their new formula to come out. I found that when used on laundry after I had previously used “regular laundry detergent” my clothes smelled bad but that went away after awhile. Basically the Branch Basics was detoxing my clothes. It doesn’t get my mascara completely off but I use it to wash my face and it isn’t drying so I use a little mild soap for that. However, after I wash my face with BB I go one step more and spray it on both sides of a round flat disposable cotton pad and go over my face again. It exfoliates my skin and is not drying. Shocking in fact to see how much makeup is still on mys skin I do this. I’ve never had smoother cleaner skin.

  2. I live in Canada, so can’t get Branches. Currently, we use all Melaleuca Company products. What do you think of them? Have you ever had concerns with them?

    • I have used Melaleuca. It doesn’t work as well as BB but it is pretty good as far as ingredients…

      • I use vinegar homemade cleaner .. I soak orange (or any citrus) peels in it for a better clean (from the citrus oils) and it scents the vinegar so it doesn’t stink.

    • I use THIEVES by Young Living as an all-purpose cleaner. It’s made from essential oils Cinnamon, Cloves, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Lemon. I also made my own by following directions I got from a You Tube post. You just buy the basic ingredients from the grocery store, boil them up and you’ve got a huge supply. It even tastes fantastic. So you can either join up with the company, it’s MLM which some people don’t like, or you can DIY!! This is not meant to be used as a shampoo necessarily or to wash your hands but I doubt it would hurt! I’ve even sprayed it in my mouth. No problem.

      • what is MLM?

      • LOVE Thieves Household Cleaner! I use it for everything, including carpets, and I’m still on my first bottle (purchased May 2015 – it is currently 3/4 full and it’s the small 14.4 ounce bottle)! This with baking soda is all I use now for scrubbing bathtubs, showers and the stove. I use nothing else for cleaning my house!

      • Thieves household cleaner!@!! or any young living product!! absolute fav ! i just use it for my own wants and needs, no MLM 🙂

    • I have used and distributed Melaleuca products in the past and they will disclose some of their ingredients but will also say that they have a “proprietary formula” and this they will not disclose. So, on some of their products there was no way they would tell me ALL of the ingredients. For this reason I stopped using Melaleuca.

  3. how does it do with cleaning in dishwasher and for laundry? I’ve been looking for something like this!

    • I was so hesitant to try it because it took me a long time to figure out a good homemade dishwasher detergent… I was seriously surprised at how well it actually worked. For laundry, it removes stains, underarm stains (I just scrubbed with a natural brush) and odors. I have also used it on thrift store clothes that had a fabric softener smell and it got the chemical smell out the first time.

      • What concentration ratio did you use for the dishwasher? I have been using your DIY dishwasher detergent, and it works well with the dishes, but the dishwasher itself gets build up on the surface which bothers me because I feel like my dishes aren’t getting as clean. I am about to purchase BB, but I want to be sure about the dishwasher detergent, since that’s the main reason for me purchasing it.

        • They suggest “Yes, you can use BB in the dishwasher! Just mix 1-2 tsp in 1 cup of water, and add the mixture into the machine itself (i.e., skip the detergent dispenser). Your results will depend on your water hardness, so we recommend playing around with the mixture over several uses: if you have hard water, you can increase your concentrate; if you find BB leaves any streaks, you can decrease your concentrate. ” I actually add 2 tsp into the dry powder dispenser and it has worked great

          • THANK YOU!! Your comment at the end is what I have been looking for everywhere! I wondered about just put it in the dispenser. Do you still like it for the dishwasher and laundry?

          • I know it’s been several months since this posting but I’ve been so excited about finding something that actually WORKS!!! I’ve been wanting to love Branch Basics, but was always disappointed in the dishwasher results. We have very hard water and BB alone never worked. I finally combined Wellness Mama’s dishwasher detergent powder with BB, and vinegar as a rinse agent and everything comes out super clean. The Wellness Mama detergent didn’t work alone either, but together these things work like a charm. Glasses are shiny, silverware is clean, and Tupperware isn’t slimy. I put about 1 t BB, 1 heaping T Wellness Mama detergent, and several T vinegar in each cycle. Sounds like a lot of steps, but it goes super quick and it’s the only inexpensive, natural solution I’ve found that works here. Thanks for all the recipes on this blog and for your hard work!

    • Doesn’t work for dishwasher. It left a milky residue and the dishes didn’t come clean at all.

      • The dishwasher can be tricky. Some people get great results and others have to experiment with different amounts and diluting it versus straight concentrate. The actual dishwasher machine and the water (hard water vs. soft water) play a role. I’ve found that 1-2 T of concentrate tends to work pretty well for people. But please do keep in mind, that the soap is very versatile and was not formulated specifically for the dishwasher.

        • Biokleen’s dishwasher detergent is incredible. I had wanted to replace the odd drawer dishwasher that came in our home because it can only use powder, but afte I discovered and tried Biokleen, I made peace with the machine. (Still miss my old Miele).

    • I have used it for both. It seems to work well. However my husband is a pre washer when it comes to dishes and our kids are teens so we have no real “dirty” laundry.

  4. I use DoTerras concentrate cleaner. And I use it for EVERYTHING!!! Like your it just requires different dilutions for different things. I only use three though- one for my kitchen and surfaces like that (ie coffee table), one for my bathroom, and one for fabrics and carpets. It’s amazing and smells like orange cinnamon. You can also use it for dishes mirrors (with vinegar but I can’t really smell it over the DoTerra.) It’s about $13 for the concentrate but it lasts so it seems to eve.mn out price wise. I’ve gotten rid of all our chemical cleaners. Oh! The best part I was able to get sharpie out of my boys untreated light wood bunk beds. Something I tried doing with every product known to man with no luck. I just put a little of the undiluted cleaner on a wash rag and scrubbed. Voila! Magic erasers that are all natural and smell great 🙂

    • I was just going to post the same comment!! Yes!!!! Love the all natural, laundry detergent and cleaner!! Wonder if the author every tried it??

  5. Now that it is twice as concentrated would I cut the dilutions you listed in half?

    • I tried to post the dilutions for the new formula but I’m still experimenting too, so you could probably dilute even more.

    • What was the date of changing the formula? I bought branch basics from your post in the fall. It is as wonderful as you say but did not clean a few cookie sheets that were tough with baked on residue. It really does clean everything I ordered the large with the bottles they sent along and glad that I did it made everything so easy.

    • I think the new bottles are designed to make it easier to mix your solutions without having to think about ratios, but yes, the old concentrate ratios can just be cut in half!

  6. This sounds amazing! I’ve not heard of them but have struggled with the same things you did. I want to know that I’m really cleaning something while also feeling good about not covering everything in chemicals. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Try Norwex! You can clean most things without any chemicals and they actually come clean! I am not a Norwex Consultant – just a very happy customer. If you don’t believe Norwex cleans thoroughly with only water, search for the YouTube video showing bleach wipes versus Norwex Environment Cloth using a black light to prove the bacteria from raw chicken were removed. They also have great earth – friendly chemicals for washing clothes, descaling the shower, unclog going drains, etc.

  8. Currently we use a combination of Simple Green (given to us, trying to use it up on the stove and floors), Melaleuca bathroom cleaner (also a gift, use in toilets and sinks), Dr. Bronner’s dilutions for general degreasing, body soaps, and laundry soap + washing soda and vinegar, vinegar + baking soda for baaaaaaaaaaaasically everything else. Plus elbow grease. I also threw out my borax but I can still make laundry soap just fine. To get rid of the vinegar smell I just add a few drops of EOils, I honestly can’t smell the vinegar tang after that. I also use vinegar for window washing, furniture freshening, carpet spritzing and cleaning. Microfiber cloths are a big help for streaks.

    • I’d love to know how are you making laundry soap without the borax?

  9. I have been trying condense my cleaning supplies post to save room and just to make life easier. And so I have made many DIY cleaners and while I knew it was cheaper, and better for me than commercial products, I still was not 100% pleased. I work at a laundromat and took a couple of my homemade cleaners to work to try to avoid all the chemicals. Like you, I found that that film you spoke remaining on the surfaces. so I did order the basic kit and I’m very anxious for it to arrive. I think it is going to be exactly what I need and want. Thank you

    • I just bought this product and I am using it for almost everything with success… But I would love to know what is the ratio to deal with mold in the bathroom. Thanks!

  10. Just ordered some! I really don’t like “traditional” cleaners, but making my own is so far down my priority list… I’m excited to give it a try; love the versatility! One question though regarding your dilutions… are those for the old concentration or new??? Thanks for the post!

    • I tried to post the dilutions for the new formula but I’m still experimenting with it, so you could probably dilute even more than I listed.

    • The new bottles are designed to make it much easier to mix your solutions without having to think about dilution ratios. And even though the Bathroom bottle says “bathroom” on it, this is essentially equivalent to the prior 1:1 “tough stuff” ratio. So if you need to clean something like a tough stain or heavy grease, you can use the Bathroom solution.

  11. Hi! So is there just one product for Branch Basics or different ones you use for the different things listed above?

    • Yes… the concentrate is the only product and it is just used in different dilutions

  12. This sounds great! I’ve really been struggling with swapping out my old chemical laden traditional products as I’m too lazy to spend the time mixing and fixing my own. i just wish we could get this in the UK! xx

  13. Just sat down after making my homemade laundry detergent( took 10 min) and read this. Still going to make my own cleaners. Much cheaper! Making all my own cleaners and skin care is how I can afford to have a virtually chemical free home. I work part time, have two teenage boys and am working from home( another part time job). We all pick and choose to our own comfort level. 🙂

    • would like to know how you make your laundry detergent. Thank you

    • would you b willing to share your recipes for your homemade cleaners and skin care?

  14. How does Branch Basics compare to Dr. Bronners?

    • In works much, much better in my opinion, especially on tough stains and messes.

      • Would you recommend using it for your shampoo instead of your homemade shampoo recipe? Or do you use both? I literally ordered Dr. Bronners a few hours ago… Debating if I should also buy the BB as well… Are you using Dr. Bronner’s for anything now?
        Thank you!

        • I do still use Dr. Bronners in my homemade shampoo at times. I think both work great, and it really depends on hair type which will work better for a particular person. I’ve just found that BB is very versatile so as I finish out certain recipes, I’m opting just to use BB instead in some cases.

          • what is tour dilusion recommendations for adult shampoo for oily hair? and also for baby/toddler shampoo?

    • Dr. Bronners is definitely a great soap. But like Katie said, I’ve found Branch Basics is more effective for stains and cleaning because the natural plant enzymes give it a power boost. BB soap is also super gentle and doesn’t sting the eyes.

      • Thank you so much! I look forward to being able to get it in Canada!

      • Any suggestions for something similar that is available in Canada?

  15. I hate the smell of vinegar as well! I reminded me of the care home my grandma stayed in and the smell was always lingering with urine. GROSS! BUT… one day I stumbled upon something that changed that forever…. citrus peels. I soak citrus peels in vinegar – lemon and grapefruit are my favorite. It completely changes how it smells and actually makes it pleasant. Now I use that mostly to clean – I have a couple other products I use but that is definitely my main 🙂

    • I can’t wait to do this! Thank you for the great idea.

    • I do this as well! I eat a lot of tangerines during the winter months, and all those peels get soaked in vinegar and make enough citrus cleanser for the year. I’ve started adding a little EO as well. Clove is great with the oranges.

      The vinegar tang is not removed, but mitigated and I don’t mind it. If anyone else complains they will be given both the job of purchasing me a different natural cleanser, and the job of using it.

  16. Hi what is the difference between this product and castile soap.

    • They have similar ingredients but the soap making process is different from what I understand. BB works better than homemade castille soap cleaners that I’ve used…

    • Branch Basics soap is made by a process that allows the enzymes in the plant oils to remain alive and active, so it’s much more effective at breaking down dirt, grease, and odors than regular castile soap.

  17. So do you still use norwex? I’ve heard a lot about it but haven’t invested in trying it. Would you recommend both?

    • I do use BB with microfiber most of the time, but I’m finding that it also works well with huck towels or even old wash cloths or tshirts.

  18. This may be an ok product, but have you ever checked into Zum soap. I believe their products are very pure and work very well. You can find them in most health food stores and maybe Amazon too.

    • Yep… I actually prefer this to Zum but they are a pretty good natural brand

  19. Have you looked into Better Life? They are green, not harmful to kids and pets, smell great!

  20. I use Shaklee basic-H2 (1t per quart of purified water) plus 20 drops each of my favorite essential oils. This mixture cleans and dusts everything in my home. For the toilet I use the toilet bombs from Wellness Mama. I also use baking soda on tough shower stains.

  21. Wow this stuff sounds awesome!! Shame they don’t deliver to Australia yet 🙁 But apparently they will be soon! I must admit though that I hardly use any harsh cleaners, except for the bathroom, as I fell in love with Enjo many years ago and still love it to this day.

  22. How does this compare with Melaleuca? We’ve had people trying to get me to use their products for years. I’ve tried them and they work okay, but it just didn’t give me the wow factor everyone else seemed to have from it. That and I think I must be the only one who doesn’t enjoy the smell of tea tree oil? Must be from using it in my shampoo in grade school to avoid lice outbreaks. It worked, but that smell still grosses me out! The coconut oil ingredient in BB makes me a little nervous… I hate oily residues.

    • I’ve used melaleuca and I definitely think BB works better. There is no smell at all and definitely no residue…

  23. Will the bathroom formulation disinfect?

    • From what I understand… it isn’t a “disinfectant” because that requires a certain chemical composition but it does act on bacteria… from their site “Being classified as a “soap”, it therefore doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA or the FDA. In order to make claims of killing or sanitizing or deemed an “antibacterial” formula, a product must contain a registered EPA pesticide and/or at least 62% alcohol. Because we are unwilling to jeopardize the integrity of the soap’s purity and safety, neither of these are added and therefore such claims cannot be made. However, Branch Basics Cleaning Soap is a pure soap and at this point we are standing by the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) statement that the best way to get rid of germs is to clean with a pure soap. They are even recommending this over a product with an EPA-registered pesticide because of the mounting problem of antibiotic resistance. The CDC states that the best way to get rid of germs (bacteria and viruses) is to wash with a soap.”

  24. Hi! I know that you have a post about Norwex and have wrote good things about it. I’m curious, do you not like or use Norwex anymore? Once I started using Norwex I haven’t found a need for other cleaners.

    • Yes 🙂 I still use them too.. I don’t like to use them on really bad grease and oil though since it can be so tough to get them clean afterward…

      • I was curious if you still use Norwex too. I love the Norwex products but I also ran into problems with the clothes getting clogged and needing a deep clean pretty often. Especially when I’d wipe down counters and the stove. May have to give this stuff a try. What cloths do you use with the branch products?

        • I use huck towels, or old towels or even old shirts. I do use norwex too, but use this on oily/greasy and really big stains that I don’t want to use microfiber on.

          • So I’m a little confused here. Could you clarify?
            You still do use Norwex, as directed with just water for daily/weekly main cleaning of everything. But use Branch Basics for oil-type messes or really hard stains, plus for washer and dishwasher.

  25. Love this site and LOVE this product!!
    I have been using this for over four years and not one toxic product has been in my house since I started using it. No smells, pure clean….IT WORKS!!
    Branch Basics has changed my health!

    • I was wondering if you could scent the BB with essential oils?

      • YES i would like to know the same. Can we add a few drops tea tree oil for disinfecting.

      • This is a bit late, but I have used essential oils in mine. They even have scents for sale on their website.

      • I actually talked to the BB lady on the phone and asked about adding essential oils to the concentrate. She said that I could really add as many as I wanted and that the oils would not break down the concentrate. I add tea tree oil to the All Purpose Cleaner for disinfecting and peppermint oil to the soap pumps just because it smells so good.

  26. I’ve been using your coconut milk and castile soap shampoo recipe for a few months. I’m not crazy about it but haven’t found something that works better at a price I like that I can make myself. You mentioned that you use this as baby shampoo. Do you use it as shampoo for yourself too?

  27. I live in Australia and I have been using Nutrimetic’s OLC (Organic Liquid Concentrate) for about 20 years. You can use it the same way as BB with the exceptions of in the dishwasher, which I have never tried, as it’s rather foamy.
    It makes a great shampoo, kids bubble bath and I have ditched my expensive cleansers and use the OLC daily with a soft facial brush, with great results as it has a neutral PH balance. It was originally invented to clean chemicals off fruit and veggies. I find it great for washing delicates and woollens, it’s so gentle. I haven’t bought any for a while as a litre bottle last ages. It costs around AU$18 for a 1 litre bottle.

    • Hi! Do you know what ingredients are used in the OLC ? I’ve been told, yucca extract and coconut oil. But I don’t think those are the only ingredients!? I started using them as a body wash and I also mix some with coconut milk and EOs for shampoo. I’ve been using OLC as replacement to Dr Bronners since they’re cheaper.

    • Thank you Virginia, I will contact my Neutrometics consultant and get the OLC. I would really like to have the BB as well here in Australia. I will keep an eye out for when they ship to Australia. Thank you Katie, your site is amazing I am slowly catching up on all your past podcasts and site information.

  28. Really just curious. Do you recommend this over your coconut milk shampoo recipe?

    • I’ve used both and also my mud shampoo at times… I think that different hair types will do better with different natural shampoos, but all three have worked well for me

      • Good point. I haven’t tried your mud shampoo. I’ll try that next and see how it works for me. Thanks!

  29. I love that you have been able to simplify your cabinet and that this cleaner is so versatile! Do you have any suggestions on wood cleaners- specifically for wood floors and finished wood surfaces (ie. dining room table, tables, etc.) Thanks 🙂

    • You can damp mop wood floors with 1 oz (2 T) of BB in a gallon of water. Or just spray with the All-Purpose and wipe. If you do have a shiny finish, however, it’d probably be better to do the first since it’s a more diluted solution. The enzymes could dull the shine if the soap is too concentrated.

  30. I wouldn’t use this soap with any “tech” exercise type clothes. It will ruin the finish and wicking properties.

  31. Have you tried this to get rid of mold in the grout of the shower? That is the only place in my home in which I still use a harsh chemical cleaner. I would love to find a natural cleaner that works on mold.

    • It took mold off grout on my kitchen floor under the mat I stand on while washing dishes, so I would think it would work in the shower as well.

      • Thanks! I am encouraged enough to give it a try.

  32. Hello Katie,

    Can you tell me how you use branch basics for warts? I know you said undiluted with a tiny dab. Is that once a day, couple times a day? One of my daughters has issues with warts. We have tried many ways to get rid of these for her but still she gets them. I plan on giving her some of the branch basics I bought back in Dec to try on it.

    I know you hear this a lot, but it is truth. I really appreciate all that you do and you sharing what you have learned, researched and experimented on. You have been an encouragement to myself and many others. Thank you, Thank you for caring enough to give what you have been given!!

    • A friend of mine actually just tried it on her son. She put a drop undiluted on a few times a day and she also tried keeping a band aid over the area to keep the BB on. She said it took about 2 weeks.

    • I have been using branch basics for 5 months now. Looooove it!! My kids only wash their hands & faces with bb after playing with our chickens & everything else dirty. My 3 yr old had a large wart on his finger & I had not read the part about using bb on warts. Curiously I asked to look at his finger just now, and his largs wart is completely gone. Lol… I’m only able to locate it’s previous location due to an extra smooth patch of skin. Pretty AMAZING!!

  33. Have you used it successfully in your dishwasher. If so how much did or do you use? I have the old concentration and have a whole five gallon bucket of it so I want be using the new anytime soon.

    Also if you are cooking with raw meat do you trust it to use as your only hand wash and countertop cleaner? I was cooking with raw meat last night and was unsure if I was safe using only bb or I needed something else as well.

  34. I agree I’d love to try Branch basics for laundry and tough messes but use Norwex for the rest to save money. As for natural shampoo nothing worked for me until I took 2 T of rye flour in water to make a paste and wash my scalp with that…..absolutely amazing my hair looks better than with conventional shampoo! You can also use soybean flour or coconut. Rinse well… sometimes little bits of the stone ground flour I’m using get stuck in my hair until it fully dries, but they brush/shake out easily every time!

  35. I also do a 1 part vinegar/3 parts water rinse on the ends- comb and rinse out. Or I have used some conditioner I’m trying to use up on occasion (I think it’s organic)

  36. I’m wondering what was used to create the soap mixture. I know that coconut oil can be used to make soap, but it requires something else to saponify it, which in traditional soapmaking is potassium or sodium hydroxide (lye). I don’t see that mentioned on the vague ingredient list. Since the company is only claiming it cleans, the FDA can’t require them to list all ingredients, which leaves me questioning what fatty acids and minerals and enzymes were used. I’m hoping we don’t find that to be SLS or something down the line. As a soapmaker, liquid and cold-processed, I’m simply wondering. To be considered soap requires some type of akali to be introduced. Maybe that would be the minerals and enzymes? Without knowing that, I might use this for general cleaning, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable using it on my children. Thanks for providing another avenue for getting things clean, though. I do as someone else said and soak orange and lemon peels in vinegar for most general cleaning, but I’d be willing to give this a try.

  37. I have tried everything from expensive commercial green cleaners to all the homemade products. Homemade made me “feel” better to know it was natural but I wasn’t very happy with the odors or performance, except for Katie’s toilets bombs which are awesome! I am a recent BB convert and I can tell you I will never buy another cleaning product as long as I live! This stuff is truly amazing in every way. My bathroom sinks are so shiny I can’t believe it! It makes cleaning a joy again so much that I WANT to clean everything! The girls at BB are diligently working to bring in all natural scents to add which makes it even better! Although unscented, there is a subtle clean scent that my daughter, also a new BB convert, says is her new “standard of clean”. She has a five month old baby girl and is thrilled, as I am, that her daughter will grow up in a safe truly clean home! Look no further ladies, this is the best cleaner in the world!

  38. My husband and I own a cleaning company, and when we started we had a ton of different diy and commercial green cleaners in our caddies. We’ve been doing it about 8 years now, and here is what we still use: vinegar for polishing and hard surfaces that aren’t greasy (I don’t mind the smell at all; we have one employee who can’t stand It, so he just uses AP), Bar Keeper’s Friend for tubs and greasy/stained sinks (used to use borax for this, but we like BKF much better), dish soap (I like Mrs. Meyers, mostly for the smell) for diluting to use as an All Purpose spray and to use a dab undiluted on extra greasy kitchen or bathroom spots, and Murphys Oil Soap (we use the traditional brown formula, and I know it’s not 100% natural, but it’s close) that we dilute and use for dusting.
    I would be interested in trying the Branch dilutable, but probably won’t switch because I can’t imagine it would be as economical as what I use now at th quantities we use. Our products work fine, will definitely try the Branch stuff in my own home!

  39. Wow Katie, you must have ignored all the controversial posts about BB that readers posted on your post about using BB to clean your oven. Are you not concerned at all that they do not fully disclose their ingredient list and they don’t respond to customer’s email about their ingredients? Oil and water separate, so as is, their ingredients would not mix unless something is added or done to them. Are they saponified? If so, then why not say that on their ingredient list. It’s a shady product and it’s disappointing to hear you pushing BB instead of all the other cleaners you have so lovingly made and touted over the years.

    • I’m actually working on a follow up post… I have quizzed them about their ingredients and their process and feel comfortable with it, but I am going to write about it more in depth once I learn more.

      • I was just planning to order a large kit! Should I wait for the follow up post, just to be sure? Anything I need to know now?

  40. Any ideas for a natural leather cleaner?

  41. I’ve found you can remove the stink of vinegar with grapefruit peels. I just soak them in the bottle for a week then use that in my spray cleaners.

    • Great tip, Thanks for sharing Erik!

  42. I was reading your article to my family in the car and my 15 yo son said, “Okay, tell me. Is it made from ground up unicorns?” Lol!

    We love Young Living’s Thieves cleaner, but I don’t think I’d like to use it for shampoo. This is the first I’ve heard of it, but I’d be willing to try BB. The ingredients look great. Thanks for the review!

  43. “20. 30:1 dilution to clean blinds and remove dust”

    Surely the above dilution is a typo. If it is 30 parts BB to 1 part water, why dilute it at all?

  44. I would not use this product over my current cleaners personally. To wash my dishes, laundry and body I use Dr. Bronners Castile Soap (except for hair because I do water only hair washing and sebum and natural oils and foods for conditioning) in simple and complimentary essential oil scents. Example: Citrus for dishes and Lavender for laundry.

    Besides that I use a water vinegar solution with newspaper to clean my windows mirrors and most surfaces. Examples bookshelves, tables, counters. I personally dont mind the vinegar smell and if I do I add essential oils to it. To clean the floors I use a nice broom and spray the floor with hydrogen peroxide water solution with essential oils of choice to help with dust particles and sweep.

    So…for me I’d rather buy economically sound gallons of vinegar than another staple product. I have a committment issues with companies and brands and I enjoy Dr.Bronner as of right now.

    I dont know if that means product loyalty or just simply that I am too uninterested and lazy and satisfied to consider a new alternative to a solution I feel works for me and my family right now. Yet, it’s always great to know there is something else out there I guess.

  45. You mentioned using this for in the dishwasher and for laundry. Can you please give more details? Thanks!

  46. For those of you that use BB, how does it work as a degreaser? I’m looking for something to clean up the oil stains on the floor of our garage?

    Thank you! Looking forward to trying this!

  47. I too bought BB before they changed it. First off I must say it cleans my counters,sinks, bathrooms, floors,mirrors, all things stainless steel, and my glass stove top has never been so clean and shiny. My problem is that when I use this for dishes “most” the dishes come out “clean” but my dishwasher itself looks so dirty. Making my think my dishes aren’t as clean as they look. I tried and tried cause I hate that dishwashing liquids are high on the offender list and cause many poisonings. It simply doesn’t work which is probably because of my water quality but I can’t fix that atm. Because of this I haven’t even tried to use it for clothes, if my water is the problem it will just not work there too I’m afraid. My other problem is that Its almost gone! Its not lasting near as long as it was supposed to. To make the strong bottle you have to fill it like halfway full. Also, the labels on the old spray bottles suck…nothing will stay written on them…not pen…not pencil…not permanent marker!!! So my first bottle of strong went too fast cause we couldn’t tell which one was which most the time. But I’ve only made 2 strong bottles, 3 all purpose, 1 streak-free formula, 2 foamer bottles and tried 2 tbs in the dishwasher about 10 times…. I have about 1/8 of the 1 gallon bottle left. I haven’t even had it for 6 weeks yet. 🙁 I was hoping this would last at least 3 months….if I was using for laundry soap it would have been gone weeks ago. Meaning this wouldn’t save me any money and would in fact cost me more.

  48. This product sound great, and I’m anxious to try it. I do wonder one thing though: how is it effective against pests, lice, etc but still safe to use on human skin and hair? I’m genuinely curious as to how it would be toxic to some creatures and not to us? Thanks!

  49. After reading this post and the comments, I am unsure if this product would work on cloth diapers (I use 100% cotton prefold diapers on my baby). I know there are laundry soap recipes that use castile soap, but have read countless recommendations to steer clear from castile soap for cloth diapers. So, would this be suitable for cloth diapers? Also, I’m waiting with baited breath for them to start shipping to Alaska!

  50. Hi! I’m really interested in trying Branch Basics but I can’t seem to find them on the EWG’s website at all. I started to check all my products there before i buy anything now. Also, if i do switch to Branch Basics, do you have any recommendations for Fabric Softeners? I saw the woolzie and the other one recommended by branch basics but a lot of time i hang dry our clothes so they don’t run through the dryer. Anything is better then what i’m switching from but any suggestions would be wonderful!!

    • I use about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar for a fabric softener. If the smell bothers you then essential oils can be added as well. The clothes aren’t as soft as using a commercial fabric softener but almost. I also use the homemade wool balls when I use the dryer

  51. Hi Katie,

    Why not consider a steamer to clean your house? I have one and I love it. The steam is so hot it kills bacterias and helps keep everything disinfected and tidy.

    What are your thoughts on steamers?

  52. Chemical-free cleaners are the factor that finally pushed me into a greener, healthier lifestyle. After finding my incredibly curious baby (okay…kitten, now 10 months, then only 3 months–but still my baby!) licking the hair out of the clogged shower drain, I suddenly began to worry about him ingesting Drain-o, bleach, 409, or even shampoos and conditioners he shouldn’t ingest. Which, additionally, got me wondering how many times I’ve taken a bath in my nice clean tub full of left-over cleaning chemicals over the years? Since then, I’ve been cleaning with white vinegar (and un-clogging the drain with the good old baking soda and vinegar trick), and I’ve switched to natural shampoos and conditioners. But, like you said, Katie, vinegar is stinky and it stings when it gets in cuts (I work with my hands, so I’ve always got cuts and hang-nails).

  53. I make my cleaners with 32 oz water, l/2 cup lemon or vinegar (optional), and essential oils I used lavender for disinfectant, orange as a degreaser and eucalyptus to disinfects. There are other essential oils that can be used also. My cleaner smells like citrus. It cleans really well for my whole house and it smells good. I do not have to use a lot to get the surface clean.
    Nothing in it is going to hurt my kids, dogs, cats and granddaughter.

    • Lynette,

      This sounds like a great DIY cleaner. How many drops of each essential oil do you recommend? Thanks!

  54. This sounds interesting! I was using vinegar and water, but recently switched to Healthy Home Company’s Clean. Their products are certified toxic free and I love Clean as a multipurpose spray. You can use it in the dishwasher and laundry machine but that gets expensive. However, I can make a 16 oz spray bottle for less than 50 cents. Have you tried that? I wonder how they compare? Does this work well in a regular washing machine that’s not HE? Thanks for the information! I love your posts!

    • I haven’t tried that one but it sounds interesting too. This one does work in a regular (non HE) washer too.

  55. how do I add essential oils to it so I can have aromatherapy while cleaning, but without causing streaking?ie-windows, THANKS!

  56. Received my starter kit yesterday and have mixed the dilutions into All-Purpose, Bathroom dish soap and hand soap strengths. Washed the floors and did 2 loads of laundry with this product and am completely sold! The clothes came out of the drier much less wrinkled and noticeably softer. I checked a few timess to see the suds level (virtually none) and wondered how it would actually clean using 1 Tbs concentrate per large load, but no worries – everything is clean with no irritating perfumery going on. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

  57. Thanks for sharing this product. I’ve been slowly trying to replace everything for chemical free products. I guess I’m a bit of a skeptic and want to make sure stuff is really getting clean. I started using norwex and I use doterra oils too. I just ordered my BB cleaner and can’t wait to try it! Can this be used as a toilet bowl cleaner with the norwex toilet brush?

  58. Hi!

    I was wondering… how does this stuff do on that disgusting black shower mold? (that we can’t remove with other cleaners!… ugh!)

    Need to get serious about mold remediation… it’s an allergy and I live in an old apartment

    • Hydrogen peroxide works great on mold and mildew. Spraying vinegar on first and then spraying peroxide on and leaving the combo on for a few minutes, then scrubbing with and old toothbrush works even better.

  59. I have recently switched to Benefect. All plant based and non-toxic as a result. They have a multi-purpose cleaner and a disinfectant…both are non-toxic and all plant based.

  60. What is the absolute best option for someone on a VERY LOW BUDGET? (that would be me, for example) Shaklee is too expensive for me, even with a discount, and I was excited to start making my own laundry soap after printing Katie’s recipes (one that included Borax) figuring it was the least expensive option. But I am now reading all of this and can’t decide what’s best. Please help, as I keep resorting to store bought detergent until I find the right fit for my family.

    • The homemade detergent is very inexpensive too and if you have the ingredients on hand, it is a great recipe.

  61. Do you have recommendations for dispensing the concentrate for dishes, dish washer and laundry? I don’t want to waste while dispensing for these items. Obviously other jobs would use a spray bottle. Any tips?

  62. There is information left off of the ingredient list. I will not buy a soap product that omits things, because a) what else are they not disclosing?, and b)soapmakers who DO fully disclose ingredients lose sales to companies who don’t fully disclose. Soap is, by definition fat and/or oil combined with a strong alkali ( usually potassium or sodium hydroxide, aka lye) in a properly made soap all of the atoms in the lye molecules will recombine with the fatty acids to form soap and glycerin. Some people get needlessly freaked out seeing this on an ingredient list which is why some manufactures omit that bit of info. And sodium bicarbonate doesn’t have a high enough pH to initiate this chemical reaction. If people are buying this product and love it, then fine. I have nothing bad to say about the actual product. Just know that if you favor this over other soaps because you think there is no lye used to make it, you are misguided.

    • Absolutely right but just as the highly reactive Sodium ( basically explodes and burns when it touches water and must be stored under oil because it will combine with what is in air and burn as well!!) and dangerous Chlorine gas react to make salt, lye and fat combine to make soap. After all, lye is Sodium or Potassium combined with Hydrogen and Oxygen. Put them together with water and the fat, voila! soap. When I see soap on a label, I know there was lye used to make it because I make soap and have a degree in Chemistry!

      • I must add, I keep track of the pH and do not sell or use my soap for at least 6 weeks, when the pH is down at 8-9.
        With my failed batches, (a whole ‘nother story!!) i combine the mess with the vinegar that is always on hand for safety as I work with the lye, testing the pH as I add the vinegar,
        and I do not compost it until everything is neutralized and safe for everything around, pets, kids, wildlife, environment…etc.

    • Soapmakers struggle over this issue because in the finished product, due to the chemical reaction that occurs, lye is no longer present in the final product, you now have new ingredients entirely: soap and glycerin. The types of fats used tend to make the soap different, which is why it’s always mentioned. Some soapmakers list things as being “saponified” others choose not to because they assume you know that the way to get soap is through a chemical reaction caused by a liquid and a fat and a lye being mixed.

  63. Can you explain how you use this as a toothpaste? I’m curious about how that can be safe. Any links that you can share would be helpful (google search was unsuccessful for me).

  64. When you use it for dishes does it make suds? I’ve unsuccessfully tried to make dish soap I like but none of them are sudsy and my husband is hung up on suds… at least he does the dishes but he likes soapy soap!

  65. I feel like this company is not fully disclosing their ingredients. The list of ingredients seems very intentionally vague to me. Sounds like greenwashing and I won’t buy it. I use water, vinegar, castile soap, baking soda, and essential oils to clean everything in my house from my hard wood floors to my granite and quartz countertops to my windows. The vinegar smell dissipates ones it is dry, but adding a few drops of peppermint, lemon, orange, lavender, tea tree or any other type of essential oil not only removes the smell of vinegar but also adds disinfecting properties to the cleaning solution. If you are truly concerned about safe and green cleaning you must make your own products. They are cheap and simple and they work. I remember reading a post of yours a while back about how you switched to Norwex microfiber cloths and all you use to clean with was water.

  66. I love DIY and natural cleaners. I use Trader Joe’s all purpose cleaner. I have a couple objections to the post. Maybe they are just semantics, but nonetheless they perpetrate some misconceptions. First thing the cleaners even “natural” cleaners are made of chemicals. Baking soda is a chemical, water is a chemical, protein is a chemical, minerals are chemicals and essential oils are composed of chemicals. Everything is made up of chemicals. The difference is man made versus those occurring in nature. or maybe your definition includes toxic versus nontoxic. In any case all cleaners contain chemicals, even DIY cleaners (vinegar is acetic acid by any other name).

    The second thing is just because something is naturally occurring does not make it safe or nontoxic. One of the most carcinogenic compounds known to man, aflatoxin, is naturally occurring. Also think of all the poisonous plants and animals. Even oil (fossil fuel) is naturally occurring and I wouldn’t recommend eating it or putting it on your skin. Toxicity is also matter of degree, Drinking too much water or eating too much salt will mess up your electrolyte levels in your body.

    So we really need to be careful on how we use terminology. Natural is not necessarily nontoxic and all things are composed of chemicals.

    • Thanks for this post.
      I seriously agree with you that people need to be careful what they say because you are so right.

  67. I clean my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar, it has never been so clean, shiny and smelling great. Vinegar kills everything and b.s help removes the toughest black stains in the tub and toilet. I mix a few drops of essential oils if the smells bothers me when cleaning. Economic, safe and it works!

  68. I would really like to know how you get rid of cold sores with this. I’ve been using vanilla extract or hydrogen peroxide on mine. I’m not really sure how effective either of these treatments are but I’m trying to use less icky chemicals. I used BB on my filthy bathroom counter it seemed to work pretty well. My toilet could be cleaner but I think it’s probably bc the spray isn’t allowed to sit on the stains. I’m hoping to get the ingredients for Katie’s toilet bomb together soon to see if that helps.

  69. Has anyone tried Meyers clean day concentrate? i just love it and have been using it for years on everything. For greasing jobs…..on stoves and cabinets…seventh generation laundry soap or dish soap , just a little in a spray bottle and had water to dilute and your good to go. I used Murphy’s oil on wood or vinegar mixed with water. I have allergies and it is the only thing that works for my home. If I am cleaning others than I use spic and span from the dollar store everyone likes that , it is lime scented .. the best thing about these is none of these products make me sneeze or cough like others. I use just a damp wash cloth to dust or use any oil in my home to use on the furniture. Like orange oil.

  70. Do you know anything about Biokleen? This is available at my co-op but don’t know if its good? Thank you

  71. I have just started switching to green natural cleaners. I was so excited to try BB as I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the DIY products, so the one for all products sounded really good. Sadly, it’s not what it is hyped up to be… It works ok for kitchen and bathroom counter top cleaner and for the bathroom sinks (1:5 dilution), but my counters and sinks are pretty new and never really that dirty. It didn’t work very well as a toilet cleaner. It was terrible as laundry detergent (2 tbsp undiluted per medium load, HW washer), clothes that had very small amounts of dirt came out still with it. It didn’t do anything for grease and tomato stains (tried 1:1, 1:5 and undiluted, soaking for several hours then agitating). I do live in Arizona and have very hard water, but still. I will be finishing my gallon jug using it as a counter top cleaner and will be trying other vinegar DIY recipes in the mean time.

  72. How does Branch Basics Cleanser compare to Yound Living’s Thieves Cleaner?
    Thanks. 🙂

  73. How much do you use in a load of cloth diapers?

    • Yes I was wondering the same thing.

      • Usually 2 tablespoons unless I use a little more to pre-treat bad stains

  74. Hi Wellness Mama, I am fairly new to this new world of eating clean and making “clean” products to use for our house and bodies. Thank you so much for your hard work in researching. I go to your site for almost everything. Anyway, I had just bought some Dr. Bronner’s soap and a few other things to start making my own soaps and such, but now I am confused. Should I just use this Branch Basics? Is it replacing all your other cleaning recipes in your home now? Like are you using it to wash your face instead of OCM? Body wash instead of the honey/castile/oil recipe? Shampoo, toothpaste, Etc? What would you do if you were just starting this “clean” living? AND, are you confident about the ingredients although they seem pretty vague?

    • I don’t use it for toothpaste, but yes! I am confident in their ingredients, and would recommend it as a great way to go natural all at once.

      • Okay, thank you! Just thought I’d share that I did end up ordering some Branch Basics and mixed up a squirt bottle of 1:5 dilution. After trying many other “natural” shampoo recipes with no luck (very oily scalp and hair), I decided to try squirting the 1:5 dilution of Branch Basics in my hair one night, and worked it through my hair, rinsed it out, and surprisingly it left my hair soft and clean feeling. Finally found something that works for my hair!

  75. I just received my order of Branch Basics in the mail a few days ago and am loving it! So far it has worked great on everything I have tried. It has been excellent as a makeup remover, shampoo, kitchen cleaner, and for baby wipes. They also have excellent customer service. One of my bottles wasn’t sealed and some of it leaked inside of the box. I was able to talk to someone immediately and she refunded me for the ounces lost. So far, I am very happy with Branch Basics!

  76. I’m very interested in transitioning to a true all purpose household cleaning product. a few questions:

    1. what dilution would you use for a toilet cleaner? and do you recommend a squirt bottle or sprayer for that?

    2. i color my hair, and am looking for a safer, more natural shampoo. anyone who uses this for their hair have any input on that?

    3. as someone who loves natural scents, would adding a few drops of essential oils affect the cleaning power, or is it safe to do that.

    • I use a spray bottle for the toilet cleaning. For my hair, I’ve been using it in a foamer bottle in a 1:5 concentration with water. From what I can tell, adding essential oils is fine.

  77. I am in Canada and I use Pink Solution. I get it at Costco. The ingredients are sea kelp,vegetable tallow, coconut oil, soda ash, water, no fragrance or dyes added.

  78. Hi,
    I recently ordered the medium starter kit and am very pleased. So far I have used it for the bathroom, kitchen counters, mirrors, windows, and floors. I also used it as a face soap and have replaced my shave cream!! The only thing that didn’t work for me is when I tried to clean stainless. Left lots of streaks even with microfiber.
    I am also experimenting with the dishwasher and my washing machine. I don’t like that I have to dilute the concentrate in water before using it in the dishwasher and washing machine. I see that you added it to your powder dispenser. I look forward to taking that short cut. Has anyone tried adding it to their HE washer without diluting it (also has anyone added EO to the laundry wash for scent as well)? As a mom who has a full time job, I need any short cuts I can get!

    I just made a second order for the large kit, oxy cleaner, and some more foamers! I can’t believe I am this excited about a cleaning product. I may order some as gifts for my mom and sis!

  79. I have been reading Wellness Mamma posts for a long time. I truly believe that if Katie recommends something she really believes in it. Thank you Katie for all of your informative posts.

  80. You stated you use this to pretreat and clean cloth diapers. Do you use this instead of your typical laundry soap like rockin green? If so, how much? Im starting to use cloth diapers in a few months and if i dont have to buy seperate cleaners i would love it! Thanks!

    • I do… I used to use Country Save or other cloth safe detergents but find that BB takes the stains and smells out more easily. I’ll add oxygen boost or baking soda occasionally or line dry in the sun, but it is great for day to day washing.

      • I have yet to find anything I like washing diapers in… Hiw much do you use? Want to try this.

  81. Katie, I ordered branch basics and LOVE IT!! Thank you for the recommendation. Do you add any essential oils to enhance “antibacterial” properties? Or do you think it does a fine job by itself?
    Thanks in advance for any info. 😉

  82. Is anyone using this in their laundry with cloth diapers? I read a bunch of reviews (and now I can’t remember where) on how great it works on cd’s, but now that I’m getting ready to start using them, my cd’s say not to use soaps with plant oils or enzyme cleaners bc it will negatively affect absorbency. (I’m planning to use grovia hybrids)
    Just curious if anyone else has been using them for awhile & had an issue

    • Katie says she uses it but I had some trouble with absorbency right after trying it. Not with my cotton diapers, but with all others. I ended up switching to an all cotton stash but im not chancing it anymore. Leaking was annoying. I’ll stick to using it for regular laundry and all the other stuff they recommend.

  83. there is a natural laundry detergent (and i mean natural),called soap nuts,you can google it

  84. Hi Katie,

    What do you think about using branch basics as a replacement to the castle soap in your coconut milk shampoo? Would you still break it out the same way? 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/3 cup branch basics?

    • I’ve actually been experimenting with using just BB in a foamer for shampoo and it has been working well without needing the coconut milk

      • I can’t figure out to to create my own comment without replying to yours sorry!

        How do you use it as a dishwasher soap and do you find you still need a rinse agent? That has been my biggest struggle, finding a dishwasher detergent that is natural but works!


  85. We started using a natural cleaner and laundry detergent from New Directions Aromatics based out of Canada. Love the stuff! Come fragrance free but I like to add tea tree EO for that extra clean! Way more cost efficient!

  86. I love this Idea a lot because it safes time of making stuff and money, but at the same time. I kind of like the smells when my laundry is clean. Is there a way that you can add essential oils or fragrance for things like this?

  87. I’ve been searching your amazing blog for advice on a healthier alternative to dry cleaning. My mom loves to send me clothing items for birthday and Christmas. But while they are cute, I prefer clothing that can be washed (even hand laundered) over the chemical process of dry cleaning (not to even bring up the expense!).

    I have a favorite “sweater” of T-shirt-type fabric that says “Dry Clean Only.” It is 100% rayon, and while some people insist that rayon can be hand washed in cold water, a Google search shows results that vary widely, including some instances of garments being rendered completely unwearable. I’ve been wondering… what DIY options have you found?

  88. I’m not understanding how mixing this concentrate with water in a spray bottle and leaving it out for weeks at a time (because if you’re mixing according to directions you will make a full bottle) does not introduce bacteria into the mix. You can’t make DIY water based cleaners without bacteria growing in it unless you use a preservative. I just did an experiment with star dishes (my mom works in a lab) and there was tons of bacteria from my spray bottle and foaming hand soap of BB that was only made less than a month ago. i’m curious what your follow up post will be about. It’s also concerning that no ingredients are listed. On an Amazon review someone had a reaction to this stuff and the founders said they didn’t know the ingredients- only their formulation did. Wondering if that’s true…

    • This sooooooooooooo worries me! I just received my BB order and would like an answer to this concern!!

      • Use purified water. It will last longer. Or add a little alcohol.

  89. I love this idea. It seems safe for anybody and everybody from pregos to babys to immune compromised which is difficult since a lot of cleaning stuff diy involves essential oils. I love making things but I know since my son will be starting school soon It would be nice to have less things to make and I think this will be a perfect compromise since my soon to be husband is not quite hip on DIY and would love to see something that is purchased. I use Norwex and Water a a lot which I love the simplicity of but for is sake to try and prove that things are clean I have started using soap nuts and water and squeezing in some lemon. His problem is that the Norwex towels even though you are supposed to be able to go 3 months with out washing retain smells and they start to smell foul. So hopefully with this maybe we can reduce the weird smell a bit and maybe in combination with norwex towels and this one it comes to cleaning out my DIY cream jars maybe my Norwex towels won’t be so yucky afterwards. Thanks for all the info, looking fwd to trying it

  90. Are there bottles glass or plastic? I am big on cutting down on plastic do to their effects on hormones

  91. so I used bb with success as a shampoo. my hair profile is very oily dry and tangley. For a long time I used baking soda with cocoa powder arrow root and peppermint rosmary essential oils but since we are wanting to have a baby soon i start d trying ither shampoos as well. I have most recently been using the shampoo bar from your site which works great but wont be ok during pregnancy. I tried soap nuts for sinplicity and it made my hair look like a greese balls. so i started using it as a pre conditioner to the shampoo bars and since i wash 7-8 days iI always do a full head of caster oil before each wash for split ends hair thickening and growth. so with me regukar routine I substitured my was with BB. caster ouk night before soak my hair in eggs and Epsom salt and water while I shave etc and then I rinse out abd spray acv heaviky diluted with soap nut and catnip tea and peprmint tea combo and wash out with BB soap-the dilution i used was exactly what is on the foamer and it worked great on my hair with no adjustment like sometimes is necessary when trying a new no poo. Came out the same as when I use shampoo bar. I still struggle with tangles but working on adjusting my precondition

  92. Does anyone know if branch basics are in the UK? Or what good natural cleaning products you can get in the UK please.

  93. what is the recommended conditiner to pair with this?

  94. I think im going to be getting the smaller starting kit, I didn’t relies that the big bottle is $300+ ahhh I know that’s not a lot compared to how much I spend on cleaning products, but a $300 price tag is scary

  95. Branch Basics seems amazing, I’ve got the starter kit in my cart on their website ready to check out. Then I remembered someone mentioning norwex microfiber cloths and looked it up, I stumbled on to your post on those. Both seem great, my question is, do you use them together? Do I need both branch basics and norwex cloths?

    • Yes, I use both, but it depends on what I’m cleaning…

  96. This is probably a dumb question, but can you use Branch Basics for cleaning the bathroom? I see lots of uses mentioned (dishwasher! laundry! handsoap!), but what about an old fashioned tub scrubbin’? 🙂 I would like to know if it will get the grime out of my tub and toilets. Any experience from anyone?

    • Yes! I use it for the bathrooms all the time!

  97. Dear Katie with my congrats to you again about baby number 6!! SO EXCITING!!!

    Why oh why is it always COCONUT?? Many people cannot use COCONUT! So many are allergic to it, like me. Why don’t more people make products using BABASSU OIL??
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE USE BABASSU OIL!!!! It is so much better and does not leave you feeling like a grease ball, plus most people do not realize that over time, COCONUT OIL WILL CLOG YOUR PORES!!! BABASSU OIL is not heavy and will not leave your hair limp. SOOOoooooo wonderful for your skin and soothes eczema or itchy inflamed skin! Check out this article http://www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/babassu-oil-coconut-oil-natural-skin-hair-care.html

    Thank you so much Katie for all that you do to help the world! You are so AWESOME!!!!
    With kindness & blessings to you & your family……YAY to the greatest mom of 6 🙂

    Sincerely, Victoria 🙂

  98. Thank you for all your fantastic information!!. Slowly going through it all. We don’t have Branch Basics in Australia yet, but have bought Dr Bronners which i found in a store near home yesterday, and many of the other products I have purchased through iHerb which delivers faster than our Australian Post delivery at very low rates.
    I was wondering if you have done a post on keeping the chopping board clean. We have gone through many wooden boards which have fallen apart from so much washing or got mould/mold marks. I finally have read up on several sites on how to wash and dry immediately to maintain in good order and also protect with mineral oils. Several sites say to sand the board back to get rid off the mold (as it is deep within the wood and can’t get rid off it even with hydrogen peroxide soaks) and then apply the oil. I thought i finally found the answer but hubby said mineral oils even food grade have been found to be carcinogenic. Would you have any information on this.? How do you keep your board in good order? I have one for meat and one for vegetables, and two mini ones for cheese and the like, at the table.

  99. Three years ago you had a post reviewing Norwex products. How does BB compare? Do you no longer use Norwex?

    • I still use norwex too, but found that using microfiber on oven messes and grease often ruined the microfiber.

  100. I used to make all of my home and personal cleaning products, but since I found BB, that’s all I use. Love it! However, I’m wondering why it is not listed and rated on the Environmental Working Group site? Does anyone know about that?

    • Sometimes, it’s because they just haven’t reviewed a brand/product yet. I used to go to their site for ratings on all my products, too, but honestly, I’ve learned to just be an “ingredient detective” on my own. My best advice is to look for brands that are 100% transparent about their ingredients (as in, they actually list all the ingredients, and don’t use tricky words like “natural fragrance” or “a proprietary blend” without actually listing the specific ingredients they’re using) and know what ingredients to avoid. That way, you don’t have to constantly be entering product after product into the database. Also, some of the EWG’s ratings are based on no or “limited” data, so there are products getting green ratings but without a lot of data to back up the safety of the ingredients.

  101. would using the proportions on the foamer bottle and then using the foam bottle to put some on a tooth brush work best? and same for dishes? I don’t normally fill up a sink with water.

  102. I was very skeptical of this but was willing to try it as I was looking for something completely natural and just didn’t want to smell vinegar anymore. I also have a 20 month old, so I was just always needing to make more DIY cleaner and never getting around to it. I got mine large starter kit today and started using it immediately. I LOVE IT!!! Already told my SIL about it and she ordered hers today too. I have A LOT of mirrors and glass in my house, including fully glass showers and fully mirrored walls (thanks to the early 1990s) and this works better than any, even toxic, cleaners I’ve used. Really amazed and excited to try it in the dishwasher, etc.

  103. This is disappointing. I just made the diy laundry where borax was given mention as being safe and now it’s a point of contraversey as a plug to buy BB. It’s confusing and misleading.

      • I guess that is why I’m so confused as to why it (borax) would be a bullet point in your bb blog to not diy anymore? I love your blog and read it daily and have now made my own laundry, dish, tooth paste and many other cleaning agents. I just found it disappointing and a little alarming as I’ve been using your home made laundry detergent for my 3rd load out of my big 5 gallon bucket and am pleased with the results.

        • I have no problem using borax, but many people do. So for those who don’t like using it, this is a good thing. My DIY cleaning recipes work great, but if you don’t want to take the time to make them, this is a good, safe alternative.

  104. Hi Wellness Mama! I was so intrgued by your article on Branch Basics Cleaner that i decided to go to their website and buy some, but they are OUT OF STOCK on everything!! They had some sort of message that they would be til the middle of January?? Do you know what this is about? I so want to buy this today I am very sad…:(
    Anywhere else to get the small starter kit??

    • When I talked to them, they said they hope to have everything back in stock soon. In the meantime, Tropical Traditions also has a good all-purpose cleaner that works really well and that is natural. You can check it out here: https://wellnessmama.com/go/tropical-traditions/ by clicking on “Household Goods” and then “All Purpose Cleaner.”

      • Thanks very much!!

  105. Hi! I’ve been using BB for almost a year now, but have a question! 🙂 have you ever had a problem with it having a “rancid” type smell? I’ve noticed it since my last order. 🙁 I won’t use it on dishes anymore because of it (I’d take a plate out of the cabinet and it would smell rancid too after being washed with bb). Just wondering if you’d come across that and what you’d recommend to “combat” the smell (or if you think somethings wrong with the product!).
    Thanks so much for your insight! 🙂

    • I’ve never had a problem with that at all. I’d definitely call or email them and see if something is wrong with the batch you have.

  106. Hello, WellnessMama!

    I’ve been using Branch Basics for about a year and a half and love it! I have started using about 1/2 cup of vinegar in all my laundry to get the rancid smell out of towels.
    My question is this: We moved out of an apartment that had problems with what we think was mildew appearing on clothes in the closet. I washed them in hot water and 2 tsp of Branch Basics and we’ve hung a bag of DampRid in my husband’s closet. Alas, it’s still appearing. I’m not sure what to do. It’s mostly around the armpit and neck areas, but also appears across the stomach of his shirts. He’s frustrated because many of the clothes are new. We thought it might be because they were older and full of residue, but they’re new.
    I’m at a loss as to what’s going on or how to address it. I’m planning on contacting Branch Basics to see if they have any insight on the matter.

    Thank you! =]

  107. Please take this down. I just received an email today from Branch Basics stating that the formula is not a true soap as they thought and there are synthetic ingredients in it. I am devastated as I’ve been using this on my baby for 9 months. Please look into this and remove this post

    • I have been looking into it and while it isn’t a “soap” because of the process (mielle vs saponifcation), I have seen a toxicology report on the formula to confirm that it is safe and non-toxic and will be updating the post soon. Long story short, I still feel completely safe using this on my children.

      • They’ve lied to everyone. Their supplier has a “proprietary” formula and won’t disclose the ingredients. They have known this the entire time all the while making it appear that the founders created this recipe out of thin air and it was their own, unique formula. The label is false and they’ve known it all along and kept that information from customers. Even if it turned out to be all natural as they claimed, they still didn’t disclose all of the ingredients nor the fact that they didn’t create it. I will never trust them again.

        • Hi April- I can understand where you are coming from and I definitely share you concerns. There is also much more to the story. I’m working on researching for a post on this. A lot of companies use a formulator, especially for more advanced formulas, so this wasn’t initially a concern for me. The fact that this formulator blatantly lied in a signed contract is absolutely concerning. At the same time, I have seen the results of a toxicology report on the formula and while there is one synthetic ingredient, the formula is as safe as they have always claimed. I agree that they should have disclosed their ingredients but there is also much more to this story… I’m working on a full post on this soon…

      • I strongly encourage you to do more digging and update this post accordingly. The specific synthetics have been released elsewhere, and it is alleged this is the identical product that had been sold under the Ava Anderson name. There is a lot more to this story than the BB team is disclosing. As a user and long-time supporter of their product, I am disgusted and embarrassed by all of it. Please maintain your own integrity and call the product what it is – a fraud.

        • Hi Chaille… I definitely understand where you are coming from on this and there is much more to the story on both sides, as I am finding out in researching at this point. I’m working on a post with everything I’ve found but please know that I share you concerns and am working to find answers on this…

      • RE: “I have been looking into it and while it isn’t a “soap” because of the process (mielle vs saponifcation)”

        You are smart enough to do your research, there is no such thing as this mielle process. The chemicals are synthetic detergents…that is why the product is not soap, not because they start with the same raw materials and the only difference is how they are processed. I am sure your readers expect more from you!

  108. Unfortunately it came out today that their product is not all natural. A third party supplier was using synthetic ingredients and lying to them.

    I think Branch Basics is handling it well, but why they never had their product tested to make sure what they were selling is puzzling. They are reformulating but I’m wondering if they’ll be able to make a truly all natural product that works as well. That said, I doubt I’ll buy from them again.

  109. This company is a fraud. Sounds like they’ve known since 2014 that their product wasn’t natural.

    • Hi Marie- I can understand where you are coming from and I share you concerns. There is also much more to the story. I’m working on researching for a post on this. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I’ve removed the link to the blog you posted as I’ve researched the source of that letter (whose name was removed) and can’t ethically link to anything that person has written (there is definitely much more to this story than he has shared and a financial motivation as well). Please know I share you concerns and am going to be sharing what I find in depth soon….

  110. Hi Christine, I can completely understand where you are coming from and I talked to the branch basics ladies at great length when all this started coming out. There is a lot more to the story that they are choosing to share right now (which is actually very kind to other parties involved) but they were lied to in a signed contract that stated that there were no synthetic ingredients. Many companies use formulators for their products, and it is really sad that theirs chose not to be truthful, which has been hurtful to their business and to all of us as customers. I also removed the link to the blog with the claims by a third party person that you linked to… there is also much more to that part of the story and after some research, I can’t ethically link to anything that the source in that other post uses… I’m working on a post with everything I found out from researching both sides of this, but please know that I share you concerns and anger about this…

    • I just wanted to say thank you for following up with everyone that has commented here. I really appreciate you taking the time to dig deeper, as it’s been overwhelming for a lot of us to figure out what the truth in all of this is. I look forward to your updated post.

    • The toxicology report doesn’t detail the actual ingredients (though I think these were disclosed under NDA to the toxicologist but can’t verify this). I’m hoping that BB will release the report and plan to ask them to do this but don’t have a copy to release myself. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with chronic health conditions and I understand your concerns… From everything I’ve seen so far, I’d still feel comfortable using BB, but I agree with you and will continue to share information as I find it and am able…

      • “I have been looking into it and while it isn’t a “soap” because of the process (mielle vs saponifcation), I have seen a toxicology report on the formula to confirm that it is safe and non-toxic and will be updating the post soon. Long story short, I still feel completely safe using this on my children.” I HAVE SEEN A TOX REPORT you said.

        “The toxicology report doesn’t detail the actual ingredients” you say now.
        So, you saw a tox report that didn’t state the ingredients? Seriously?

        Apparently you haven’t done enough research to realize what’s going on. I can tell that you only speak to BB and believe their lies. You could end up in legal trouble along with BB. I posted yesterday to you but you decided not to put it on the blog so I expect this msg will go *poof* too…. I have saved it for court. There is about to be a Class Action Lawsuit. Tell Kelly hello from me 😉

        • Dana- I’m sorry if you left another comment that hasn’t shown up. I tried to search for it with your email and can’t find it, so I wonder if it was caught by a spam filter? If you reply to this comment, it should show up.
          I feel that it is important to clarify for you and for other commenters that while I have used BB products and liked them, I am not affiliated with the company in any way other than being an affiliate and have absolutely no financial interest in them otherwise. I certainly want transparency and truth in this as much as anyone else, but sense there is much more to the story on both sides.

          • ” I am not affiliated with the company in any way other than being an affiliate”…so you ARE affiliated. You can’t have it both ways…claim to not be affiliated then admit you are an Affiliate!

            So how is all that research coming?

          • This isn’t very difficult to understand. You asked if I am a silent partner or investor of some kind. I am not. My only connection to the company is that I am an affiliate for them (as I am for many other companies), and that I have used their products. Sorry if that was so confusing for you.

    • “I talked to the branch basics ladies at great length when all this started coming out. ” Back in 2012? or in 2014 when they first started looking into different formulas?

      Or was is after this article – published over a year ago? http://chemicaloftheday.squarespace.com/most-controversial/2015/1/27/another-impossible-ingredients-list.html

      Or how about when Ava Anderson – who had been selling the same product from the same manufacturer – secretly reformulated?

      Or was it more recently – when this was published? http://chemicaloftheday.squarespace.com/most-controversial/2015/11/28/soap-impossible-still-doesnt-add-up.html

  111. I do not sell/represent/work for/anything like that Branch Basics. But, I’d like to step up in their defense. The founders clearly had pure intentions of providing genuinely safe products, and unfortunately, one of their manufacturers took advantage of their trust and used an ingredient that was not approved. Here’s the thing- how many times are we flat out lied to about what’s in products we put in and on our bodies? It happens ALL the time, but the difference is- we don’t always know! Why? Because MOST companies don’t tell you, and there is very little (if any) accountability to make them inform you! Branch Basics is not the only company to have been taken advantage of by a manufacturer. I think it’s very important to look at how companies handle these issues, and Branch Basics seems to be doing a fine job- Acknowledging the issue, immediate stop sell of the affected product, and letting their customers know.
    Should you be angry that an ingredient was put in there without Branch Basics’ knowledge? YES. But perhaps your anger is misdirected! Instead of joining the bandwagon of fueling rumors and lies and hate for these small companies that have excellent intentions, let’s applaud them for their transparency and their commitment to correct the problem and move forward in the non-toxic mission!! If we are truly on this non-toxic mission together, then we’re on the same team! Let’s support each other, not tear each other down!

    And, by the way, I know that Wellness Mama is not one of the rumor/lie spreaders- I am directing my comment more towards those who are making harsh claims that BB is fraudulent and untrustworthy and has been scamming its customers all along.

    • Katie, I initially was on Branch Basics side. However, I do think that those of us who are skeptical of their response are reacting that way because it’s so contrary to who they claimed to be – an ultra-thorough company who would have quintuple-tested everything before they sold it to anyone. This was a product the founders had been using for 2 decades, and are just now figuring out it’s not what they thought it was? They never had it tested by an outside source before this? Before they put all their time and money into marketing it so thoroughly and with all of their heartfelt personal testimonies? I look forward to the updated post from Wellness Mama, because I sincerely hope it answers these questions and vindicates Branch Basics, but I have a feeling the full story won’t be that simple. I own and use all of their products in my own home, and have continued to do so even with the new information, but I think I’ll always be wary of them as a company.

    • Amen Sister! Unfortunately our society is teaching us to be inherently distrustful. My hope is that through situations like these, we can learn to look deeper into the intent of the companies trying to do the right thing, rather than immediately writing them off.

    • They knew they weren’t listing all of the ingredients in their product for as long as they’ve been selling it. They only listed those they added. They could have, at the very least, put a disclaimer on the bottle saying that there are other ingredients which they couldn’t divulge. That’s not being transparent at all. The fact that they won’t issue refunds is another problem. Neither are ethical business practices.

      • They list all ingredients that are listed by their formulator, including those that they add. I agree that they don’t list them in much detail and don’t explain the process or how they change, but they did list all of the ingredients in the formula (except perhaps any that were not disclosed by the formulator that they were unaware of). They were not trying to mislead or hide any ingredients, they just trusted a formulator to disclose everything and that person did not. I definitely understand where you are coming from and don’t disagree with you, I just wanted to point that out since it was something I asked specifically to verify.

        • “…they just trusted a formulator…”

          Exactly. They JUST trusted a formulator.

          They had the responsibility to test the product themselves before over charging people for it. Anyone who still wants the product can buy it for $10.90 a litre. K D Gold sells it for a higher price, ala BB. This product that BB has been selling us comes from Malaysia.
          WM, I suspect you’re getting most of your two sides of the story from Kelly/BB. She’s good at schmoozing it over. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I smell a lawsuit.

        • When the issues with their formula were first made public, Branch Basics had a detailed post on their facebook page (which is now gone) saying that the base formula was proprietary and so the ingredients were not disclosed on their packaging. They only disclosed what they themselves added to the base formula from what I understand. Now that post is gone, unfortunately. I e-mailed them over a week ago asking for clarification on this matter and they never responded. They also aren’t giving refunds. Ethically this is just a mess.

          • I agree. The whole thing is a mess and I am removing all links and recommendations until I’m able to get more information and clarification.

          • Thank you for removing the links and recommendations. I sincerely hope we all get the full story eventually, although I’m beginning to doubt that will happen. I’m glad your website offers many other tried-and-true (and very affordable!) alternatives that we can transition to.

  112. I’m wondering why you feel safe using it on your kids when you don’t fully know what the synthetic ingredient is? I thought you were all about being completely natural? I’m so annoyed at this company because I spent over $300 on their products and have been using on my baby since birth! Now I’m stuck with a giant 2 gallon container of their false product.
    What do you recommend instead to clean baby with? Can you provide a link to another DIY that you use for baby bottom cleaning? Thanks

  113. I do not buy Sal Suds because it contains SLS Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – not good. People try to say that it sounds a little different so it’s OK, but it’s basically the same, as in it’s in the same family. SLS dries out skin, so I cannot use it. If people like it, they can use it, but not me. I do feel that whatever that dries out my skin, it’s not good for me. All SLS are pretty much the same.

  114. Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner. A capful with water in a spray bottle goes a long way.

  115. I am sad and frustrated by what I’ve just now discovered and am reading about BB. It’s been my go-to cleaner for many things for the past year. I have been so satisfied with it that I highly recommended it to my sister and daughter (who has 5 young children). They have been satisfied with the product also. I let them know via the BB website what is going on as I was about ready to place an order and was going to get theirs as well and combine them to save on shipping costs. My biggest concern is I (and my daughter) have been using BB as a fruit/veggie cleaner. Is this now considered dangerous for food (even though it’s still considered “nontoxic”)? I will continue to use what I have for basic house cleaning, but am concerned about using it on my face/hands (I just made a bottle of foaming hand/face soap today), and for use as a fruit/veggie cleaner (which I won’t be using it as such from now on). Can Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, unscented/baby formula, be used in the same way or what do you/others suggest to use for a fruit/veggie cleaner? I’ve tried vinegar in the past and feel it leaves a bitter taste (especially on grapes). I have used store-bought “fruit wash”, but it’s expensive! Please continue to keep us all posted, Katie. I, for one, still trust you and know you are just as deeply frustrated by this as well since most of us used BB due to your success and recommendation of it.

    • Thanks so much Donna. I do still feel safe using it as well, though if you have any concern, you should not use it on skin or food. (I know multiple people with extreme chemical sensitivity who have used it in these ways for a long time without a problem, and I still don’t personally think it is harmful but definitely do your own research and do what you feel comfortable with!). Lemon juice can also be used in place of vinegar as a produce wash, but it can also leave a sour taste. Dr. Bronner’s is a good sub, just make sure to dilute and rinse well! I will definitely keep everyone posted as I find out more.

  116. Hello!!

    Are you at all worried that the Sal Suds contain sodium laural sulfates? Thanks!


    • Not for cleaning purposes. From this post:
      “I also find it important to note that Sal Suds contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) but I don’t find this concerning for several reasons. For one, it is not being used on the skin. SLS is a highly effective surfactant and is incredible on set-in stains. There is some concern about its safety in beauty products, but for cleaning products it is considered safe. It is often confused with sodium laureth sulfate, which does carry concerns and which has been linked to cancer.

      Additionally, the amount used in this recipe is well below the recommended dilution ratio for SLS on skin and the SLS in Sal Suds comes from Coconut Oil. If you have concerns about SLS, this article from Dr. Frank Lipman helps explain the way SLS works and why it is considered safe when diluted in cleaning products but not recommended for cosmetics or skin use.”

      • I ordered some Sal Suds from Amazon today per your (and others) suggestion. I’m also going to get Dr. Bronner’s unscented/baby castile soap and use that for DIY foaming soap and cleaning fruit/veggies (and I saw a long list of other uses earlier today). I’m subscribed to your blog updates. Can you some time post a blog update about the green cleaners and this dilemma in particular? And if you’ve blogged about this in the past and I missed it, can you please repost it? Thanks so much!

  117. Hi, Katie,
    Amazon.com alerted me to this product since it’s similar to Branch Basics: Puracy 100% Natural All Purpose Cleaner – THE BEST Household Cleaner – Streak-Free Multi-Surface Spray – Superior Results on Glass & Stainless Steel – Child & Pet Safe – No Harsh Chemicals. It is made in the USA and is out of Texas. Have you heard of this? Opinions/Critiques appreciated! Thanks!

    • I’ve heard of it but haven’t tried it yet. The ingredients look to be very similar to BB’s, from what I can tell though.

      • Thanks for the quick reply!
        I noticed similarity of ingredients, too. And from Texas like BB. One reviewer commented that Puracy contains Benzisothiazolinone, which is an antimicrobial and preservative used in a wide variety of applications, such as cleaning and building products.

        Most reviewers are pretty sold on the product line. I might give the stain remover a try. OR will just stick with Dr. Bronner’s since it has been around for a long time and highly trusted.

        Continue to keep us all posted on this topic thread!

  118. What about Shaklee? They have been around for a long time. Are their cleaning products good. I guess there are pros and cons with everything. right? Or Maleleuca

    • There is no way to know if Shaklee is OK or not because they describe their ingredients, but they do not disclose what they actually are. Plus, the company also sells cosmetics which contain synthetic fragrance. They are not the worst, but I wish they would come clean…not just in their “brand” but in practice!

  119. Hi, Katie. I was wondering your thoughts on Tropical Traditions All Purpose Cleaner for a substitution for Branch Basics. I was using BB for everything and I enjoyed that versatility. They claim you can using it for household cleaning, laundry, kitchen/dish soap and hand soap. Any experience with it? Thanks for all your other formulations; I have used lots of them with success.

    • I love TT cleaning products. Their all purpose cleaner is good. I buy their hand soap and laundry detergent separately, however, so I don’t have much experience with there all purpose cleaner is that regard. But I’ve used and trusted their products for a long time.

  120. hi! I have been following your recommended ways of washing fruits and veggies using vinegar ( and lemon/salt). Have you stopped using this method and fully use the castile soap to wash them? Please advise. Thank you so much!!!

  121. Are you still using Branch Basics? Have you received any updates? I still use it but am a little concerned.
    Thank you,

    • I’m still using what I have left (and still love the product!), but don’t have any updates on them at this time…

  122. Thanks so much for the update. I am lucky to have a gallon or so left.

  123. Thanks for the BB update. I also have a gallon left and continue to use it . I have confidence in BB and will continue to wait from their company. Thank you , Katie, for all you do in keeping us informed.

  124. What would you use to kill bacteria and viruses?

    • I use hydrogen peroxide. It has been proven to kill germs. No smell or fumes. Wearing gloves though as it can be hard on skin.

      • Where do you purchase your peroxide at ?

  125. Most stores carry it. Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target or any pharmacy. I got a smallbrown spray bottle of peroxide at CVS Pharmacy and I refill it from the big bottles I buy at Costco. You have to keep it in the brown bottle or it will lose its effectiveness being exposed to light and air.

  126. Thank you April,
    I wanted to know where Katie bought it and if it mattered the quality of brand… So many things are good but if buy the wrong brand for instance almond flour which is great, but bobs red mill line of almond flour is bad.

  127. New here and have some questions. I recently started using Dr Bronners Castille soap as a foaming hand cleaner. I followed the pkg directions, but it leaves a dirty film in my sink. Am I doing something wrong? Anybody else find this to be the case?
    2nd, I’ve tried some natural (and unnatural) cleaners for my floor, and they all seem to leave a film. When you walk on the dry floor afterwards, you see step marks, etc. Again, any suggestions? I’m interested in the sal suds, but worry about it doing the same…

  128. just started using eco wash balls from amazon for laundry detergent, they are like the wash version of sheep wool balls iblove how simple it makes laundry – wellness mama was wondering if you heard of them and your thoughts on them

  129. Hey there… if you are not fond of the smell of vinegar.. maybe try infusing it with orange peels or lemon peels? Or even mint or any herb for that matter. I made some homemade hand soap that calls for vinegar and that’s literally all I can smell. Even over the tea tree and wild orange essential oils that I added. Not gonna lie I am not too fond about the vinegar aroma either. I can hardly wait to use it up and try infusing the vinegar first and then making my hand soap. Just a thought. 🙂