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Clean your house and your conscience! Part 1: Animal welfare

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 A few weeks ago, Lisa Edney gave her take on the why and how of cruelty-free beauty products. Now she tackles how to ensure you are cruelty free and pro animal while cleaning your home and lists a dozen cruelty free cleaning products she’s tried and tested.

We all know that housework isn’t fun – I love to rush through mine so I can get back to actually enjoying life! (Love to clean? Lucky you! You’re very welcome to come by my house).

With that in mind, many people just want to grab the products they’ve been told work (easy and fast!) and don’t give much thought past whether it will smash through that tough beetroot stain or make the toilet smell nice.

However, the convenience of cleaning can come at more than just the monetary cost of the products we buy. We know about cosmetic testing on animals because it’s been brought to light over the years, but you may not have imagined that washing-up liquids, furniture polish, air-freshener and bleach are often also tested on animal. Unfortunately they are.

Wait, what? How do I know which product to use, then?

Just as I described with cosmetics, you can also find household products that meet your cruelty free hopes – even whilst you’re doing the weekly shop.

If you want to know that a product is truly cruelty free, then make the right choice by referring to the household products currently listed on the PETA, Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) and/or Leaping Bunny websites.

If you’re on the go, the CFF mobile phone app allows you to quickly check a brand or product so you can make a purchase–or walk away if it doesn’t fit the cruelty free bill. The app is it’s free!

What about palm oil?

Australia  imports approximately 130,000 tonnes of palm oil each year. A plantation 5.5 times the size of Manhattan is needed to produce that much palm oil for Australians alone.

Large-scale deforestation to grow crops that provide products like palm oil is pushing many species to extinction. If nothing changes species like the orang-utan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers in less than 3 years.

Try to choose cleaning products which have either no palm oil, or sustainably produced palm oil such as the Orange Power range endorsed by Planet Ark. Keep in mind that not all products that contain palm oil will label it as such. Palm oil can be disguised as a number of other ingredients. Taking this What’s in a Label card to the supermarket with you will help you de-code the palm oil in your cleaning products.

I really don’t want to have to trek around to different shops to find all my cleaning products!

The good news is many mainstream supermarkets (and even  local corner stores) are stocking cruelty free household products which should cover off most of your cleaning needs.  If you want to go a step further then why not get creative and make your own!

But do these cruelty-free products really work?

I have tried many household products, all at different price points, but the following are animal-cruelty-free certified products I go back to again and again that really work for me.


Washing up–with their variety of fruity smells and a new larger bottle, plus being exceptionally purse friendly, Earth Choice wins this one.

Dishwasher–I can’t go past Earth Choice All in One Dish Tablets–everything comes out sparkling despite our constant overloading.

Note: Earth Choice products do not yet have a CCF accreditation logo on the label, but Earth Choice have confirmed with Otter that these are CCF accredited products.

Cleaning Spray–I use a couple, depending on which one I fancy that week, but they all do a great job of wiping down the grease of life–Earth Choice Multi Purpose Spray or Ecostore Multipurpose Cleaner. Eco-store is a brand that does still use palm oil in their products. This company is striving to use 100% sustainable palm oil by 2015. You can read their Palm Oil Statement here.


I use a variety of products depending on how tough the job is:


Bathroom spray – Want something to cut through grime on all surfaces? This spray does it all Earth Choice Bathroom and Shower Cleaner.

Window/Mirror Cleaner – I use this on all my glass surfaces and it never leaves a single streak Earth Choice Glass Surface and Window Cleaner.


Being one of the worst jobs in the house, you want something that packs a punch in the cleaning stakes – Ecostore Toilet Cleaner is a product that delivers!

If you’re keen to try some different products then make sure you check out the brands currently listed on the PETA, CCF and/or Leaping Bunny websites – happy house cleaning!

By Lisa Edney.

Note: these  recommendations are Lisa’s personal views based on her experience using these cruelty free products. Neither Lisa or Otter have any arrangement with any retailer or product distributor or manufacturer.

Coming soon: Part 2: Good Environmental Choice Australia will look at how you can clean your house safely and sustainably.


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