Spring Cleanup: Your Home
Created with Laverée
Written by: Jean Godfrey-June
Published on: March 30, 2023
Photo courtesy of Hunter Gawne
From the laundry room to the medicine chest, switch out products made with ingredients with the potential to harm health (yours or the planet’s) for clean, superpowered essentials to leave your whole house fresh, sparkling, and smelling absolutely fantastic.
Often made with harsh surfactants, optical brighteners, preservatives, and fragrance ingredients known or suspected to disrupt our hormones, many conventional cleaning products can cause problems from skin irritation to endangerment of aquatic life. But companies in the clean space have really innovated; here, some of our favorite safe-for-you, safe-for-the-planet options, room by room.
The Laundry Room
There’s an unexpected but significant side benefit to cleaning up your laundry detergent: Your clothes and linens will probably last longer. Laverée, a super concentrated, sustainably sourced laundry detergent, is made with skin-care-grade enzymes and designed to get everything beautifully clean while still being gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Dreamed up by Seoul designer, mom, and tastemaker Jong Min Baek and made in Seattle, Laverée’s formulas are hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, vegan, and free of potentially health-harming dyes and endocrine disruptors as well as skin irritants. And the formulas are made with five different enzymes and three surfactants, which makes them powerful—so a little goes a (very) long way.
We love the chic, sleek Laverée bottles, which are both recyclable and made of recycled PET. You can get the detergent in the fresh, subtle Forest scent—truly, get ready to forest-bathe in your clothes and linens—or Wind, which is fragrance-free (a standard even more suited for sensitive skin than simply unscented).
The brilliance of the company’s stain remover cannot be understated, especially for those who’ve had less-than-powerful results with natural detergents in the past: It’s a brightening, smudge-obliterating miracle solution.
The reasons to avoid the “forever chemicals” in conventional nonstick cookware are many; the alternative, ceramic nonstick, poses no such dangers, and the goop Home set in particular is as chic-looking as it is sustainable.
Cleaning ceramic nonstick pans is the key to keeping them nonstick. If your pan starts to stick more or you notice stains that are hard to get rid of, this means that the pan was brought to too high of a temperature, burning oil into the surface. It’s easy to get rid of, however: Heat water in the pan over low heat to release the oils. For advanced cases, a melamine sponge should do it. (Avoid this problem altogether by never using more than medium-high heat and by using high-smoke-point oils like avocado.)
Every kitchen needs at least one cast-iron pan—and once you’ve got it, it should serve you pretty much forever, making cast-iron one of the most sustainable choices there is. And knowing how to clean them makes all the difference in how they perform. Most important: Don’t use soap, and season the pan with oil as often as you can (smooth oil onto the clean surface of the pan and heat for a minute). To clean anything that’s stuck to a properly seasoned pan, soak it in warm water for a few minutes before easily scrubbing it away.
The EPA is finally looking at regulating forever chemicals, but it’s not there yet, so filtering your water is still essential. This one, from a company famous for its best-in-class carbonators, is made of durable dishwasher-safe glass and steel and takes steel cartridges that you can use over and over (instead of single-use plastic ones).
Made in the US with Australian essential oils, these three cleaning essentials—dish soap, multipurpose cleaner, and hand soap—smell incredible, look adorable, and really get the job done.
By now, most people understand the problems with ingredients like triclosan, but even just the surfactants and fragrance ingredients in conventional hand washes can be harmful (not to mention dry out skin). This chic, large pump bottle of hand soap smells, as promised, like a garden of earthly delights—keep one by the kitchen sink as well as in the powder room and bathrooms.
The Living Room
This tip actually works anywhere in the house: Conventional air fresheners can contain endocrine disruptors, irritants, and more. The Spiritus candle from The Maker manages to smell fresh, mysterious, and sophisticated all at once (it’s the signature scent of the Maker hotel in Hudson, New York), and while it’s the perfect subtle home fragrance, it manages to give any room a faint scent even when unlit. We keep ours on the coffee table in the center of the room so every time we (or our guests) sink into the sofa, we get a little airy hint of Spiritus.
This miniature air purifier wipes out 99 percent of the dust, viruses, and bacteria in the air within an hour. The tech senses the air quality in the room and adjusts accordingly—not to mention silently.
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