By reading the title of this article, you must have been surprised. What do you mean, not all household products are vegan ? Indeed, when we talk about veganism, cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, most cleaning products are not cruelty free and are the cause of great animal suffering … We take stock with you, and we give you all our tips for having a clean house while respecting the planet and even how to prepare your own vegan cleaning products !
Cruel and unnecessary tests
The vast majority of household products sold in supermarkets are tested on animals. They are not affected by European legislation banning animal testing (that said, this legislation does not completely prevent testing on cosmetic products either … To make sure your cosmetic products are vegan, choose them labeled). The Body Shop has also launched a major campaign with the aim of definitively ending animal testing in the cosmetic industry, and throughout the world, by 2020.
For each cleaning product sold, a thousand rabbits, pigs, hamsters, rats and mice are tested. For each of the ingredients, several other thousand animals also suffer. The tests carried out are similar to those implemented for cosmetics. Rabbits are particularly used, for example, for skin and eye irritation tests : they secrete less tear fluid and can therefore expel irritants less. They are immobilized and the products are applied directly to their eyes, rendering many rabbits blind. Reproduction tests are also carried out for cleaning products.
All these tests are absolutely not necessary. It is possible to use in vitro techniques with cells, human tissues or even computer calculations. The existing alternatives are more reliable and much less expensive than animal testing: a test on reconstituted skin can cost $ 500 while an animal test can cost up to $ 1 million!
Which brands should you chose?
The labels used are the same as in cosmetics. You can find a number of cruelty free and vegan brands in supermarkets and organic stores. The following brands are cruelty free and 100% vegan cleaning products :
The following brands are cruelty free but not 100% vegan. Animal substances can sometimes be used in certain products: it is then necessary to refer to the list of ingredients, which may for example contain beeswax or animal fats.
Prefer homemade products !
The easiest way to find out where the products you are using come from is still to make them yourself ! It is the healthiest, most ecological and economical alternative to commercial cleaning products. Making your own products is not very time-consuming : you usually just need to spend a few minutes a month. This way you are sure that you are using cruelty-free and vegan cleaning products. Furthermore making your own product is a good way to go zero waste.
Multi surfaces cleaner
To clean all your surfaces, sinks, washbasins, nothing better than white vinegar or alcohol vinegar. You can find it in the supermarket for a few tens of cents.
Pour it into a spray bottle and cut with a little water, then spray it on the surfaces to be cleaned. You can even descale your kettle or coffee maker by pouring a mixture of white vinegar and water into it, or clean your toilet bowl with it. If you don’t like the smell (which dissipates very quickly after cleaning), you can add a few drops of lemon essential oil to it or soak your citrus peels for a few days.
Floors, shower, bathtub
For the floors or your shower or bathtub, you can opt for black soap or Marseille soap, easily found on the market. Baking soda is also a magic ingredient : combined with white vinegar, the chemical reaction can help you unclog your pipes. It can be used as a scouring powder, as a deodorant or as a softener.
It is also very easy to make your own laundry : there are many recipes on the internet. As a softener, you can pour a little white vinegar in the compartment reserved for this purpose of your washing machine. I promise, it doesn’t smell bad at all ! For stubborn stains, you can pre-wash using Marseille soap for example.
You can find multiple recipes online to make you cleaning more natural !
Ban cosmetics testing on animals, Antidote Europe