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My Honest cleancult Review - Green Cleaning Products Delivered

My cleancult Review

A Marriage of Green Ingredients and Design

4/5 stars

Pros:

  • Beautiful, minimal design that looks good on your countertops
  • Less is needed for the same amount of clean
  • Low carbon footprint

Cons:

  • Higher cost to get started if starting with glass suite
  • Only one scent option for each product

Verdict:

cleancult is a green cleaning company that uses coconut-derived and non-toxic ingredients to make products for every aspect of your home. They strike me as being really passionate about reducing plastic waste since they’ve opted for a sustainable glass and silicone design, with zero-waste refill packaging that comes in paper milk cartons. What I think sets them apart, though, is how beautiful their bottles are which I am happy to keep in view, unlike other cleaning supplies.

COUPON: Save 20% off bundles! No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Marne Orenich, MSA Reviewer, Cleaning Enthusiast
September 2, 2020| 23 comments

Heads up: The CDC recommends cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces to help stop the spread of disease.

I have a strange affinity for cleaning products, as you may have noticed. I’ve tried a myriad of natural products from brands like Grove Collaborative, Brandless, Blueland, and ThreeMain. cleancult kept popping up via Instagram and several of my pals from the MSA team brought it to my attention, so I thought I’d give them a whirl. After all, any cult that is all about cleaning is one I can get down with.

If you’re curious about cleancult, keep reading for my in-depth review. And if you’re into finding more home-centric subscriptions, take a peek at our list of the best subscription boxes for your home!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Quick Facts

Cost

The overall cost of cleancult is variable and depends on how you filled out your survey and/or which products you choose to start with. If you choose to purchase the “glass suite” products, they’ll come filled with the product but it’s a slightly higher cost to get started ($13.45-$16.45 with mandatory subscription). You can also purchase their home starter bundle kit (which includes everything but the tablet items) for 20% off which takes it from $56.30 down to $45.04. That’s a nice deal since the total value is $64.40 if you purchased each item separately. On the other hand, you’re free to simply order their refills that come in paper milk cartons for the liquids and paper mailers for tablets. The refills are cheaper ($6.95-$8.45), but you’ll have to provide the vessels to hold the various products. cleancult offers free shipping on four or more evergreen glass products as well as on three or more of a refill cartons shipment. At the moment, you must subscribe to purchase their products but can change or cancel auto-shipments at any time from your account.

Products:

  • Evergreen Glass Suite (Now with new colors)
    • All Purpose Cleaner, 16 oz.
    • Liquid Dish Soap, 16 oz.
    • Liquid Hand Soap, 16 oz.
    • Dishwasher Tablets, 18 ct.
    • Laundry Tablets, 18 ct.
  • Refills
    • All Purpose Cleaner, 16 oz.
    • Liquid Dish Soap, 16 oz.
    • Liquid Hand Soap, 16 oz.
    • Dishwasher Tablets, 18 ct.
    • Laundry Tablets, 18 ct.
  • Wool Dryer Balls, 3 ct.
  • Natural Bar Soap
  • Silicone Funnel

Perks:

    • Made with green ingredients
    • Utilizes a sustainable shipping system
    • Leaping Bunny certified
    • Biodegradable zero-waste packaging
    • Auto shipments for refills

Here are the ingredients for the products featured in this review:

All Purpose Cleaner: Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Olive Oil, Potassium Soap, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Gluconate, Zemea Propanediol, Limonene, Citric Acid, Essential Oil Blend

Liquid Dish Soap: Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Olive Oil, Potassium Soap, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Gluconate, Aloe Juice, Limonene, Citric Acid, Zemea Propanediol, and Essential Oil Blend.

Liquid Hand Soap: Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Olive Oil, Potassium Soap, Sodium Chloride, Aloe Juice, Citric Acid, Vitamin E, and Essential Oil Blend.

Dishwasher Tablets: Sodium Citrate Dehydrate, Sodium Chloride (table salt), Sodium Percarbonate, Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash), Sodium Silicate, Cellulose, Surfactants, Lauryl Glucoside, Granulation Excipient, Sodium Silicate, Glycerin, Subtilisin, Distilled Water, Alpha-Amylase, Polycarboxylates, Plant Extract, and Water Soluble Film.

Laundry Tablets: Sodium Citrate Dehydrate, Sodium Chloride Table Salt, Sodium Percarbonate, Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash), Cellulose Gum, Surfactants, TAED (a non-toxic, biodegradable, mineral-based compound), SAS (derived from coconut oil), Lauryl Glucoside, Lignin, Granulation Excipient, Polyethylene Glycol, Sodium Silicate, Glycerin, Subtilisin, Distilled Water, Alpha-Amylase, Lipase, Polycarboxylates, and Water Soluble Film.

Natural Bar Soap: Saponified Coconut Oil, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, and Lemongrass Oil.

Dryer Balls: 100% Natural New Zealand Wool (ethically-sourced).

*Learn more about their ingredients here.

Signing Up & Choosing Your Products

 

The first thing you’ll do is take a short questionnaire to help determine which products you need as well as your refill shipment schedule. You can also just choose which items you want to purchase without going through the questionnaire if you know what you need. You currently cannot purchase cleancult products without automatically being subscribed to a refill plan but you can make changes to the plan at any time.

What comes in the first delivery?

 

Since I chose to start with the evergreen glass suite (as opposed to refills only), my first cleancult delivery came in a large sturdy box with several layers.

 

They also include a pamphlet that gives an overview of each product. I found this helpful with my first box since the sleek glass suite is not labeled and I needed to determine the dish soap from hand soap (the hand soap bottle is shorter) and the dishwasher tablets (2 colors, rectangular) from the laundry tablets (octagonal and all white).

The Glass Suite Products

 

cleancult All Purpose Cleaner, 16 oz. – Retail Value $16.45

Each product in the cleancult line has a fixed scent and the all-purpose cleaner comes in fresh orange zest. The frosted glass bottle it comes in has a soft matte feel and a nice weight to it while the silicone sleeve protects it as well as gripping the surface it rests on. There’s a nozzle with a stream as well as a mist setting that allows you to direct a wider or more concentrated stream towards your dirty surfaces. When I first began using this cleaner, I noticed a sort of “soapy” residue leftover on my slick surfaces like countertops and sinks. It turns out, I was using way more product than needed, and I only had to dial back the number of spritzes I was using (like- down to ONE) to properly coat my countertop. Using less automatically remedied the soapy film I assumed was caused by the coconut oil used in the ingredients but got me the same amount of clean. What really impressed me though it how well this works on wood! Most cleaners just aren’t right for my vintage coffee table but the natural oils in this cleaner worked so well in removing dirt and restoring a nice sheen when using the right amount.

 

cleancult Liquid Dish Soap, 16 oz. – Retail Value $15.45

The dish soap from cleancult comes in lemongrass, one of my favorite scents of all time. This means that I’m not as annoyed when I have to wash a big load of dishes. Like the all-purpose cleaner, the dish soap is made with saponified coconut oil and saponified olive oil which is really nice on the ol’ hands. Also similar to the all-purpose cleaner, I think I began using way more of this than I needed to to get my dishes clean. How could I tell? They were a bit spotty once dried. I decided to dial it back like I did with the cleaner and noticed an improvement. Using less also means each refill will last longer, so that’s a bonus.

 

cleancult Liquid Hand Soap, 16 oz. – Retail Value $13.45 each

Since I revealed that I have two sinks in my home (one in my kitchen, one in my single bathroom) while taking the questionnaire on the cleancult site, my glass suite came with two liquid soap pumps. The scent for this is a really lovely lavender that I revel in. I find myself gently sniffing my hands minutes after washing them to get a whiff of the calming scent. Also made with saponified coconut oil and saponified olive oil, this soap softens the hands so that they don’t dry out when I’m cooking or cleaning. When these bottles first arrived, I should’ve known they were hand soap based on the number I received, but the booklet reminded me that they are simply shorter than the pump that contains the dish soap with the same pleasing design.

 

cleancult Dishwasher Tablets, 18 ct. – Retail Value $14.45

I don’t own a dishwasher, but we have one at the office, so I decided to put these to the test with MSA’s dirty dishes. The tablets come in a subtle lemongrass scent like the previous two products. I have struggled in the past with our dishwasher to deliver clean dishes even though it’s super new and I even bought a rinse agent which didn’t seem to help. However, I’m happy to report that these sweet tablets got our dishes sparkling clean without residue or streaks on glasses and silverware. Amazing! The frosted glass triangular container they’re stored in has a silicone sleeve bottom to keep it from slipping off a kitchen counter and has a plastic lid with a silicone seal that you should never have to toss out. Tip: If you need help deciphering these from the laundry tablets- they’re two-toned and rectangular. There’s also no need to remove the wrapping since it’s made of a safe water-soluble material.

 

cleancult Laundry Tablets, 18 ct. – Retail Value $14.45

I haven’t used many laundry tablets in my day and for some reason I always end up getting large plastic bottles of liquid detergent, but I’m realizing how much space those take up in a landfill which is bad news. Since using my coconut-derived tablets from cleancult (also with water-soluble wrapping that is completely biodegradable, plus safe for humans, aquatic life, and the environment) my clothes are getting fresh and clean without any waste. They’re free of fragrance too so they’re a good option for anyone with sensitivities to heavily scented detergents. The glass container they come in, of course, matches the rest of the bottles and has the same light grey “linen” color silicone sleeve and plastic lid.

Update 3/13/20: cleancult now offers a “mosaic” color line in which each glass item comes in a different soothing color like clay, charcoal, midnight blue, lemon, and lime. 

cleancult mosaic color line

 

cleancult Wool Dryer Balls, 3 ct. – Retail Value $10.95

Wool dryer balls are a more earth-friendly option to dryer sheets. They naturally combat static and soften clothing while bopping around the dryer as your laundry dries. I have already been using dryer balls for years and am a big fan. These particular ones are made with 100% New Zealand wool and come in a set of three, which seems standard. They arrive in a cotton drawstring bag, branded with cleancult’s logo. They’re unscented, so they’re a great choice for those who are sensitive to fragrance and will last up to 1,000 loads. If you’re curious about how they work exactly, they have an article that explains it! Basically, “dryer balls work by separating clothes and letting hot air circulate between them, so you can’t use dryer balls with gigantic loads of laundry! Use dryer balls on medium, regular-sized loads.” Super helpful to know that!

 

cleancult Natural Bar Soap – Retail Value $4.15

cleancult’s bar soap (which you can get free for life with our coupon code) currently only comes in one scent – lemongrass, like the dish soap. This bar feels great on my skin and leaves me feeling really clean but not dry. It reminds me a lot of the lemongrass soap you can pick up at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. I’m doing my best to switch over to bar soap instead of body wash in the shower to cut down on single-use plastics so knowing that a cleancult membership can keep me in free nice-smelling bar soap for life is a nice idea.

 

cleancult Silicone Funnel – Retail Value $3.95

In your first shipment, cleancult includes a flexible silicone funnel to keep future refilling tidy and easy. It comes in the soft grey “linen” color that matches the silicone accents on the glass suite. This will come free with any glass suite purchase you make, but additional funnels will cost you.

Clean, Green Ingredients

All the ingredients in cleancult’s products are either plant-derived, naturally-occurring, or non-toxic. They pride themselves on using only “pronounceable” ingredients and break down where any of the more obscure ones come from on their ingredients info page. While the formulas they use are a little more complex than a brand like ThreeMain, they still keep things “clean.”

Refills & Auto-Shipments

One of the biggest pluses to cleancult’s approach is their refills that come in biodegradable paper milk cartons (for liquids) and mailers (for tablets). They even have a blog post on how to recycle them as well as how they differ from the average milk carton. In addition to being zero-waste, cleancult uses a sustainable shipping system through their partnership with carbonfund.org that allows them to be carbon-neutral. You can set up your refill subscription to fit your needs and change or cancel it at any time through your profile.

I already went over the products earlier, but I wanted to show you how they all arrive in their paper packaging and what they cost.

 

cleancult All Purpose Cleaner Refill, 16 oz. – Retail Value $6.95

Here’s the all-purpose cleaner which comes in a 16-ounce red carton.

 

cleancult Liquid Dish Soap Refill, 16 oz. – Retail Value $6.95

The liquid dish soap comes clearly labeled in a 16-ounce blue carton.

 

cleancult Liquid Hand Soap Refill, 16 oz. – Retail Value $6.95

The liquid handsoap (probably what I’ll use the most of) arrives in a 16-ounce grass green carton.

 

cleancult Dishwasher Tablets Refill, 18 ct. – Retail Value $8.45

The tablets are slightly different and come in a plastic-free paper mailer. You’ll get 18 dishwasher tablets in each pack. That breaks down to $0.47 per load of dirty dishes.

 

cleancult Laundry Tablets Refill, 18 ct. – Retail Value $8.45

Like the dishwasher tablets, the laundry detergent tablets come in the same paper mailer and you’ll get 18 of those in each pack too. That breaks down to $0.47 per load of laundry.

Value

As far as value goes, it’s dependent upon whether you purchase the glass suite or simply go with refills and use bottles you have at home. Since the glass suite is a larger cost up-front, the products will range from $0.84/ounce – $1.02/ounce for liquids or $0.80/each for the tablets (using the “subscription” price which is the only way to get them right now). Refills are considerably cheaper and shake out to be $0.43/ounce for liquids or just $0.47/each for tablets. Even the refills are a bit pricier than brands like ThreeMain ($0.25-$0.44/ounce), or the more familiar Mrs. Meyers ($0.25/ounce) that you can find at big box stores but their tablets are almost on-par with brands like Honest Company ($0.44/each). Keep in mind that it’s hard to get high quality, good design, earth-friendly, and cost-effective all in one product so it’s really up to you as to what is the most important for your life.

Verdict

While I’ve tried many different green cleaning products recently, cleancult seems to be exceptionally dedicated to keeping their carbon footprint super low and only using ingredients that are safe for humans, animals, and the earth. They also do this while having some of the most beautiful bottles and containers I’ve seen from a green brand that makes me want to keep everything out on my countertops which, in turn, encourages me to keep my home clean. I like their laundry tablets, hand soap, dryer balls, and dishwasher tablets the best for my needs. Their all-purpose cleaner and liquid dish soap have a slight learning curve on countertops since less if more but the all-purpose cleaner on wood is way better than any other green cleaner I’ve used. I’ve found cleancult to also have the most robust offering of products that makes it easy to convert every part of your home to an earth-friendly corner. I hope to see more scents offered in the future, but I think they’ve got quite a handle on keeping things clean and safe.


Learn More about Cleaning Subscriptions

Looking for ways to making cleaning easier or more green? Check out some of these helpful reviews and articles:

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Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Comments (23)

  1. I have not yet purchased anything but I am very interested I finding green,plastic free shampoos conditioner lotion and face creams. Do you have any plans to expand your product list?

  2. I thought I ordered just a box of products from CleanCult, then 2 months later got a notification of another payment… when I went to check, it said I was on a 2-month subscription plan. I don’t remember seeing this mentioned during ordering, and the order email doesn’t mention it either.

    When I go to try to cancel the subscription, there’s no link to cancel, and the item quantity section won’t go below 1. There’s just a shipment “pause” feature… well that’s fine if I need to delay a shipment because I’m away from home or moving or something, but I want to cancel the subscription.

    When I go to their FAQ, the cancel question says to “change the timing or details of your Cleaning Plan shipments on your Profile page to make sure that your next order is just the way you like it”… but cancelling a subscription butts heads with a “next order”, doesn’t it?

    I can’t tell if they’re being deceptive or the site words things poorly. I’ve worked for companies that were shady with cancellations or made it difficult or impossible, and they didn’t last long. If CleanCult isn’t confident in their products’ quality, then they should close up and make something else, because they sure don’t seem confident in returning customers without forcing them into an unclear subscription with unclear cancellation procedures.

    This has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth, though I haven’t tried the initial products yet (because I haven’t run out of my previous soap yet). The owners now look bad to me, and their commercials show in my YouTube stream.

    • Dave,

      If you log in to cleancult then go to your profile. click on your next shipment date then pause, this pauses your membership, not just next shipment. You can also send an email to support asking them to cancel.

  3. Brandless is no longer in business, just thought I’d let you know!

  4. FYI – you do not need to sign up for recurring shipments, unless of course you want to. (Yay!!)

    I just ordered 4 items (laundry tabs, dishwasher tabs, all purpose cleaner, and a bar of soap). In my shopping cart for each item I could “x” out the recurring shipments option, thus just making a one-time purchase. Using the code MSACLEAN15 gave me 15% off and the bar of soap for free. Thanks MSA! (After ordering, I went back into my accounts to see my list of recurring shipments, and nothing was listed. Success!)

  5. Hey Marne, now that you’ve had the cleaners a few months, how are the pumps and sprayers holding up? I often find that by the time a plastic bottle is empty, the sprayer is starting to act up or the pump is all gummed up with soap residue. Now of course I can soak the soap pump in hot water and get rid of the residue, but I’m just curious for an update. Have the pumps and sprayers held up?

    Love the LOOK of the products, definitely sleek enough to live on the counter! Appreciate any insight you can give after using these products for 4 months.

    • Hey Chelsea- great question. They’re both holding up just fine! I must admit that I haven’t been using the sprayers as much since I have other products to use as well (Grove Collaborative, ThreeMain, etc) but both of the soap/dish pumps from cleancult have been great in the kitchen and the bathroom. I’ve been using their laundry detergent tablets exclusively since writing this as well and I’m very pleased with them! I have mainly been using the cleancult multi-cleaner for my hardwood furniture since it has coconut oil in it and that’s been working great.

  6. Though I love the idea, especially the “milk carton” refills (that is the reason I tried the product in the first place), the dish soap itself has not impressed us. The smell is great! However, I am surprised you say in your review that it takes less product to clean. We just don’t get the “suds” that we want or the grease cutting power that we expect. Though I was willing to live with it because of the plastic free refills, my husband really dislikes the soap.

    We love the hand soap refills. This is the only product I am continuing with.

    For the laundry I have decided that just buying powder soaps instead of liquid at the store (such as Seventh Generation) is more economical. Just wish they didn’t include a new plastic scoop in every box.

    • the refills are not plastic free, the cartons are lined with plastic

  7. I wish to stop my automatic refill of all products please.

    • Hi Deborah, you can change or cancel your automatic refills at any time through your profile. If you have any issues, we recommend calling Cleancult directly at 833-437-3363. I hope this helps!

  8. Thank you for your review. It was very helpful in helping me determine the efficacy of their products. Totally sold me.

  9. This seems really cool. I currently use grove so I have all the glass sprayers and such I just wish they also did the concentrated refills those have saved me so much space since you just dilute the tiny tube with 16 oz of water.

    • I was about to write the same thing. I recently switched to refill tablets for my foaming hand soap and the refills are about the size of a Crystal Light single serving packet that I add to 12oz. Of water. I am looking for a great sustainable, reduced water dishwasher detergent. If anyone has a recommendation, I would appreciate the info.

      • Where are your concentrated hand soap refills from? Would like to try.

        Have your Grove sprayers held up? Mine has not and I don’t know if I should ask for a replacement if it will break just as fast (a few weeks).

      • I use SoluSoap for the hand soap and it is working really well. Not sure if the URL will post, but their website is https://reordersupply.com/collections/packets
        I haven’t had any clogging issues from my Grove Collaborative bottles, but I am a slob who rarely cleans. I have had a few of their bottles for about 2 years without an issue.

      • It looks like my comment with the URL didn’t go through, so I will try again. The foaming hand soap refills I use are called SoluSoap. I am very pleased with how they work and I was able to use a foaming soap bottle that I already had (from Method) for the refills.
        I have several of the Spray bottles from Grove Collaborative and while I am a slob who rarely cleans, I haven’t had any trouble with the bottles and I have had the bottles for 2-3 years. If yours isn’t working correctly, I would suggest that you contact the company. I have found that their customer service is great.

      • I’m intrigued by SoluSoap as I have a few foaming dispensers (I found some decorative ones at Ross/TJ Maxx). What does it smell like? I dislike flowery or powder scents.

      • Regarding SoluSoap: SoluSoap is clear and 100% unscented. One can add fragrance oil if it is desired. Web site for SoluSoap is http://www.SoluSoap.com. Free shipping on all products and foaming hand soap refills are $.89 when ordered in set of 20 packets. I have been using it and love it!

  10. Wow, what a detailed and informative review. Thank you. I think I’d like something like this, thanks for brining it to my attention. I don’t use my dishwasher often but I do like to keep some tabs on hand for once in a while so I like that they include both the tabs and soap. I also love lemongrass scent so that is perfect too!

    • My pleasure. Glad you found it helpful, Anna!

  11. Thank you for reviewing this, Marne. I’ve been looking for more environmentally friendly products that I could have delivered. With the chaos of grad school (and a teaching/research assistantship) I often end up forgetting to buy cleaning stuff until I’m out! This may be worth a go!!

    • That’s a great point, Carolyn! I don’t think of myself as all that busy, but having auto-refills can certainly help with busy people/households.
      Awesome that you’re doing so much to accomplish your goals! Kudos!!

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