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cleancult Review - Beautiful, Green, and Tough

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.

by Marne Orenich, MSA Reviewer, Cleaning Enthusiast
November 5, 2019| 3 comments

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 for 30% off retail which takes it from $85.20 down to $59.64. 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. The “retail value” I refer to in the glass suite product breakdown section is the cost to purchase one-off products that they used to offer and may again at some point. 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
    • 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

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    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?

    • Cleancult review - september 2019

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    • Cleancult box with lid open

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    • top layer of packaging inside Cleancult box

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    • first layer of product in Cleancult box

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      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.

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        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 in glass spray bottle

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        • side view of all purpose cleaner

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        • close up of spray nozzle

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        • close up of spray nozzle

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          cleancult All Purpose Cleaner, 16 oz. – Retail Value $19.95/Subscription Price $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 in glass pump

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          • side view of cleancult liquid dish soap in glass pump

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            cleancult Liquid Dish Soap, 16 oz. – Retail Value $18.95/Subscription Price $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.

            • 2 cleancult liquid hand soap in glass pumps

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            • side by side view of cleancult liquid hand soap in glass pumps

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              cleancult Liquid Hand Soap, 16 oz. – Retail Value $15.95 each/Subscription Price $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 in glass container

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              • cleancult dishwasher tablets spilling out of glass container

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              • close up of cleancult dishwasher tablet

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              • bottom of cleancult dishwasher tablet glass container

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                cleancult Dishwasher Tablets, 18 ct. – Retail Value $16.95/Subscription Price $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 in glass container

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                • cleancult laundry tablets spilling out of glass container

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                • close up of cleancult laundry tablet

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                • bottom of cleancult dishwasher tablet glass container

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                  cleancult Laundry Tablets, 18 ct. – Retail Value $16.95/Subscription Price $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.

                  • cleancult wool dryer balls next to pouch

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                  • cleancult wool dryer balls

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                  • close up of cleancult wool dryer balls

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                  • cleancult wool dryer balls inside pouch

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                    cleancult Wool Dryer Balls, 3 ct. – Retail Value $12.95/Subscription Price $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 while 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 in wrapper

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                    • back of Cleancult natural bar soap in wrapper

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                    • Cleancult natural bar soap without wrapper

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                    • other side of Cleancult natural bar soap

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                      cleancult Natural Bar Soap – Retail Value $4.95/Subscription Price $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

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                      • side view of Cleancult silicone funnel

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                        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 carton

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                        • back of cleancult all purpose cleaner refill carton

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                          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.

                          • clancult liquid dish soap refill carton

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                          • back of clancult liquid dish soap refill carton

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                            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 ncarton

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                            • back of cleancult liquid hand soap refill carton

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                              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 tablet refill

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                              • back of cleancult dishwasher tablet refill

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                              • cleancult dishwasher tablet refills spilling out of bag

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                                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 tablet refill

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                                • back of cleancult laundry tablet refill

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                                • cleancult laundry tablet refills spilling out of bag

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                                  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. Since they are currently offering discounts on the glass suite you can save 15-30% based on how you purchase them so it makes it quite a bit cheaper than retail. 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.

                                  3 Comments

                                  1. 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.

                                  2. 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!

                                  3. 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!!

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