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Cruelty-Free Cleaning: Avoid Animal Testing with Green Products

March 5, 2024

Cruelty-Free Cleaning: Avoid Animal Testing with Green Products


Going green with your home cleaning products is not just about using natural ingredients, it’s also about avoiding animal testing. As a conscious consumer, I want to use soaps, detergents, and other cleaners that are both environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free. Here’s what I’ve learned about choosing cruelty-free cleaning products and some of my favorite brands that don’t test on animals.

What Is Cruelty-Free?

Cruelty-free means that a product was not tested on animals during any point in development. This applies to the finished product, as well as the individual ingredients.

Some ways that companies test products on animals:

  • Skin irritation – Chemicals rubbed on shaved skin or eyes of rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.
  • Oral toxicity – Force-feeding chemicals to animals to test effects.
  • Inhalation – Locking animals in chambers and exposing them to sprays and powders.

Cruelty-free labels from organizations like Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free, and PETA certify that no new animal testing was done. However, there are no federal laws in the US that regulate these labels. Consumers have to dig deeper to confirm a brand’s policies.

Why Choose Cruelty-Free?

There are a few key reasons why I choose cruelty-free cleaning products:

  • Animal welfare – I don’t want products I use every day to cause animal suffering.
  • Human safety – Animal testing isn’t always applicable to humans. Cruelty-free shows a brand cares.
  • Environment – Animal-testing labs generate a lot of toxic waste. Green brands avoid this.
  • Effectiveness – Non-toxic plant-based ingredients can be just as effective.

How to Find Truly Cruelty-Free Brands

With so many brands making cruelty-free claims, how can you identify which ones are truly animal-friendly? Here are 3 things I check for:

1. Comprehensive Cruelty-Free Policy

A vague statement is not good enough. I look for details on:

  • Not testing on animals at any stage of product development.
  • Not allowing outside companies to conduct testing on their behalf.
  • Not selling products where required by law to test on animals (e.g. China).

2. Third Party Certification

I look for logos from certification bodies like Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free, or PETA. This ensures that a third party has verified their policies.

3. Transparent Sourcing

Brands should provide information on where they source ingredients. Some red flags include:

  • Mystery ingredients like “fragrance”.
  • Imports from China or other countries that require animal testing.
  • No information on sourcing at all.

Top Cruelty-Free Cleaning Brands

Here are some of my favorite cruelty-free cleaning product companies:

Mrs. Meyer’s

  • Certifications: Choose Cruelty Free, Leaping Bunny, PETA
  • Details: Plant-derived, biodegradable ingredients. Clearly labeled sourcing.

Seventh Generation

  • Certifications: Choose Cruelty Free, Leaping Bunny
  • Details: Transparent supply chains. Vegan products. Leader in sustainability.


  • Certifications: PETA
  • Details: Natural plant and mineral ingredients. Ships plastic neutral.


  • Certifications: Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free
  • Details: Makes cleaning product concentrates to reduce plastic waste.

Dr. Bronner’s

  • Certifications: Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free, PETA
  • Details: Organic and fair trade ingredients. Range of vegan products.

Making the Switch to Cruelty-Free

Going green and cruelty-free with your home cleaning supplies is easier today than ever before. I’ve found switching to brands like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and others really straightforward. Here are some tips:

  • Start with one product category – Swap out hand soap or laundry detergent, then expand from there.

  • Shop specialty stores – Check health food and eco stores for more options.

  • Price match – Cruelty-free doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare prices.

With so many quality choices, there’s no need to buy cleaners from brands that test on animals. And you can have peace of mind knowing your dollars aren’t supporting cruelty. The planet and animals thank you!

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