Household cleaning products are essential to a clean and healthy home and lifestyle. But many products used to keep our homes hygienic and fresh often cause harm to animals.
This might be news to you if you’re not sure what it is about your laundry liquid or floor cleaner that might do this. As the society that coined the term ‘vegan’ and has been registering products with the Vegan Trademark for over 30 years, we’re here to get you up to speed and recommend some kinder products to keep up your home with a clear conscience!
Vegan Trademark standards
For a product to meet our standards of being ‘vegan’, we require the following:
- No animal ingredients, derivatives or by-products at any stage of production.
- No animals testing, including on vertebrates and all multi-cellular invertebrates (at the initiative of the company or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the company has effective control.)
Why some household products are not animal-free
There are several ingredients and processes used in the production of cleaning products that may involve the exploitation of animals, therefore making them unsuitable for vegans or anyone looking to use animal friendly alternatives. Here are a few things that make common household cleaning items not suitable for vegans:
Enzymes and fragrances
You may have seen the terms ‘bio’ and ‘non-bio’ on laundry detergents but ever wondered what they mean? Bio laundry detergents use enzymes to break down common stains. These enzymes can be obtained from plants, but also animal derivatives including microorganisms – making them non-vegan. Non-bio detergents don’t contain enzymes, but they can contain fragrances that may be animal derived. The same goes for fragrances in other household cleaning products, too.
In each case, it’s important for our trademark team to establish the sources of these components.
It’s not just what goes into the product that might make it unsuitable however, manufacturing processes may also involve animal use. For example, the most common way enzymes are produced is through fermentation. Fermentation can use both liquid and solid surfaces to grow bacteria. These surfaces can be made up of various ingredients, some of which may be derived from animals. So, whilst the final product may not contain these animal ingredients, the manufacturing process has involved the use of animals.
Ingredients within household products can be tested on multi-cellular invertebrates called daphnia to see if they are safe to go down the drain or to flush without harming aqueous life, for example. We believe all animals have a right to not be exploited, regardless of their size or perceived significance. Thankfully, there are a great number of cleaning brands using alternative testing without the use of animals, therefore making them suitable for vegans.
Vegan household cleaning alternatives
If all that has your mind a little frazzled – our trademark is here to make things simple! Looking for the Vegan Trademark allows you to identify, at a glance, products which are suitable for vegans. Our trusted mark gives you the reassurance that our team has diligently combed through all the different elements that could make a product not suitable for a vegan lifestyle.
Here are some products and ranges registered with the Vegan Trademark to help you on your next household shop:
From disinfectants and hob cleaners, to floor and car care, Astonish have never tested their products on animals or used animal ingredients. All products are registered with the Vegan Trademark and available widely in stores nationwide. Browse their range here.
Fill Refill is an independent family run business in Northamptonshire that makes refillable, plastic-free, closed-loop eco laundry, household cleaning and personal care products. They manufacture the products in their own factory using biodegradable ingredients and no harsh chemicals or dyes. The entire range is Vegan Trademark certified and the unscented laundry detergents are Allergy UK approved. Available in 500ml glass bottles or 5 litre bag-in-box home refills, you can shop them on their website. Alternatively, you could support your local zero-waste Fill Refill stockists and take your clean, empty jars and bottles with you to refill.
Bio-D’s hypoallergenic and environmentally responsible cleaning products, from sanitiser to baby laundry liquid, are another great vegan option for your home. Bio-D use ethically sourced, natural derived ingredients, 100% post-consumer waste recycled bottles, and have hundreds of independent stockists with increasing numbers offering refill stations to help you cut down on waste. Shop and browse their range here.
Ecozone’s natural, non-toxic products are a result of their belief that no-one should have to think too hard about how to lead a sustainable life. As well as having many products registered with the Vegan Trademark, Ecozone aim to make their products affordable. Available at Homebase, www.biggreensmile.com and Ecozone’s website.
A cleaning range where botanical scents and essential oils sit centre stage so your home and laundry will smell amazing while being kinder to animals and the planet. Registered with the Vegan Trademark, Wilton London’s products also use recycled and recyclable plastic, their formulas are biodegradable and don't use unnecessary ingredients. Available at www.wiltonlondon.co.uk and Lakeland stores. You can also find refill stations in many independent stockists.
Ecoleaf by Suma
All cleaning products within Suma’s multi-award-winning household range, Ecoleaf, are registered with the Vegan Trademark. All Ecoleaf's bottled products are in 100% post-consumer recycled packaging, including retail packs and refill drums, and paper products come wrapped in 100% recyclable paper. Available on Amazon, www.thevegankindsupermarket.co.uk, in local health food and zero waste stores, or email info[at]suma[dot]coop to find your nearest stockist.
You can check if a household cleaning product is registered by The Vegan Society by using our Vegan Trademark product search which is sorted by brand name. Happy cleaning!
By Vegan Society Digital Marketing Officer, Nishat Rahman
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.