I Swapped My Usual Cleaning Routine for a Cleaning Subscription Service — and I’m Never Going Back
When it comes to cleaning supplies, I’m what you might call a serial tester: I’ll try anything once if it looks interesting enough. Unfortunately, this strategy sometimes leaves me scratching my head in the cleaning aisle as I read label after label to see what might work for my home and my busy lifestyle. Like anyone else, I like high-quality, effective products, but I don’t always want to go through the trial-and-error of navigating what’s available on the store shelf. So when someone recommended the Complete Home Bundle by Cleancult, I jumped at the chance to try it out.
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If you’re not familiar with Cleancult, it’s a subscription service that delivers eco-friendly cleaning products right to your door. They use natural ingredients and reusable glass bottles, and every bit of packaging can be recycled. But what I love most is that Cleancult takes the guesswork out of picking out supplies and provides a solid foundation for basic cleaning needs around the home. From there, it’s just a matter of refilling when you’re running low. Products are available a la carte, but I went for the Complete Home Bundle, which includes all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, dishwasher tablets, laundry detergent, wool dryer balls, and bar soap (for your body), plus five refillable containers for storing and dispensing it all.
I opted for the colorful mosaic refillable bottle collection with fruity scents (grapefruit basil, sweet honeysuckle, and lemongrass), but there are four bottle colors and four scents from which to choose. Once you order the bundle or any single product, you’ll be enrolled in Cleancult’s subscription service for your refills. Depending on your needs, you can set shipment frequencies to every month, two months, three months, or four months. Personally, a membership that renews every four months is best for me, and in the unlikely event that I run out of a product earlier than expected, I have the option of ordering a one-off replacement. With the exception of bar soap ($4.99), refills range from $9.99 to $14.99, and the reusable bottles are $14.99 apiece. I used to think having cohesive cleaning containers was a little overrated, but now I can’t see myself going back. (I’m already shopping around for matching bathroom sets!)
Since I only had to buy the bottles once, my quarterly Cleancult budget is roughly $60, which covers laundry detergent, hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher tablets, and all-purpose cleaner. If I don’t need a replacement, removing the product from my renewal shipment — and lowering the price — is just one click away.
I have to admit that I made a few missteps when I first started using Cleancult. I poured roughly the same amount of laundry detergent I’d use from my usual store-bought brand, and the scent was so strong, I knew right away I’d poured in too much. Turns out a little goes a long way: You only need an ounce of detergent in a standard washing machine. For high-efficiency washers, a half an ounce will do. Another pro tip: The “wrapping” on the dishwasher tablets stays on. It’s actually a dissolvable film that melts away during the wash cycle. Learn from my mistakes, because, when used properly, Cleancult is highly effective. As an avid tea drinker, I have a few mugs with light but noticeable discoloration, but after letting them sit in a mixture of Cleancult detergent and warm water for a few hours, the stains were gone.
As for Cleancult’s 100 percent recyclable packaging, if your local curbside recycling service accepts cartons, you can just rinse and toss it all right into your bin. (Go to recyclecartons.com to find out if your community accepts cartons curbside.) If not, Cleancult offers a free recycling program for US-based subscribers. Just hold on to the boxes that your products were shipped in so that you can mail them back to be disposed of accordingly.
I grew up in a recycling-conscious home, so I appreciate that Cleancult aligns with my inherent mindfulness of the products I use and what happens when I throw them away. It’s so easy to toss a plastic spray bottle into the trash, but it’s not necessarily the best thing to do for the planet. It feels good to know that the cleaners I use regularly are both highly effective and eco-friendly. I’ve reduced a lot of clutter in my cleaning cabinets since using Cleancult, and I think it’s safe to say that my serial tester days are behind me.
Buy: Cleancult Complete Home Bundle, $89.99