Last Update: August 31, 2023
There’s nothing like going home for the holidays—especially when you’re going home to a clean house. If you’d rather not spend your hard-earned bonus on expensive professional services to get things in order, try these affordable, smart products for every room of the house. From chemical-free pest repellent to eco-friendly dishwasher detergent to an easy-to-install shower filtration system, we have your healthy-home wish list covered.
This all-purpose, magic sponge cloth from Amala is a gift in itself, cleaning up messes and spills in every room of the house without leaving any streaks or scratches behind. The genius design allows it to absorb up to 20 times its own liquid weight (just wring it out over a sink to release). It’s also reusable—just wash with a soft detergent and let air-dry. You can also pop it into the microwave for a minute to disinfect. Each pack includes three cloths so that you can be fully prepared for what might ensue at the kids’ table (or the grownups’ table, for that matter).
Few scouring powders can get tough-to-clean surfaces gleaming quite like Earth Friendly Products Surface Cleanser. The cream-based, non-abrasive formula makes stainless steel, porcelain, and tile shine without scratching. Bonus: it’s plant-derived, made from fresh-scented lemon oil, and is free of irritants and chemicals like BPA, parabens, sulfates, 1,4-dioxane, and phthalates. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly, just like grandma’s fruitcake.
It’s not just the pre-party cleaning you have to worry about; after all the guests leave, your stack of dirty dishes could be just as daunting—unless you have Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Tablets. Just load up the machine, pop in one of these gel packs, and forget about it. The effective formula—which is free of phosphates and other chemicals—will get to work cleaning grit and grime off plates, stemware, and flatware. There are 25 tablets in every box, so you’ll have enough for the whole season.
The last thing you need at your holiday table is for a spider to crawl across the table and make a scene like something out of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” That’s where Natural Pest Protection from Earthkind comes in. The chemical-free formula relies on natural repellents like citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary, which alter those spidey senses, effectively keeping eight-legged pests away from your feast. Each pouch stays fresh for 30 to 60 days, so you’ll be pest-free into the new year, too.
When you install the New Wave Enviro Shower Filter System in your bathroom, the entire family reaps the rewards. It’s a simple (not to mention affordable) filtration system designed to remove chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, and the presence of any heavy metals from H2O—leaving your water supply softer, cleaner, and healthier. It fits most showerheads and simply screws on, meaning there’s no assembly required (unlike many other gifts under the tree).
Photo credit: Alicia Cho
In addition to working for Thrive Market developing health and nutrition stories, Selena is also a freelance entertainment journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Time Out, Nylon, The A.V. Club, and Paste. She's been anthologized in "That Devil Music: Best Rock Writing" and her debut book will be out in early 2018. When not writing, she travels and hangs with her dog, Slayer.
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