My Product List— Preferring Plant-Derived Ingredients


You can find Dr. Bronner’s soaps in Target, along with most natural grocery stores. And Spectrum Organic White Vinegar in most natural grocery stores in the U.S. And baking soda in any baking aisle, of course.

Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Peppermint Castile Soap with organic ingredients, and Spectrum Organic White Vinegar. These the products I use most often in my health-based cleaning service. And baking soda, or Bon Ami, as needed.


When choosing cleaners for my health-based cleaning service, I go with the least-toxic products that work. Among these, I prefer products made primarily with plant-derived ingredients. Mostly, because these products often work. And to promote healthier environments, indoors and out.


Plant-derived versus what?

There are differences between plant-derived, plant-based, animal-based, mineral-based and synthetic ingredients.  Here’s how I understand and compare each, as a non-chemist.

  • Plant-derived. Derived from plants, and unmodified by petrochemicals.
  • Plant-based. Derived from plants. May be modified with petrochemicals.
  • Mineral-based. Made with naturally-occuring minerals. Examples are scouring ingredients like baking soda, limestone and feldspar.
  • Animal-based. Made with the fat of animals like cattle, sheep or horses.
  • Synthetic. Made partly or purely with petrochemicals, which are made from petroleum or natural gas.


Why I prefer plant-derived ingredients

  • Plant-derived ingredients work at least as well as ingredients from animals or petrochemicals, for most of my cleaning. Not only on the job. But at home, too.
  • The plant world is a renewable resource. The petroleum and fossil world is not.
  • Producing plants creates a lower carbon footprint than producing animals or petrochemicals. Every bit helps!
  • I’m thriving on a mostly plant-based diet, with an occasional pasture-raised egg thrown in. So using plant-derived cleaning ingredients for cleaning is a natural. 🙂
  • Producing plants is more compassionate. If I needed animal ingredients to satisfy my customers, or to have a healthy diet, I’d use them in a heartbeat. But neither is the case.


Choosing cruelty-free

All the products I use are free of animal testing. The commercially formulated products are certified by Leaping Bunny, PETA, or both. If you can have a safe product without cruelty, why go any other way?


Products and brands I use

Here are the products I use most, and the types of ingredients they contain.

  • Bon Ami Powder Cleanser is my back-up for scouring, when I need something stronger than baking soda. Made with “plant-based cleaning agents”. Added are limestone and feldspar, from naturally-occurring minerals.

And here are the products I use sometimes.

  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide is my go-to disinfectant. Made from sulfuric acid and ammonia, which I’ll be researching more.


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Your turn

Have you tried cleaners made with plant-derived ingredients? How are they working for you?

And if you’re a chemist or biochemist, got better definitions than the ones I’ve used here?


Copyright & copy 2010, Regina Ryerson. All rights reserved.