Branch Basics makes cleaning safe and simple—but does it work?
Can this eco-friendly solution really clean?
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Each year, I look forward to a thorough spring clean. Honestly, I like a deep, seasonal clean every few months, too.
I live in an older home that shows it’s had a lot of tenants. The sink and floors are stained and scuffed, and dust tends to accumulate every few days. I also have a few dozen plants that drop leaves and soil as I move them around the house. Between me and my roommate, we create a good amount of mess that needs to be tidied up every few days.
Here’s what I’m getting at: I never mind cleaning. However, I’m picky when it comes to the products I use in my home. I look for products with natural ingredients, sustainability efforts and certifications, and simplicity because I don’t want to clean all the time.
My interest was piqued when I discovered Branch Basics through Jules Acree and Jeanette Ogden’s Instagram accounts. Branch Basics has also been featured in publications like The Oprah Magazine, Forbes, Goop, and People.
I decided to test out the brand and its claims during my spring cleaning session this year. Here’s my experience!
What is Branch Basics?
Branch Basics is a women-owned company making toxin-free cleaning products for healthier homes. The company uses a single concentrate model—and you use this concentrate in different ratios to make a range of products—including laundry detergent, glass cleaner, hand soap, and all-purpose cleaner—for cleaning things around your home.
Branch Basics’ products have a handful of sustainable feats. They are human safe, plant and mineral-based, fragrance-free, biodegradable, no harmful preservatives, biodegradable, non-GMO, and are not tested on animals.
The concentrate is Made Safe-Certified as well. This is to say that you can use these products in your garden, on toys, on clothing, and around your children without worrying. Air quality is often worse inside than outside, so using products with fewer toxins is a big deal.
And, per the Branch Basics website, “removing toxic cleaning products from your home, not just adding safe ones, is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health.”
What I got
I ordered the Premium Starter Kit and put the products to the test in every room of my home.
The Premium Starter Kit includes a 33.8 fluid ounce bottle of concentrate, oxygen boost, and five reusable plastic bottles for creating the different cleaning fluids.
What I like
I absolutely love using Branch Basics for spring cleaning. As soon as I received the products I made each cleaner by adding water to the fill line, adding concentrate to the second line, and screwing the spray top on.
It’s convenient to use the concentrate to make all the other products. It means less storage of bulk products under your sink! And, after making glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, and hand soap, I still had over half of the concentrate left for future use and hard-to-clean spot treatments.
I also like having the separate bottles for the different formulas, because I am more likely to clean a room if the bottle is already in there—rather than going downstairs to get the spray, as I usually have to. It’s a system that works well for me and my roommate, especially since we’re all still living in the midst of a pandemic.
The cleaners do their jobs well
When I tested it, the all-purpose cleaner worked wonders on my stained sink, dirty microwave, and stovetop. The brown stains on the sink faded as I sprayed it with the all-purpose cleaner each day. I used the bathroom cleaner to wipe down my microwave (inside and out) because I needed the more concentrated ratio. The cleaner cut through the soup splatter and popcorn butter and left the microwave smelling fresher and looking much cleaner. I got the same result using the all-purpose cleaner on my stove; the oil and grease buildup were no match for the spray, and it was easy to wipe away after letting it sit for 4-5 minutes.
The bathroom cleaner worked similarly in the bathroom, keeping the tub stain-free even after bath bombs. My roommate and I sprayed the sink down each evening tool, which helped remove little stains from makeup, toothpaste, and hand soap that accumulated throughout the day.
The glass cleaner didn’t leave any streaks, as long as I didn’t let it sit too long before wiping it away.
The Oxygen Boost is my favorite of the Branch Basics products that I tried. It is just as fantastic as the 450+ user reviews on its website claim it is.
I added water to the Oxygen Boost to make a paste that lightened stains in t-shirts and made the white soles of my shoes look like new. You can also buy the 2-lb container of Oxygen Boost on its own, for only $10, and I can’t urge you enough to add this to your order. It will clean stains like no other product I’ve tried, and it’s Made Safe-Certified, too.
What I don’t like
I don’t have many complaints about Branch Basics. At first, I thought the smell of the bathroom cleaner was a bit too chemical-y. It reminded me of the smell of bleach when I dyed my hair blonde. Now, I don’t even notice that smell anymore.
The bottles had disappointing moments
The bottles in the Starter Kit are plastic, and the shape and spout of the laundry detergent bottle makes it hard to pour the recommended amount since the mix is more watery than other detergents.
However, I can switch out the bottles for glass (like this set from Branch Basics line) or metal ones that I have on hand.
I do see the benefit of the plastic ones because they don’t break, but this 3-pack from Amazon is also a good swap.
If you opt for your own bottles, you can find the dilution ratios on the Branch Basics FAQ Page.
Is Branch Basics worth it?
Yes! I absolutely plan to keep using Branch Basics in my home. I’ll buy the concentrate and the Oxygen Boost as I run out. Each product worked so well for its intended use, and it was easy to refill each one as needed. The Premium Starter Kit has everything you’ll need for only $69, which will last you months, even if you clean often.
There is a subscription option if you know you’ll use this regularly and want to save money.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.