Chrissy Teigen loves her new cleaning brand, Safely. But, do we?
We put this celebrity-backed cleaner to the test
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First there was Jessica Alba and her own line of ethical beauty, baby, and cleaning brand, Honest, that she kicked off in 2011. Eight years later, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard unleashed Hello Bello, their own earth-friendly baby and cleaning brand that’s partnered with Walmart.
Conscientious cleaning buffs can rejoice because Safely is the latest celebrity-powered care brand, this one focused solely on plant-based cleaning products, and the brainchild of A-listers Chrissy Teigen and Kris Jenner.
Safely’s bright green, refillable and reusable bottles contain household cleaning products—like all-purpose spray, hand sanitizer, and laundry detergent—that are plant-based and “actually work.” We tested a few products to see how true that claim is.
Teigen and Jenner claim that Safely cleaners are plant-powered, with the website stating: “Products are free of stabilizers, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and animal byproducts.” Safely also advertises that it uses the “cleanest ingredients” it can, but it doesn’t have any environmental certifications or sourcing transparency.
Though I recognize some ingredients—benzisothiazolinone, cocamidopropyl betaine, and citric acid—from studying and writing about cleaning products in the past, I don’t recognize a lot of the ingredients in Safely’s products. I’m also wary of ingredient lists that state, simply, “fragrance,” because it’s an unregulated “trade secret,” meaning the chemicals used in the fragrance do not have to be reported.
With such a star-studded promotion from plain-talking Teigen, we decided to try Safely cleaners for ourselves. I tested out the glass cleaner, universal cleaner, and the everyday laundry detergent. Each is sold separately, or all three together in the Essential Home Kit.
Here’s what I think about Safely's cleaning prowess.
What I like about Safely products
They clean OK
I used the glass cleaner and universal cleaner around the house, spraying counters, mirrors, sinks, and my shower. The universal cleaner works well on hard surfaces, and the glass cleaner leaves streak-free surfaces.
You can refill and reuse
All of Safely’s cleaning products come in bright green, plastic bottles. You can buy refills in recyclable bags if reducing plastic waste is important to you.
In many cases, refillable plastic bottles are more practical than materials like glass, especially if you have pets or young children who could tip the bottles over, or worse, shatter them.
What I don’t like
The bottle design is difficult to work with
The spray bottles and laundry detergent offer bottle designs that are difficult to hold and/or spray without your hand getting in the way. Most spray bottles typically have a thinner neck that you can grip with your palm and ring finger and pinky and then use your pointer and middle finger to spray; Safely bottles are a thick cylinder shape which makes it hard to hold the bottle steady and spray with only one hand.
When I used the laundry detergent, the thick detergent didn’t pour out of the cap very well. I ended up having to scoop it out with my hand and then go clean the cap in the sink before putting it back on the bottle.
Its potent fragrance lingers
Safely’s fragrance is also a drawback for me. I admit that I’m picky about product scents in that I don’t like anything too sterile (bleach) or too perfumey, which is what Safely smells like to me.
After using the products (both scents Rise and Spring) to clean my kitchen, its scent lingered for days until I opened all my windows to air the room out. I have the same problem with the laundry detergent; when testing, I could smell the hairspray-like perfume on my clothes even after wearing and rewashing clothes. It also transferred its scent to my dresser and closet. If you don’t mind a potent scent, this may not bother you, but it was a dealbreaker for me.
They don’t clean powerfully
The two Safely sprays I tried get the job done, but they aren’t quite as powerful as other natural cleaning products on sticky and grimy surfaces like stovetops and bathtubs.
I also noticed the universal cleaner didn’t wipe up as well from surfaces like wooden shelves and my desk, even though Safely claims it will work well on hardwood.
Should you buy Safely cleaning products?
No, not in my book.
If you’re looking for a plant-based cleaning option, I think you can do better than what Safely offers. There are other brands that have Made Safe certifications and provide more details about where materials and ingredients are sourced. Good alternatives we’ve tested and liked are Branch Basics and Tru Earth Laundry Detergent—it’s one our top-rated Eco-Friendly detergents.
Safely's Essential Home Kit, which includes the glass cleaner, universal cleaner, and the everyday laundry detergent, sells for $27. This is on the lower end for eco-friendly cleaning products, but in the scheme of things, it’s not cheap.
For example, Reviewed’s senior lab manager Jon Chan looked at Safely’s laundry detergent and calculated its price per ounce. He says, “Compared to Tide on Amazon, Safely is about three times as expensive per ounce.”
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to pay more than a store brand, I want to like the way it cleans and the way it smells.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.