Wondering how to use Branch Basics and how well it really works? This post gives a full review!
If you’re a loyal blog reader, you already know that a healthy lifestyle and clean living is hugely important to me. And while I talk about running, clean beauty and recipes often, I haven’t really talked about my household cleaners yet.
Household cleaners and products are some of the worst offenders when it comes to harsh ingredients and toxins. And if you are careful about what you put ON your body (like I am by using Beautycounter and Primally Pure) then, you should also care what you’re touching and breathing day to day. I’ve especially been cognizant about using less harsh ingredients while pregnant.
And while I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to clean living – I don’t buy all organic food, I highlight my hair occasionally, and I’m always on the hunt for the BEST mascara – I do try to make a conscious effort to switch to better products that we use in our daily life. Progress is better than perfection. (And definitely better than not trying at all!)
Branch Basics Review
In the past few months, I’ve really focused on improving what we use for our household cleaning supplies. In fact, I started using Branch Basics occassionally about a year ago. But have been using it almost exclusively for a few months now. And I’ve also been really happy with it (once I figured out a few things, mainly around scent!). So let’s dive in!
What is Branch Basics?
Branch Basics is a concentrate and multi-purpose cleaner that is plant and mineral based. It removes grease, grime, dust, and dirt, without the harmful chemicals that typical multi-purpose cleaners leave behind. The unique thing about Branch Basics vs. other clean cleaners you’ll find is that you only have to buy ONE product. How? Via their concentrate that you can use for creating almost any type of cleaner.
- Purified Water
- Decyl Glucoside
- Organic Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract
- Sodium Citrate
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Sodium Phytate
Branch Basics Concentrate is:
- Human Safe
- Plant and mineral based
- Free of harmful preservatives
- Not tested on animals
- Non GMO
How Branch Basics Works
The Branch Basics concentrate is simply mixed with water. The exact ratio of concentrate to water varies depending on the type of cleanser you’re making, e.g. laundry detergent vs. counter spray vs. hand soap. In fact, you can add essential oils for scent or leave it as is. This short user guide is helpful and this comprehensive user guide is also SUPER helpful.
They provide a guide for how much concentrate to use per “product” that you’re making. So instead of buying a million different products, you only need one bottle of concentrate + water + bottles to hold your mixtures. You can also either buy the spray bottles directly from Branch Basics which are made with measurement lines on them. Or use your own bottles and measure the concentrate and water yourself. Branch Basics offers both plastic and glass bottles. And the glass ones are so pretty, you almost want to clean. (In fact, I do weirdly love wiping the counters down.)
photo via Branch Basics
Are typical cleaning products actually toxic?
Yes, many are. Many of the products in our homes are harmful for us. In fact, they even contribute to things like respiratory issues, fertility issues, cancers, immune systems and more. There are so many chemicals in the products that we use everyday, and making the switch to a brand like Branch Basics is such a simple but effective choice for your family’s health.
To evaluate what’s under your sink, Branch Basics recommends thinking through these things:
If there is no ingredient list, toss.
If the bottle says WARNING, CAUTION, or DANGER–– toss.
If Fragrance is listed as an ingredient, toss. (Same goes for beauty products!!)
And if it says UNSCENTED or FREE & CLEAR, without an ingredient list to verify, toss. (“Fragrance” will often show up in these!!)
If it contains Synthetic Preservatives, get rid of it. Words to look for: Methylisothiazolinone, Benzisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol.
If it contains Ethoxylated Ingredients, toss.
Branch Basics Starter Kits
There are a few options to get your cleaner cleaning going, outlined below.
Starter Kit + Oxygen Boost
This is the option I started with since I knew I wanted to replace as many cleaners as possible from the get-go. It also comes with the 33 oz concentrate, three empty spray bottles, one Foaming Wash bottle, one Laundry bottle and one Oxygen Boost.
The basic starter kit has a 33 oz. Concentrate, three empty spray bottles, one Foaming Wash bottle and also one Laundry bottle.
The laundry kit comes with a 33 oz. Concentrate, one Laundry bottle and one Oxygen Boost.
If you’re just trying to see if you think you’ll like Branch Basics, start here. This set comes with a Mini Concentrate, which has just enough concentrate to make one full bottle.
Use this link and the code TERI for 10% off any starter kit!
What can you use Branch Basics for?
Everything. In short, the concentrate is safe for practically every surface. We’re talking your garage floor, your delicate laundry, sneakers, ovens, driveways, and also even your PETS. Below is an extensive list and their user guide has Branch Basics recipes to help you know how to use the concentrate for each!
Bathing your pets
Cleaning your jewelry
Washing cloth diapers
Cleaning your coffee machine
Washing your face
Is Branch Basics a disinfectant?
It is not. In fact, it is not a sanitizer either. Branch basics works to remove germs from surfaces the way soap and water does from your hands.
My favorite ways to use Branch Basics
You know that concentrate that I just mentioned? I’ve that I’ve been using it as my detergent for our laundry for a few months now. I love it. In fact, I just add the correct measurement of water, and voilá, detergent. Moreover, using Branch Basics as your detergent removes chemical residues from clothes that have been cleaned with harsh detergents that are toxic and can be absorbed by the skin. In addition, removing these chemicals from clothing is especially helpful people with eczema, psoriasis or other skin irritations.
I am particularly sensitive to scented detergent, and Branch Basics doesn’t make my skin itch or make my throat feel scratchy like most laundry detergents. In fact, the only other detergent I can use is the Clear & Clean Seventh Generation detergent. But I much prefer using Branch Basics for laundry so we just have one since I’ve also been using Branch Basics to wash baby clothes. That’s been much simpler rather than buying baby-specific detergent (which often have ingredients I’d want to avoid anyway!).
JANUARY 2021 UPDATE: I REALLY want to love Branch Basics for laundry but I found over time that my clothes were stiff and hard! It was fine at first but after using it for a few months, I hated how our clothes, towels and sheets felt. So, I no longer use Branch Basics for laundry. I DO still use it for cleaning supplies in the kitchen and bathroom. I’m currently using Seventh Generation Free & Clear for Sensitive Skin detergent and like it, but would love to hear others you like!
The laundry detergent lasts forever since you use just 3/4 – 1 capful! And it’s also a small cap!
In addition, I also use the Oxygen Boost (one of the only other products they sell, other than the concentrate) with the concentrate to spot treat. And it’s been so great so far. And I add it to the wash whenever I’m washing towels or sheets.
All you need for this is a foaming hand soap pump. I also like to add various essential oils to it, depending on the season and my mood! But lately, I’ve loved peppermint and lemon!
I use the multi-purpose cleaner mixture for my kitchen counters, with lemon essential oil added. For instance, I use it to wipe down my Peloton after sweating all over it, without additional scent added.
Using essential oils
While I was iffy about Branch Basics at first I realized that I liked it a LOT more once I started added essential oils. I am actually really sensitive to scent and hate scented laundry detergent, garbage bags, etc. but I do like the freshness that an essential oil brings to the Branch Basics cleaning products!
Ready to shop? Use this link and the code TERI for 10% your starter kit!