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How do Seventh Generation Products Stack Up? {REVIEW}

Do I have too much fun with this review stuff? Perhaps I’m becoming addicted to comparing everything in my life. I can hardly buy a new product without wondering how it stacks up against the competition and scheming about how I can get two or three different ones to compare.

I guess if I have to have a vice, that one isn’t too dangerous!

If you are a true veteran at KS, you might remember the saga of the homemade natural dishwasher detergents. I know my husband does. He would still cringe outwardly upon hearing that phrase. When I finally tried a commercial “green” brand, Mrs. Meyer’s did fine and then I fell in love with Biokleen.

Q: Why mess with what works?

A: Because I blog.

When given the opportunity to work with Seventh Generation to test out their greener feminine care, I admit that I asked for a special favor – they threw in some dishwashing goodies for me:

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons.

Even if you think I’m obsessed, I bet you want to know how they worked, don’t you?

Seventh Generation Does Dishes

It’s a split vote.

Dishwashing Liquid: For hand dishes, Seventh Generation performed just fine. I would purchase it again, which is more than I say about Biokleen’s dishwashing liquid. I tested the free & clear version, so nothing to report about scent.

Dishwashing detergent: The powder worked acceptably. However, it did seem that over time, it worked less and less effectively. If you have a decent dishwasher, or if you pre-rinse anyway, I would guess the Seventh Generation powder would work for you. As for me, I’m sticking with Biokleen for this job! In fact, I just ordered four Biokleen Dishwasher Detergents and some Bac-Out at 30% off from drugstore.com; free shipping over $49. That’s a great deal!

The liquid automatic dishwasher gel is where things start to fall apart. It still sits 80% full under my sink. After a couple weeks using it, my husband started asking when I was going to get to the health foods store to buy the Biokleen again. We had piles of “rejects,” especially plates with grease, eggs or cheese on them and many pieces of flatware. I would not recommend the liquid dishwashing detergent at all.

Seventh Generation Baby Products

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons.

I feel guilty every time I admit this in public, but (ahem) I still use disposable diapers. I know, I know, it practically negates every little eco-friendly move I make if I’m going to fill the landfills with such excessive, unbiodegradable waste. If there’s a next time, I promise I’ll use cloth!

For now, I was interested to see how an eco-friendly (as much as disposable diapers can be, I suppose) brand would work.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Diapers: Success! I thought at first that they might be a bit narrow, but even squishy, left-in-there-too-long poops haven’t eeked out, and they absorb as well as Target diapers at least. Maybe even as well as Pampers? They have a soft cover, easy tabs that stay closed but are also not difficult to get to when you need to take the diaper off. The tabs are thicker than Target or Pampers.

My big question here is: are they worth the premium price? Even at 23% off right now, a bulk package is double what I pay for store brand dipes and still higher than what I see for leading brands. The main difference between Seventh Generation’s diapers and a leading brand or store brand is simply the absence of chlorine bleach. They are not made of organic cotton and still have a very similar absorbent material (by the looks of it).

Is that one upgrade worth double the cost, when you’re still filling landfills? I just heard yesterday that the dioxins from disposable dipes may have a role in infertility, especially in men who wore ‘sposies as babies. I don’t know if that has to do with chlorine or the gel material used for absorbency, though. What do you think? Is keeping bleach away from baby’s bottom worth double?

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Wipes: I may not be a very good wipes tester, because I’ve only used homemade wipes for quite a few years now, and I can make them as moist as I like. Then again, sometimes I fight mold with the homemade, so maybe I keep them too wet!

The Seventh Generation wipes immediately struck me as very dry. It was tough to use just one for a BM change. Another problem is that it is hard to get the wipes through the hole in the clumsy lid on the box, which is plastic anyway.

What is the material the wipes are made of? Again, is it worth a premium price for just no chlorine? You can get alcohol-free name-brand wipes. I would hazard a guess that the Seventh Gen wipes are not double the cost, but I still prefer to make my own…

Cleaning with Seventh GenerationEver wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons.

We’ve already established that I am pretty happy making my own natural cleaners, but of course, I was still a bit curious about commercial green cleaners, and they came with the baby stuff (in the kit that you, too, have a chance to win!). I got to play with their disinfecting multi-surface and bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaning spray, plus laundry detergent and paper towels.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. On disinfectants: The active ingredient is Thymol, the same stuff used in Cleanwell’s antibacterial soaps, made from thyme oil. If you’re not making your own green cleaners, this seems like a great option. Note: Seventh Generation used to list all their ingredients on the bottle, but their new packaging does not. I wonder why the change? I prefer full disclosure, you know?

I grabbed for my disinfectants after my daughter threw up all over the toilet and floor. You know, as much as I can read academically that vinegar and hydrogen peroxide disinfect great, sometimes you just WANT something that says “disinfectant” on the bottle. Call me a DIY wimp, but I felt better seeing the label. There. I said it.

Plus, I think they smell good.

All Purpose Cleaner: Again, sometimes it’s nice to have a bottle of cleaner all ready to go, one that tells you on the bottle how to use it, but I generally default to my baking soda and vinegar cleaners. I personally have no use for spending the money on this product.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Laundry detergent: The smell of the lavender and blue eucalyptus version was too strong for my liking. I guess I’ve grown to prefer zero scent and “just fresh” clean clothes, and this scent seemed too flowery for the whole family anyway.

The free and clear “baby” detergent did a fine job, and I would just wash the whole family’s laundry together. When you’re using natural, non-toxic products without artificial fragrances, you can do that. I still prefer soap nuts, maybe just because I’m stubborn. I like that it’s so clear that they come from nature, and the 7th Generation detergent is still somewhat of an unknown quantity, even if I can read the ingredients.

Seventh Generation’s laundry detergent ingredients include sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, the very soap ingredient most people try to avoid, as it is a surfactant that can harm wildlife. I don’t think it’s worth buying a fancy natural soap only to have the same old chemical ingredients in it. It may be a step up from something with phosphates, but it’s not a big enough step for my dollar.

Free and clear non-chlorine bleach: Ingredients: Natural oxygen safe bleach (hydrogen peroxide, which naturally degrades into oxygen and water), oxygen bleach stabilizer, deionized water. Isn’t this just hydrogen peroxide with some stabilizers? It didn’t make any bigger dent in tough stains than the powdered oxygen bleach I usually use, so I think I’ll stick with the powder. It’s too easy to splash the liquid stuff on clothing I don’t want to lose color.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Toilet bowl cleaner: This one was actually not in the package, but I had some from somewhere else. Toilets are one place many people find needs a little more muscle than the vinegar/baking soda variations can give them. Seventh Generation’s product pass muster at our house, so if homemade toilet bowl cleaners aren’t strong enough for you, this is a great option.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Paper Towels: Remember the brown paper towels from elementary school bathrooms? That just describes these recycled paper towels. They don’t absorb. There’s got to be a better way to be green! (There is – go reusable with Skoy or microfiber or old towels and rags.)

{Men, you’ll want to skip this next part. Believe me, nothing interesting down here.}

Chlorine-free Feminine Hygiene Products

In the past six years, there just haven’t been very many months in which I was actually menstruating, between pregnancy and a long stage of breastfeeding infertility (that’s normal). My green tendencies weren’t nearly as strong five years ago, but now I’m ready to make some changes in this area. The first baby step is to try greener yet still disposable pads and tampons. Like the diapers, 7th Gen’s products are not organic, but are chlorine-free.

Ever wondered how good Seventh Generation green cleaners, chlorine-free diapers, and natural feminine hygiene products are? I review it all, pros and cons. Feminine hygiene products: I got to test out just about everything Seventh Generation has in their personal care line, from tampons to maxi pads to pantiliners. They are deemed better than your average brand because there’s no bleaching involved, but they are still wrapped in plastic (the pads) and look pretty much the same as a leading brand of protection, right down to the TSS warnings in the tampon boxes.

The absorbency is better than cheap-o store brand pads and tampons. They perform as I would expect: pads with wings protect your underwear better than pads without, the tampons live up to their absorbency rating, and I’ve had an overall pleasant experience (as much as menstruation can possibly be, which isn’t much at all) with the Seventh Generation products.

The question to ask, then, is whether cutting the chlorine bleach is worth the price premium. Some say yes, some say no. I guess when you’re actually putting something inside your body where any chemicals will certainly be absorbed, I might err on the side of caution. UPDATE: I didn’t even realize that the tampons, at least, are organic cotton, which is a huge improvement in my mind over conventional products. Thank you, Becca, for pointing it out!

Now I need to get Diva Cup to send me a sample so I can try the no-waste version of feminine care, and if I’m really brave I should try some Mama Cloth (cloth pads). I don’t know if I am…but I’m sure I should!

Rather make your own? Here are ALL my favorite natural green cleaners in one comprehensive list.

Disclosure: Seventh Generation provided products for me to review upon my request. I will earn a commission if you buy through drugstore.com, but I also just discovered them and their low prices! See my full advertising disclosure here.

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended
 

…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

80 thoughts on “How do Seventh Generation Products Stack Up? {REVIEW}”

  1. Has anyone ever reported adverse reaction, irritation, “yeast infection” to the Seventh Gen pads/liners? I switched to the liners a month ago and I’ve had 2 what I perceived to be yeast infections. Switch back to store brand and now I feel great. That’s just doesn’t make since? I actually DO have a bleach allergy so you’d think the Seveneth Gen would be LESS irritating?? *so perplexed*

  2. Pingback: Seventh Generation Powder Laundry Concentrated, Free and Clear, 112-Ounce | WWW.PRODUCTS-REVIEW.NET

  3. Was appauled to read on the ingredients list (that could only been seen pulling back the sticker) that both the Dishwashing liquid and Clothes Washing liquid contained ingredients such as SLS. I truly thought these products were free of such things and will be only using Soap Nuts from now on.

  4. I love the Diva Cup!! I need to buy a new one. I didn’t like the 7th generation diapers because they gave my son a horrible rash. i’m a cloth diapering mama or Target brand.

  5. I just bought a DivaCup tonight! I’m excited to try it out…(if “excited” is the right word…)

  6. I had a really hard time choosing 7th Gen. diapers over their conventional counterparts because of the cost. My toddler was on the verge of potty training and I also had a newborn and just didn’t want to deal with the “big kid” dirty cloth diapers anymore. (Newborn poo rinses right out in the washer, whereas big kid poo needs to be either shaken or sprayed out BEFORE going into the washer.) I had gone to our local Kroger to get 7th Gen. diapers, which they carry in their “natural” section. We’re a low(er) income family, and I was really stressing about spending so much on diapers but had a hard time just sucking it up and buying the cheaper conventional disposables. Anyway, I wandered over to the regular diaper aisle, having decided to get the Huggies “Natural” diapers, since at least they didn’t have petroleum like all the others. While looking at all the diapers they had, I noticed the Kroger brand (Comfort Baby, I think) had two kinds. Regular, and “Natural”. When I went to read the package, the Natural kind boasted “chlorine free”. I was pretty excited (ok, more like crazy excited-I felt like I had one the mommy lottery), because as far as I could tell, they were more or less the same as 7th Gen. as far as the pros and cons. They were SUPER inexpensive…like 1/2 the price of the other brands like Huggies and Pampers . They worked really well, and if my toddler hadn’t potty trained a month or so later, I’d still be buying them for her. I honestly felt this little victory of finally finding something that was better than the conventional counter part, and it was actually easily within our means to get-which is a constant struggle for us.

  7. Thank you for the great review!

    I am new (within the past year) to all things “crunchy” but I recently got a diva cup and some mama cloths and I love both.

    Also, thank you for admitting to using sposies… we use mostly cloth (sposies just at night because of rash issues) but it is good to hear that not everyone is perfectly green… sometimes its too hard to do it in every area of life. baby steps, just like you always say!

  8. I am with Elizbeth on the idea of the Diva cup, “ew”. But, I never thought I would be using cloth pads either and I now use Lunapads and I really like them. They have pads with removable liners so that you don’t have to change the whole thing every time. I still use seventh generation or natura pads for travel.

  9. I was checking out some of the pads and it looks like there are some reasonable options on ebay. A little less expensive than lunapads and what not. I must confess that after 3 cycles I’m still struggling w/ getting the Divacup to work right. It seems comfortable enough, though.

  10. Same on the powdered dishwasher detergent – even rinsed dishes come out dirty and discolored. The laundry detergent is also fine, but as you also mentioned, I worry about the SLS they’ve “hidden” in it. The grapefruit dish soap is great, though!

  11. I would love to win any of these products! I have recently started buying natural cleaners and products; I could use all the help I can get! Thanks for the reviews.

  12. I make my own cloth pads as well. I love them and dislike using disposable when I have too. I would get the Diva cup. It is so worth the cost.

  13. I hear everyone raving about a diva cup or others like it but I can’t help but think “ew!” Maybe I’m jsut old school but I think that the “flow” is supposed to do just that-flow- OUT and not hang around -IN! I use natura pads and they work fine, even when I have a heavy flow. I am going to look into glad rags or one of the other brands out there because I find it annoying to use any kind of pad on the lighter days. It seems like a waste, but you don’t want to ruin your panties. I don’t use tampons either for the same reason I mentioned above. It just doesn’t seem natural to me.

    Comment #2-I have used 7th Gen dish soap in a lavendar mint scent (I think that’s what it was) and I loved the way it smelled. Other than diapers, I haven’t used a lot of their products. Maybe toliet bowl cleaner? Personally I like method” little bowl blue” for that. You gotta love the name! I think I will try the biokleen dishwasher detergent since the method tabs I’ve been using seem to be falling down on the job, leaving food on my forks and stuff on my spoons. Ick!

    Comment#3-I use cloth wipes for my twin girls (along with cloth diapers). I just use plain old water on the wipe when I know I am going to change them. Sometimes I use a diaper potion in the water, especially for their first change of the day. To freshen up a bit. I don’t “get” the idea of keeping cloth wipes wet until you use them. Then you have to deal with microbial growth and temperature. I know they have warmers for them but it just seems like it would be teeming with “bugs.” And it’s just one more thing to plug in. I keep my wipes on the bathroom counter so they are easy to grab, wet and go! Then they go right in the diaper pail. Less chemical s on my babies too. I really like that part.

  14. Go, Diva Cup…does my two cents matter at this point? It indulges both my frugal and crunchy tendencies nicely. My only issue is when I’m in a public restroom and can’t get to the sink discreetly. No biggie, though. My all purpose cleaner and hair washing solution is good ol’ baking soda and vinegar. Haven’t branched out into the green laundry and dishwashing soap realms…thank you for your honest, informative reviews. Many blessings!

  15. Katie, I wanted to comment on your moldy wipes – here’s how I made mine; basically added some TTO and then I separate the roll and put half in the refrigerator. I never had another problem with mold after that! (not sure how that stacks up to your method… I can’t find my copy of your camping ebook and I know you described it in there!)

    I got a Keeper (I think) and didn’t care for it, but I think a certain someone’s forceps delivery might have something to do with that. (ahem)

    1. Thank you Lenetta, I’ve been scrolling down reading various posts waiting to see if someone mentions about the “moldy wipes”. I also was going to suggest Tea Tree oil or Lavender EO which both have antibacterial properties along with other beneficial properties.

      Since my husband got laid off for 13 months last year, I had to find many ways of cutting costs on everything. I didn’t want to have to give up natural & organic foods & return to commercial =/
      1st, I decided to give up disposables- paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, silver, pads, & tampons, (my husband would/will never give up TP) We use cut, folding diapers, which I keep folded in a basket to replace the paper towels, use cloth napkins at meals, I never would want to use my china, silver or glasses for outside meals, so I purchase BPA free plates, cups & just use my silver, a friend introduced & recommended the Keeper & Gladrags (I purchased the 3 pk to see & also for a pattern to make my own).
      2nd- I make my own- all purpose cleaning spray, bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, furniture polish, dish soap, hand soap, shampoo, lotion, body scrub, shaving foam, & facial soap. The only thing I can’t make is dishwashing detergent, been using 7th Gen powder & laundry detergent, been using Soap Nuts. I noticed a cut on our grocery bill right away.
      I hope some of this info is helpful even though it’s a bit lengthy, sorry.

  16. I posted this on FB too, but seriously, get a reusable cup! The Diva cup (and probably others) offer a 100% guarantee- if you don’t like it send it back and get your money back. I’ve never had a problem with cleaning mine and I’m probably more lax than most people (I rinse it when I take it out and boil it in plain water every few cycles or when I think of it). I actually killed one (left it boiling and the pot boiled dry) and replaced it with another Diva cup. If I ever have children and need one post-childbirth I will buy another Diva cup in the larger size.
    As for the pads, its easy to make your own but I bought seconds from a seller on ebay. They were cheaper than the regular ones although I had no choice of fabrics (bolt ends). I got about 6 of them and haven’t had a problem. If I was using them exclusively or doing it again I’d opt for a style with wings but these work well for what I need (backup for the cup). I just wash them with the regular laundry and haven’t had a problem.

  17. I liked 7the generation diapers better than pampers up until size 4, after that I didn’t think they worked as well. I just bought some size 3s through the Amazon Mom program and only paid 2 cents more per diaper than for the on sale, deeply discounted pampers. Pretty good.

  18. I like their liquid oxygen bleach. Powdered detergent and oxygen bleach have to do in the same dispenser tray in my HE washer. If I want to use liquids (I like the way it cleans my whites) than I have go w/ their liquid non chlorine bleach. I usually wait until I get a Bed Bath & Beyond coupn in the mail and use that to buy it.

  19. I wanted to add an enthusiastic review for “mama cloth”. I’ve been using cloth diapers for almost 9 years with my five children, and it began to be an easy switch for me to cloth for my own needs too. The disposable pads began to be irritable and itchy. (Like others I have not had too many cycles in those years until the past year). I tried washable pads by Decent Exposures, Glad Rags, homemade and Moonbow and I love the Moonbow pads. They have wool on the back, bamboo fleece (I think) on the front, and they are very soft and very absorbent and comfortable. They also wash up well. I rinse them in the sink in cold water while using the toilet, then finish rinsing if needed, squeeze out and toss them in my diaper pail. Very easy.

    Also, I have used cloth diapers for years and love them. I highly recommend Green Mountain Diapers. However, this past summer we traveled a lot and so I did quite a bit of research on disposable diapers for the travel. I found Nature Babycare diapers by a European company which are only cotton pulp–not the gel– inside of them. They’re even compostable (although I haven’t). It costs about $45 for a case of 4 packs, and I have really liked them (“regular” disposable smell has always disgusted me. These don’t have that.) I buy them from Diapers.com. Oh, and I make my own wipes–both cloth and disposable (paper towel)

  20. We haven’t had paper towels in a long, long, time. I just bought a bunch of cotton washcloths that we use as dishrags and to wipe up spills – they are $5 or so for 18-20. I keep them in one of those holders for plastic grocery bags. The key to making this work is quantity- it won’t work if you only buy 10 washcloths, but use 5 a day and do laundry once a week!

    Washcloths work SO MUCH better than baby wipes. Great for wiping down little faces and hands on spaghetti night, and I use them for diaper changes too. I just run it under the tap and squeeze it out – usually one washcloth is more than enough to clean my 17 month old. I keep a pile of earth toned ones for the diapering so I can tell them apart from my kitchen cloths, which are white and I bleach.

    1. totally agree – washcloths all the way! I inherited a stack from my mother-in-law when we closed out their apartment and I use them for everything. I am able to tell which ones are “kitchen” and which ones are for the more yucky jobs by color or size so they don’t get mixed up. We made the switch to paper napkins last year and I only keep one roll of paper towels (hidden!) for emergencies and soaking up bacon grease.

      I also bought up about a dozen small, flannel baby blankets at Goodwill and cut them up in squares (5×5?) — they are also wonderful for everything. We are slowly transitioning to the “potty cloth” and I can also tell what cloth is what by material this way.

  21. I LOVE my Diva cup! I had trouble with it “leaking” the first couple of cycles I used it. Turns out I was inserting it wrong and missing the cervix. I always double check now. Periods are so much nicer that I sometimes even forget I’m on my period! I do use a cloth liner with mine, or even forgo the liner altogether if I’m feeling daring. Rarely do the liners get soiled at all, and I just throw them in with my towels or dark load. So, I’m not washing extra. Oh, and I have used the Jade and Pearl sea sponges too. I like them, and they are very comfortable. But they don’t hold as much as the cup and are harder to clean in my opinion. They also have to be replaced from time to time as they break down. I would use them over a tampon anyday.

    Thanks for reviewing the 7th gen products. I’ve used several of them with varied success…fairly in line with your experience. Others I haven’t tried and you’ve encouraged me to do so. Like many others said, I love your reviews!

  22. Thanks for the great review post! I’ve tried some seventh generation cleaning products but am not a fan of the smell. One last bottle to finish up and off to try something less scented. Will definitely give the Biokleen dishwasher detergent a try!

    Don’t feel bad about using disposable diapers! I did a research project on them v. diaper service v. home washing and really it was pretty darn even. With disposables you have transport and landfill with the service you have fuel and water and energy to heat it and bleach and with home use you only really save on the transportation fuel but big water plus heating it up use and chemicals of some kind to get them truly clean. Use what works best for your family, it’s really ok.

    1. Hi Marcella,
      I use cotton diapers with my twin girls and I wash them myself. I use Charlie’s powder soap and then a vinegar rinse. No chemicals needed. It is a lot more convenient to have cloth diapers on hand that you only need to wash when you run out rather than to have to pack two babies in a car to go buy more disposable diapers. That saves gas and my energy! There is also a cost savings using cloth over disposables, especially if you use at least some prefolds. They are alot easier to use than I ever thought they would be! The diaper services use chemicals and bleach to clean the diapers because the diapers are not always dedicated to one child’s use. Gross if you ask me. I wouldn’t use a service for that reason alone.
      I am not completely opposed to disposables as they are incredibly convenient for travel. And we used Seventh Gen diapers in the beginning to get through the tar like meconium poops. I actually had better success keeping breastmilk poop explosions contained using cloth than I did with the disposables that I used on my older kids. Check out www.greenmountaindiapers.com for the best prefolds out there! You can diaper your baby for less than $300 for 2 years.

      1. Yes! We totally avoided the “diaper blowouts” that most parents assume are inevitable, by using Dappi nylon covers over cloth diapers. Here are my cloth diaper tips.

  23. I tried the Diva Cup and *hated* it! What am I doing wrong??

    I do, however, love my Jade&Pearl sea sponge. It is unbelievably comfortable and so easy to work with. My tip for public restrooms is to grab a paper towel before going into the stall and have a (recycled) bottle of water to rinse the sponge/hands while in the stall. I have even converted my die-hard tampon-wearing 22yo daughter to the sponge — she is prepping for a 4 month mission trip to several very remote areas overseas and has to carry everything in a backpack. She loves the sponge and the thought of not having to worry about any other feminine products for the duration of the trip.

    I have also been using Glad Rags the past several months and am really enjoying (a relative term) 🙂 using them, as well. They are a much more sustainable and economical choice – and with three daughters – that’s no small thing!

    Sorry this is going long – but one last thought … part of my decision making about what products to purchase now also involves considering the integrity of the company I am supporting. Seventh Generation is a top rated company (according to the Better World Shopping Guide) with regards to their stance on the environment and sustainability. I don’t like/buy all of their products but I do try to support them as often as I can if I am in the market for a product.

    1. Elaine,
      Thank you so much for sharing – excellent info! I don’t hear many people who don’t like the Diva Cup, but MANY people say that different people have different needs.

      I’ve never heard of the Jade&Pearl sponge, but I’m adding it to the list. 🙂 Katie

      1. Jade&Pearl is a natural sea sponge. That is, it’s a dead animal. I’ve always been freaked out by that idea.

  24. If you want to look beyond the Diva or Keeper check out this site: http://www.menstrualcups.org/
    There is so much information here from size to material, to color, to softness to hardness, etc. etc.

  25. Like so many others, I also wanted to sing the praises of the Diva Cup. It took me a couple months to get it completely figured out (i.e. no leaks) but for the past 2 years it has been fabulous. The best part – you don’t even know it is there. You really should try it soon!

  26. I’m with all of the other girls when I say, “BUY THE DIVA CUP”! It is my fave thing. I actually don’t mind my period because of it. I have also heard people say that it helps with with the painful side effects of your period.

  27. Bite the bullet and BUY a Diva Cup! My only problem with mine is that with two kids it’s hard to get any bathroom privacy, but I have that problem no matter what.
    I like 7th Gen Free and Clear spray cleaner. I mostly use it to get bird poo off our playscape. Works much better for that than anything else I’ve tried.
    I liked 7th gen’s liquid dishwasher detergent and didn’t like BioKleen’s powder one. I think it must have to do the hardness/softness of our water. I don’t rinse or scrub either. My problem with the BioKleen was that it didn’t rinse off. You’d have suds in your cup instead of plain water. I love BioKleen’s powder laundry detergent though and Bac Out. I just didn’t feel like the Soap Nuts got our clothes clean.
    I need to try the toilet cleaner! Thanks for the reviews!

    1. Ungh, I HEAR you on the bathroom privacy thing! I’ve had to invent a whole new vocabulary to explain to curious toddlers/etc what in the world mommy is doing once a month…They think “mommy diapers” are hilARious! 🙂 Katie

  28. The chlorine free diapers are definitely worth it. My daughter never had a diaper rash and that included 2 rounds of chemo at age 2. However, we prefer Earth’s Best diapers. They have more padding and are less likely to leak out. She always leaked out of the 7th generation once we got above size 2 diapers. We always just use the refill packs as the plastic container design is just stupid,IMO. Have been using the laundry detergent for several years but considering soap nuts.

  29. Susan Alexander

    I wanted to let you know, if you are in love with 7th Generation (and even if you’re not – if you just want to save money on diapers) – the BEST deal out there is on amazon.com. You sign up for Amazon MOM and do a subscribe and save on your diapers. AWESOME. I do Pampers (because I’m cheap and I’m not convinced of the differences), but 7th Gen are 27.99 with Amazon MOM and free 2 day shipping. The other cool thing about Amazon MOM is that you get free 2 day shipping on ALL your Amazon orders if you simply order one $25 or more baby item per month. Which is easy to do if you’re doing their subscribe and save on diapers. LOL

    Anyway, check that out!

    I love your dishwasher soap review…. I have some “homemade” that I purchased from a now-defunct online vender I used to love and am going to need to replace it soon. I am having a similar experience to your powdered 7th Gen experience…. I will have to track down that biokleen stuff and see what deals I can find – I will certainly share if I find a better deal than you did. 😉

    1. Susan Alexander

      Oh I’m not commenting on feminine products because I’ve had very little use for them between pregnancy/breastfeeding for the past 3 years. LOL I had my two birth bleeds and one very light period in 3 years… 😉 I DO really want to try mama cloth – I am personally not comfortable shoving stuff in my vajayjay – I’ve never much liked tampons for that reason! I should also mention that I’m at risk for a latex allergy, so that factors in too. 😉

  30. I love my DivaCup and cloth pads! I used to get a rash sometimes from disposable pads, never have that problem with my cloth pads.

  31. I second the recommendation for cloth pads. They’re more comfortable than disposable, and you can get all-in-one pads that don’t require you to fiddle around with a separate insert. You shouldn’t be intimidated by them, honest! 🙂

  32. I’m so glad so many people are recommending menstrual cups! I’ve been using one for more than a year now and I love it… I wish I had known to get one from the beginning. I found it took a cycle or two for me to get the hang of it (until you’re a pro, take it in and out over a clean toilet!!) but now it’s all I use. Wear dark panties and you probably don’t need pantyliners 🙂 I wash mine with soap and water but only sterilize every few months–maybe the person with yeast infections is having a reaction to the material (latex allergy) or something? I’ve also used cloth pads (bought and home made) and while I prefer them to disposable, I am so glad to be free of them now!

    1. I’ve never had a latex problem before, and my cup is made from silicone not latex (never had a problem with that before either). I’ve heard that if the holes don’t get cleaned out well enough that can cause problems.

      How do you all clean your cups? In public bathrooms I use TP to clean my cup a bit if it needs it. Sometimes I’ll run it under the sink.

      At home I used soap and water, and I’d also boil it at the end of my period for about 15 minutes.

      I had also read about using rubbing alcohol to clean the cup.

      I’m going to give it a shot again when I get my next period. Can’t afford to keep buying tampons!

        1. Yeah, I don’t want disposable, that’s the reason I wanted a cup. I might as well wear a tampon if I am disposing of something.

      1. Amanda, I think your cleaning of the cup is adequate, so it may be your cleaning of your hands that is the problem. Wash your hands before handling the cup. They may be bringing in yeast from outside.

      2. Have you considered you are allergic to toilet paper? I am allergic to corn (and other things!) and I used to have horrible yeast infections until I figured out the corn allergy! It is impossible to find a TP without corn, but there are some that has less corn than others. Other corn allergy suffers have made similar observations. I can’t use 7th Gen products due to the fact they all, except the bleach, have corn in them!

        I have a Diva Cup and just love it!

        As KS recommended in another post – eat raw garlic. Seriously, that is what my doctor told me. I love her SweatPotato Garlic Dip. Yummy!

  33. Well I put it on the giveaway post, but I’ll say it again: I love my menstrual cup! There is more than just the Diva -and they come with variations in size, shape, volume, and material. . . (mine happens to be the Femme Cup) You should look at the chart to see what you think would work best for you!

  34. I’ve used a Keeper (okay, I’m on my second) since I was in university (14 years). I love it. I don’t even need pads with it (which I hate) so for me this is terrific. Having only had to buy 2 in 14 years means that it is an awfully frugal investment as far as I can calculate and I, personally, have never had hygiene problems with it. When I was in school and had to use public facilities, I would carry a bottle of vinegar water to rinse it with right in the cubicle and then at night I would give it a more thorough washing at home. Probably too much information, sorry about that. Nonetheless, I would advise it over any other feminine hygiene product that I have every used. The only time I have used pads since then was after my kids were born (obviously!).

  35. Must agree about their paper towels! Pretty useless. I buy the Meijer brand recycled paper paper towels. Remember, if we don’t buy recycled paper products, they will quit recycling paper. I do like the 7th Gen toilet paper. It is much softer than it was in the past! It’s a must-buy for me, with my allergies to the scented or colored tp.
    I also am totally happy with their dishwasher detergent, the powdered one. I once thought it wasn’t working well, but it turned out I had just let the dishwasher run out of rinse aid.

  36. You should check out some of the video reviews of the various brands of menstrual cups on Youtube, and there are menstrual cup groups on Livejournal. That’s where I learned there was much more than just a DivaCup. My LadyCup has a softer silicone than the DivaCup. I’ve not had children, but I went for the larger size due to a heavy flow.

    If you have an IUD I don’t recommend a cup. I had read about all of these people who had no problem, but I lost my IUD due to the cup. It was a very sad day.

    Oh, and I love the BIOKLEEN automatic dw detergent.

    1. I had to adjust my cup usage after I got my IUD, but I’ve been using both with no problems for quite a long time now. But you’re right, it can cause problems.

  37. I definitely recommend contacting The Keeper (keeper.com). Julia is so sweet and has done multiple giveaways on another site (Ultimate Money Blog)- even giving away a Keeper to everybody who entered the contest one time. They have cups made from both latex and silicone. Plus, they advertise that they can last up to 10 years, so it makes it dirt cheap over the course of it’s life. I’d definitely check them out too, even though they’re lesser known.

  38. I have a LadyCup, and I was using it for a long time, but it’s such a pain in the butt to sterilize it that I stopped using it for a while. I kept getting yeast infections during my period (that sucks a lot more than just a yeast infection) from improper sterilization (I boiled the heck out of the thing, but it still wasn’t clean enough I guess).

    I also liked the Seventh Generation AP cleaner in Green Leaf and Mandarin. It worked wonders on my shower when the baking soda and vinegar weren’t cutting it.

    And, I found a new line of tampons that are actually less expensive than 7th Gen at Whole Foods. They are organic cotton and chlorine free. They are called Natracare. I’m liking them.

    For my laundry detergent I like the Ecos detergent. It uses a coconut based surfactant for cleaning and coconut based fabric softener. I have loved the results. I also like Earth Friendly Products Ultra Dishmate dish soap a lot more than the Costco eco friendly stuff I was using before. It’s a lot nicer on my hands (and I wash a lot of dishes!).

    I also like having baby wipes around sometimes for when I am feeling a little grody on my period. But, I agree that the 7th Gen ones were too dry.

    Oh, and I don’t need more than baking soda on my toilets. Swish swish and I’m good!

    I am going to send your blog post to my friend who reps 7th Gen here.

  39. In Jan I will be “celebrating” my 2 year anniversary with the instead softcup. They’re disposable, but i have read online that many re use them. I don’t think I’d go against the package directions. I LOVE them to death. Way more comfortable than tampons & 12 hours wear time. you almost forget you’re wearing them. Been meaning to make my own cloth pantiliners for the past year or so & haven’t done it yet.

    1. Thanks for mentioning this! I reused the Instead cups for years and was a huge fan. I thought I was fastidious about it, but in hindsight I shouldn’t have economized in this particular way. Also, they are often TOO comfortable and I did, on occasion, forget them. Long story short: I lost my uterus due to several factors, including an unrelated infection, rewashing and forgetting the Instead cups. Totally my error; the cups shouldn’t be used when you are very sick or drugged up. This is all TMI, so just take my word – don’t do it! I would still use them today, if I needed them. Great, safe product!

      Also, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Seventh Generation kitchen spray (I also love thyme). It’s easy enough to find coupons for it and wait for the sales. Great product! The tub/tile cleaner is also as good as any non-bleaching product could be. Still have to scrub, but don’t feel like I’m poisoning myself or my pets (no little ones around any more).

      Great blog. New reader and first time commenter.

    2. It’s great that you found something you like, but Instead cups are no better for the environment than other disposable products, probably worse because they’re not at all biodegradable.

      1. It all depends on how you sort your priorities.

        Tampon wear time is 8 hours, so three per day, often more from my experience.

        Instead wear time is 12 hours & I have been able to get the max wear time from them, so 2/day. Again, I’ve read online that many do reuse them but the manufacturer doesn’t reccomend it.

        The #1 thing in the decision for me was my health. Tampons absorb, so they can be very drying & actually cause internal abrasions. Because the instead just collects it is much more comfortable to wear. For those concerned about leaching of chemicals, it seems that the absorbant tampon would be more likely to leach chemicals. there’s also no risk of TSS with the instead & no odor.

        1. Those are all good points if you’re only comparing Instead to tampons. But if you compare it to the Diva Cup or the Keeper, which can last as long as 10 years, that’s clearly better for the environment than (at 2/day, 5 days/month for 10 years) 1,200 Instead cups and their packaging! Reusable cups have all the advantages of Instead, and in my personal experience they’re more comfortable and less likely to leak. Also, I find it reassuring that the makers of the Diva and Keeper tell you exactly what the cup is made of, while Instead only says it’s “a polymeric material” and latex-free.

          1. I think that Instead cups could have a valuable place as an “intro” to durable cups. If you’re not sure you are going to like it, or you are just one of those people who can’t commit a big price tag like that without a test drive, try it! I will say that using an Instead is almost EXACTLY like using a diaphragm.

            1. Yes, that’s what I don’t like about it–it’s too wide to be comfortable for me, and the same was true (only worse) of a diaphragm. Satisfied diaphragm users may like Instead, but women who find Instead uncomfortable (or leaky) should know that the reusable cups are a very different shape and work differently.

          2. I’m also impressed with the Keeper in the fact that they use minimal packaging in mailing them out. One sheet with the directions, one envelope stapled shut. If I can do 10 years with one sheet of paper, one envelope, and a hunk of latex, I’d say that’s better than most things I consume on a daily basis.

  40. Michele @ Frugal Granola

    I haven’t used disposables for years, but now with starting our B&B, I’m finding that we’re required to add some back into our kitchen cleaning routines. Thanks for the reviews!

    I love my “mama cloth”- although I hardly have an “opportunity” to use it, with pregnancy/breastfeeding. I made mine, and they’re much more comfy & absorbent than the disposables. I just wash them with baby’s diapers.

    Blessings,
    Michele 🙂

  41. One more vote for the Diva Cup…it’s awesome! I clicked on an ad for it once out of sheer disbelief that anyone could POSSIBLY want such an item, and I was sold after reading their info! It’s not so great for when you’re in public bathrooms all day, but I’ve never had a problem with that, and once you get the hang of it, it’s a “fix it and forget it” type of thing. So nice.

    1. when i use mine in public toilets i just dump it with no rinse. seems to work just fine, and then i don’t need to fiddle with a water bottle and everything.

      1. Exactly. I work in an office, so I use a public restroom every weekday, and it’s really not a problem at all.

        1. I have found that if I put the Diva cup in in the morning, I’m back at home before I have to change it again. Only once or twice have I’ve ever had to deal with changing it in a restroom. Also, we travel a lot, and I put it in at the hotel in the morning and don’t worry about it until later that night when I’m back. I’ve heard people say they use tampons when they travel and that makes no sense to me. If I have to leave it in 13, 14 hours, instead of 12, I do. I guess if you’re prone to yeast or bacterial infections, you may not want to do that, but, I’ve never had a problem, nor has my sister. She once forgot hers for a full 24-hours! That’s how comfortable it is! Every once in a blue moon, if I’m experiencing a very heavy flow, I’ll have to change it every 8 hours instead of 12. That’s usually only one day though.

          1. Women just vary quite a bit in amount of flow. The reusable cups hold 2-3 times as much as a regular absorbency tampon. For me, that means at least one day of emptying it at least every 5 hours, and I’m more comfortable if I just do it every time I’m in the bathroom anyway, since it feels sort of heavy as it gets full. Still, it’s a big improvement over tampons not only in duration but because if it leaks, it does so more gradually instead of giving way all at once. I’ve also had less cramping and shorter periods with the reusable cups!

            1. I’ve had more comfortable periods as well. I wonder why that is? My theory is that my cup leaves my cervix unimpeded… but who knows.

  42. You didn’t mention that Seventh Generation’s tampons are made of organic cotton, which protects your reproductive organs from cotton pesticides.

    My opinion is that the environmental and health improvements of “green” disposable feminine products are pretty small compared to the higher price. However, reusable menstrual cups are amazingly awesome, and cloth pads are pretty great too although they do take some extra work. The cup not only does not create extra work but is much easier than tampons because you don’t have to carry extra ones with you, restock your purse, remember to buy more, etc.

    Don’t wait for a free sample Diva Cup, Katie! If you’re not willing to buy one, e-mail me your mailing address, and I’ll give you one for Christmas!

    1. Becca,
      What a sweet offer – all this peer pressure, I think I’ll have to fork out the $40 (after doing some research into the Lady Cup and keeper, of course!). 🙂

      I actually had to check on the organic cotton tampons – you are totally right, and that increases my opinion of them and the cost a good deal. I updated the post and credited you – thanks again! 🙂 Katie

  43. The issue I have with 7th Gen. Dish Liquid is that it’s not very concentrated. I personally feel better about using concentrated dawn and using a lot less plastic bottles.

    1. If you like concentrated products, have you ever tried Melaleuca? I water their dish detergent down so 1 bottle lasts me twice as long.

  44. Love your honesty. We love the disinfectant spray and use the dish soap regularly. We also had the same problem with the dishwasher gel. too much residue left on dishes.

  45. I’ll just chip in here with my own experience, even though yours is very helpful!

    I tried most of 7th Gen’s feminine products because I’m just earthy that way. I don’t like their pads and liners because they (just like their standard cousins) are made with plastic (I also dislike their plastic wrapping). This doesn’t allow them to breathe for me, which leads to all kinds of problems.

    Because of irritation in sensitive places (ahem), I had to quit using products made with plastic years ago. I first used cloth pads with a Keeper (like a Diva cup, but made from latex), but when my endometriosis got really bad, I couldn’t keep up with the laundry.

    I’ve been using Natracare for the last several years, which I’ve been happy with. The pads are wrapped in paper, the liners aren’t wrapped at all, and the tampons are organic and chlorine free. They seem to be comparably priced to 7th Gen, maybe a tiny bit higher. I’m not thrilled that I’m contributing to landfill mass, though.

    I prefer to avoid the chlorine altogether, since it’s been a suspect in causing/aggravating endometriosis.

    That’s my two cents, and thanks for a great review on the cleaning stuff. I had a similar reaction to the dishwasher soaps: hated the liquid. And I don’t understand the point of “natural” laundry soap that has SLS!

  46. Another vote of support for the Diva Cup! I’ve been using mine for a couple of years, and I absolutely love it. I can’t imagine going back now. You should definitely try it- even if you have to buy it yourself, it’s totally worth the price tag!

  47. I LOVE that you do these experiments/comparisons. I’m the same way – I want to test everything before I decide, but since you’re a blogger I trust, I can just go with your conclusions (at least on the small stuff, like dishwasher detergent :-D)

    Another voice here urging you to try the Diva Cup – economical, environmental, and easy!

  48. Thanks for the great review! Just wanted to note that I love my diva cup and homemade feminine pads. I save loads of money and never have to run to the store when I’m caught off guard (which is usually the case, as I’m not the calendar-marking type).

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