Method - The Clean Brand Continues to Grow

They folks at Method call themselves the “people against dirty.”

Method is a relatively new company that makes and sells non-toxic, biodegradable, and naturally derived cleaning products from laundry detergents to dish and hand soaps.

A pair of former roommates, designer/marketer Eric Ryan and chemical engineer Adam Lowry, founded method in the San Francisco area in 2001. In the last 15 years, the company has become one of the fastest-growing private firms in the U.S. More than 40,000 stores across the world sell Method products, including many big-box stores like Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Lowe’s.

Method caters to a growing market of people who are trying to steer clear of chemical-laden cleaning products. The rising generation especially demands safer, more natural products for their homes and families.

According to the company website, Method is the largest green cleaning company in the world, and their mission is healthy happy homes. They are working to clean up the way people clean. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Where Method really differentiates itself from its competitors is the list of natural ingredients found in its products. One of the company’s driving factors in environmental responsibility, so they use ingredients like natural, biodegradable aloe vera extract for moisturizing and naturally derived annatto plant extract for color. More and more customers are avoiding products with artificial dyes, and Method only uses dyes that are environmentally safe, non-toxic, and effective at extra-low concentrations.

Method products are advertised as non-toxic and biodegradable. They don’t contain any chlorine bleach, ammonia, triclosan or other harsh chemicals found in a lot of cleaners. And they don’t give off any harmful vapors.

While many name brands use phosphates in their detergents, Method does not. Once phosphates enter our waterways, they can do real damage to the environment. Method also steers clear of conventional, synthetic fragrances, which can be extremely irritating to some people. Instead, all of its products contain natural, pleasant-smelling fragrances that are checked by internal toxicologists and tested for any allergy or irritation concerns.

The company’s website is quite user friendly and extremely transparent. It explains what biodegradable preservatives and other ingredients the company uses, as well as those it refuses to use.

The site contains full disclosure of all the ingredients found in Method products and the way they are made. In addition to listing the ingredients they do use, there is also a list of over 80 toxic, irritating or environmentally harmful products that they never use and the reasons Method is against them. These naughty, “dirty ingredients” are commonly found in name-brand household cleaners.

In formulating their various products, Method uses what it refers to as the precautionary principle. In other words, if there is the slightest chance an ingredient is unsafe or harmful in any way, Method doesn’t use it. Each ingredient found in Method products is checked for health and environmental safety standards by a third-party material research agency.

In addition to its commitment to health and safety, Method also pays a lot of attention to product design. Yes, it’s what’s in the product inside the bottles that matters most; however, the bottles themselves are worth noting. They look really good—fun in fact, almost whimsical.

Method’s designer packaging, the brainchild of co-founder Eric Ryan, is eye-catching to say the least. According to the company’s website, people want cleaning products that they don’t have to hide under the sink. Too many outdated package designs scream “Industrial-Strength: Gloves and Gas Mask required!” However, Method’s clear, chic bottles and brightly colored formulas are extremely inviting and appealing to the eye.

But the real reason Method bottles take the cake? They’re manufactured from recycled plastics and other materials.

Part of the company’s mission is “setting new standards for making soap.” To that end, they built the industry’s first LEED platinum-certified soap factory with a wind turbine, green roof, and solar tracking “trees.” Consumers can take that as a sign that the folks at Method are as concerned about the environment as they are about turning a profit.

The result is a line of products that is safe for your home, safe for your loved ones—including pets—and safe for Mother Nature.

Each one of Method’s soaps, detergents, and home cleaners is certified by Cradle to Cradle, a not-for-profit organization that champions safe product development. Cradle to Cradle recognizes manufacturers that espouse and employ recycling, safe formulation, water stewardship, energy management, and social equity.

Method also teams up with several other eco-friendly organizations such as Windmade, PETA, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the EPEA, all of whom have awarded Method in some way or another.

While Method’s products are safe for people and the environment, as well as effective on the job, they are a bit pricier than the bargain brands. That being said, Target, which often has sales and other promotions to help customers save money, carries a wide selection of Method products. Method competes with companies like Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, Melaleuca, and Burt’s Bees.

For more information about Method and its products, check out