The Easy Guide to Cruelty free Household products


Welcome to JULY my lovely readers! I hope you are all having a great summer so far – long may this warm weather last!

I know I usually write about cruelty free cosmetics and beauty products, but today I wanted to write about another area that is relatively easy to switch to cruelty free products around the home.

Animal testing laws on Household Products.

The testing of cosmetics and toiletry products on animals has long been banned in the UK, and as of March 2013, the sale of cosmetics whose ingredients have been tested on animals has also been banned across the European Union – a huge step forward. But unfortunately, that’s not the whole picture.

Currently, there is no law whatsoever to stop animal testing for household cleaning products, such as bleach, laundry products, furniture polish and so on. The UK government is currently considering one, however, since such testing rarely takes place here, it would have little effect on the number of animals used in these inhumane experiments. In order to have a real impact, the government needs to implement a ban on the testing of household product ingredients.

Companies with a real commitment to stopping animal testing go above and beyond the requirements of the law and don’t test any ingredients on animals. They also don’t pay anyone else to do the testing for them.

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But where do you find these products? Are the expensive? Can you get them in Tesco?

A lot of supermarkets own brand products are cruelty free. Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose and The Cooperative for example, are all leaping bunny or PETA certified on a huge number of household products which is great news! All you need to do is check the label. Easy peasy.  Look, I even contacted some of them for a response on this issue:


‘We do not support testing on animals for cosmetic or household products, and do not carry out or commission such tests on our own-brand products or the ingredients they contain. Some products have ingredients which will have been tested on animals in the past. This is because we operate a fixed cut-off date for animal testing of ingredients, of 31 December 2007. We have set in place very robust systems to ensure that these cut-off dates have been met by all our suppliers to our own brand, where stipulated”


“As part of our commitment to animal welfare, we’re opposed to animal testing and have not commissioned any testing on our beauty products, or the ingredients they contain, since 1988.

In March 2011, our own body-care range was awarded the Leaping Bunny stamp by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), certifying our products to be free from animal tests under the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS). The Leaping bunny logo shows that we comply with the BUAV’s comprehensive criteria.

We’re currently in discussion with the BUAV regarding certification of our household cleaning products.

Animals do test our pet food for flavour and preference in a similar way to the human taste panels we use for food ranges. These animals are kept in a healthy environment, managed by our suppliers, and we do not permit any establishment that carries out any form of invasive animal testing to house or care for these animals.

We’re grateful for the time you’ve taken to contact us and I hope this helps to clear up our position on this important issue.”


“Even though the UK stopped licensing animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in 1998, more than 35,000 animals in the European Union alone are used for testing cosmetics and toiletries every year. The John Lewis Partnership believes such practices are unethical and unnecessary and should be banned. Waitrose has been a corporate sponsor of FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) since 1996.

Waitrose own-brand household products, i.e. laundry, detergents and domestic cleaning products, are not tested on animals and do not contain any ingredients that have been tested on animals on behalf of Waitrose.

We do not test our own-brand cosmetics, toiletries, baby care or personal care products on animals, nor do we commission others to do so on our behalf. We operate a strict purchasing rule that ensures we do not buy any ingredient or product that has been tested on animals for cosmetic purposes by our own-brand suppliers since 1990 in the case of Waitrose, and 1996 in the case of John Lewis.

Our own-brand suppliers are required to complete a declaration that they adhere to our requirements on product and ingredient testing.”

The Cooperative Group

“Our commitment to animal welfare extends to our stance on animal testing. You have overwhelmingly told us that non-animal tested products are important to you, and we have listened. We’ve developed the most stringent of non-animal testing policies on our own-brand product range. And, in the case of toiletries and household goods, we are independently reviewed and endorsed by Cruelty Free International.”

Marks and Spencer

“At M&S, we know that many of our customers are concerned about the use of animals for testing cosmetic and household products. We’re against animal testing too.

We don’t test any of our M&S beauty or household products on animals. But we wanted to go further than this. We guarantee that none of the individual ingredients in our beauty or household products is tested on animals either, starting from a fixed cut-off date of January 2006.

This covers more than 1,200 products and, more importantly, their individual ingredients, from lavender laundry liquid to tea tree face wipes.

All these products have the stamp of approval from Cruelty Free International, founded by the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection). You’ll see their ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo on pack, which means you’ll know that what you’re buying is free from animal testing.

Cruelty Free International & BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew says, “We applaud Marks & Spencer for taking this step to prove its cruelty-free retailer status. The ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo approval is the global gold standard in cruelty-free cosmetics and household products, so I’m delighted M&S has taken this step to reassure its customers.””

There are other brands who are cruelty free too – Method, (Which smell amazing, the rhubarb cleaner is heavenly) Earths Choice, The Honest Co, Better Life Brand, Ecover, Astonish, which are all available on the high street in a huge amount of stores. A lot of these are purse friendly, as are the own brand products, with very few coming in at a higher cost than the non-cruelty free options.


So what about the rest?

The likes of P&G and Unilever – who make a huge amount of household products worldwide – don’t hide the fact they test on animals.  Most of the others either dodge the issue with fancy wording or just won’t say. Beware of claims such as “this product is not tested on animals”, which can hide the fact that its ingredients are tested on animals, and “this company does not test on animals”, which may simply mean the company contracts out its testing to other companies.

Thousands of animals are killed every years through animal testing for household items. It is unethical and in 2017, is it even necessary? If your stupid enough to get bleach in your eyes and not rinse it immediately, then all the more fool for you. It is so easy to switch to cruelty free options and there are so many products on the market to suit every budget, surely as a nation of self-proclaimed animal lovers it makes sense to switch to these?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – would you make the switch to cruelty free cleaning products? Are there any you use at the moment that you would recommend?

Until next time,



2 thoughts on “The Easy Guide to Cruelty free Household products

Add yours

  1. I am trying to change my household products to Cruaulty free from animal testing. I usually shop at Sainsbury and was reading their policy regarding this subject. However I got confused with some of their household products which showed a list on vegan or vegetarien products. Does it mean that these products are not tested on animals? I would like to know what they mean


    1. Hi Simone! As far as I can tell Sainsbury’s do not test any of their home products on animals and haven’t since 1996. In 2011 they became members of the humane cosmetics standard.


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