Seventh Generation vs. Method: Which Plant-Based Cleaning Products Are Better?

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Are you shopping for cleaning products but can’t decide between Seventh Generation and Method? 

What’s the difference between these brands? Are their cleaning products really green?

In this comparison of Seventh Generation vs. Method, you’ll learn how these brands stack up in terms of product offerings, cleaning power, ingredients, design, price, and more.

By the end, you’ll have all the key information to decide which brand is right for you.

Let’s get started.


Use the links below to navigate this comparison:


Product Offerings

Both Seventh Generation and Method focus on creating home and personal care products that are better for your health and the environment.

Let’s look at what products both companies offer.

Seventh Generation Product Offerings

Laundry: Seventh Generation laundry detergents are formulated to clean 60 different types of tough stains. They come in a range of scents that are derived from essential oils. The Free & Clear version is scent and fragrance-free, ideal for those with allergies or sensitive skin.

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Laundry Detergent

Dishwashing: Dish soaps and automatic dish detergents utilize an eco-friendly formula.

Hand wash: Get your hands super clean with plant-based soap formulas made without dyes and artificial fragrances. These hand washes are available in five scents. 

Disinfecting cleaners: Disinfect your surfaces with CleanWell powered sprays, wipes, and cleaners.

Household cleaners: These products include glass cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, granite and stone cleaners, wood cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, and toilet cleaners.

Baby care: This range includes baby laundry detergent and Free & Clear diapers and wipes, which are 30% biobased and made without fragrances.

Personal care: 100% biodegradable body washes and deodorants, made with water-friendly formulas.

Feminine care: Be kind to yourself during your period with this range of organic cotton tampons, chlorine-free pads, and pantiliners. These are better for the environment, too.

Household paper: 100% recycled paper towels, napkins, tissues, and toilet paper.

Trash bags: Seventh Generation makes strong and durable trash bags from recycled materials.

If you love scented products, you’ll love Seventh Generation’s wide range of fragrances, all of which are derived 100% from essential oils and botanical ingredients:

  • Tropical grove
  • Fresh citrus
  • Fresh lavender
  • Alpine falls
  • Powder fresh
  • Mandarin and yuzu
  • Lavender and cedarwood
  • Lemon
  • Fresh citrus and ginger
  • Summer orchard
  • Hibiscus and cardamon

You can check out the full lineup of Seventh Generation products on Amazon.

Method Product Offerings

Laundry: Tackle all your laundry needs with Method’s laundry detergent collection. You’ll find detergent pacs, liquid detergent, pump detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softener, fragrance boosters, laundry boosters, and a stain remover. Whether you prefer scented or unscented products, there is something in this collection for you.

Method Laundry Detergent

Home cleaning: These products include all-purpose cleaners, antibacterial cleaners, bathroom cleaners, floor cleaners, glass cleaners, specialty surface cleaners, and refills. These are all available in a range of lovely and unique scents.

Body: This includes bar wash, bar soap, body wash, deodorant, and 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

Hand: Choose from foaming hand wash, gel hand wash, or kitchen gel hand wash. Plus, you can buy refills to cut down on plastic waste.

Dish cleaners: This includes dish soap and refills, plus dishwasher pacs.

Method offers a range of scents, including:

  • Honeycrisp apple
  • Clementine
  • French lavender
  • Grapefruit
  • Mint
  • Almond
  • Ginger yuzu
  • Waterfall
  • Ginger mango
  • Fresh air
  • Rosemary

Unlike Seventh Generation products, which are infused with essential oils, Method’s products are synthetically fragranced.

You can check out the full lineup of Method products on Amazon.

Ingredients

Both brands are transparent about their formulas, listing all ingredients on their labels and websites.

The main difference between the ingredient standards is that Seventh Generation completely avoids synthetic fragrances and dyes. Method uses synthetic fragrances, but the company claims to only use ones that are plant-friendly.

While both companies make eco-friendly products, they aren’t all-natural or organic since some synthetics ingredients are used in production.

Seventh Generation Ingredients

Seventh Generation features an Ingredient Glossary on its website that explains each ingredient’s full name, what it is, and its impact on the environment.

If you view any product on the brand’s website, you’ll find the full list of ingredients that make up that specific product.

The ingredients are also printed on the recyclable packaging, and the packaging is made from recycled materials.

Seventh Generation Ingredients
Seventh Generation Ingredients

You’ll notice that Seventh Generation doesn’t use any synthetic dyes or fragrances, which makes their products great for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

The company’s scented products get their fragrance from essential oils — rather than synthetic oils and chemicals — and all of its products are made without dyes. That’s why the products are transparent or naturally colored.

All laundry and dish products are made up of 95% (or higher) bio-based ingredients. With that in mind, the company continues to research and experiment with ingredients to increase that percentage over time.

Seventh Generation products are also cruelty-free and never tested on animals.

Method Ingredients

Method’s “Beyond the Bottle” page is an excellent resource to learn about the company’s approaches to ingredients and product development.

Although all their ingredients aren’t listed on this page, you can find this information on the individual products pages. For example, if you go to the All-Purpose Cleaner page, you’ll see a chart of the ingredients.

You’ll also find the ingredients printed on the back of each bottle. You’ll notice that Method ingredients are in fine print at the bottle, while Seventh Generation ingredients are much more prominent.

Method All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients on Bottle
Method All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients on Bottle

Method’s ingredients are evaluated by an independent material research agency to check for health and environmental safety. If there’s a small chance an ingredient is unsafe, Method won’t use it.

Method lists some ingredients it absolutely won’t use. These “dirty ingredients” include:

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Triclosan
  • Phosphates
  • Phthalates
  • Paraben
  • Ammonia
  • 2-butoxyethanol
  • MEA (ethanolamine)

A significant difference between Seventh Generation and Method is that Method uses synthetic dyes and fragrances.

Although the ingredients in the dyes and fragrances are synthetic, Method claims they are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and tested by toxicology groups for irritation and allergy concerns.

Regardless, if you have sensitive skin easily irritated from dyes and unnatural fragrances, I recommend being cautious with this brand.

Lastly, the bottles are made from recycled plastic and are also recyclable, and Method encourages its customers to buy refills to cut down on plastic packaging.

Packaging and Design

Seventh Generation and Method both invest a lot of research and effort into making the bottles functional and eco-friendly, but Method also puts a major focus on aesthetics.

Method’s bottles are either brightly colored or clear with bright colored liquids shining through. The bottles feature smooth curves and come in a range of shapes.

Method Dish Soap Packaging
Method Dish Soap Packaging

The floor cleaner bottles are oval-shaped and rounded, whereas the dish soap and hand wash bottles boast an hourglass shape.

My favorite design is Method’s All-Purpose Cleaners, which look somewhat like a vase.

Method All-Purpose Cleaner Packaging

Method opts for a simple label without too much text. This minimalist approach makes it easy to read. It also helps the bottle stand out on the shelf.

Method bottles look so good that you’re likely to even leave them out on your counter and, therefore, use them more often.

On the other hand, Seventh Generation isn’t as creative aesthetically, but it does have some packaging worth pointing out.

Seventh Generation Dish Soap Packaging

For example, you can find the laundry detergent in plastic bottles, either translucent or opaque. But my favorite option is the cardboard box bottle. It’s eco-friendly and features a rustic look.

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Cardboard Packaging

Price

In general, Seventh Generation is more expensive than Method. However, the difference varies by product and where you buy.

When comparing prices, be sure to look at the cost per fluid ounce. Concentrated detergent tends to cost more per ounce, but each drop goes a long way. When comparing laundry detergent, look at the loads per bottle (on the packaging) and calculate the cost per load. 

Below is a comparison table showing the current prices on Amazon of each brands’ most popular products.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What Others Are Saying

Both brands are favorites among people who want a more eco-friendly cleaning and personal care company.

But which brand performs the best? Which is the best value?

Several independent companies have tested the top eco-friendly cleaners, laundry detergents, and soaps. Here’s how Seventh Generation and Method fared in those tests.

Household Cleaners

In The Spruce’s article, “The 8 Best All-Purpose Cleaners of 2020,” they ranked the Seventh Generation disinfecting multi-surface cleaner as the best budget option, praising it for being safe on children’s toys and food-contact surfaces. It’s inexpensive but still kills 99.9% of bacteria.

Method was also ranked as the best budget green cleaner. The All-Purpose Cleaner was praised for the scent variety, its green chemistry, and its ability to clean a range of non-porous surfaces without harsh chemicals.

Dishwashing Soap / Detergent

Epicurious awarded Seventh Generation Dish Liquid as their top choice eco-friendly dish soaps. Reviewers said they loved the plant-derived formula, free from dyes and synthetic fragrances, as well as the fact it is biodegradable. Even more, it’s packaged in 100% recycled plastic.

The Spruce awarded Method its third pick for the best environmentally friendly dishwashing liquids. Method Dish Soap was praised for its ultra-concentrated formula and easy-to-use pump bottle.

They also awarded Seventh Generation in their post. Coming in at number four, Seventh Generation dish soap is loved for its chlorine and phosphate-free formula. Reviewers loved how it created lots of eco-friendly suds.

Laundry Detergent

Reviewed ranked Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent as its second favorite. The reviewers praised the brand for its green practices and called out the detergent’s ability to remove stains with fewer chemicals.

Method’s 8X Free & Clear Laundry Detergent came in at number three, praised for its easy to use bottle, 85% plant-based ingredients, and ultra-concentrated formula.

FAQs About Seventh Generation and Method

Do you still have questions about these brands? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Seventh Generation and Method.

What Is the Difference Between Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray and Method Antibacterial Spray?

Both claim to kill 99.9% of household germs and common viruses such as flu and rhinovirus.

Seventh Generation disinfectant spray is made with CleanWell technology derived from thymol. Method’s ingredients are listed as 5% citric acid and 95% inert ingredient.

Are Method and Seventh Generation Household Cleaners Safe to Use Around Kids and Pets?

Yes. Provided you use the products as directed, both brands are pet and kid-friendly. However, when you’re done using the products, keep them out of reach of kids and pets.

Do Method and Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergents Need to be Diluted?

No. Simply use less of the product. For Method, follow the usage instructions and pour it directly into the washing machine tray. For Seventh Generation, use one to two squeezes depending on the amount of laundry.

Who Owns Method and Seventh Generation?

Unilever owns Seventh Generation. S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. owns Method.

Do Method and Seventh Generation Laundry Detergents Work in High Efficiency (HE) Washing Machines?

Yes. Both brands work in high efficiency and standard washing machines.

Where Can I Learn More About These Brands?

Check out Seventh Generation’s FAQ page and Method’s FAQ page to learn more.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Seventh Generation or Method?

Now that you have the essential information about Seventh Generation and Method, which brand should you choose?

Before I give you my recommendation, let’s recap their similarities and differences.

Similarities:

  • Both brands offer beautifully-scented, plant-based (but not all-natural) products.
  • Both offer a wide range of products, from all-purpose cleaners to dish soap and laundry detergent.
  • And both brands continue to win awards for cleaning power, natural ingredients, and packaging.

Differences:

  • Seventh Generation products do not contain any dyes, and the fragrances are made from natural essential oils. Method uses safe but synthetic dyes and fragrances.
  • Seventh Generation puts a stronger focus on plant-based products.
  • Both offer cleaners, laundry detergent, dish soap, and hand soap, but Seventh Generation’s product lineup spans personal care, baby care, household paper, and more.
  • Method’s packaging is bright and beautiful. It’s the type of product you’ll be proud to leave on the counter. Seventh Generation packaging is made of recycled materials but isn’t as visually appealing.
  • Seventh Generation products are generally more expensive than Method products.

The bottom line — choose Seventh Generation if you’re looking for a plant-based brand with natural scents and a wide range of products for your home.

Choose Method if you’re looking for products with eco-friendly ingredients, beautiful packaging, and affordable price tags.

You can check the current prices of both brands’ products on Amazon and Walmart.com at the links below:

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