Keeping Your Home Safe and Clean With
Green Cleaning Products

Creating a healthier home for you and your family starts with green cleaning products. Whether you decide to make your own or buy your products at the store it's the ingredients that goes in to these products that make all the difference as to how safe and eco friendly they are.

I'm no different than you. I want cleaning products that work quickly, easily and safely and I don't want to spend too much to have a clean home. Many of the products we can buy at the store today work quite well but that's only part of the story. What about the ingredients in these products? Are these products really safe for us, our families and the environment.

If you value the health of your family and the environment check out green cleaning products.

The Product Label Said Natural

contemplative woman

When it comes to product claims there really are no regulations.

  • As we've seen with companies that make skin care products the words natural or contains natural ingredients may be leading us to believe we are buying a natural, safe and earth friendly product.

  • Even reading the label may not provide the answers we want. Companies do not have to disclose all ingredients used so we are left wondering "Is this a safe product to use?"

  • For those products that do provide more extensive ingredient lists knowing what specific ingredients that are considered toxic is helpful to at least warn us off a product when we see certain ingredients.

    Ingredients To Avoid

    First if a product has Toxic, Poison, Danger or any other kind of warning that sounds frightening written on the label, don't use it and look to see if a safer option is available. There almost always is one.

    The below is only a partial list of frequently used ingredients.

  • Ammonia - found in glass cleaners, floor or bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and a big irritant to the skin or when inhaled.
  • Diethylene Glycol - found in glass and bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and irritating to the lungs.
  • Chlorine Bleach - found in a variety of cleaners or by itself. Very irritating to eyes and skin and is an environmental hazard.
  • Triclosan - found in antibacterial cleaners and thought to be contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • DEA and TEA - found in many products and used as preservatives. When combined with nitrosomes can produce carcinogens.
  • Petroleum based ingredients - all kinds of cleaners. These are ingredients that are no friend to the environment and many are not considered safe.
  • Fragrance - air freshener and almost all cleaners. Usually contains phthalates used to stabilize synthetic scents and a known carcinogen. Fragrance is a frequent cause of allergens in products.
  • 1,4-dioxane - found in dishwashing and other household cleaners. Has been found to be a cancer causing ingredient. This one is tough because you won't find it listed on any product label because it is not an actual ingredient but a by-productof an ingredient For tips on how to know if this might be present check out 1,4 dioxane.
  • Formaldehyde - found in a variety of cleaners. It is a known carcinogen.

  • What Do You Use?

    The average household will use:

  • detergent
  • bleach
  • fabric softener
  • stain removers
  • dishwashing soap
  • general cleaners and disinfectants
  • floor cleaners
  • waxes and polishes
  • oven cleaners
  • window cleaners
  • bathroom and toilet bowl cleaners
  • air fresheners
  • Quite a list. Some of us may be using less while others will use even more products.

    We breathe in fumes and mists when we use cleaning products - volatile organic compounds (VOC's) containing all kinds of unhealthy ingredients in combinations that are impossible to know how they react together when used or when inhaled and absorbed into our bodies. Plus they tend to remain in the air creating indoor air pollution in our homes.

    little girl and dog

    Perhaps the ones we should be most concerned about are babies, children and even our pets. It is particularly important to protect them from unnecessary exposure to chemicals. This is an area in our environment where we have a great deal of control and choosing green cleaning products is a big step in the right direction.

    Little hands touch surfaces and objects we clean and what happens next, hands or objects in the mouth. Same thing with pets. They lick something up off the floor. They clean their feet. Everything in the mouth.

    It is possible that small amounts of cleaning products we use may not only be ingested but they hang around in in the air and are inhaled. Another problem. Just having potentially dangerous products around the house can be lethal. According to Poison Control, 70% of poisoning from household products involved children under 6.

    These products also contribute to pollution in the environment. Many of them do not break down readily and remain within in our air, water and soil.

    These are not problems I can ignore and I'm hoping you feel the same way and choose green cleaning products as a solution.

    How To Find Green Cleaning Products

    To keep green cleaning affordable I use a mix of homemade cleaning products and store bought green cleaning products. I prefer to shop locally for these kinds of items and that limits my selection somewhat. Green cleaning products are more readily found in health food stores and shops like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and for us in Texas, Central Market. But don't overlook your local stores. In those long aisles filled with dozens of cleaning products you may find Seventh Generation or Ecover in the mix and look for Method at Target.

    DfE logo

    Some more easily available brands are switching to safer and more eco friendly formulas and are seeking certification by the EPA. This allows them to use the DfE (Design for the Environment, a division of the EPA) logo. Products with this logo have been reviewed by the DfE scientific review team for health and environmental safety.

    The DfE list is broken down into type of product, laundry, general cleaning, floor care etc and contains lists of approved products. It does not mean that all the products in a company meet the requirements just those products listed. This list also does not include info on animal testing. When companies choose safer and more natural ingredients they often claim no animal testing which happened with Chlorox Green Works. Chlorox still relies on animal testing for other products just not the Green Works line.

    What About Animal Testing and Cleaning Products

    Animal testing of cleaning products is very common. The long list of chemicals used is often tested on animals first to determine their safety. Fortunately companies have other options and can rely on previous test results or can choose safer and more natural ingredients. Look for green cleaning products that carry a cruelty free logo or provide adequate info about this on their site.

    Green Cleaning Products To Consider

    Below are just a few products to consider. This list only includes those that I have found to be easily available locally. Many other choices can be found on-line just remember to look for a complete list of ingredients.

  • Ecover
  • This company has been a leader in green cleaning products since the 80's. Their wide range of products include many plant and mineral based ingredients and they do carry a cruelty free logo.

    They are more readily found and many conventional grocery stores now carry some Ecover products. I have a few favorites which include their fabric softener and dishwashing liquid both of which work very well for softening and cleaning without having an overpowering fragrance.

  • Seventh Generation
  • Another company that has been around for a long time and has a proven track record of safe, non toxic naturally derived ingredients. They too carry a cruelty free logo. I have used various products and have been overall pleased with the results but in many instances have found them to be pricier than other brands. They do offer a wide range of products for the home including paper products and may be found locally.

  • BabyGanics
  • Don't let this name fool you. These green cleaning products free of harmful chemicals and toxins make good all around cleaners safe for the whole family and the environment. All ingredients are easily found on their website and are mainly vegetable based surfactants along with other naturally based ingredients and fragrances. BabyGanic can be found at many local stores like Babies Are Us, Costco and Sears. They too state no animal testing but do not carry certification.

    Related Pages

    Green Living At Home

    Homemade Cleaning Products

    Non Toxic Skin Care

    Better Choices

    Receive a free copy of my list of skin care companies that offer safe, natural/organic, cruelty free skin care when you sign up.




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