GreeningYourCleaningSome people think “cleaning house” means harsh chemicals and the scent of chlorine wafting through your home, but not me. Call me crazy, but I prefer gentle, non-headache-inducing products instead. Finding a greener cleaner can be tough, with all this green washing going on. You don’t always understand the list of ingredients on the label, and what’s OK and what’s not OK. There are many companies claiming to have a “green” product, but labels like “nontoxic,” “natural,” “environmentally friendly” and even “biodegradable” are worthless — and unregulated. Picking out a greener cleaning product is all about what’s not in it. Indoor pollutants can be up far more toxic than outdoor pollutants, and the No. 1 cause? Household cleaning products! Here’s a brief list of ingredients you really don’t want in your cleaners:
  • Petroleum
  • Phosphates
  • Phthalates
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Dyes
  • Perfumes
  • Surfactants
I’ve rounded up a handful of earth-friendly products that nix the bad stuff and get right down to work. Check them out: J.R. Watkins Dish Soap — Doing dishes by hand is more environmentally friendly, and so is J.R. Watkins Dish Soap. Its Lemon Liquid not only smells divine, but it also gets the job done without any phthalates, phosphates, parabens, dyes and other toxic baddies. Seventh Generation Glass & Surface Cleaner — Seventh Generation has some of the highest standards for its earth-friendly cleaning products. It also holds that if every U.S. household replaced a 32-oz. solvent-based glass cleaner with its solvent-free Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner, 9.3 million pounds of VOCs would be prevented from being released into the environment. Biokleen Soy Blends Soy Cream Cleaner Biokleen’s Soy Cream Cleaner gets rid of grit and grime from tubs, tile, grout, porcelain, linoleum, sinks, chrome and counters. It’s 99% VOC-free, ozone safe and gentle on sensitive skin. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Toilet Bowl Cleaner — This toilet bowl cleaner uses essential oils of basil, parsley or eucalyptus instead of chlorine and solvents, and is supposed to be completely biodegradable. Mia Rose Air Therapy — Using nothing but pesticide-free essential oils to keep your place smelling fresh, Mia Rose’s Air Therapy is a natural purifying mist that eliminates odors, smoke and pollutants for hours. It does not shoot out harmful chemicals or VOCs into your home and comes in a non-aerosol pump-spray bottle.