So what is wrong with using conventional cleaning products anyway (other than my headache)? Conventional cleaning products contain bleach, ammonia and other chemical agents that leave your home looking clean, but pollute both our water supply and our bodies. Many ingredients found in household cleaners can cause eye irritation, skin irritation, lung irritation and have been implicated as possible contributers to asthma and cancer. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals simply due to the fact that they are smaller and still growing. One article I read pointed out that although the use of one cleaner may not be extremely harmful alone, we tend to have a cleaner for every different area or purpose, all interacting, all seeping into our environment and causing damage.
Commercial green cleaners are readily available now and offer a safer way to get your house clean. There are many benefits of using 'green', 'natural' or 'organic' cleaning products. Here is a general list of what to look for in a green cleaner. You will need to read labels and product information based on the specific brand you are considering.
Look for products that are:
- Made with natural ingredients
- No harmful fumes
- Septic tank safe
- Free of petrochemicals, chlorine bleach, phosphates, nitrates, borates, kerosene, phenol, lye, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia, formaldehyde, etc.
- No animal testing
- Recyclable packaging
- Watch out for words like irritant, flammable, toxic and corrosive
I can't necessarily provide you with my own personal experience or evaluation of all the green cleaning products available today so I asked some of my green Twitter friends to name a few of their favorites. Here is a list of companies/brands that you may want to check out in no particular order.
Shaklee Get Clean Products
Clorox Green Works
In addition to all of the ready-made products like the ones I just discussed, there are lots of natural cleaning products you can make at home. We will surely talk more about those in a future post.
For now, clean green!