Are the Eco-friendly cleaning supplies you buy safe enough to warrant extra cost? Probably not. Most commercial cleaners, including many carrying eco-friendly labels, contain hazardous ingredients believed to contribute to many of today’s diseases, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, ADHD, autism, and more.
You can trust any product showing the Green Seal (USA) and EcoLogo (Can). More about them later in the article.
Many ‘Eco-friendly’ terms used by manufacturers to promote their products are marketing words meant to mislead:
- Green – Unless the product carries the EcoLogo and/or the Green Seal, the only thing the wording is good for is to make you think you’re buying a safe product;
- Natural – Overused and totally meaningless – there is nothing regulating the use of this word;
- Non-Toxic – Same overuse as ‘natural’ and just as meaningless;
- Organic – Food and Herbs may receive Organic Certification – CLEANING SUPPLIES MAY NOT. Therefore the only purpose in applying organic to cleaning products is to mislead you;
- Biodegradable – Worthless wording – Does it tell you how long it takes to decompose?
- Eco-Friendly – When you saw Eco-friendly in the title, didn’t you think it meant products that were free from dangerous ingredients and safe for the environment? We’ve come to accept the term to mean that, but when it’s used on labels it’s misleading because it means zip – again, no regulation to govern use of this term.
- Finally, how about this one? A certain product states “they are the leader in high-quality, environmentally “safer cleaning products”. ” What exactly does that mean – safer than what?
Look for the following certification seals to ensure the cleaning product you buy truly is green and safe for your family and the environment.
For more information, visit the Underwriters Laboratories website.
Green Seal – A cleaning product that contains this seal has gone through a certification program to ensure it is green. Green Seal is a United States not-for-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting, product certification and public education.
“Green Seal is a pioneer in promoting a sustainable economy. In 1989 there were no nonprofit environmental certification programs in the US. During this year, our founder had the foresight to recognize the need for a tool to help shoppers find truly green products. Green Seal was developed as a nonprofit to stand for absolute integrity. Over the years the reputation of the Green Seal brand has grown to symbolize environmental leadership, and it continues to represent proven-green products and services.” Green Seal Products and Services
The safest Eco-friendly cleaning supplies are still the ones you make yourself with vinegar, baking soda, lemons and lemon juice. They are also the least expensive of all cleaning solutions.
Home-made Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies:
To use as an all-purpose cleaner: Dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda in 4 cups warm water.
For tougher jobs mix baking soda with water to make a non-runny paste and apply with a spatula or brush.
- All-Purpose Cleaner, mix together 1 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 1/2 cup water – pour into spray bottle;
- For a Tile/Vinyl Floor Cleaner, mix 3 cups vinegar, 1 cup lemon juice and 8-10 cups warm water;
- For a Glass Cleaner, mix 1 cup vinegar to 4 cups water.
Note: According to a laminate floor installer, the safest way to clean laminate floors is with a spray bottle of clear water and a barely damp mop. You can’t get much safer or cheaper than that.
Commercial Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies:
- Sustainable Earth by Staples, All Purpose Cleaner
- Sustainable Earth by Staples, Glass Cleaner
Many of the eco-friendly cleaning supplies meant to clean our homes are actually polluting them. Know what the labels mean – don’t take a chance on your family’s health by being taken in by creative marketing terms that are absolutely meaningless.
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