Your Ultimate Guide & Review Of Eco Friendly Cleaning Products And Green Cleaning Supplies

Are Your Traditional Home Cleaners
Slowly Killing You And Your Family?

We use cleaning products every day in our regular activities. Whether we're washing a sink full of dishes, running the washing machine, or mopping the floor, there's usually some sort of cleaning product involved. But the common everyday cleaning products we're used to are starting to raise some eyebrows in both the environmental and health communities.

Most astonishingly is that the majority of poisonings reports to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) result from exposure to common cleaning products, with toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, drain cleaners, soaps, and detergents leading the way as the most toxic. The average American household contains over 60 synthetic chemical products that can build up in your home after repeated use, causing health problems for you and your family.

But poisoning isn't the only hazard of everyday cleaning products. The chemicals and fragrances used in these products can also pollute your indoor air. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside your home can be as much as 100 times more polluted than that outside!

Choosing eco friendly cleaning products, services and supplies is therefore a must for any family looking to live a greener, healthier lifestyle. It may seem that finding eco-friendly home cleaning products for every job, from toilet cleaning to oven cleaning, carpet freshening to furniture polishing, dusting to scrubbing, will be expensive and time-consuming, but not with our ultimate guide to eco cleaning products!

The Biggest Reason For Green Eco Friendly Cleaning Products Are The Harmful Chemicals Used In Traditional Cleaners

Let's first talk about why conventional cleaning products are bad for the planet and bad for your health. Unfortunately, there are many ingredients used in common household cleaning products that have either not been tested for safety, or that have received some attention as possible toxins.

If you really want eco friendly household cleaning products, you'll want to look for pre-made options WITHOUT the following ingredients:

  • Acetone

    Ingredient in: Spot and scuff removers.

    Common names: 2-Propanone; Dimethyl ketone; Dimethylformaldehyde; Methyl ketone; Propanone.

    Associated health risks: May cause liver and kidney damage; damage to developing fetuses; irritation to skin and eyes.

  • Ammonia

    Ingredient in: Paint stripper, adhesive remover, metal polish, spray cleaners, window and glass cleaner.

    Associated health risks: Severe eye and respiratory irritant; headache; can cause kidney and liver damage; considered a potential carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO); will react with bleach to form poisonous chlorine gas that can cause burning and watering of eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Bleach

    Common names: Sodium hypochlorite, hypochlorite bleach, chloramine, bleach, hydrochloric acid, trihalomethanes, disinfection by-products.

    Ingredient in: Can be used directly and is found in a variety of common household cleaners including toilet bowl cleaners, whitener, laundry products.

    Associated health risks: Eye, skin, and respiratory irritation; hazardous to those with heart conditions or asthma; can cause vomiting, coma, and even death if swallowed; toxic to the liver; will react with ammonia to form poisonous chlorine gas that can cause burning and watering of eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Formaldehyde

    Common names: Methanal, formic aldehyde, methaldehyde, formalin, urea formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde.

    Ingredient in: Used in a very wide range of household chemicals, including furniture polish, glue, insulation, sealer, bonding adhesive, soap and body wash, animal shampoo, fertilizer, mold and mildew cleaner, air freshener, aerosol products, spray starch.

    Associated health risks: Carcinogenic; causes damage to DNA; can cause asthma; nervous system depressant; joint pain; depression; headaches; chest pain, ear infections, chronic fatigue, loss of sleep; dizziness.

  • Naphthalene

    Common names: Moth balls, moth flakes, naphthene, white tar, tar camphor.

    Ingredient in: Moth balls, some paint, animal and pet repellent, deodorizers.

    Associated health risks: A suspected carcinogen; reproductive toxin (can cross placenta); blood, liver, and kidney damage; cataracts and corneal damage.

  • Nitrobenzene

    Ingredient in: Floor and furniture polish.

    Associated health risks: Vomiting; shallow breathing; skin discoloration; death; cancer; birth defects.

  • Paradichlorobenzene

    Common names: p-Dichlorobenzene, benzene, PDCB, paramothballs, para crystals, paracide, p-DCB.

    Ingredient in: Mothballs, deodorizers, urinal cakes.

    Associated health risks: In same chemical class as DDT; suspected carcinogen; liver, lung, and kidney damage.

  • Perchloroethylene or 1-1-1 Trichloroethane Solvents

    Common names: Tetrachloroethylene, ethene, ethylene.

    Ingredient in: Adhesive, spot remover, carpet cleaner, rust remover, automotive cleaners, spray polish.

    Associated health risks: Liver and kidney damage if ingested; a known carcinogen.

  • Petroleum Distillates

    Ingredient in: Metal polish, paint and rubber cement thinner, spray adhesive, silk-screen ink, lighter fluid for charcoal grill, spot remover, drain opener, car polish.

    Associated health risks: Nervous system and kidney damage; skin and eye irritation; eye clouding with long-term with temporary exposure; nervous system damage with long-term exposure.

  • Chlorine Bleach

    Common names: Sodium hypochlorite, hypochlorite bleach, chloramine, bleach, hydrochloric acid, trihalomethanes, disinfection by-products.

    Ingredient in: Toilet bowl cleaner, tile cleaner, drain cleaner, calcium/rust/lime remover, Febreze laundry odor eliminator, stain remover, spa cleaner, deodorizer.

    Associated health risks: Burns skin; can cause diarrhea if ingested; can lead to blindness with eye contact.

  • Sodium Hydroxide

    Common names: Lye, caustic soda, soda lye, ascarite.

    Ingredient in: Concentrated cleaner, oven cleaner, degreaser, car cleaner, drain opener, wallpaper cleaner, tile and grout cleaner, deck stain remover, kitchen cleaner, laundry detergent, water softener, toilet bowl cleaner, mildew remover, grill cleaner, disinfectant.

    Associated health risks: Skin and eye burn; inhibits reflexes; severe tissue damage when swallowed.

How To Make Eco Friendly Cleaning Products At Home (DIY)

Of course, one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions to your green cleaning questions is to throw together your own homemade eco friendly cleaning products. Simple ingredients that you'll find in your own pantry like vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and salt can be combined in simple solutions that do a great job of removing dirt and grime while also eliminating bacteria and germs.

Here are some great sites you can refer to for a variety of your own eco friendly cleaning recipes:

  • Care2 - Healthy Home Non-Toxic Cleaning
  • Green Home - Make Your Own Household Cleaners
  • The Vinegar Institute - Uses & Tips

In some instances, you can mix up a batch of your own homemade eco friendly cleaning solutions that can be stored and used for months. Other concoctions must be consumed a short while after you mix them, so be sure you read the instructions fully in order to avoid wasting ingredients.

Shopping For The Best Eco Friendly Cleaning Products

For those who don't have time to make their own green cleaning products, eco house cleaning is much simpler with a few reliable, effective, eco green cleaning products. Here are some brands you can count on as eco-safe cleaning options for your home.

  • Biokleen - uses soy blends to produce their award-winning environmentally-friendly cleaners.
  • ECOS - has eco cleaners for every imaginable cleaning job, from eco-friendly window cleaning to eco-friendly carpet cleaning.
  • Ecover - another reliable eco-cleaning company, helps you get every room in your house green cleaned.
  • Mrs. Meyer's - prides itself on providing aromatherapeutic cleaning supplies for greener, happier eco home cleaning.
  • Seventh Generation - makes highly-effective, biodegradable supplies for eco-friendly house cleaning. They've even got some carpet spot removers which can be used indoors or as eco-clean car solutions.
  • Shaklee - produces ultra-concentrated products to save on packaging and shipping weights. Their starter kit will get you all the eco-cleaning products you need to begin your green cleaning lifestyle.

Finding Eco Friendly Cleaning Companies And Services

If you're not a do-it-yourself type, then you may want to consider hiring a company that offers eco-friendly house cleaning services or an eco clean maid service. Eco-friendly cleaning companies will ensure you don't have to worry about the task of actually getting your house clean, but will also relieve you of the burden of thinking about what kinds of products are safe for your family and your pets.

These eco-friendly cleaning businesses should be able to tell you about their green cleaning practices and policies. For instance, you'll want to ensure that they follow the green principles below:

  • Eco Friendly cleaning products: Above all, your eco clean services company should use only earth-friendly cleaners. Ask them about the ingredients we've mentioned above and make sure none of their products contain these chemicals. You could also ask to see whether their products are certified by US Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE), Green Seal and EcoLogo, as these are third-party certification systems that ensure the products used in your home are nontoxic and designed around the environment. Green Seal also has a list of Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services for those looking for eco-friendly commercial cleaning or eco-friendly office cleaning services.
  • Water conservation: Ask whether your eco-friendly cleaning company has a policy to conserve water. As much as possible, they should make efforts to turn taps off when possible and use minimal amounts of water in buckets and pails.
  • Green cleaning tools: Additionally, you should ask what kind of tools your eco cleaning services provider uses. Do they consume disposable paper towels and mop heads? Or do they employ re-usable devices to minimize waste?
So whether you love to get your hands dirty or would rather leave your green house cleaning up to someone else, we hope you find these eco cleaning tips and tricks helpful.