About this Project
Go Green When You Clean!
Have you taken a deep look at cleaning products in your home? If you read the labels, we bet they range from bleach (which can cause lung, skin, and eye irritation), to products that are flammable or lead to indoor air pollution.
And that’s just when you’re using the products. After use, you need to think about what those products do to our environment once they go down the drain, or that many of them are hazardous chemicals that need to be disposed of at the Transfer Station.
Green cleaning products, on the other hand, can be less toxic, biodegradable, plant-based solutions to keeping your house clean, while helping the environment. Many also come in concentrated formulas, which reduces packaging and waste. Protect your health and your family — go green when you clean!
Look at Ingredients
When you head to the store, check the ingredients list to make sure you’re using a greener cleaner.
- No ozone-depleting substances
- Reduced bioconcentration, or chemical buildup when consumed by animals
- Reduced flammability
- No or reduced added dyes, except when added for safety purposes
- No or reduced added fragrances
- No or reduced skin irritants, like parabens, bleach, phosphoric acid and others
- No or reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Reduced packaging
- Recyclable packaging
- Recycled content in packaging
Look for Green Labels
Green Seal is a nonprofit third-party that develops and uses science-based standards to review and certify household products as environmentally friendly and better for consumers’ health. These standards are not developed for all types of cleaning products. You can find Green Seal-approved products in the following categories:
- Household cleaners
- Paper towels, napkins and tissue paper
- Hand soaps and cleaners
- Personal care and cosmetics
- Cleaning services
- Printing paper
- Paint, stains, finishes
It’s a good idea to look for the Green Seal; however, it’s a voluntary program, so not all manufacturers present their products for Green Seal certification.
Another label is Safer Choice. Previously called the Design for Life label, it signals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
Product manufacturers who become Safer Choice partners have invested heavily in research, development and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product qualify for the green end of the health and environmental spectrum, while maintaining or improving product performance. You find a list of Safer Choice products on the EPA website.
Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products
There’s lots of recipes on the internet on how to make your own cleaning products. The star ingredients are: baking powder, castile soap, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, essential oils, and Borax. Your house will be fresh and clean, and smell great, in no time!
- Good Housekeeping’s 9 homemade cleaning recipes.
- National Geographic Video – An easy video shopping list for making your own cleaning supplies.
- Women’s Voices for the Earth – Recipe videos for cleaning products
Using green cleaning products creates a healthier home to live in because there are less chemicals being sprayed and released into the air.
- Non-toxic products are healthier for you, your family, and pets
- Improved indoor air quality
- Less trips to the Transfer Station to dispose of hazardous waste
- Less flammable materials in your home
If you choose to make your own green cleaning products, you’ll have the added benefits of knowing exactly what you are spraying around your home. Plus, if you buy in bulk, store, or share with neighbors, you’re likely to save money too.
Planning on hiring a cleaning company? Choose a Montgomery County Certified Green Business that has been certified by Green Seal.