Saturday, September 7, 2013

How "Clean" are your Cleaning Supplies?

Adria Vasil, the Goddess of Green, has reviewed some commonly used household cleaners that are advertised as being non toxic. But, "greenwashing" is a Big Problem. Greenwashing is when a product is promoted as being non-toxic, but, isn't. Sometimes ingredients aren't listed. Companies can use the escape hatch of saying their formulas are proprietary information, and may not be required to list all ingredients. Sometimes, even reading labels is not enough! 
I am always amazed by how smart packaging and expensive marketing campaigns promote products-cleaning, cosmetic, whatever - in such a fashion that consumers have no doubt that the product is both harmless to them, and to the environment. Sadly, this is most often not the case. With cosmetics, at least you have the opportunity to read the ingredient label and decide for yourself. Checking the ingredients against the "Toxic Ten" list is a quick and easy way to see if your cosmetics are following the old adage, "First, do no harm." But cleaners are a different story.
Of course, there are lots of other cleaners out there, in addition to the ones that Adria has reviewed. Be wary! Adria's pick (also my own) is to clean with baking soda and vinegar. You can pretty much do your entire house with castile soap, baking soda, and vinegar. A few drops of essential oil (your choice of fragrance, though lemon and orange are always popular) can provide a great fresh smell! I'm very fond of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint scented organic and fair trade liquid castile soap. Wonderful for hardwood floors! You only need a tiny bit....just a teaspoon in a small pail of water. Too much can leave a floor streaky.
Another hot tip is to add a tablespoon of vinegar to your automatic fabric softener dispenser in your washer, instead of any fabric softener. Fabric softeners are dreadful! They coat fabric with chemicals, they contain a ton of synthetic scent...that's why clothing comes out of the dryer and stays scented for weeks! In fact, I have been outside for a walk, and, can occasionally smell the air coming from someone's dryer vent because they are using dryer sheets. Ugh! You just know that cannot be a good thing. Vinegar prevents static cling, disinfects the clothes and washer. I have a front loader, and, I no longer have that "skunky smell" so common to front loaders. Towels dry fluffy. Save money...use your own cleaners.
Have a look at Adria's chart to see if what you are currently using meets her "clean and green" standard.


  1. Thanks a lot for this great cleaning tips............... Good stuff keep sharing stuffs like these................

  2. I've bought a bunch of green cleaning supplies in Calgary. They're environmentally friendly and effective!

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