Green Home: How to Shop for Less-Toxic Cleaning Products

Green Home: How to Shop for Less-Toxic Cleaning Products

There's a reason that the smell of our everyday cleaning products are so offensive - that's because they're toxic, to both your health and that of the environment. Here are some tips on how to find green products.

Family & Caregiving

There's a reason that the smell of our everyday cleaning products are so offensive - that's because they're toxic, to both your health and that of the environment. The chemicals in these products have been linked to asthma, lung and liver disease, as well as certain cancers. Confused about what to look for on the label?

In an article written by Robin Warshaw for HealthyWomen.org, Environmental scientist Carol Westinghouse explains why we should be especially careful when purchasing products since many toxic chemicals might not be listed on the label. She says, "Manufacturers are only required to list (certain) ingredients in institutional and industrial cleaners."

Companies that sell less-toxic cleaning products often fully disclose ingredients on their labels. The Cleaning for Health program advises choosing home-use cleaners that are:
-plant- or bio-based, not petroleum-based
-biodegradable
-pH neutral
-packaged in recyclable, pump-spray bottles, not aerosol cans

For the complete HealthyWomen.org article, Cleaning Tips for a Healthy Home (and Body!), click here.

Our blogger, Gwynn Cassidy, talks about her favorite product for cleaning the tough stuff, while still being super-gentle on her skin and clean for the air she and her young baby are breathing:

"After trying an endless amount of green household cleaning products and being disenchanted, I begun a love affair with Dapple, a green line of baby-safe and baby-specific cleaning products. In addition to being safe to use while pregnant and/or with a baby in the house, these products tackle unique baby cleaning challenges, from dried milk on bottles to sticky fingerprints on toys. Which of their products did I try first? The dishwasher powder, of course. Did it work? Yes! Hurrah. Cautiously optimistic, I then tried their dish liquid and toy wipes. J'adored them. I have the whole line now and am happy with everything. They even have pacifier wipes for when Gideon tosses his to the ground (my dh is even more addicted to these than I am). Bottom line: This line is a must-try for all new parents."

For more about cleaning safely at home or work, visit Women's Voices for the Earth.

Share your green cleaning tips below!

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