Thank goodness for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Their online Guide to Healthy Cleaning features a wonderful database of over 2,000 commercial cleaning products. There you can search for a specific product and find a safety rating of A to F based on the health and environmental concerns posed by the known ingredients that compose the product. (I emphasize known as so many manufacturers refuse to make all their ingredients public.)
Below are links to the EWG's reports on 20 cleaning products. I picked each of these products because either: my mom used it when I was growing up, I've seen it in the homes of people I love, or I used it before going green.
|What is inside of these popular cleaning products? How safe are they? (Images via EWG)|
- Clorox Bleach, Regular: F
- Windex Advanced Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner: D
- fantastik All-Purpose Cleaner, Orange Action: D
- Ajax Powder Cleanser with Bleach: F
- Soft Scrub with Bleach Cleanser for Bath & Kitchen: F
- Soft Scrub with Baking Soda Cleanser for Bath & Kitchen: D
- Swiffer Sweeper Wet Cloths: D
- Swiffer Dusters, Unscented: D
- Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Powder with Dawn, Fresh: F
- Dawn Ultra Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, Original: D
- Febreze Fabric Refresher: F
- Clorox Disinfecting Bleach Wipes, Original: F
- LYSOL Disinfectant Spray, Jasmine & Rain: F
- EASY-OFF Oven Cleaner Fume Free Daily, Lemon: F
- Gain 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent, Original Fresh: D
- Woolite Extra Delicates Care Laundry Detergent: D
- Arm & Hammer Powder Laundry Detergent, Free of Perfume & Dye: C
- Citrus Magic Solid Air Freshener, Fresh Citrus: D
- AIR WICK Aerosols Air Freshener, Lavender & Chamomile: F
- AIR WICK Air Freshener Solid Cone, Crisp Breeze: D
Visit EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning for yourself to: learn how they created the report, search for more products, learn to decode labels, and see a list of the safest products they reported.
Spooked? Visit the resources page on my website to get a quick start on green cleaning. All the info there is free. Please also share this post with someone you love.
Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.