How to Find Safe Cleaning Products

Being eco-friendly at homes does not only mean cutting down on the use of plastics but also being conscious about the things you use everyday such as cleaning products. Most of us forget that the chemicals we flush down the drains or release into the air also contribute to the environmental problems.

How do you differentiate cleaning products that are eco-friendly from those that are not?

Read the ingredients list thoroughly

Make a mental note of all the toxic chemicals that you need to avoid when you go shopping for supplies. Reading the label will not take more than two minutes but it can make all the difference for your family’s safety and health.

Some of the chemicals to avoid in your cleaning products include ammonia, chlorine or bleach, triclosan, phosphates, phthalates or fragrance, petroleum solvents or surfactants or formaldehyde, butyl glycol, monobutyl, glycol, and ethylene. Some labels will claim that the product is “natural,” “organic,” or “eco-friendly” even if they are not, that is why you should always check the ingredients.

Research vague terms

Unfortunately, some names on the label can be misleading especially because a lot of companies are given leave to use different names if it is a trade secret. Some also take to using vague names to confuse consumers especially now that they are aware some people are looking for eco-friendly products.

Be wary of names like cleaning agent or fragrance for example which are unspecific. You should also check for instructions about safety like using protective gear when handling the product. If it is not safe to use without gloves or eyewear, it is most likely toxic to the flora and fauna, too.

Make a list of alternatives

You should be aware that looking for alternatives for common household cleaning products is not going to be easy. Most of the ingredients listed above are found in almost all products we use at home (and even in our cosmetics).

If you are just switching to eco-friendly products, you need to know where to get the alternatives and what are the price options. Fortunately, there are cheap alternatives such as lemon juice, baking soda, borax (but keep this away from children and pets), castile soap, washing soda, and vinegar.

Choose eco-friendly brands

There are groups all over the world that gather information for consumers because there are no strict laws that regulate the use of common household cleaning ingredients. Visit the group’s website to look for a list of products that are safe to use. One such website is the EWG.

Inspect all of the products you currently use

That includes laundry detergent, fabric softeners, cleaning solutions, disinfectants, and other products you use in your home. You can gradually replace them with non-toxic products or homemade cleaning solutions if you are worried about wasting money.