Choosing the right cleaning product can be an overwhelming process. When you’ve finally narrowed down your selection through the isles of dozens of selections, you’re presented with chemicals and ingredients you’re not quite sure about. Diethanolamine, and triethanolamine, they’re chemicals commonly found in cleaning products that are as confusing as they are difficult to pronounce. Can’t anything be easy?
Grab Green understands every shopper’s dilemma when just trying to pick out simple, non-toxic cleaning products. We believe in true transparency – you deserve to know exactly what is going into your products and why the ingredient is there! In an attempt to make the shopping process a little less painful the next time you run to the store for cleaning materials, we’ve compiled tips and tricks to picking out exactly what you’re looking for. Check out this complete buyer’s guide to cleaning products that will ease your shopping experience and ensure you choose healthier cleaning options. Enjoy!
Make sure your cleaning products include the following:
- The label must list all ingredients
Make sure you know exactly what is cleaning your clothes or your home. To do this, only choose products that offer a complete list of ingredients used. Knowledge is power!
2. Biodegradable formula
By definition, biodegradable products have the capability of being slowly destroyed and broken down into very small parts by natural processes, bacteria, etc. According to the EPA, choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability) and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior. Sounds like a good deal!
- No animal testing
Animal testing is often used to determine the potential health risk in a product to humans. Animals are subjected to a number of horrific tests in order to determine this risk factor. Make sure the cleaning product you’re purchasing did not harm any adorable animals in its making by checking if it is labeled “not tested on animals.”
- Product is naturally-derived
All natural ingredients are key to greener cleaning. An easy way to ensure a product contains only those ingredients that pose the least chemical concern in their class is to check for the “DfE label.” The DfE label stands for Design for the Environment, and is an EPA program that allows safer products to carry their signifying label to quickly identify and choose products that can help the environment and are safer for families.
Chemicals to Avoid
Since we’re not all chemists, and may not have extensive knowledge on all the chemicals out there that can potentially harm our body or the environment, here’s a list of chemicals found in household cleaning products to stay away from:
Triclosan is an ingredient found in many consumer products meant to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It’s often found in antibacterial soaps, body washes, toothpastes and some cosmetics. What you may not know is that Triclosan is linked to hormone disruption and increased risk of breast cancer. It’s best to avoid any product with this chemical ingredient altogether.
Used in most laundry detergents to soften hard water, phosphates cause skin irritation, nausea and vomiting. Not to mention it’s harmful to the environment. Yikes!
In addition to the stuff they throw in pools to keep it clean during the summer time, chorline is a chemical also used in tons of household cleaning products. Exposure can be harmful to one’s health, cause cancer, and even death.
Did you know that 80% of all man-made ammonia is used as fertilizer? Did you also know that ammonia is also found in cleaning products? Gross, we know. Ammonia is a highly irritating chemical, likely found in the home in smelling salts, floor waxes and window cleaners. If concentrated ammonia is inhaled, coughing may occur and eyes may water. Not to mention if skin comes in contact with concentrated ammonia, the eyes, throat, lungs or exposed skin may be severely burned. These burns can even lead to permanent blindness, lung disease, and even death. Steer clear.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are most commonly found in vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, and personal care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, synthetic fragrances, and nail polishes). However, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and are linked with birth defects and learning disabilities.
The Good Stuff
Here are a few simple and natural ingredients found in cleaning products that you should grab for!
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that reduces skin flaking and restores suppleness. The perfect touch to hand soaps, aloe vera also makes hands soft and smooth.
- Amylase Enzyme blend
A natural plant base, this enzyme is used to remove starchy oils and stains.
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a foaming agent. It is a plant derived ingredient used in detergents and household cleaners to remove dirt and soils.
- Lauryl glucoside
This natural non-iconic surfactant that can be used as a foaming agent, conditional or emulsifier, lauryl glucoside is derived from coconuts and has an excellent and stable foam.
- Polyvinyl alcohol
Ever wonder what’s made in the clear film that holds together laundry pods? Polyvinyl alcohol is an example of a biodegradable water soluble film which is used in paper-making and textiles. It’s white, colorless and odorless.
- Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate is a natural mineral and used as a water softener. It’s also commonly known as washing soda, soda ash, and soda crystals. This sodium salt of carbonic acid can be extracted from the ashes of many plants.
- Sodium carbonate peroxide
Meant to clean, remove stains and brighten clothes, sodium carbonate peroxide is a natural mineral, and an inorganic salt and oxidizing agent. The hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleach, and as an antimicrobial agent. The high alkalinity of the sodium carbonate boosts the bleaching effect for hydrogen peroxide.
- Sodium citrate
This natural mineral is an ingredient used to maintain product appearance and prevent product deterioration, and often adjusts the pH. It gets your clothes squeaky clean.
- Sodium polyaspartate
A biodegradable anti-scaling agent and a corrosion inhibitor, sodium polyaspartate prevents food from re-sticking.
- Sodium Sulfate
Sodium Sulfate is a mineral-derived ingredient used as a thickener in cleaners, soaps and detergents. It is used to absorb water.
- Subtilisin enzyme blend
Used to remove stains, this natural soil remover breaks down starches.
We hope that this buyer’s guide makes your life a little bit easier! With these tips in hand the isles of the store are no match for you. To keep you and your family safe and healthy remember to stay away from chemicals! Keep an eye out for the good stuff and the chemicals to avoid. Grab Green understands the importance of keeping your loved ones safe – it is our mission to create products
that families can safely and confidently welcome into their homes. We are transparent and know that our children’s and your children’s safety depends on transparency of process and ingredients. That’s why ALL of our ingredients and their purpose are laid out simply straight on the package. We want to give you the best and safest cleaning experience we can – from shopping to wiping up messes.