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Buyer's Guide To Cleaning Products

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
buyers guide to cleaning products


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! 

Shopping Tips 

Make sure your cleaning products include the following:  

  1. 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! 

  1. 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.” 

  1. 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: 

  1. Triclosan 

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.  

  1. Phosphates 

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! 

  1. Chlorine 

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. 

  1. Ammonia 

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. 

  1. Phthalates 

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! 

  1. 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. 

  1. Amylase Enzyme blend 

A natural plant base, this enzyme is used to remove starchy oils and stains. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. Sodium polyaspartate 

A biodegradable anti-scaling agent and a corrosion inhibitor, sodium polyaspartate prevents food  from re-sticking. 

  1. Sodium Sulfate 

Sodium Sulfate is a mineral-derived ingredient used as a thickener in cleaners, soaps and detergents. It is used to absorb water. 

  1. 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. 

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