The market for eco-friendly cleaning products is growing as people are becoming more aware of the impact of the chemicals that they put on their skin and use in their home each day. Since cleaning products and soap aren’t food, beverages, or drugs, they aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the government only requires companies to list ‘chemicals of known concern’ on their labels.
The keyword here is ‘known’, but the government doesn’t test for them. What’s more, they don’t require manufacturers to test them either. Because of that, the companies usually keep their other ingredients secret, presumably so competitors can’t copy their formulas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes many of these chemicals as “volatile organic compounds,” which can be harmful in different ways. These chemicals include phosphorous (which constitutes about 30 to 40 percent of dishwasher detergents), nitrogen, and ammonia.
Sloan Barnett, the author of Green Goes with Everything, doesn’t give manufacturers the benefit of the doubt. “Call me suspicious, but I honestly don’t think it’s because the recipe is top secret,” she says. “If it was, there wouldn’t be so many competing products with identical ingredients.” Meaning Barnett thinks manufacturers don’t want to disclose how many possibly harmful chemicals to their potential customers.
Moreover, cosmetic manufacturers aren’t required to list the specific ingredients that are used to create their product’s scent. So that means the word “fragrance” is can be a hiding place for some pretty toxic chemicals.
No regulation means no accountability
Environmental experts say the average household contains a surprising number of toxic chemicals. So we’re exposed to them routinely, from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Even worse, more ingredients in common household products are being linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity.
Of course, the root of the problem is in the terminology; “environmentally friendly” doesn’t tell you much about how the ordinary version of a product harms the environment, or why this specific product is better. So how exactly do cleaning products affect the environment in the first place?
There are a number of things that you need to think about when you are trying to clean your home in an environmentally responsible way.
When you use these chemicals in your toilets, sinks, dishwashers, or other appliances, the chemicals are washed down the drain. The water then heads to wastewater treatment facilities, where the majority of contaminants are removed or neutralized before the water makes its way back to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. However, not all the contaminants from these chemical products are removed, and over time, they can add up to have a substantial and negative effect on the wildlife. Some compounds actually accelerate plant growth, which can lead to excessive vegetation that eventually kills itself and eventually decays in equally massive quantities.
If you’re buying mass-produced cleaning products from a major manufacturer, chances are, the product was created many miles from you, and had to undergo several phases of travel to get to your location. Locally sourced, homemade, and concentrated products will have a substantially reduced impact.
Most commercial cleaning products are also packaged with the intention to be disposable. Though the plastics used in most products are technically recyclable, many people simply throw the products away when they’re empty. There are many countries adopting single-use plastic bans, beginning with bags.
Today chem-lab giants continue to flood the market with unsafe chemicals and huge ad campaigns. Meanwhile, the laundry industry continues to create a growing amount of plastic waste each year. As we have seen, the amount of plastic that ends up in our waterways and oceans is terrible. As a result, these companies said it’s time for a change.
Thankfully, many cleaning product companies are making significant adjustments to how they create, package, and distribute their cleaning products. The label alone may give you some insight as to how they’re accomplishing this, but we all do our own research to find our own answers.
This company was founded last year during the skyrocketing need for more sanitizers and surface cleaners. With 25 years in the industry of creating natural cleaners, Joy Mangano also makes hand sanitizers and masks that have germ-killing properties lasting up to 6 hours of effectiveness.
CleanBoss’s multisurface cleaner is on the EPA’s N-List of products approved to use against Covid-19. It blows away many of the”natural” cleaners and kills germs faster than even some of the most toxic cleaners, but with no scary warnings or disclaimers. It kills 99.9% of germs, viruses, bacteria, molds, and fungi.
But CleanBoss is also a heavy-duty cleaner that cuts through grease and grime. It works on virtually every surface, from glass to tile to granite to wood to stainless steel, and even soft surfaces such as fabric, carpet, and upholstery. It can replace over 15 different types of common toxic household cleaners.
It is claimed to be the world’s most powerful botanically powered multi-surface disinfectant & cleaner.
In 2014, two best friends from Austin, Texas started Puracy with a single goal – to make effective, plant-based cleaning and personal care products that were gentle enough to use around their newborn daughters.
After having kids of their own, they discovered that many natural products that were safe for use around children and pets had a trade-off – they were not very effective. So for the past six years, they worked with a team of doctors and chemists to create household products that are safe and effective.
Puracy believes full transparency isn’t an option when it comes to their product labels and marketing efforts. So they clearly outline every ingredient within each Puracy product – no exaggerations, no omissions. Based on the commitment to using only the purest ingredients available, every Puracy formula is at least 99.3% natural, with many containing a higher percentage.
Supporting community and charity
The artwork on the labels is hand-drawn by local artists, and Puracy supports a diverse range of charities, offering financial assistance and product donations. These organizations fight to improve a number of issues that are important to us, including cancer research & awareness, distressed communities, disadvantaged youths & families, social equality, homelessness, COVID-19, and many more.
Featured in Business Insider as Best bathroom cleaning products, and The Baby Bump as Best baby skincare products, Puracy has sold over 8 million bottles of their cleaners.
Shop more of Puracy’s Natural Home, Body, Baby, & Pet Care
Infuse makes window, floor, bathroom, and all purpose cleaners. Their focus is on providing eco-friendly cleaning products that also don’t create a lot of waste.
Most cleaners have water as the main ingredient.
Water is heavy and you have plenty of it at your house.
Therefore, if the cleaner was made as a concentrate without the water and you add it at home, that saves on shipping and plastic waste.
At Infuse, they believe that the best way to reduce waste is never to create it in the first place. Yes, plastic is the best material to deliver cleaning liquid refills of Infuse cleaning solution. But from day one, they have been committed to creating as little as possible.
How much less?
Infuse undertook a study to determine exactly how much they could reduce the use of plastic that goes into the trash, and so to landfill.
The company tested a range of competitors’ products – both handheld spray bottles and cleaning liquid refills. Every component that is not the cleaning liquid itself was measured.
In the test were a wide range of competitor products: Swiffer, Bona, Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, Windex, EverSpring, Scrubbing Bubbles, Spic and Span, Clorox, Mr. Clean, and Love Home & Planet.
70% less plastic waste
In short, Infuse products create less than 1/2 the waste of the nearest pre-diluted competitor and nearly 1/10 that of the greatest offender. Out of all of the products studied, Infuse creates an average of 70% less waste.
Just think, if every person in the United States replaced one disposable spray bottle with one of Infuse’s reusable, refillable spray bottle, there would be around 15,888,000,000 fewer bottles going into our landfills over the next few years. Yes, that’s 15 billion with a “b.” And, since every Infuse spray bottle can be refilled at least 48 times, it really adds up.
You might already have replaced disposable plastic water bottles with a refillable one. Consider what a difference it could make if we all did the same with our cleaners.
Learn more about Infuse Concentrates
Near beautiful Traverse City MI, Ruth Smith started making her own eco friendly soap in 1982, she didn’t intend to pioneer the laundry revolution.
She was simply doing what any loving mother would do; caring for her children, who suffered from severe skin allergies.
But after trying several “green” store-bought products to no avail, she decided take matters into her own hands.
Soon she started crafting hypoallergenic products from home. So what started as a household necessity, quickly flourished into Ruth’s lifelong passion.
Before long, she enrolled in formal herbology and homeopathy training, where creating non-toxic, effective products became part of her DNA. Someone once said, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” And so it goes, MyGreenFills was born!
Then, in 2012, Ruth joined forces with Stephen Ezell (CEO), a passionate entrepreneur and green philanthropist looking to bring positive change to the world. Together, they’ve disrupted the industry, shipping non-toxic solutions to markets, hotels, and homes across the nation.
Transparency and Honesty
”We’re dedicated to leaving the Earth better than we found it. For us, this means reducing plastic waste with refillable laundry jugs and recyclable packaging.” Now it’s possible to save money, time, and the Earth, all while you’re doing the laundry.
Their products use revolutionary eco-chemistry to deliver better results than any toxic chemical cleaners. With zero harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances, their products are hypoallergenic and safe.
Also they offer complete transparency, listing every single ingredient used in the formulas. While it would be cheaper to fight stains with abrasive chemicals, they vow to NEVER use harsh chemicals in their products.
All MyGreenFills products are made using safe, non-toxic ingredients and are scented with natural essential oils. This way, you will never have to worry about carcinogens, hormone or endocrine disruptors, or other harmful effects from your laundry.
Finally, they are so sure you will like using their products, that they offer enough eco friendly soap to wash 50 loads of laundry free.
Haruhome Cleaning Company
Reina Pinto, founder and CEO spent much of her time growing up in Osaka, Japan with her Grandma Haruko. She and her siblings stayed in the home her grandfather built with his own hands.
It smelt of the tatami floor mats, Japanese cedar, and the sweet scents drifting in from the flower garden outside. Not only the smell of the home left memories, but all the food they ate together left a big impact on her as well.
It is also a large part of Japanese culture to have respect for the environment and for each other and the community. And Grandma Haruko is to this day one of the most strong, encouraging, and hilarious women in Reina’s life. She taught her how working hard and going after your dreams can inspire generations after you.
Soon, she grew to realize how much she aspired to follow in her footsteps as a woman and mother. For this reason, through Haruhome, she hopes to share a bit of Grandma Haruko’s wisdom, goodness, and joy with the world.
Refreshing scents and essential oil
Haruhome’s eco friendly cleaning products are made with naturally derived cleaning agents and infused with Reina’s blend of essential oils imported from Japan. One of the scents, called Hokkaido Mint, a gently sweet herbal scent of mint from the farms of Hokkaido, with hints of lavender and cypress.
Sourced from a rare variety of peppermint, they get the essential oil that is cultivated only from the farms run by Mr. Hiroshi Segawa of Takinoue. Due to the organic health movement, it added time and effort to the production process and most farmers gave up the crop.
Now Mr. Segawa is the only remaining farmer to continue his family tradition of 90 years.
The multi surface cleaner is great in the kitchen and almost any other surface in the house or car. Haruhome also makes eco friendly hand soap, bar soap and hand sanitizer with great scents. They always use BPA free plastic bottles and tops. Also, they make their products in Florida, USA. All of the products are non-toxic, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and they never do any animal testing.
However, I noticed thay they don’t have bigger bottles to refill the smaller ones.
Haruhome’s multi-surface cleaner
Since 1989, Green Blaster has been making eco friendly cleaning products that are effective and safer for people, pets, plants, and the environment.
Their focus is biodegradable green products and business practices. And the goal is to provide everyday solutions while working to improve the environment we all share and live in.
Green Blaster makes many different eco friendly products, yoga mat and exercise equipment cleaners, insecticides that kill only pests, not people, mold stain cleaners, pet shampoos, stainless steel cleaners and more.
These products use natural biodegradable ingredients that can make homes safer. And also, high recycled content packaging is always used to contain their safe, non toxic, and cost effective products.
Using Natures own methods
Green Blaster’s cleaners use enzymes, nature’s own technology, to make products that work as well or better than many of the chemical laden, toxic choices on store shelves today.
See more of Green Blasters Products
Enzymes are part of the sustainable environment and are present in all biological systems from yogurt to human biology. Since they come from nature, when they have done their work, they are readily and safely absorbed back into the natural environment.
Moreover, all of their products are manufactured in the United States and are not tested on animals.
EnviroKlenz, from Bonita Springs Florida, have always been dedicated to helping people live healthier and more productive lives. Innovative and rapidly growing, this company is focused on personal air quality, surface decontamination, and engineered solutions.
Molds are part of the natural environment. But indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.
Consequently, mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. And if touched or inhaled mold spores can cause hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). EnviroKlenz makes eco friendly cleaning products to kill these molds and odors associated with them.
Now there is an increasing concern about air pollution levels both outdoors and indoors. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be five times as polluted as outdoor air. The reason being, indoor air is not circulated as much as outside air, many airborne pollutants continue to thrive inside.
It should be noted, that these tiny spores are not filtered out in your furnace filter. A proper HEPA filter installed in a furnace would restrict the air flow to the point that no air would come out of your vents. Resulting in the need for a separate machine designed to pull air through the fine filter medias is needed to stop the spores from spreading.
Cleaner air with eco friendly material
EnviroKlenz makes high quality HEPA filters made from natural products. And they use magnesium oxide, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. With these simple earth minerals they use a patented process to enhance their natural reactive chemistry. These filters, when installed in their Mobile Air System, capture airborne pollen, dust, odors, mold, gasses, fragrance, VOCs, allergens, bacteria and more. Third party testing shows up to 99% reduction in viruses, mold, fungi, and E.coli in the air.
This system is safer and faster at removing VOC’s than traditional carbon filters and Peco air purifier. It uses hospital grade technology to provide air cleaning efficiency for your health.
See more of EnviroKlenz Products
Also, EnviroKlenz makes eco friendly cleaning products and bar soaps that are designed to kill odors naturally and not by covering them with strong fragrances. All their products are made in the USA and they offer a 30 days money back guarantee.
PurTru Natural Cleaners
PurTru™ kitchen cleaners are all-natural non-toxic free & clear kitchen appliance and multi surface cleaners. Protect your family against harmful toxic chemicals found in other kitchen cleaning and descaling solutions.
They offer a cleaner for your coffee machine, washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, garbage disposal and jetted tub systems. Whatever appliance you are looking to clean PurTru™ offers an all natural, non toxic cleaner to do the job while keeping your home free of harmful toxic chemicals.
PurTru’s all-natural plant based formulations containing no harsh chemicals such as ammonia or bleach while providing enough strength for sanitizing, descaling and cleaning. The effective green, clear and odorless solution eliminates foul odors and restores your kitchen appliances to like new condition.
PurTru kitchen eco friendly cleaning products do not contain any harsh chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, phthalates or parabens. Additionally, They never test on animals and are septic safe.
Squeeky Concentrate – Organic Cleaner Set
Take one more step in eliminating single use plastics from your life with this set of cleaning concentrates. Also, these eco friendly cleaning products come in a recyclable or reusable aluminum bottle.
Made from essential oils, plant extracts, and minerals, say goodbye to the toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances found in other cleaning products.
Add water to turn each 100 ml bottle into 1000 ml of kick butt cleaning product. Shipping the concentrate without the added water eliminates the extra weight and bulk in shipping, reducing costs and lessening the impact on the environment.
Vegan and pet friendly, use these cleaners for sinks, toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and everything in between. This set comes with four bottles, multi-purpose, bath, glass, and floor cleaner.
Creating safe cleaners for the long run
It’s not easy making eco friendly cleaning products from only natural ingredients. That’s why so many commercial products take shortcuts by using harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, many of those chemicals, including Phthalates, Triclosan, Perchloroethylene, Ammonia, Sodium hydroxide, Butoxyethonal, can damage your skin, affect your breathing, and more.
With 20+ years mixing botany with chemistry, Squeeky Concentrate’s head chemist knows how to get the reaction he wants from natural ingredients. For example, using acetic or citric acid and garlic or brassica. So, whether you need a multi-purpose cleaner or to polish something, they create a formula that won’t cause harm to you or the environment.
Plus, all shipping materials are plastic-free and recycled materials and sustainable cardboard are used when possible.
See more of Squeeky Concentrate’s Organic Cleaners
Boon Supply – Laundry Detergent Strips
All of us are trying to do our part to serve the world better. At Boon Supply, they bring those decisions to one eco-conscious place. From detergent strips, to reusable bamboo nesting bowls, to refillable deodorant, here the little things add up.
And every time you shop, they make it easy for you to give 40% back to your cause of choice. Boon Supply brings communities together to dream big and get big results.
Don’t see the school or organization you want to give your savings back to? You can easily set up a fundraiser and start sharing to instantly give back to your community.
Founded by Lily Kanter, co-founder of Serena + Lily, Boon Supply has been featured on The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Real Simple Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and more.
Fresh Linen Zero Waste Laundry Strips
We have seen the concentrated soaps that dont include water, but these take eco friendly cleaning products to the next step. Each dry laundry strip packs ultra concentrated, hypoallergenic, eco friendly soap into a tiny, pre-measured strip of liquidless laundry detergent that you just toss in the wash. Its low-sudsing formula works in all types of washing machines, including high-efficiency (HE).
Just 1 strip per load, this paraben, phosphate, dye, and chlorine bleach free detergent, dissolves and provides you with the peace of mind you will have clean clothes and be making a difference for the environment.
Free of 1,4-dioxane, as certified by independent laboratory tests. Readily biodegradable in accordance with OECD 310D.
Furthermore when you shop with Boon, 40% of every purchase goes towards supporting the local organization of your choice — whether it’s your neighborhood school, your daughter’s soccer team, or the nearby chapter of a nonprofit.
See more of Boon Laundry Detergent Sheets
Written by Jay Weaver, published 11/30/2020