When people think of being kind to the environment, the first thing that usually comes to mind is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. However, as important as conservation is, finding green cleaners and natural cleaning products as opposed to chemical alternatives can play a significant role in keeping our world happy and healthy. So, let’s look at the role that green cleaners play in environmental sustainability and why you should use safe cleaners around your home.
What is Green Cleaning?
The first step in transitioning your home and family to green cleaners is understanding what constitutes natural cleaning products.
At Pure House Cleaning, there are 3 qualities that we look for when evaluating green cleaners:
- Is it biodegradable?
- Does it help you use less waste?
- Does it have environmentally friendly ingredients?
The easiest way to define green cleaners is whether or not the products and methods are safer for humans, pets, and the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has created the Design for the Environment (DfE) Certification to help easily identify natural cleaning products that are approved by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
The FIFRA certification bases its product approval on the following:
- Product performance: Do the green cleaners live up to their claims for sanitation and disinfecting in independent lab tests?
- Ingredients: Are any chemicals included? What are the concentrations and purposes?
- Environment: How quickly does each ingredient in green cleaners break down in the environment, and how things like water quality and aquatic animals and fish are impacted
- Human health: The DfE certification takes into consideration things like pH, skin and eye irritants, and long-term health risks of any ingredients
- Packaging: Companies are required to make their packaging as environmentally friendly as possible
Are My All-Natural Cleaning Products Safe?
Think of the phrase “dermatologist tested.” When you see a sensitive skin body wash that has this phrase, most people think that it means it is approved by a dermatologist to be safe on their sensitive skin.
However, many brands use deceptive marketing techniques like this to lead customers to draw conclusions that aren’t accurate. A product that is dermatologist tested doesn’t mean that it was approved or recommended by a dermatologist, only that they tested it. This concept is similar to greenwashing.
Greenwashing with Green Cleaners
The term greenwashing has become popular recently, and it refers to ways that a company or business manipulates consumers to believe that it is more environmentally friendly than it is. For example, terms such as eco-friendly and sustainable are commonly used by companies to lead people to believe their chemical products are safe cleaners or that their natural cleaning products are safe for the environment. If a company is using vague terms and making claims that you can’t verify, it may be greenwashing.
Another example of greenwashing is when companies spend more time and money promoting safe cleaners and natural cleaning products without making any progress in environmental sustainability or conservation.
Why Should You Use Green Cleaning Products?
There are many reasons that you should use green cleaning products, including cost, personal health, and environmental sustainability.
Did you know that green cleaning products are:
- Better for the environment
- Healthier for your family
- Safer for pets
- Less expensive
In addition to making your home safer, environmentally friendly green cleaners and green cleaning services help reduce pollution, reduce ozone depletion, and reduce the need for toxic waste disposal. So why would you want to use products with warnings such as flammable, corrosive, and harmful if exposed to the skin or eyes?
Keeping the environment clean is a significant benefit of using a green cleaning service and natural cleaning products. House cleaning products used in kitchens and baths are especially important to inspect because they are typically washed down your drain throughout the cleaning process. Look for house cleaning products or a green cleaning service that uses products that are made with renewable resources, avoid corrosive or irritating chemical ingredients, and don’t cause toxicity in aquatic creatures.
Another aspect of house cleaning that many people don’t consider is the water temperature used during cleaning. More laundry detergent companies are investing in marketing that highlights the product’s ability to remain just as effective in cold water as it is in hot water. Although not all laundry detergents are considered natural cleaning products, washing your laundry in cold water is good for the environment. It takes energy to heat water, so by using cold water for laundry and other house-cleaning activities, you can cut down on your energy consumption.
Other considerations to be aware of are VOC content and efficiency in cold water. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are found in different home cleaning and maintenance products, building materials, cosmetics, and even cooking items. VOCs are released into the air, and the risk depends on the concentration and length of exposure, as well as any underlying health conditions the person may have.
Using a green cleaning service or safe cleaners throughout your home is also safer for your pets. For example, if your dog or cat walks on your floor after you’ve used house cleaning products that contain chemicals, and then they lick their paws, they could end up ingesting incredibly harmful substances.
Are All-Natural Cleaning Products More Expensive?
Believe it or not, consolidating your cleaning products and transitioning to green cleaners is actually less expensive than cleaning with chemicals. Chances are you have cleaning products specializing in certain things, such as window cleaner, bathroom cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, and toilet cleaner. Buying an all-purpose cleaner and swapping out microfiber clothes for paper towels and single-use wipes can make a big difference in cutting costs on your cleaning supplies.
Do Cleaning Companies Use Green Cleaning Products?
If you’re looking for professional house cleaning, asking questions about the types of products they use is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as the type of safe cleaners they will be using.
Pure House Cleaning is a green cleaning service that offers services including one-time and regular cleaning, post-construction cleaning, move-in and move-out cleaning, deep cleaning for your home, and more. The company only uses safe cleaners and natural cleaning products to ensure that its customers have clean homes and a clean environment.