Replacing traditional cleaning products with green or natural products has both health and environmental benefits. Green cleaners contain few or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals in many household products that can cause respiratory problems, headaches and dizziness from short-term exposure. Long-term use may cause liver, respiratory and reproductive problems including cancer. Green cleaning products are also less harmful to the air and water, and many use environmentally friendly packaging.
Green Seal Certified Brands
Green Seal is a non-profit organization that sets and enforces rigid standards for green product certification. Products receiving the Green Seal have passed a battery of tests and inspections to ensure they are safe for the environment and for human health.
The brand Simple Green offers a variety of cleaning products bearing the Green Seal. These include multi-surface, bathroom, glass and floor cleaners as well as a concentrated cleaner that can be diluted.
Office Depot's brand carries three Green Seal-certified cleaning products, including all-purpose, bathroom and glass cleaners.
Simoniz, under the label Green Scene, has several certified green products for outdoor household cleaning jobs. They carry deck and fence wash, house and siding wash, a wash and wax product and a degreaser.
Responsibly Clean, a Nexgen Chemistries brand, offers carpet, bath and heavy-duty cleaners that are Green Seal certified.
Transparent Labeling Companies
Some cleaning product companies are not certified by Green Seal but restrict the use of VOCs and other harmful chemicals. They also list all ingredients on the label.
Method states that their products are "non-toxic, made with naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients." The company offers dish soap, toilet cleaner and kitchen, laundry, bathroom and multi-purpose cleaners in a variety of formulas, including sprays and wipes. They also offer most of their products in several different scents or unscented.
Seventh Generation's website contains a list of chemicals they will not use in their products, which includes phosphates, solvents and other ingredients. The brand carries disinfectants, laundry and dishwashing products, bathroom supplies and all-purpose cleaners.
Other Natural Brands
Mrs. Meyers cleaning products are biodegradable and free of phosphates. They include dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, window spray and more in a variety of scents like lavender and geranium.
Melaleuca's EcoSense cleaning products contain "naturally derived ingredients with no chlorine bleach, ammonia, or formaldehyde", according to the company's website. They offer dish soap, bathroom cleaner and other products.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps are made from Castile soap, which is vegetable-based. The company's packaging claims that the soaps have more than 18 uses.
Shaklee products are non-toxic and biodegradable. They offer individual cleaning products as well as starter kits containing a variety of cleaners.