Please pass on the plastic

Just another weblog

#33–Green Cleaning (peace of mind included!) July 11, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,healthy office,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 6:06 pm
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5 years ago we started using green cleaning supplies and I haven’t looked back since. There are so many effective green products out there and if you buy truly green you don’t have to worry about any negative side effects that go along with conventional cleaners.

The main issue with regular cleaners is that they contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds–in this case organic is not a good thing. VOC’s are petrochemicals that give off gases at room temperature which is a horrible thing for your health as well as the environment.

Ingredients to avoid (I hate to waste stuff but if you have these in your house now, they are really worth getting rid of. For responsible dumping please, please read following link on hazardous waste disposal. Every town as a HazMat waste site–our towns is every sunday at a local dump site, dumping down drain can cause issue with water supply and also clog sewers. HazMAt sites also collect paints, TV’s, computers, etc…so you could bring a whole collection and really clean up!)

  • chlorine bleach–toxic, corrosive, carcinogenic, irritant, possible neurological and reproductive damage–I could keep going…….when chlorine combines with ammonia-containing cleaners the gas it releases is highly toxic.
  • phosphates–added to dish and laundry soap to increase sud action, suspected carcinogen and not biodegradable
  • 2-butoxyethanol (glycol ether)–in window and floor cleaners, a strong pine and citrus smell-classified as a hazardous air pollutant yet somehow still found in many cleaners, causes lung irritation, dizziness, headache, liver damage
  • APE’s (alkylphenol ethoxylates)–used for stain removal, hormone disruptor.

A lot of typical cleaners claim, “all natural” biodegradable” or “green” b/c they add in some essentials oils……DO NOT fall for these labels. windex, chlorine bleach, Mr. Clean, Fantastic–these are NOT healthy products and there are so many perfectly good alternatives. Here are a few of my favorites……

  • Seventh generation–Whole Foods, local health stores and even some regular supermarkets. I order in bulk from this site, prices are great and so nice to keep extra dish detergent, laundry, glass cleaner, all-purpose, toilet bowl cleaner in the house
  • Method–great scents, everything from baby shampoos to all-purpose wipes, to glass cleaner and stainelss steel cleaner. Target also sells this line.
  •–great dishwashing products, a great collection of all types of cleaners, available at local health foods stores and on the website, and at (discounted!)
  • Mrs–cleaning supplies for every household task, at health food stores and some supermarkets
  • Orange Glo–
  • Citrus Magic 5 in 1–

I love that many of these companies use recycled plastic containers. With these cleaners, a little goes a long way. I dilute mine for floors and bathrooms (ok, well the cleaning lady dilutes them) and they last forever. I know you will love them and you will feel so,so,so good about what you are doing for your health, the kids’ health (not challenging their immune systems with toxic chemicals at such a young age) and what you are doing for the water supply and ultimately the planet.

Oh, and one other perk, I let our kids clean the windows b/c non-toxic = no worries, and we always have a sparkling kitchen window! (and it takes up a good 1/2 an hour while they do it.)

Here’s to breathing free and easy……….


6 Responses to “#33–Green Cleaning (peace of mind included!)”

  1. Great article – some very persuasive arguments for dropping the chemicals.

    You can also go a long way towards greening your cleaning by using simple old-fashioned natural cleaners such as vinegar and washing soda. Yes, they are “chemicals” but they are biodegradable and pretty harmless – for us and the environment. Also helps to reduce the number of bottles and trips to the shops!

    See my website: if you want to read up on them.

  2. Andrea Says:

    Hey Michelle: I love Method for cleaning the wood floors and granite counter top. Stop N Shop sells it now too!

  3. Alison Says:

    I use Seventh Generation too – love the “no smell” and it works really well! I can find these products in most grocery stores. Target sells Method and lots of green non-toxic cleaning supplies too.

  4. Hey Michelle – In order to reduce toxins in the home to help with our boys health, we have started making all our cleaners. It is SO economical plus healthy. It is fun and like you said – you can even get the kids involved b/c it is a safe activity. I LOVE the site below for safe cleaning recipes using baking soda, borax, soap, washing soda, and lemon juice. You can download it and make a little book/pamphlet for easy reference:

    I also saved a few old plastic cleaning jugs. I cleaned them out really well. Then I added my own labels/clear duck tape so I once I mix them I can dispense easily and neatly.

    And a huge thumbs up for the Method Granite Cleaner!


  5. kathryn dennett Says:

    were on this ban wagon. mostly just make my own cleaners with vinigar and baking soda. and i love not having to worry that my son will get into anything toxic. still searching for a laundry detergent that really smells like clean cloths. that is the one thing i miss. someone told me that ecover has a good one. ill try it when im done with what ive got.

  6. nookins Says:

    I have been using products from root systems go to to check out the products. I have been using them at home and at work. so many so called GREEN products are duds and dont work. These are the real deal. I use multiclean and deep clean Love both! Any product that is non-toxic and environmentally friendly for our world is great for me. Makes cleaning easier. I have allergies kids and pets. These products fit the bill for all. TRY THEM

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