It’s almost time for spring cleaning! But before you go buy a bunch of your favorite “natural” cleaning products, make sure they’re actually as safe as they sound…
As more and more people become aware of some of the hazards of the thousands of chemicals that surround us every day, many are turning to so-called “natural” cleaning products instead. However, you may be concerned to find out that some of these products aren’t always as “safe” as the labels may lead you to believe. While many companies do provide products with all-natural, plant-based ingredients that actually are much safer for both your health and the environment than the chemical-filled conventional products, some of these products don’t necessarily live up to the hype.
So how can you tell which ones are really legit, and which aren’t much better than the name-brand chemical-based formulas?
Of course, you can always make your own so you know what’s in them, but if you prefer to buy them instead, you’ll need to do your homework. Start by learning to read labels and identify ingredients to avoid. A great resource to consult is the Environmental Working Group’s product safety database. EWG provides rankings and ratings of products from cosmetics and skincare, to home cleaning products and more. You’ll find each product’s ingredients listed along with their potential health or environmental effects, and a rating based on the overall safety of the product for both you and the environment.
Here is a quick list of 7 of the most popular “natural” cleaning brands, and how they measure up:
While advertised as “naturally-derived” and “biodegradable”, Method cleaning products are not as safe as they’d like you to think. While the laundry detergent and multiple surface cleaners get a B rating from EWG, many of their products receive C, D and F ratings.
2. Mrs. Meyer’s
Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products are slightly better than Method’s, with many of their products earning B or C ratings. Only one product gets an F: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Scent Free Laundry Detergent.
3. Better Life
The laundry detergent and dish liquids, soap and gel are safe bets from this brand, earning A ratings from EWG.
4. Green Works
Don’t let the name mislead you: the majority of Green Works cleaning products have unwanted toxins.
These products are relatively safe bets, with EWG never reporting anything over a moderate concern.
Several ECOS products get A ratings, and their ingredient disclosure is generally fair. However, avoid this brand’s laundry detergents, which earn low EWG scores.
7. Seventh Generation
It’s a mixed bag on this brand as well, so reference the EWG verdicts to determine which Seventh Generation cleaning products you should buy.