How do I know if my household cleansers are safe?

Green Household Cleaners

The green movement has led to a whole new niche market for eco-friendly and all-natural products. Although most green household cleansers are probably effective and safe to use, don't assume that all natural always means good or safe. Nature is full of "natural" substances that are still pretty bad for living things, like poisons, and the best way to make sure you're bringing truly safe products home is to do your homework. Check the ingredient lists on green products as you would for any other household cleansers you'd consider buying. If any ingredient is unknown to you, find out more.

In the last couple of decades, cleaning product manufacturers have become more and more preoccupied with offering goods for sale that use tightly focused chemical compounds to perform very specific tasks. One nice by-product of the green revolution is the re-emergence of the all-purpose cleaner. Finding eco-friendly cleaning products that can still perform multiple functions saves you money in the long run, in part because you can buy these products in larger quantities and waste less. This tactic also cuts down on packaging in landfill and wholesale transportation costs.

You might consider using some basic, benign multi-taskers if you're thinking about going green with your household cleansers. Lemon juice is an effective mild bleach that can remove stains from textiles, and a solution of white vinegar and water makes a handy disinfectant spray. These are examples of safe ingredients that you can lots of different ways to clean your home.

Green cleansers usually employ biodegradable alternatives to caustic chemicals that are also more child-, pet- and nature-friendly. When household cleanser safety is a top priority, there are lots of good options that are simple and green.

Related Articles


  • Consumer Reports. "Keep the Kids Safe While Spring Cleaning." 3/26/10. 3/31/10.
  • EPA. "Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal Purchasers." 2/2/10. 3/30/10.
  • HHS. "Household Products Database." Undated. 3/30/10.
  • Laumer, John. "Is There An Eco-Friendly Alternative to Caustic Drain Cleaners?" 1/17/06. 3/30/10.
  • "Safeguard Your Home From Harmful Products." Undated. 3/30/10.
  • PHMSA. "How to Stay Safe at Home." Undated. 3/28/10.
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