Clorox has made a big splash with the Green Works like of green cleaning products. They are the green categories’ sales leader.
How green is the their Natural All-Purpose Cleaner? They claim 99% all natural ingredients. MSDS sheet shows only hazardous ingredients as Alkyl polyglucoside (lowers water surface tension, enabling chemicals to spread and penetrate easily) and Ethyl alcohol. Clorox has said their alkyl polyglucoside comes from coconut oil.
According to Treehugger – “Preservative (Kathon) and colorant (Milliken Liquitint Blue HP dye and Bright Yellow dye X); — make up the circa 1% of the non-“natural” petroleum-derived portion of the cleaners (though Clorox says Kathon will biodegrade within 28 days.”
Kathon is not so harmless MSDS lists – “Irritating to skin. Risk of serious damage to eyes.May cause sensitization by skin contact. Harmful to aquatic organisms, may cause long term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.”
A similar Method cleaner’s ingredients shows soda ash and potassium hydrate (corrosive lye). You have to email them for MSDS sheets. Hmm.
The MSDS sheet does not list any hazardous ingredients. CHEMICAL FORMULA listed as “Proprietary Mixture”
Seventh Generation All purpose cleaner has 0.05% of the non natural preservative hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine. The company is aware that this is not good for the environment and is looking for an alternative by the end of 2008. According to them “None of the preservatives we are testing at this time are natural because no natural preservative we have evaluated is safe and effective in our products.” MSDS
As we have seen there is no free lunch, tradeoffs are all over. Green Works is far better than the non ‘green’ cleaners that have 95% market share and it is distributed in main stream grocery stores where the masses can buy it instead of more toxic alternatives.
You could roll your own green cleaning solution with vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, etc, if you are so inclined. Which most are unfortunately not.
Bottom line, I’d choose Green Works if I could not purchase Method or Seventh Generation.
Amazon carries brands like Method and has free shipping, so do not sweat over local availability. Method has soap, floor cleaner, shower spray, tube and tile cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and more.
New Recyclable Cardboard Bottle
An innovative, new Recyclable Cardboard Bottle from Ecologic Brands is being used by Seventh Generation in their concentrated liquid detergent. The bottle this made from recycled newspaper and cardboard, a slim inner plastic pouch holds the liquid. You can wash the plastic pouch and recycle it like any #4 plastic. Their pouch uses up to 70% less plastic and the outer shell can be recycled or composted. Let’s hope more products use innovative packaging like this.
method ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent – 8x
method ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent is now available. The 20 ounce bottle is good for 50 loads of laundry. Smaller bottle = less cost, less 50% post-consumer recycled plastic, less fuel burned in shipment. They claim a 35% smaller carbon footprint than conventional 2x concentrated detergent. Dye-free, hypo-allergenic, and 95% plant based formula helps make it more green. method is open about the ingredients it uses, no need to do sleuthing to find the MSDS documents. The bottle is even recyclable. It is the world’s first Cradle to Cradle certified laundry detergent.
Method O Mop All Floor Cleaning kit
Method has a new O Mop All Floor care kit with compostable sweeper clothes and lemon-ginger all floor cleaner, $32.99 from Amazon. Ergonomic mop, corn-based sweeping clothes, reusable microfiber mop pad.
Got a Swifter? You could probably buy their $18 compostable, corn-derived sweeper dusters and use it with it. No need to buy the whole kit. You then have a more eco friendly alternative in duster clothes.
Eco Friendly Green Dry Cleaning
We saw an ad for a Green Dry Cleaning company. What is up it that? EPA had an article and defined Green dry cleaning as a cleaner that uses wet cleaning or non toxic CO2 cleaning techniques instead of toxic and VOC filled perchloroethylene or perc cleaning. Wet cleaning uses water as the main solvent in specialized machines, along with specially-crafted detergents and additives. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is captured from the production of chemicals, as well as natural sources, and used to clean clothes in high-pressure machines.
Watch for those who claim to be green but use a hydro-carbon solvent called DF-2000 or a chemical called D-5.
Many ‘green’ dry cleaners switched to a hydrocarbon solvent because it can be used in the same machines they currently own. The problem is that the solvent contains suspected carcinogenic and known neurotoxin chemicals.
Organic dry cleaning is a stretch of terminology. No agency has to find what organic dry-cleaning is. We would avoid any place that calls itself organic.
Of course the best bet it is to avoid clothes that need dry cleaning if possible.
Also recycle those hangers when you are doing dry-cleaning!
Here are some web site that can point you to local ‘Green’ dry cleaners:
Find co2.com – Very few places
San Francisco Green Dry Cleaning Eco Friendly Goal
San Francisco is pushing dry cleaners to go green. We have covered Green Dry Cleaning in the past. Wet cleaning or non toxic CO2 cleaning is the way to go and we salute San Francisco for emphasizing this.
Many ‘green’ dry cleaners switched to a hydrocarbon solvent because it can be used in the same machines they currently own. The problem is that the solvent contains suspected carcinogenic and known neurotoxin chemicals. San Francisco is pushing for truth is advertising.
The ultimate goal is not to buy clothes that require dry cleaning.