Environmental Working Group (EWG), the same forward-thinking, non-profit that brought you the Dirty Dozen and Skin Deep, is getting ready to launch a new safety database this fall on cleaners. Hallelujah!
This news couldn’t be better for consumers, many of whom regularly purchase toxic household cleaners. You may be one of them. I was, and I wasn’t even aware. Yes, even SoulMamma isn’t perfect. This lesson in particular was humbling because, really, I should have known better.
According to the EWG, they have unearthed compelling evidence that hundreds of
cleaners, even some of those hyped as “green” or “natural,” can cause serious harm.
“Already, our research has turned up products loaded with extremely toxic compounds banned in some countries. Some of their ingredients are known to cause cancer, blindness, asthma and other serious conditions. Others are “greenwashed,” meaning that they are not, as their ad hype claims, environmentally benign. Still more hide the facts about their formulations behind vague terms like “fragrance.”’
In anticipation of the fall 2012 launch, EWG released a Hall of Shame, which it says highlights “the worst of the worst, so far.” So which one gave me my humbling wake up call?
Simple Green, my go-to, I’m-too-lazy-to-mix-my-own-vinegar-and-water cleaner.
It turns out that Simple Green, labeled “non-toxic” and “biodegradable,” is a product of said greenwashing. I guess this is why we call life a journey; we are always learning, and at times like this when we are humbled, we have the opportunity to improve.
Your turn. There’s really no better day than today to review the Hall of Shame and start eliminating these and other toxic cleaners from under your sinks and cabinets. Of course, the question remains: what can you replace them with?
You have options
This All Purpose Cleaner Concentrate from Green Virgin Products (the same folks who bring you Soap Nuts), claims to be so safe a baby could drink it with no ill effects. Though I haven’t tried drinking it, they kindly provided me a sample that I’ve used over the past few months, and it works super well. It has no odor, cuts through all kinds of dirt, and is so concentrated that a little goes a very long way. I use it on everything from wood floors to granite counter tops and porcelain toilets.
If you are feeling especially motivated, you might give this DIY All Purpose Citrus Cleaner a try. Vinegar and water is truly a fantastic go-to cleaner for everything, but the vinegar smell can be a complete turn-off. This recipe gets around it by steeping the vinegar in a jar of lemon, lime, orange and/or grapefruit peels for 2-3 weeks. Brilliant! It’s on my list of things to create next; I am a complete sucker for the aroma of grapefruit!
Do you find it hard to eliminate some of your toxic cleaners? What have you successfully replaced them with?
I shared this post on Simple Lives Thursday.