Natural cleaner FAQS

A bottle of Sensitive Home Marble and Glass Cleaner sits on a granite countertop with its EPA Safer Choice label.

Jenny McGrath/Insider

What constitutes a natural cleaning product?

Natural and green cleaners can mean different things to different people. Some only consider lemon, baking soda, and other naturally occurring items as truly qualifying for the label. Others accept cleansers with plant-derived ingredients as natural because well. Overall, the types of products many consider organic or green are lower in harmful or toxic chemicals than numerous traditional cleaners.  

What are the main certifications and do they matter?  

So many companies put out cleaning products that they label as natural or eco-friendly that it can be difficult to differentiate between legitimately less-toxic options plus green-washed versions that can still pollute the particular environment. The EPA’s Safer Choice Certification , the Green Seal Certification , and UL Ecologo Accreditation all have clearly defined criteria for ingredients that include efficacy, human health, and environmental standards. You can read more about them below.

Why buy natural cleaning items?  

Many traditional cleaning products release VOCs, pollute the air and water, and can injure eyes or the skin, according to the EPA . Cleaning products that are truly greener try to reduce or even eliminate all those effects. Natural cleaning products are also great for those with allergies or pores and skin sensitivities, pregnant people, pet owners, and people with kids or who are expecting.  

What is the EPA’s More secure Choice Qualification ?

Products with Safer Choice Certification meet the EPA’s Safer Choice Standard . The ingredients meet health and environmental safety criteria, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, plus persistence in the environment. The products must furthermore pass performance standards. There are over 2, 000 products within the database .  

What is Green Close off Certification ?  

A Green Seal-certified product meets standards around human being health (including toxicity, carcinogenicity, skin sensitization, and flammability), environmental effects (including acute aquatic degree of toxicity and bioaccumulation), and waste minimization (including recyclability of packaging and product efficacy).  

What’s UL Ecologo Certification ?  

Underwriters’ Laboratories, or UL, certifies a range of products with regard to safety. Its Ecologo mark indicates a product meets third-party environmental requirements in several areas, which includes materials, manufacturing, health, environment, and overall performance.

What exactly is USDA BioPreferred Certification ?  

This voluntary labeling program through the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE helps customers identify items that are made with renewable agricultural materials, renewable chemical substances, and forestry materials, since opposed in order to petroleum-derived products.  

What is the particular Environmental Working Group ?

The particular EWG is a nonprofit that rates products based on whether or not they include ingredients that this deems hazardous. Some scientists have criticized the group’s methodology.  

What’s the surfactant?  

Surfactants help reduce surface tension in drinking water, allowing soap or detergent to mix in and trap dirt.  

What’s an emulsifier?

Emulsifiers help mix substances, like oil and water, that don’t usually combine on their own.

What are parabens?  

Parabens are usually chemicals that have often been used as preservatives inside cosmetics, cleansers, food, plus medicine. Studies have linked their presence to coral damage .

Exactly what are phthalates?  

Phthalates are chemicals used in order to make plastic more durable. Presently there are some indications that will they harm animals’ reproductive system systems .

What are sulfates?

Sulfates are usually detergents that help cleaners and cosmetics lather and trap dirt. Some people find they irritate their epidermis or dry out their hair .

By Ellie

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