Laundry Pick-Up/Delivery
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Do Green Cleaning Products Work?

College Cleaning Services in the Bronx, NY

The safety of green cleaners depends on what kind you buy. Just because the word “green” is on the label doesn’t mean that the product poses no health risks.

Natural cleaners can sometimes disinfect and clean as well as traditional cleaners. But it’s important to read the labels.

According to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), by 2011 the cleaning products industry was worth $59.1 billion. The green cleaning products market boomed in the early 21st century, in part thanks to the introduction of greener products from traditional manufacturers of cleaners like Windex and Clorox.

Cleaning products marketed as “green” are said to be more eco-friendly and safer to use than conventional alternatives. But is this true? And how well do they work? Are they worth that higher cost? Discover the details about green cleaning products, and visit our FAQ for details on the products we use for our Bronx laundry and cleaning services.

What is green cleaning?
What exactly “green cleaning” means can be hard to pin down. But all of these products reduce waste and are better for us and the environment, and they tend to share one or more of the following characteristics. They may:

  • Contain all-natural substances like baking soda or vinegar.
  • Be biodegradable and recyclable, or use recycled packaging.
  • Be grown organically.
  • Be produced using sustainable farming practices.
  • Be certified as a fair-trade product.
  • Be additive-free and non-toxic — i.e., have no artificial fragrances and colors, and no toxic ingredients like phosphates, chlorine, parabens, and phthalates.
  • Be a means of promoting environmental causes, with the manufacturer donating some of its profits to such causes.

How can you tell whether a product is “green”?
Many brands found in supermarkets across the Bronx claim to be natural or organic, but there are still no federal regulations requiring manufacturers to list the ingredients in their products on packaging. The government also doesn’t regulate terms like “natural” and “nontoxic” on product labels. So, basically, there are no governmentally enforced rules determining which ingredients qualify as green. As a result, “greenwashing” — making products appear more environmentally friendly than they are — is a problem in this industry.

You do have some guidance. Different types of labeling can help you determine what kind of product you are buying and whether it is as green as it claims to be. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program labels products that meet EPA’s criteria for chemicals. These products display the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. Others may be labeled “low VOC” or “no VOC” — which means that they have a very low concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or none at all.

The EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning lists more than 2,500 cleaning products that it has cross-checked against scientific studies and toxicity databases. Also look for products that report their compliance with health and environmental safety standards by bearing the Green Seal or EPA’s Safer Choice seal.

How effective are green cleaners?
Some green products are just as effective at cleaning and disinfecting as traditional products, particularly if you clean regularly and don’t require a deep-clean. Commercial disinfectants do pack more punch when it comes to sanitizing. One study found, for example, that a DIY cleaner made of distilled white vinegar, club soda, and tea tree oil is an “adequate alternative for cleaning ceramic and for household use, where complete elimination of micro-organisms is unnecessary.” And although vinegar is a somewhat effective disinfectant, vinegar alone was not as effective as commercial cleaners. In other words, as flu season makes its rounds across the Bronx area, DIY cleaners may not be as effective at killing viruses and bacteria that cause illness.

You should never mix DIY ingredients that you’re not sure about. Some popular and common household items can be deadly when mixed together. For example, bleach and vinegar produce toxic chlorine gas. Bleach and rubbing alcohol make chloroform.

Wash and Fold Me Laundry & Cleaning Service Provides Bronx Customers With Options
We provide our laundry customers with eco-friendly detergents upon request. We also use a variety of traditional and green products for our home cleaning services, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the product options we provide. Contact us for more information or schedule service today and let us bring a little order to the chaos.

 

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1719University ave
Bronx NY 10453