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  • Writer's pictureYemvelo Hygiene

What to Look for in a Green Cleaning Product

Using green cleaning products can help to reduce the human health- and environmental concerns that come along with cleaning. Such concerns may include:

  • Exposure to hazardous and/or toxic ingredients.

  • Non-biodegradable ingredients which threaten aquatic life.

  • Ingredients containing phosphorus or nitrogen which contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, leading to adverse effects on water quality.

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) which affect indoor air quality and also contribute to smog formation in outdoor air.


While an ecolabel is a quick, easy and (usually) accurate way of identifying greener cleaning products, unfortunately greenwashing does exist. When purchasing cleaning products, look for:

  1. Minimal presence of, or exposure to, potentially harmful chemicals, such as:

    1. Corrosive or strongly irritating substances.

    2. Substances classified as known or likely human carcinogens or reproductive toxicants.

    3. Ozone-depleting compounds.

    4. Regulated hazardous materials.

    5. Chemicals designated as HAPs (hazardous air pollutants).

  2. Use of renewable resources.

  3. Low VOC content.

  4. Readily biodegradable – i.e. degrades relatively quickly in an aquatic aerobic environment.

  5. Low toxicity in aquatic species.

  6. Low flammability.

  7. pH closer to neutral – i.e. pH 4 to pH 9.5.

  8. Fragrance-free.

  9. Designed for use in cold water, in order to conserve energy.

  10. Packaging with a low environmental footprint – i.e. efficient manufacture and use, as well as recycling potential.

  11. Packaging and dilution systems designed to reduce exposure to the product.

  12. Clear, comprehensive labelling and instructions.




Reference: US EPA. (No date) Identifying Greener Cleaning Products. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/identifying-greener-cleaning-products (Accessed: 30 December 2021)



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