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When it comes to cleaning products, mother may not know best

Surprisingly, it may have been great-grandmother who knew best after all.  You may have heard stories of past generations harnessing nature in ways we have long since forgotten in our hectic society of today.   However, most of us have probably noticed that “green” is quickly becoming the new “black”.  It is becoming a renewed way of life and mainstay in our evolving world and economy, and for good reason, too.  Not only are greener products safer for the planet and its delicate ecosystem, but also for the people who use them and steer away from their traditional counterparts that our dear mothers may have introduced us to.

More specifically green cleaning products have become increasingly popular in recent years, with even some of the traditionally toxic big brands making an attempt at introducing greener versions of their cleaning product ranges.  With more and more greener choices open to consumers these days, it is important to understand what makes a green cleaning product more safe, effective and ethical.  Labels and various bottle shapes can be enticing, but don’t always tell the whole story.

You may be wondering why you should consider tossing in tradition in favor of some trendy green cleaners?  Understandably tradition can be a hard habit to break, since we are creatures of habit and often like to reach for familiarity.  However, in the case of traditional cleaners, they may not be the best for our health.  Some studies suggest that exposure can trigger allergies, asthma, skin rashes and even cancer.  Furthermore, there are stories abound of pets, children and adults becoming sick or even perishing from exposure.  While some of the traditional cleaning products may be good at killing germs, their anti-bacterial and cleansing properties know no boundary between friend and foe in many cases.

People often ask “do green cleaning products really work”?  The answer?  By and large, yes they do, but of course just like traditional products, there will be variances in efficacy, not to mention personal preference.  From experience, some of the green cleaners can even outperform the traditional cleaners.  There are so many completely natural ingredients such as citric acid, vinegar, essential oils etc that work really well on some of the toughest stains germs, and dirt.

If you’re new to the idea of trying out green cleaning products, knowing what is inside the product is important, so always try to use ones that fully disclose their ingredients on the bottle.  Any company that does not list their ingredients because they are “proprietary” is not being fully transparent, and from experience many of the cleaning products that claim to be green can surprisingly contain synthetic materials, not to mention petroleum, parabens and perfumes.  Another consideration is selecting green cleaning products that are not animal tested.  The labels should be marked “not tested on animals” or another similar phrase.

If you feel ready to give green cleaning products a try, you’ll find them in natural food stores, major grocery and other retail stores as well as on the internet.  Try seeking out products that have refill options available to help reduce landfill waste and transportation emissions.  Every decision you make as a consumer moves us closer to a healthy balance within ourselves and our environment.