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Don’t Believe the Hype! Not All Plant-Based Cleaning Products are Safe

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Last week Veteran reporter Lester Holt reported that Walmart is recalling up to 4,000 “so-called” plant-based room refresher sprays with the Better Homes and Garden name and logo on it, for sickening four people and killing two of them. If you are going to spend more money on plant-based and environmentally sustainable products for your home, then 90% of the ingredients should be plant-based and environmentally sustainable. Sadly, there is very little to no federal legislation governing or restricting the use of potentially harmful and deadly chemicals in the cleaning products that we purchase. That’s why we really need companies to be forced to list every chemical they use in their products. That way, we can research and determine just how safe the ingredients are in cleaning products.

Green-washing is a sales tactic that organizations use to sell products that claim to be natural, eco-friendly, organic, or even environmentally conscious. False product claims can be achieved through advertising, a products’ description, company name, or by using sustainable packaging, which could make customers believe the product ingredients are safer or plant-based. Let’s face it, most people will not take the extra steps of researching chemicals that are listed on product labels. However, plant-based products really should have ingredients that you recognize and can pronounce. A natural ingredient for food or cleaning products is an ingredient that comes from renewable resources, like essential oils from plants or salts from minerals. Too many so-called all-natural cleaners contain hazardous irritants, allergens, fragrances, preservatives, and toxic chemicals.

There are plenty of natural plant-based ingredients and preservatives that can be used to make safer cleaning products. However, they tend to be more expensive, which can reduce profit margins. Without much federal oversight in the types of chemicals that are allowed in cleaning products; we must be our own health advocate. Do your research before buy cleaning products. I had my own horrible allergic reaction to harmful ingredients in cleaning products and hair products. That's why I decided to take control over what I use to clean areas in my home. I now make my own glass cleaner, yoga mat cleaner, granite cleaner, multi-purpose cleaner, air freshener and am currently formulating a cleaner for stainless steel.

You too can purchase safer plant-based cleaning products for your home by simply doing some research to learn which chemicals you should avoid. Our plant-based granite and yoga mat cleaners are safe, effective and are made with 95% plant-based ingredients. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit advocacy group, dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, has a great list of the most common ingredients that you should AVOID when purchasing cleaning and other products for your home (see below).

Be well!

Ingredients to avoid in cleaning and household products

  • Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride

  • Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride

  • Ammonia

  • Artificial fragrances

  • Butoxyethanol

  • Chlorine

  • Didecyldimethylammonium Chloride

  • Diethanolamine

  • Dioctyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride

  • Distearyldimonium Chloride

  • DMDM Hydantoin

  • Dyes

  • Ethanolamine

  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

  • Glutaral

  • Methylisothiazolinone

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone

  • Monoethanolamine Citrate

  • Perchloroethylene or “PERC”

  • Oxybenzone

  • Parabens

  • Phthalates

  • Quaternium-15

  • Quaternium-24

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

  • Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

  • Triclosan

  • Sodium Hydroxide

  • *2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol

  • Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)

  • Sulfuric Acid

  • Triethanolamine


Environmental Working Group (EWG). (2021, October). Cleaning Supplies and Your Health. Retrieved from:

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