12/19/12

Going Green with Cleaning Products

I've been working on my annual simplification chore this week. It's the week where I go through each room and closet to gather up those things we aren't using, so I can donate them to charity before the end of the year. It allows me to simplify my life and claim a tax deduction at the same time. So far, I've made it through the kitchen and pantry and I already have several boxes ready to go. I also found at least a box of old cleaning supplies that I don't use anymore. There are so many poisons in cleaning products and in the last year, I've tried to make "greener" choices. I know many of my friends are also buying more environmentally-friendly products too. I wondered if this switch to greener products was having any effect on the products that cleaning companies use when they provide services, so I started surfing around to see what was available. I found a great website that not only provides green cleaning services, like Green Choice carpet cleaning Maryland, it also provides lots of valuable information about cleaning supplies.
I learned that most cleaning services use Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS): A skin and eye irritant, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Created as a non-irritating replacement to SLS, SLES was quickly classified as a carcinogen by the EPA. In fact, according to the EPA, SLES causes an increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies, and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS): a toxic ingredient commonly found in carpet cleaning products such as Scotchgard. PFOS was outlawed by the EPA in May 2000, but was replaced by Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid (PFBS), a precursor to PFOS that is still commonly found in cleaning products to this day. The GreenChoice brand green rug and carpet cleaning products ingredient list includes: Purified Water, Coco Glucoside (from coconut oil and fruit sugar), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (from coconut oil), Sodium Citrate (rock salt), Ethyl Alcohol (from corn), Essential Oils, Potassium Sorbate (biodegradable food-grade preservative). Knowing what they will and won't use for their carpet-cleaning services will help me make better informed decisions about my own home.
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