Green Business Bureau

Green Business Certification

Some guidelines for shopping for nontoxic household cleaning products; avoid falling victim to "greenwashing" — the marketing of conventional items as eco-friendly. 

  • Read ingredient lists. Avoid petroleum-based solvents, chlorine, ammonia and phosphates.
  • Avoid products that have "danger," "poison" or "warning" on the label.
  • Choose products that list all ingredients.
  • Look for products that make specific claims regarding biodegradability, e.g., such as within 14 days.
  • If a product is marketed as "natural," read the label more closely (petroleum, too, is "natural").
  • Avoid products with synthetic fragrances. If you need a scented product, choose one that uses essential oils.
  • Buy in bulk or concentrated form (there's no reason to pay for added water).
  • Choose products that have the least packaging.
  • Try castile soap, a mild, liquid, vegetable-based soap traditionally made from olive oil. (Taggart likes the Dr. Bronner's brand.)

Some brands that make nontoxic cleaning products: