Keep it Green and Clean

In Sept 2012, EWG came up with a great new report on the toxicity of household cleaners. As usual it was shocking… the short version:  you are poisoning yourself with all your household cleaners, including most of the green, the eco and the groovy ones.

Here is the link to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning:

The report give ranks 2000 cleaning products from A (good) to F (nasty!).
The provide a list of “Top Products” which can be useful for quick shopping

However, upon visiting my local Whole Foods Market, I came to realise that even armed with the “Top Products” list, I could easily end up purchasing a nasty “F” ranking version of a product that looks almost identical to the clean “A” version I was looking for.

Let me illustrate the point with an example:
I had on my list to buy the clean, “A” rated detergent:

Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value 2x concentrated Laundry detergent, unscented 
[EWG review]

but this one was available on the shelves instead (“F” rated):

Whole Foods Market 2X concentrated laundry detergent with enzymes, unscented 
[EWG Review]

Now just to make my point, see the two product name side by side:

Whole Foods 365EverydayValue 2x concentrated Laundry detergent, unscented
Whole Foods Market           2X concentrated laundry detergent with enzymes, unscented

And that’s just the “clean” brands.  The law doesn’t require companies to list the ingredients in the cleaning products. The mainstream commercial stuff like resolve/spray and wash offers a dozen variation on the same product with different ingredients and almost identical labels.  Moreover, since they are not required to divulge their ingredients, you never know what toxic soup you are really buying.

My next thought is:  I will stick to “clean” brands instead of trying to find an individual clean product from a certain brand, I will pick a “clean” brand and will therefore avoid confusion when trying to buy a product.

Looking up the main “green” brands at Whole Foods brought up some interesting findings:

Link to EWG review
Biokleen 0 0 2 17 6 EWG review of Biokleen Dirty Brand!
Ecover 1 7 4 13 0 EWG review of Ecover All over the map – choose carefully!
BabyGanics 0 0 0 2 16 EWG review of BabyGanics NASTY brand!
Simple Green 3 2 1 7 13 EWG review of Simple Green Mostly dirty Choose product carefully if you must
Planet 0 0 0 2 2 EWG review of Planet Nasty brand
Seventh Generation 8 3 4 14 2 EWG review of Seventh Generation All over the map – choose carefully!
Whole Foods Market 3 4 1 0 3 EWG review of Whole Foods Market All over the map – choose carefully!
Whole Foods
365 Everyday Value
2 2 2 0 0 EWG review of
WF 365 Everyday Value
Mostly clean
Only a very small subset of prod lineup was tested
Whole Foods Market
2 3 0 0 0 EWG review of WF green MISSION Very clean
Don’t know if product line-up is vast or small.
Mrs. Meyer’s
Clean Day Products
0 8 12 26 19 EWG review of Mrs. Meyer’s Mostly DIRTY brand
Dr. Bronner’s 3 0 0 0 0 EWG review of Dr. Bronner’s Only tested the liquid soap
Green Shield Organic 10 4 0 0 0 EWG review ofGreen Shield Organic This is a CLEAN BRAND!

NOTES on product review table:

  • A lot of surprises with brands with a “green” marketing but dirty products.
  • Whole Foods Market offers 3 product products lines:
    • Whole Foods Market
    • Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value – (some clean stuff.  Pick very carefully)
    • Whole Foods Market green MISSION   (WFM “clean” label)
  • Of course Dr Bronner’s liquid soap is divine (and clean!)…. too bad they only tested the liquid soap
  • Green Shield Organics is my new favourite goto company for any type of cleaning product.


To facilitate my shopping and avoid accidentally purchasing a dirty look alike version a cleaning product, I have created a short pick list of cleaning products. It is mostly based on products available at my local Wholefoods and which should be available in your local “Eco Groovy” market.



My Green Clean Cleaner Pick List

Product Selection Strategy:

  • Try to purchase everything I can from Green Shield Organics (all their products are clean and I want to encourage them)
  • If purchasing from another company, try to select an “A” or “B” rating product and make sure the company only offers one product of this type (to avoid purchasing a nasty look alike product).


  • Dish soap (for hand washing dishes):
    • Whole Foods Market liquid dish soap, unscented or mandarin ginger (only two “model” who both rank well.)
    • Not the 365 every day model (ranks “C”)



  • Stain Remover spray:
    • Not a whole lot of “clean” selection for this type of product.
    • Most products are ranked “D” or “F”
    • OxiClean has a number of almost identical looking products ranking from C to F.
    • The “Baby” stain remover is the only one with a “C” ranking that is also easy to distinguish from the others.

A similar issue is prevalent in medicine as well. Not many people consider alternatives to conventional medicine, and at times they can prove to be safer and more effective. It just does not seem to be common knowledge at this point for some reason, even though the information is very easy to find. A good example you can use can be found here if you find yourself reviewing alternative medicine.

About admin

My name is Christian Marcotte. I live in San Diego with my wife Carolyn and our son Jeremiah. This site is a recording of my currrent ponderings, hobbies and interest.
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2 Responses to Keep it Green and Clean

  1. Lori says:

    Thanks for this! Any idea how Method stacks up? That’s the Target brand supposedly green cleaning line. Bummed to hear about Meyer’s and Seventh Generation, always thought SG was a go-to cleaner (as it’s available everywhere it seems).

    • admin says:

      My only information is from the EWG report.
      You can follow the link and search for your favority product there.
      I know, seventh generation seemed like it was the clean brand, no questions asked.
      Now the goto brand is Green Sheld Organics as all their products are clean and they
      have not only the environment in mind (a nobel goal) but also your health (even more noble if you ask me!)
      – C

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