Greenwashing in Cleaning Products [blog 8]


We have all read the labels “biodegradable”, “natural”, and “non-toxic”, generally on the front of most household products we use to clean and disinfect our homes with. And more and more household cleaning products are coming out stating these labels. Since some companies do not post their ingredients on their product, it is hard to tell whether the product is environmentally friendly as the companies claim. Ecoholic author, Vasil, worked with Marketplace and discovered several “lousy” labels of big name brands that one can find in almost every home.

Dawn antibacterial dish soap has been a huge supporter of wildlife cleanup after oil spills. They donate a bottle of dish soap to clean up the animals or donates money to a rescue group. But the Dawn dish soap product actually has an ingredient in the dish soap that is harmful to animals. The ingredient triclosan is an antibacterial and is toxic to aquatic life.

Organic Melt ice remover is a road salt and this one in particular claims to be “environmentally safe” since there is a large concern of road salt being harmful to rivers, streams, and groundwater. Marketplace checked with the company on the ingredients and found that only 3% of the product is sugar beets and the rest of it is rock salt. The first ingredient on Organic Melt ice remover is sugar beets, even though it only makes up 3%. There is no requirement to put the main ingredient first on the list.

And a third example is Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. The front label states that the cleaning product is non-toxic. But there is one ingredient in this cleaner that is toxic and is an actual health hazard. The ingredient is 2-butoxyethanol which can damage red blood cells. This toxic is not listed on the ingredient list or back of the product since there is no requirement for cleaning products to list all of their ingredients.


-Tarah Klenk


One thought on “Greenwashing in Cleaning Products [blog 8]

  1. I never know that dawn could be deadly for the animals that they are trying to save! It’s so strange that they are willing to possibly kill these animals just to be perceived as greener than other companies.


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