31 Jul 5 Green Cleaners for Your Kitchen
By Katie Casto Hynes, MS, Guest Blogger
Trying to steer clear of using harmful chemicals in your home kitchen? I certainly have been! But at the same time, I somehow managed to avoid buying ANY cleaning products which isn’t the safest solution either. After staring at a vast number of “green” brands in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store, I knew it was time for more research.
What to Look For
Without any criteria to qualify a product as green, it’s hard to know which brands to trust. Be careful with generic claims such as “environmentally friendly” and “eco-safe.” First off, look at the label. I was shocked that several of the “green” brands didn’t even disclose their ingredients. Try to avoid products labeled danger, poison, corrosive, severely irritating, highly flammable, or highly combustible. Next, try to choose a product that is low-VOC (volatile organic compounds), biodegradable, contains bio-based resources such citrus or plant oils, and solvent-free.
What to Buy
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) extensively reviewed more than 2,000 cleaning products and has provided us with safety assessments and scores for each product. With this list and a look at what’s new, here are the top 5 picks for greener kitchen cleaners.
#1: Green Shield Organic Kitchen Cleaner
This all-purpose cleaner is even USDA-certified organic. At the top of the class, it earned an A from the EWG.
#2: Whole Foods Market Green MISSION Organic All-Purpose Spray Cleaner, Lemon Zest
With a short list of safe ingredients, this product also earned an A from the EWG.
#3: Earth Friendly Products Countertop Cleaner
Because it contains potassium sorbate and a non-specific fragrance, this cleaner received a B rating from the EWG. Still, it poses low concern for hazards to health or the environment.
#4: EcoSpirit Green All-Purpose Cleaner
As a newer line of products, it has not yet been tested by the EWG. However, the list of ingredients is recognizable and straightforward. It is a vegetable based cleanser that is 100% organic, biodegradable, and non-toxic.
#5: Better yet, make your own kitchen cleaner!
A few simple household items can create a homemade bacteria buster.
- For a quick and easy cleaner, mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Voilà!
- For a fresh citrus smell, first fill a large jar with clean chopped lemon, orange, or grapefruit peels. Then, pour white vinegar over the peels and cover the jar. Date your jar and let infuse for 4 weeks. Strain the mixture and dilute to half water. Pour into a spray bottle and start cleaning!
Katie Casto Hynes received her Masters of Science in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. A former collegiate athlete turned competitive marathon runner, her passion for fueling the body with healthy foods inspired her to enter this field. After completing her dietetic internship in July 2014, she plans to work as a registered dietitian nutritionist in the New York City area.