An ecological cleaning product means less pollution for river water and for the air in our homes, recycling packaging and biodegradable ingredients. They are as effective as conventional products, and contain natural fragrances.
What’s the criteria for an ecological cleaning product?
An ecological cleaning product is a product:
• Not harmful (do not drink it anyway!) For the user and his entourage (in particular, babies, children, respiratory or allergic fragile persons).
It does not release toxic molecules, especially the famous VOCs, volatile organic compounds (chlorinated compounds, aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene or toluene, glycol ethers), or else formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, aminoethanol, alcohol isopropyl …
These products cause irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, headaches, allergies, asthma, hormone disruption in humans, and even cancer.
• Non-polluting, especially by avoiding discharges of phosphates into river waters (these phosphates are responsible for the eutrophication of aquatic environments).
• Preserving natural resources (use of renewable raw materials – not oil but vegetable matter – non-polluting, low-energy production process, recyclable packaging made with renewable resources).
• Concentrated: that says concentrated product, says less packaging, less transport, more savings and less clutter in the cupboards!
• Biodegradable: it does not cause the accumulation of chemical molecules in the environment (surfactants from petrochemicals, phthalates from synthetic perfumes, heavy metals …).
Ecological cleaning products: natural and effective?
To develop an eco-friendly, environmentally friendly cleaning product, manufacturers need to find natural equivalents to commonly used chemical ingredients, and that’s not always easy.
This explains the trial and error of the beginnings. But real progress has been made in terms of efficiency, and today, we find ecological products almost as effective as their counterparts (“almost”, because let’s be realistic, chemicals will always be more stripping than natural solutions! ).
Odor, color and shelf life of ecological products
The absence of synthetic dyes prevents a product color green apple, lavender blue, or fluorescent yellow: it is rather in pale yellow, light brown or even transparent, and may vary from one batch to the other.
The smell of the green product is due to essential oils or plant extracts: no chemical perfumes, so no stubborn smell or very strong.
As for the shelf life, after opening, it is necessary to use the product within 12 to 24 months, on pain of loss of efficiency or lack of appearance. But to empty a bottle of dishwashing detergent in 2 years, it remains possible, right?
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Ecological cleaning products: 100% biodegradable
The regulation for “traditional” products is very lax with regard to biodegradability. However, wastewater treatment plants only treat wastewater at a rate of 36%: all the rest of the detergents are found in the waterways … The non-biodegradable molecules of “classic” products therefore create real disasters ecological.
For ecological cleaning products, carrying an Ecocert or Nature et Progrès label, the biodegradability required is 100% in 28 days, and it is a question of final (total) biodegradation, in the air, in the water, with or without oxygen.
Warning: the European eco-label does not take into account the final biodegradability of the product, and allows non-biodegradable petrochemical components. The Ecocert certification or the mention Nature & Progrès are much stricter.