We often talk about the importance of chemical-free cleaning here on the BLDG 25 Blog, and often the solution is something homemade. While I’m a big supporter myself, one has to admit that it’s not for everyone. Some people want to go to the store and pick up a product that they can use and feel good about without making something. Even though you may choose the bottle that says, “natural,” or, “organic,” you’re not always buying the best product for your health and the environment’s well-being. But how can we know? What perfect being has the time to do and understand all the research to figure it out? Enter the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Here, someone else has done the dirty work for you, and extensively researched over 2,000 home cleaning products to assign scores (A, B, C, D, F) based on toxicity to one’s health and the environment. It’s the most comprehensive guide I’ve come across in my day, and one that is very thorough. Brands that disclose less information receive a lower score, and every single ingredient is studied with a fine tooth comb. There wasn’t a product I use that I couldn’t find. Read on for surprising swaps (according to the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning) that you should make to keep your home low on chemical toxins. LAUNDRY Me, being a green-minded individual, thought that most of my home cleaning products would rank well according to the guide. First up, I checked out my Mrs. Meyers Clean Dry Lavender Laundry Detergent. The score? F…I was shocked! Here, I thought I was making great pick, but apparently there are high concerns about its developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as moderate concern over its environmental toxicity. Turns out, Seventh Generation Natural Powder Laundry Detergent would be a better pick next time. Who knew? DISH WASHING So now we’re thinking that Seventh Generation is the brand to get, right? Well, the next time I picked up some dish soap, I opted for Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Liquid in Lavender Floral & Mint. When I looked it up on the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning, this stuff scored a C. That won’t cut it for my straight A personality, so next time I hit the store, Better Life DISH IT OUT Natural Dish Liquid in Clary Sage & Citrus it is. SURFACE CLEANING Now, surface cleaning is one where I tend to make my own sprays, but I know a lot of people don’t have time for that. I want to make sure everyone has some good options in mind the next time they head to the store. Surprisingly, zero products have scored an A in the “countertop cleaning” category. In that case, we’ll go with B-rated, Earth Friendly Products Countertop Cleaner. CARPET CLEANING If you have a pet, you’ll feel me on this one. It’s really hard to make your own product to clean up after vomit or an accident on the rug. We need something that will do the job, but we also can’t sacrifice our home and the planet’s well-being. Next time you need to clean up the carpet, opt for Earth Friendly Products Concentrated Carpet Shampoo or Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care. There you have it. I hope everyone is just a little mind blown, and intrigued to check this guide out. I’m interested to hear, what swaps will you make according to the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning? Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot.