Household cleaning products make all sorts of claims on their labels—but some may not mean what you think they do. Here’s the dirty truth:
You probably see products labeled “natural” in the cleaning aisle fairly often—but it turns out, it doesn’t mean much…and it doesn’t even guarantee that the product is any less toxic than “non-natural” ones. That’s because there’s no official definition for the term “natural” for anything except meat and poultry. Which means that other products can use the term pretty much whenever they please, with no organization regulating what a natural cleaning product must be made up of.
The “non-toxic” label on a cleaning product may put you at ease, implying that you probably won’t experience any adverse health effects using the product. Unfortunately, there’s no official standard for the term “non-toxic,” and there are also no organizations that verify the use of the word on products.
Trying to be greener? Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet for buying “environmentally friendly” cleaning products. Just like products labeled non-toxic, there’s no official standard for using the term on a label—it’s basically marketing. Household cleaning products are also not required to disclose their ingredients in most cases, making it hard to play detective yourself.
Want to be sure you know what’s in your cleaning products? Make them yourself with the help of our guide to making your own cleaning kit.