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Overcoming the Obstacles of Green Cleaning

As a family we have made an STRONG effort to kick chemicals out or home for the last 3 years.  During that time, I have had a BIG learning curve to overcome as well as trouble finding products to replace the toxic ones that STILL WORK.  I’ve tried MANY brands – and at times, spared no expense because I was determined to keep the harmful stuff away from my family.  One of my major motivators initially was my husband being diagnosed with leukemia {he is cancer free now}. While doctors aren’t sure how one gets leukemia their are many theories.  However, through that experience and my own walk with the Lord, I have come to realize I can’t do things out of FEAR.  But, I can make a conscious effort to be smart about the products I bring into my home and the foods I feed my family and to educate myself on which things to avoid.

Green Cleaning on a Budget From WholesomeMommy.com

When talking to other moms about green cleaning, I hear there are three things that keep them from using more green {less toxic} household cleaners:

  1. They don’t have a clear understanding of which ingredients to stay away from
  2. Green Cleaners are often MORE Expensive and cost prohibitive
  3. Availability {which I can totally relate to, living in a small community}

To help moms navigate these three obstacles, I’ve got a few tips:

1. Check out the cleaners you are currently using on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.  You can type in their names and see how they measure up. The EWG gives each product that is catalogued a score and it also breaks down the ingredients for you – telling you which ones could possibly be hazardous.  While you are there you can also see a list of products that scored high on the ranking system so you can look for replacements for any toxic ones you are using.

2. Name brand green cleaners can be more EXPENSIVE. I cannot argue with that. BUT, if you make some of your own cleaners {it isn’t hard} you can save a bundle. Read my post here for some ideas and recipes for making your own. Not interested in mixing up your own?  I’ve got GREAT news for you… there is a new, affordable option on your Walmart store shelves. Read on for my review!

3. Availability has been an issue. But, more and more green cleaners are making their way to the shelves of stores – even big box stores like Walmart – where the prices are good. As a matter of fact, just two months ago Walmart announced that based on the insights and data from their sustainability index, they have been working with suppliers, nonprofits, industry experts and government to develop and implement solutions that address critical “hot spots” and opportunities across the global supply chain, including:

  • Increasing the Use of Recycled Materials
  • Offering Products with Greener Chemicals
  • Reducing Fertilizer Use in Agriculture
  • Expanding the Sustainability Index to International Markets
  •  Improving Energy Efficiency

Walmart has prioritized a list of approximately ten chemical ingredients, as is initial list of high priority chemicals, for continuous reduction, restriction, and elimination. AND, priority chemicals will be shared with suppliers. {With a big buyer like Walmart getting involved, that means we’ll begin to see other brands jumping on board!}.

As part of their goal to offer products with greener chemicals, Walmart has launched their own line of green cleaners that are 100% plant-based and chemical free. This line uses a patented technology exclusive to Walmart.

When they offered to send me some to review I was happy to oblige. I’ve had experience with nearly every major brand on the market, so I was happy to see how these measured up.

There are 4 products available in the line so far:

  1. Multi Surface Cleaner {An All Purpose Cleaner}
  2. Glass Cleaner
  3. Laundry Detergent
  4. Dishwasher Gel

I was thrilled with the quality of the multi surface cleaner and the ability of the glass cleaner to clean without streaking!  I was equally as impressed with the laundry detergent.  However, the real test for me was the dishwasher gel.  I’ve found suitable substitutes for all toxic cleaners except dishwasher gel. I’ve used a few that were good – but REALLY expensive {and thus cost prohibitive}.  And, the rest just don’t work.

I will say that my dishwasher is pretty crummy. My husband complains about it any time he has to load or unload dishes. So, we were able to put this dishwasher gel to a real test.  I found it to be pretty good. I won’t say that it worked as well as the toxic stuff, but it did clean the dishes with only a couple of exceptions of REALLY dirty dishes with stuck on food. I will definitely purchase it again.

Overall, I found the Great Value green cleaners to work well, and to be much more affordable than their competition.

Once complaint that many people have with green cleaners are their lack of “smell.” I will admit that at first, when I switched to green cleaners I was a little disappointed in the lack of scent. But, truth be told, most of those smells our brains psychologically connect with “clean” are actually toxic, synthetic chemicals.  There are a few green cleaning products that do have a light scent that aren’t toxic.  That is because they are scented with essential oils like lavender, lemon, orange, grapefruit, and others.  If I were going to improve this Great Value line, I would suggest they include a scent from essential oils.  While I don’t mind unscented cleaners, there are many customers who like to have the “clean” smell in their homes after a hard day of scrubbing.

Disclosure: I am a Walmart Mom. This post is sponsored by Walmart.   Walmart has provided me with product and/or compensation in exchange for my time and efforts in creating this post. My participation is voluntary. As always, my opinion is my own.

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  1. It’s great to see walmart making strides to eliminate toxins considering Europe bans over 1,000 and US bans only 9. Keep in mind that EWG now rates essential oils and products containing them high because there is a possibility for allergic reaction. This skews the ratings a bit because obviously if you are allergic you wouldn’t use a product with something you have an allergy too but they can be very beneficial to others who aren’t. Also watch who funds EWG. Also always look up every chemical in a product if your goal is to be toxin free:)

  2. Do they have an ingredient list for the new products? I couldn’t find one online. I am slightly suspicious that it is just “greenwashing” mostly because of their claim that it is 100% chemical free. Nothing is chemical free, toxin-free maybe. I am glad that these companies are taking a step in the right direction.

  3. When I actually do clean, I prefer not to use lots of bleach and chemical cleaners. I’ve even been known to put some of those eco -alternative-cleaning ideas that I’ve pinned on Pinterest to the test!I’ll try these products, they look nice.Hatton Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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