Green cleaning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of products which contain toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory, dermatological and other conditions. Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed. If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term "green" or "eco-friendly" may apply.

General chemical structure of an alkyl polyglucoside, a biodegradable surfactant, derived from sugars and fats, used in some detergents.

Alkyl polyglycosides (APGs)[edit]

Illustrative of green cleaning agents are APGs, a class of non-ionic surfactants widely used in a variety of household and industrial applications. APG are derived from sugars, usually glucose derivatives, and fatty alcohols. They are used to enhance the formation of foams in detergents for dishwashing and for delicate fabrics. In addition to their favorable foaming properties, they are attractive because they readily biodegrade.[1] The raw materials for industrial manufacture are typically starch and fat.

Product labeling programs[edit]

Among the product-labeling programs is the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment program which labels products that meet EPA's criteria for chemicals. These products are allowed to carry the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. Generally, products which are labelled 'low' or 'zero' VOC are safer for human and animal health in the home as well as the environment.

Some product manufacturers have also started their own product labeling programs.

For example, Werner & Mertz have started the Integrally Sustainable labeling program.[2]

The Integrally Sustainable label appears on all products in the Frosch line of natural cleaning products.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karlheinz Hill; Wolfgang von Rybinski; Gerhard Stoll, eds. (2008). Alkyl Polyglycosides. Wiley-VCH. ISBN 978-3-527-61468-4. 
  2. ^ "Integrally Sustainable". Retrieved 2016-05-03. 

External links[edit]