Guide to Green Cleaning Product Certifications

When it comes to choosing green products to add to your cleaning supplies, it can often be confusing due to the various third-party certifications. There are a large variety of eco-friendly cleaning solutions and supplies available today that have adhered to various guidelines and standards to become certified. Here we will review the most commonly used in the cleaning industry.


Why are these certifications important?

Cleaning products that are branded with a certified ecolabel are deemed safer for human health and the environment by an environmental authority. This certification is given only to products that have reached designated environmental standards, which are often related to biodegradability, low VOC content, low toxicity, less water and air pollution, and low energy usage, ultimately putting less risk of hazardous exposure to custodial workers and building occupants.


Avoiding “greenwashed” products

Make sure you are closely reading the labels of products, as some may give off the initial appearance of being “green” when they are in fact not. You should be able to easily locate a certification logo such as Green Seal, EPA Safer Choice, or ECOLOGO. These three are the most common certifications and cover thousands of cleaning products.


Green Seal

Green Seal was founded in 1989 with a mission to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. Today it’s an environmental leader and remains an independent, nonprofit organization that uses rigorous, science-based programs to identify eco-friendly products. Green Seal certifies a large assortment of cleaning products from paper products to floor care solutions.


The most popular GS-37 Standard, which covers general cleaning products used in industrial and institutional cleaning, requires products be sold in concentrated form, prohibiting harmful chemicals, specifying sustainable packaging, and limiting VOC content.


ECOLOGO

UL’s ECOLOGO certifies products, services, and packaging that have a reduced environmental impact. It has various performance standards for cleaners, laundry detergents, trash can liners, sanitary paper, and personal care products. To be certified, a product must undergo demanding scientific lifecycle testing. The ECOLOGO certification specifies criteria for safer chemicals and materials, using recyclable material, and minimized pollution during production, use, and disposal of products and their packaging.


EPA Safer Choice

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice label indicates that every ingredient in the product has been through an EPA review, meaning that only the safest chemicals are used in cleaning products. Previously known as the Design for the Environment (dFe) label, more than 2,000 products currently qualify to carry the Safer Choice Label. These products must disclose a complete ingredient list to consumers for complete transparency.


Other third-party certifications used by cleaning products include: GreenGuard, Energy Star, USDA Organic, and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


Looking for green cleaning products? CleanFreak.com carries a large assortment of eco-friendly cleaning products from all-purpose cleaners to hand soap. Our team can assist you with finding the right products and explain the green benefits to you.



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