There are several brands of safe cleaning products readily available from any natural foods store and even some of the grocery store chains (Safeway carries Green Planet). My favorites are Ecover for dish detergent (both machine and hand washing), and Biokleen concentrate for laundry detergent. (I've also used All Free & Clear and Kirkland Free and Clear, but don't like them as well.) None of these products have any added fragrance; they are good for the environment and as non-toxic as soaps can be. On top of that, they work as well as any chemically enhanced products I've ever used in the past.
In a newsletter I received yesterday there was an article about a new line of cleaning products now available from Clorox being marketed under the name of Green Works(TM). They are said to be made from natural, renewable resources (coconuts, lemon oils, etc.) and are biodegradable and 99% petrochemical free, with no phosphorus or bleach. They also use no aerosol and there has been no animal testing. Included in the line are bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, all-purpose cleaner and a dilutable cleaner.
Clorox intends to market these products in all the major grocery chains (even WalMart), pricing them from 30%-50% lower than other natural products currently available. And, in a real marketing coup, Clorox has gained the endorsement of the Sierra Club for this new product line.
I have my own reservations about buying anything, even green products, from a large corporation that puts toxic chemicals in most of its products. However, I understand the rationale of endorsing chemical-free products that are more likely to be purchased by the average consumer. I am happy to see "green" products become more popular. If a big corporation like Clorox wants to get on the healthy environment/living bandwagon, I'm all in favor.
[For more information about Green Works see: www. SierraClub.org/greenworks .]