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Spring Cleaning with Greener Cleaners

Seventh GenerationI love a clean house. Clutter- and dust-free surfaces. A stovetop free of spaghetti sauce stains. Windows without dog nose kisses on them. (Okay, that last one is actually kind of cute.)

Apparently, I’ve passed along my clean gene to my three-year-old because she likes to help with the dishes, sweeping and dusting. Hurray for help!

A New Meaning to Cleaning

At Whole Foods Market, we’re helping with the cleaning too. Currently, the US government does not mandate full disclosure of ingredients on cleaning products. (I know, right?) To help you make informed choices, we developed the Eco-Scale™ rating system, a third-party verified rating for environmental impact, safety, sourcing, animal testing and labeling. From this ingredient evaluation, products get a red, orange, yellow or green rating. If it’s rated red then we won’t sell it in our stores.

By doing this, we’ve developed the first cleaning-products standards of any retailer and the most comprehensive standards of any "green cleaners" standards-setting group. Not only does this rating system allow you to decide just how “green” you want to go, it also encourages producers to create better products. Plus, every added ingredient is listed on the label.


Working Hard for the Money
Reaching for earth-conscious cleaners doesn’t mean wiping out your savings. We scoured our shelves for the three must-have products with high marks for safety—yours and the planet’s. These hardworking cleaners go from floor to skylights and everything in-between with cash to spare so you can grab a few rolls of 100%-recycled-paper towels. These are our picks for cleaning house with just three products and about 12 bucks.

Whole Foods Market™ All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner

With pine essential oil, this is the hardest working partner in your cleaning closet for floors, sinks, counters, bathtubs and toilets. Rated yellow on the Eco-Scale™.

Green Mission™ Organic All-Purpose Spray Cleaner & Degreaser

Removes dirt, grease and grime from hard surfaces such as tile and countertops. All it leaves behind is a fresh lemon zest scent from pure essential oils. Rated green on the Eco-Scale™.

Whole Foods Market™ Glass Cleaner

This unscented cleaner helps you see the world in a new way without phosphates, phthalates or chlorine to cloud your view. Rated yellow on the Eco-Scale™.

Hoping to clean up even more without making a mess? Rated “green” on the Eco-ScaleTM, our hard-working minty-fresh Green MissionTM Surface Cleaning Wipes remove dirt, grease and grime without using chlorine, phosphates or petrochemicals. Get this sure deal for $4.99 or less.

If you have questions about the nitty gritty of the Eco-Scale™ Rating System, be sure to check out this blog post from earlier this month.

You can now spring clean with a clear conscience thanks to the Eco-Scale™ Rating System. If you use green cleaners, let me know why in the comments below.

Visit www.earthlingmonth.com for more Earth Month inspiration, stories, and events.

While you're there we hope you'll show us what makes you an earthling, or just share a tweet or an Instagram photo tagged with #WFMearthling, and you could win a $150 Whole Foods Market gift card.

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Jerry Leone says …

Awesome products! Thank you for developing your Eco-Scale rating. I've been wishing for more transparency in cleaning products for a long time. As the owner of a <a href="<a href="http://example.link.com">Actual link text</a>">Minnesota commercial office cleaning</a> company, I am also committed to using earth-friendly products. We haven't used Whole Foods cleaning products yet, but now I need to check them out.

kimberly says …

This "eco-scale" will make my life sooo much easier! I spend hours online before leaving everyday researching the safest products! Then I come to your store and spend another hour or more reading ingredients... I never thought I would become such a freak over this stuff, but it's so important for not only our earth, but everyone around us too! Who knew certain chemicals could be in our products every day that can truly put our health at risk... That is what I love about whole foods- I completely trust the products and advice given from the store!

Nancy Eckel says …

I love vinegar for cleaning, especially wood floors.

Chris Smith says …

This is awesome. Out of curiosity, what third-party audited your WF Eco-Scale?

Carol says …

Your ratings appear to focus only on safety to the environment. What about safety to humans? Do any of these products contain ingredients that are toxic, carcinogenic, or disruptive to the endocrine system? I eagerly await your response!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@Chris - We work with Green Seal to audit our household products for the Eco-Scale standards. You can check out their company at http://www.greenseal.org/.

Maureen says …

Checkout ewg.org for full rating of all products both environmental as well as human toxicity. I have checked all listed above and all are top scored. Take a look and compare with other brands, very surprising. Seems the less ingredients are least harmful, for the most part.

arlen costaine says …

want to see products safe for humans animals too

Joan M Zepezauer says …

I note that you have 100% recycled paper towels available. How about 100% recycled toilet paper?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOAN - Most of our store should but vendors can differ between stores. Check with your local store so they can find out for you!