Monday, April 20, 2009

Going GREEN doesn't always mean it's as clean....

I began writing this post on Saturday evening...and it became a bit more laborious than I had initially intended. Then....on the way to school this morning...I learned that this week is Earth Week...(I'm so out of the loop sometimes)...thus making this post a little more meaningful...

Ever since Parker was born, we have gradually attempted to make our life more green. We try to recycle, buy more organic (when we can), we changed out our light bulbs to the more energy efficient ones, and we started buying eco-friendly dish detergents....which brings us to this post today. We don't do everything green...but we do what we can, when we can.
We started using this Palmolive eco-friendly dish detergent a while back. When compared to regular dish detergents...the price wasn't too much higher..so I thought...why not?

http://greenlivingbudget.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/palmolive_eco_dishwasher_detergent-resized200.jpg

Well- this is why not.....


It leaves this chalky, or whatever, film on some of our stuff. Especially this collander....

We notice it a lot on our pots and pans (if I don't hand wash them)....sometimes on our glasses.. And for the longest time I have ignored it. But as of this past week...Geoff is tired of it...which lead me to be more tired of it as well. So- supposedly- when we are through with this bottle (and I even think we have a back-up bottle...oops!)...we are switching detergents again. Now- what we switch to is still up on the air....

You see- when I began writing this post...I realized that I had switched to "green" dish detergent without really looking into what made it "green" and why it was important (other than the obvious- plant-based, biodegradable, better for the environment, better for your family, yada yada yada). I really wanted to know why.

So the deal is....these green formulas of dish detergent are made without the phophates (it says it right there on the bottle! :). So what's wrong with phosphates? The long and short of it is...these phosphates are (or have been) primarily responsible for what actually breaks down the carbs and proteins stuck to our dishes and prevents the soapy film build up (that you could see in the example above).

However, it is these phosphates that are bad for our lakes and rivers. When these phosphates get into the natural water systems...they promote the growth of algae (and the algae love phospherous). Then the algae just take over....it grows and grows...it's out of control....and then it ends up blocking the sunlight from getting to the life underneath the plethora of algae. This is not good.

So when I finally learned why it is good to go green with dish detergents...I was also left with a bad taste in my mouth because these green dish detergents just don't really do the trick...just yet. Granted- it is important to note- this is the only green dish detergent I have tried. AND- throughout my research of dish detergents....I did discover that they (the dish detergent companies) are still trying to perfect their green formulas...and that some breakthrough is being made with the use of enzymes...and some studies have shown that the use of enzymes is actually more effective than the use of phosphates. So this is promising....

And just for kicks.... here are some other green products that we use...

This is Palmolive Pure + Clear dish soap. I don't have any complaints on this. It seems to work (for me) as good as a non-eco-friendly dish soap....

Palmolive - Pure & Clear Ultra Concentrated Dish Liquid, Spring Fresh - 20 fl oz

And if you would like to try the Palmolive Pure + Clear...you can go here to get a 75 cent off coupon. (I also discovered a Spinach Ravioli Bake Recipe while on their site that I just might have to try in an effort to get my kid to eat more vegetables!)

We've also tried Clorox Green Works dish soap...



http://lisareviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/greenworks-dishsoap.jpg


Again- I have no complaints of this product...I didn't really notice a difference between this and non-eco-friendly...other than...it is eco-friendly! :) They even have several scents to choose from if your into that kind of thing.

Clorox Green Works has a whole line of green cleaners...



clorox-green-works-cleaners1.jpg

Here's a little bit of information about Green Works that I got off of their site....

“All Green Works natural cleaners are made using plant-based ingredients derived from coconuts, as well as essential oils. The products are formulated using biodegradable ingredients, are packaged in bottles that can be recycled and not tested on animals.”

But it is also important to note...that the Clorox Green Works line of cleaners does not disinfect (as per their product information page).

We've tried this All-purpose Cleaner....I love the smell....so fresh and so clean, clean!! It's good for cleaning if you're not trying to kill Salmonella or E. coli.

http://www.mommybrainreports.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/11281_apchr.jpg

I've also used these....however.....I end up using some kind of disinfectant as well...so....maybe not so cost efficient at this time...



http://img.epinions.com/images/opti/3e/91/Clorox_Green_Works_Natural_Bathroom_Cleaner-resized200.jpgClorox Green Works Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner


And then we use these wipes as well...in addition to the regular Clorox wipes with disinfectant properties. So as mentioned before...they're really only good for wiping things that you aren't worried about disinfecting....so....

http://www.blisstree.com/keepingthecastle/files/2009/02/clorox-green-works-wipes.jpg


If your interested in trying out a Clorox Green Works product...you can go here for a coupon.

Arm & Hammer also has a green line called Arm & Hammer Essentials. I have only used their All-purpose Cleaner...and to be honest...I haven't used it all that much...not for any reason...just that I am trying to get through one cleaner before I move to the next so that I do not have so many bottles under my sink!

The way it works is...you buy this bottle....and it comes attached to this little bottle. It is the concentrated cleaner (on the left). Then you pour the concentrated cleaner into the spray bottle and add water....





Anyway- on their site, they don't mention if it disinfects or not...but I am thinking maybe it does not??? However, when I have used it...it does seem to maybe be a little stronger than the Clorox Green Works. Also- they have this "little bottle of concentrate design" so that when you use it all up, you keep the spray bottle...and just refill with these little bottles (and add water, per the instructions)...thus making it better for the environment due to the use of less plastic products. If you're interested in a $1.oo off coupon, go here....

I also checked out the consumer report website...and it suggested to be cautious with the claims that the green products make...such as "all biodegradable" whether it's "oil based" (which is not biodegradable), etc. For more information about making greener choices from this trusted source, Consumer Report, go here....this site is very informative.

Thanks for bearing with me as I sort through all of this green-ness. It was good for me to do this because it made me actually do my research, rather than merely jump on the "green" bandwagon just because I felt it was the "right" thing to do. Now I feel more educated as to why it is important...and better informed when it comes to deciding which of these products to use.

9 comments:

Kelli J. said...

I love that you wrote about that! I have always wanted to write a blog about cleaning products, but never knew where to start. I find myself standing in front of all the cleaning products at the store (which sometimes make me abnormally excited) wondering which product I should try. There are so many choices so it is good to hear opinions from others.
I too, love the All-purpose Cleaner. I love the clean smell. Something about using it makes me have the feeling of “I just helped my family breathe better!”
Right now we are using Cascade, but I thought I liked the Palmolive eco-friendly dish detergent better. (Plus, it is normally on sale!) I thought it actually cleaned our things better, however I was wondering why our spatulas and big serving spoons had the chalky stuff on it. Now it makes perfect sense!
Now, I want to go to the store and go crazy on the cleaning product aisle! It’s my favorite!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I wish I actually cared enough to switch to stuff, but maybe I will when I actually have a child and family and stuff. Right now I just go w/what's cheaper and easier. Aren't you excited the semester is almost over?
Emmy

Viv said...

Marla, Thanks for sharing all this! Honey when you research you go all the way! I love that too about you!

Jodee Leader said...

I love your blog makeover!

Bonnie @ House of Grace said...

I LOVE to be GREEN TOO!!!
Thanks for sharing!!!

Check out my tips including how to get pen off and couch!

http://creatingahouseofgrace.blogspot.com/2010/01/different-way-to-clean.html

Anonymous said...

Seventh Generation products work great! I used them and Method. There is a new line from Seventh Generation that also disinfects. I buy our at target. If you go to their website there are coupons to print :) Thanks for this post :)

Beth McC. said...

I use all of the Clorox Green Work products too! Great Post, thanks for sharing!

I love your blog its so cute!

Happy Friday

Anonymous said...

You could eliminate all of these products and use vinegar diluted with water for all of your cleaning needs. Very cheap and frugal. I do use small amounts of dish soap and dishwashing pellets. I never go down the cleaning aisle. It saves a lot on the wallett too. just a thought. Enjoyed reading your post.
Laurie
lvillotta1@yahoo.com

Tonya said...

I absolutely love Shaklee cleaning products. I use their liquid diswashing detergent and also their detergent for the dishwasher. You use such a small amount...it lasts forever...and your dishes are super clean. I also love their Basic H for the counters, windows, mirrors, floors, the car, etc. So cheap when you compare to other major brands because you dilute with water for different needs. I've had my bottle of Basic H for almost two years with lots left. I learned about these from my friend at www.healthbeginswithmom.blogspot.com. Or you could just hop to the website at shaklee.com. Good luck finding something that works for you!

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