Cleaners Survey Infographic

Fact: You have no idea what chemicals are in your home cleaners.

How do I know? Over 10,500 of you took our home cleaners survey. You entered information on labels for over 15,000 products!

But only 42 per cent of those cleaning products displayed a full list of ingredients. And many of those lists were confusing.

It's not your fault.

Currently, there are no requirements in Canada for manufacturers to disclose all ingredients or warn consumers about chronic health and environmental hazards associated with their products. Yet, 82 per cent of you said ingredients and environmental or health concerns, including fragrance sensitivities, were the most important factors when choosing cleaning products.

So how do you know which dish soap, laundry soap or toilet cleaner is the safest for your family and the fishes?

In a non-toxic world, I believe a home cleaner label should include:

  1. A third-party certified eco-label, e.g. EcoLogo, Leaping Bunny, Green Seal and/or EcoCert
  2. Official biodegradability designation, e.g., biodegradable test OECD 301 D or E
  3. A complete and specific ingredient list with full disclosure of chemical names, including what's in "parfum" or "fragrance"
  4. Company contact information

Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest

I was relieved that 61 per cent of you said your dish soap had an ingredient list because this is the one home cleaner I've been unable to concoct successfully. (Aside from a handful of soap nuts thrown in a pickle jar and topped up with water, which works surprisingly well!)

In addition to the above criteria, the eco-friendliest store-bought dish soap will also come in a refillable, recyclable container (or, better yet, a recyclable container made from recycled contents) and be more viscous, because too watery means you'll waste more.

See our full list of recommendations to protect your health and the environment from unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals in household cleaners. And, see how your home cleaners rank with EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

Have you found an eco-friendly dish soap that meets these requirements?


Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

September 24, 2012

Read more

Post a comment


Jan 23, 2014
1:00 AM

I will suggest you don’t use acid to cleaning your home and avoid like poison chemicals. This is harmful for health. We provides the house cleaning services sacramento.

Thanks for sharing informative article..

Dec 25, 2012
4:22 AM

This is an informative post and I love the points you raised that must be included in non toxic world home cleaner labels. I would like to hear from you about the utilization of color label printing in your further posts.

Oct 05, 2012
8:44 PM

wow this is really cool. :) will try this one.

Sep 29, 2012
9:26 PM

Home cleaning is very important for keeping any family safe and your home attractive. Professional home Cleaning Peterborough offers professional house cleaning, cleaning services to make your home.

Sep 25, 2012
7:03 PM

I use Melaleuca products which are manufactured in Idaho and have as their basis pure tea tree oil

Sep 25, 2012
2:25 AM

I totally agree with this post! Steps must be taken to exposure to protect health and the environment from unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals in household cleaners.

Sep 24, 2012
5:16 PM


We buy "Attitude" dishwashing liquid soap at our local loblaws (Quebec) in the Health food section and it seems to meet all your criteria …check it out at:

Keep up the great work


The David Suzuki Foundation does not necessarily endorse the comments or views posted within this forum. All contributors acknowledge DSF's right to remove product/service endorsements and refuse publication of comments deemed to be offensive or that contravene our operating principles as a charitable organization. Please note that all comments are pre-moderated. Privacy Policy »