Cleaning products: what makes them sustainable?

Washing, rinsing, scrubbing – our households are cleaned every day. According to estimates, over 200,000 tons of household cleaning agents and over 250,000 tons of dishwashing detergent are bought in Germany every year. In recent years, more and more people are cleaning with sustainable cleaning agents. But why is that and what actually makes the cleaners sustainable?

Why clean sustainably?

Many cleaning agents contain chemical ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives or so-called surfactants, which the Federal Environment Agency says are harmful. The bad thing: After cleaning, they get directly into the groundwater via the drain and thus pollute our drinking water.

In addition, chemical cleaning agents can have a negative effect on our health. Anywhere, the high-quality surfactants, which are supposed to await the cleaning effect of the agents, irritate the mucous membranes and are suspected of causing allergies and rashes. A Norwegian long-term study found that both professional and private cleaning can negatively affect lung function. The Federal Environment Agency therefore recommends avoiding the use of special cleaning agents if possible. The recommendation is: “You can clean the entire household with an all-purpose cleaner, a hand washing-up liquid, a scouring milk and an acidic cleaner based on citric acid.”

Also interesting: How harmful are cleaning agents for the lungs and skin? >>

Cleaning products: what makes them sustainable?

Sustainable cleaning agents are characterized by the fact that they only contain environmentally friendly substances and that environmental resources are saved during their production. The packaging also plays a role. Most cleaning products are sold in plastic bottles – packaging waste is saved with more sustainable cleaning products, for example, by having refill packs. You can recognize the sustainable cleaning agents primarily by the corresponding seals. These include the Blue Angelwho demand particularly environmentally friendly products are dying Ecocert and Nature Care Product Standard (NCP) seal, environmental labels for detergents and cleaning agents and the European Ecolabel, which satisfies environmentally friendly products. But you can also find the ingredients on the packaging – pay particular attention to the information on health risks and hazardous substance labels on the respective product.

For the sake of your health, you should also avoid substances that can cause this damage. Very acidic or alkaline agents should be avoided as they can cause skin irritation. The same applies to cleaning agents with solvents, as these make the air in the room worse. As a precaution, allergenic ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives should also be avoided – they can cause allergies. In the production of the Moanah brand household cleaner starter set, no aggressive chemicals are used and value is placed on saving plastic. Available here for 39 euros >> The KLAENY brand also offers environmentally friendly cleaning agents. The starter set can be bought here for EUR 29.90 >>

Source: Umweltbundesamt.de, aok.de

Video: Vinegar essence, gall soap and baking soda – environmentally friendly cleaning agents

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