Do “Green” Cleaning Products Really Work? (A Photo Essay)

Whenever I hear the words “go green” I automatically think “major pain in the butt”.

I don’t think of conservation and environmentally friendly as being convenient. I hear the experts and activists say “simple changes” and “small sacrifices” and I know they mean STOP USING DEODORANT AND CARRY YOUR WATER FROM A WELL. ALSO, YOUR TIME-SAVING APPLIANCES ARE BAD!

Maybe I’m overreacting.

Suffice it to say, when I got an email from Mom Central about reviewing green cleaning products, my first thought had nothing to do with good publicity.

I’d say it was more along the lines of Bring It On.

(Is it weird that I get all competitive and aggressive towards cleaning products?)

Do you want to know what Karma is? Karma is saying in your very smug voice “send me your green cleaning products and I will see if they can stand up to my industrial strength super cleaners! Ha!” – and then they send you green dish soap.

I hate doing dishes more than anything in life. Hate. Loathe. Not a fan.

ANYway, I got a bottle of Green Works dish soap from the people at Clorox. Green. Works. Get it? Ha! Moving on.

I’m not super picky about my dish soap. The one thing I require is that it actually cleans stuff. I’ve never given much thought to whether or not it was good or bad for the Earth. Because I suck.

Anyway. In order to test out environmentally friendly dish soap, you have to get yourself dishes. Preferably dirty ones.

Then you need the dish soap to be tested.

I didn’t take pictures of me washing the pan, because that would be weird. But I can tell you that my initial reaction was “this is never going to work”. It didn’t suds up like normal soap. Apparently phosphates and nitrates not only kill lakes, they also makes bubbles and suds!

And do you know what bubbles and suds do? They make you think you’re cleaning, that’s what.

I could not get over the idea that no bubbles meant no chemical scrubbing meant no way these things were getting clean. Even though the pan looked clean when I rinsed it, I was absolutely certain that no bubbles meant secret grease and grime.

I went so far as to wipe down the inside of the pan with a white paper towel when I was done.

OK, OK. So it looked clean. And it felt clean. But still… everyone knows that environmentally friendly cleaners just don’t work as well as the stuff that kills fish! Come on! Common sense here, people!

One final test…

And I’ll be damned – it was clean.


OK, maybe this isn’t a radical discovery for you. I mean, we’re just talking about a product review, right? Someone sends you some free stuff and you have to use it and say how IT IS THE MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER AND OMG YOUR DISH SOAP CHANGED MAH LIFE! Right?


Except that this is the first green cleaning product I’ve ever used, simply because I wasn’t willing to give up effectiveness in exchange for environmentally friendly. If I have to choose between a happy ozone layer and my in-laws not thinking I am a nasty slob, I will choose the acceptance of my husband’s parents and also possibly random strangers who drop by my house every single time.

It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t have to choose until I used this product. Now I’m looking for other green products I can use, from laundry detergent (I’m testing out something called soap nuts right now. hahahahahahahah!) to dishwashing detergent (because I hate washing dishes by hand).


What about you? Do you use any green products that work just as well as their not-so-green counterparts? What would you suggest I try?

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