March 12, 2014 08:00 ET

Cleaning Up Myths About Green Cleaners

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 12, 2014) - As people increasingly opt for greener and healthier cleaners, retailer terra20 is myth busting to assist those seeking to make the switch just in time for spring cleaning season.

Myth 1: Green cleaners don't work as well as conventional cleaners.

Reality: Look for brands that have third-party certifications, like Green Seal, EcoLogo, ECOCERT or Design for the Environment (DfE), as these certifications also include performance standards. The most common ingredients used in green sanitizing products are hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, and lactic acid, which are all considered safer antimicrobials. Tip: As green cleaners don't contain harsh or toxic chemicals, you may have to let them sit on the problem area a bit longer before scrubbing.

Myth 2: You can't kill germs and bacteria without harsh chemicals.

Reality: Many substances that kill germs, from tea tree and thyme oil to plain old vinegar. "Disinfectant" is a legal term and is considered to include bactericides, fungicides, virucides, mycobactericides, tuberculocides, sporicides, sterilants, or combinations of these. Ingredients in disinfectants are regulated and tested by Health Canada and display Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) on their label.

Myth 3: Green cleaning products aren't tested as much, so they may not be safe for kids and pets.

Reality: Kids and pets are floor explorers! Because of that, they're more susceptible to the chemicals in cleaning products than are adults. (Young children are 10 times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults.) Gentler, healthier products that are free of carcinogens, harsh chemicals, and phthalate-based fragrance are a safer option than conventional cleaners.
Myth 4: Green cleaners more expensive.

Reality: Many green cleaning products are very cost competitive with conventional products. Some green products are concentrated so that even though they cost more initially, they last longer. Prices have come down in recent years as they've become more readily available. terra20's ecobar™ cleaning products are very comparably priced with conventional products, and free of 27 harmful chemicals.

Myth 5: Any product claiming to be "green" must be so.

Reality: Just because a product says it's green, is coloured green, or declares itself "all-natural" does not mean that it is! Unless a store has strict screening policies (like terra20, which bans 15 of the most problematic chemicals from being sold in its stores), it's easy to inadvertently grab something that isn't as green as you're being led to believe. Third party certifications and reading ingredient labels can help you to distinguish green from greenwash.

About terra20

A pioneer in sustainable department store retailing, terra20 works closely with brand partners and guests to find the healthiest and most sustainable products available. terra20's first two stores and head office are in Ottawa. The company plans to open additional stores across Canada in the near future and has an online store with more than 8,000 product offerings. terra20 is home to the ecobar, North America's largest eco cleaning product refill station. For more information visit http://www.terra20.com.

Contact Information