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Safe Cleaners for Pets and People


Cleaning products can take a serious toll on both you and your pets’ health. While we always want to do what is best for our pets, we often get drawn into advertising claims. It happened to us when we recently learned that one of our favorite cleaners, Simple green all-purpose cleaner, isn’t as green as we thought.

Despite being green colored, being labeled “green” and being toted as an “environmental” product, it could be toxic. What it does contain is 2-butoxyehtanol, an organic solvent that is a butyl ether. What that means is that it has the potential to damage red blood cells.

Now, you’re not going to immediately go into liver failure if you use this product, and neither is your pet. But if you do use it, you should dilute it prior to use. It even says so on the label, but no one ever reads the label…

If you want to play it safe, we have found some alternative products that are natural and safe – on top of that, they actually work…

Ava Anderson

Meet Ava Anderson – a woman who initially discovered the problems with commercial cleaners when she was only 14 years old. Within a year, she started her own cleaning product line of products that truly are as natural as they claim to be.

They sent us a few items to try out and we were very happy with every one of them. The Ava Anderson Hard Surface & Bathroom Cleaner contains a strong blend of natural surfactants (compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid), minerals, enzymes. They also include a blend of essential oils from peppermint, lavender and tea tree oils. Together, they form a strong cleanser without harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances. Ava’s Hard Surface & Bathroom Cleaner is the safest eco-cleaner on the market today and is both family and pet safe. It does have a peppermint scent (which is nice), but I think we all get conditioned to feel like orange or lemon are more “clean” – these products really do work, though and we quickly grew accustomed to the peppermint scent, which is light and refreshing.

We also tried out the window cleaner. Although we tend towards using paper towels for cleaning, they recommend using their products with a microfiber cloth. We tried it both ways and were much happier with the microfiber cloth results. It’s also a way to be more “green” because these towels can be washed and used again – and that saves us a lot on landfill waste.

They also offer Pet Shampoo and Conditioner, which is loaded with organic aloe vera, essential oils and naturally derived minerals that cleanse and moisturize your pet’s coat, and a Pet Deoderizer and Stain Remover (which we didn’t get a chance to try), but we can assume from the way the other materials performed that these products will work incredibly well also.

Green Works

If you need extra power of bleach (as we do) but you’re concerned about the harsh chemical fumes, Clorox has a new brand of products called Green Works®. This is a line of naturally derived cleaning products that includes compostable cleaning wipes and Clorox Green Works Natural All Purpose Cleaner. All Green Works products are 95% to 99% naturally derived. That means all of the active cleaning ingredients in our products are derived from mother nature, such as filtered water, plant-based cleaning agents, essential oils, corn-based ethanol and wood-based fibers.

Keep in mind that these do NOT disinfect like “original Clorox” so be sure you’re taking the proper precautions when cleaning kennels or wiping down counter-tops.

When it comes to cleaning their homes, most pet-parents are very focused on using products that are nontoxic and safe for our pets. Do your homework when selecting a cleaning product. That means you need to check the ingredient list, the manufacturing processes, the EPA and other resources. Going green is becoming easier but there are still a lot of misleading advertising that you’ll want to avoid.

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