The Real Impact of Cleaning Products on the Environment


How exactly do your cleaning products affect the environment?

Think about the number of cleaning products you use on a weekly basis. In your home alone, chances are that more than half of those products contain at least two to three toxic ingredients. Now think about the billions of people around the world using cleaning products on a daily basis. The sad truth is it’s impossible to count the number of toxic chemicals polluting the environment and damaging our ecosystem.

At ThreeMain, we believe knowledge is power. Our goal is to raise awareness regarding green cleaning and the importance of making eco-friendly choices as a consumer.


The Top Three Chemicals to Avoid

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most dangerous chemicals are phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia – known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are found in the majority of cleaning products and are the worst offenders when it comes to contaminating the environment.


Water Pollution

When VOCs go down the drains, they enter oceans, rivers and lakes. While the majority of pollutants are removed by waste treatment processes, those three chemicals are not. The phosphates in laundry and dishwasher detergent trigger a widespread growth of algae which impacts the amount of oxygen in the water and is toxic to wildlife.



An extreme amount of VOCs in the water can cause excessive vegetation that blocks waterways, and leads to an overcrowding of marine life. These plants grow and die at a rapid rate, which has a negative ripple effect on the rest of aquatic ecosystem. With the increasing number of dying fish, comes more decay, which ultimately results in poor quality water - unsuitable for drinking, bathing, and so on.


Air Contamination

When you clean and open the windows to ventilate the space, the toxic chemicals are being released into the environment. In fact, these chemicals are creating so much pollution that new restrictions have been implemented in regards to the amount of VOCs allowed in cleaning products.


What You Can Do

The next time you’re browsing through cleaning products, look at the labels. Not only should you try to find eco-friendly alternatives, but look for a multi-purpose cleaner (remember, when it comes to cleaning products, less is more). 


Ready to make the switch to green cleaners? Want to learn more about human-friendly, home-friendly, planet-friendly cleaning? Read What is Green Cleaning (and Why Should You Care?)