Spring Cleaning? 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Chemicals

Reduce chemical exposure while cleaning
Cleaning products are among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. Many of the products we use to scrub, whiten and soften our loads of laundry are made with ingredients that raise concerns for human health. Cleaning products are responsible for about 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. 

Here are five easy tips to reduce your exposure  

  1. Use gloves! This helps to prevent chemical to skin contact.  
  2. Spray cleaners directly into a rag or sponge to reduce respiratory irritation. 
  3. Avoid products with synthetic fragrances. 
  4. Use as much ventilation as possible. Open windows, turn on the fan and keep air circulating while you clean. 
  5. Avoid room fresheners including car deodorizers & plug-ins. 

Our science team has rated more than 800 household cleaning products, including cleaners for bathrooms, floor, glass & windows, all-purpose and even household wipes. You can see how your favorite product rates, plus any ingredients that carry health concerns by searching for it by name or scanning the bar code using the GoodGuide app. If the product you are looking for hasn’t been rated, submit it for review and our science team will get it rated for you! 

Questions? Drop us a line in the comments below! 

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GoodGuide Partners with Good Housekeeping

As trusted voices in consumer product advocacy, GoodGuide and the GH Institute have come together to provide GoodGuide ratings and Good Housekeeping Seal information all in one place—on GoodGuide! Now, when you search GoodGuide for a product you can see which items have undergone rigorous evaluations by the GH Institute to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal and the Green Good Housekeeping Seal. Every product that earns the Good Housekeeping Seal has been tested for efficacy and performance by the experts in the GH Institute labs.

GoodGuide’s Health Ratings + Good Housekeeping’s Product Quality Information

GoodGuide Ratings now consider the Good Housekeeping Seal and the Green Good Housekeeping Seal under the product certifications rating. Consumers obviously want products that perform their function well (e.g., does it work well as a household cleaner or a personal care moisturizer). Consumers will now be able to see Good Housekeeping’s product quality information with GoodGuide’s health-based ratings on products rated by GoodGuide.

For more information about how the GoodGuide Rating system is designed, please visit our methodology page here.


This partnership fills a gap that has long plagued shoppers searching for healthy or green products – they’ve lacked information about whether the products work. Consumers will now be able to combine Good Housekeeping’s product quality information with GoodGuide’s health-based ratings whenever they shop.  

– Dr. Bill Pease, GoodGuide’s Chief Scientist.


The end result for consumers is a winning combination of science-backed ratings and testing for a growing list of products. The seals are easy to find on products that have been awarded one, you can find it displayed right next to the name of the product and under the “product certifications’” section on the product page.


To browse the complete catalog of products that have been rated by GoodGuide and carry a Good Housekeeping seal, search for “good housekeeping” in the search box on GoodGuide, or click here.

To find products that have a Good Housekeeping seal in a specific category, search for the category by name + good housekeeping. Here are a few quick links to help get you started:

Makeup + Good Housekeeping

Soap + Good Housekeeping

Shampoo + Good Housekeeping

Face Care + Good Housekeeping

Laundry Detergent + Good Housekeeping


We love to hear from fans of GoodGuide users, send us a note with your comments to goodguidehelp@ul.com or leave a comment for us here!

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At last! GoodGuide’s site is mobile and responsive


GoodGuide.com is now mobile & responsive

GoodGuide’s product ratings are now available everywhere, using any device—no download needed. In an effort to enhance your experience, we’ve made some upgrades to our website. Beyond the most noticeable color refresh, now you can search for a product or browse through a category from your smartphone in a grocery aisle, from your office computer, or on your tablet from the subway. Continue reading

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Top Searches of 2015 — Products, Ingredients & Brands

Top 10 Searches of 2015 on GoodGuide

The dawn of a new year is a time we often use to look back and remember what happened. 2015 was a year of change in the consumer product landscape. There was an obvious rise in consumer demand for healthier, more sustainable products across categories like personal care, packaged food and household cleaners. Media outlets published a constant stream of stories covering supply chains and health concerns of the ingredients in many of the most popular products. Big food brands joined the conversation with announcements of ingredient removals, including Nestle’s announcement to remove artificial flavors and colors from more than 250 chocolate products by the end of the year. Continue reading

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Congress Unanimously Approves The Microbead-Free Waters Act

MicrobeadsLast week, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, banning the use of synthetic microplastics in personal care products. If made into law, the federal ban will supersede the state bans, and lead to a phase-out by January, 2018. Continue reading

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Non Toxic Methods to Clean Your Oven

Non Toxic Methods to Clean Your Oven

Ovens get dirty. Sauces bubble, drip and spill over. Crumbs accumulate. Grease spatters everywhere. A well loved, well used oven is also a dirty oven.

The easiest thing could be to lock the oven door, turn on the self-cleaning cycle and let the magic happen.

Self cleaning cycles conjure up images of little elves scrubbing down your oven, doesn’t it? But the reality is, self cleaning ovens use really high heat to burn off the mess inside. These cycles take many hours, and by the time the cycle is complete and the door unlocks .. all you have left is ash to wipe up.

What so bad about self-cleaning?

Self cleaning ovens are commonly lined with Teflon, a non-stick material made with chemicals known collectively as PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). Temperatures reach 900 degrees or more during a cleaning cycle, releasing toxic gases from the chemicals in both the non-stick lining and insulation layers of the oven.

Just how toxic are the gasses that are released?

Toxic enough to kill birds within a few minutes. Or induce polymer fume fever in humans. Informally known as Teflon flu …

“Polymer fume fever or fluoropolymer fever, also informally called Teflon flu, is an inhalation fever caused by the fumes released when polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, known under the trade name Teflon) is heated to between 300 °F (149 °C) and 450 °F (232 °C). When PTFE is heated above 450 °F (232 °C) the pyrolysis products are different and inhalation may cause acute lung injury. Symptoms are flu-like (chills, headaches and fevers) with chest tightness and mild cough. Onset occurs about 4 to 8 hours after exposure to the pyrolysis products of PTFE. A high white blood cell count may be seen and chest x-ray findings are usually minimal.”  – Wikipedia

Off the shelf oven cleaners aren’t great either. Loaded with chemicals that are harmful to your health, The Washington Coalition recently said

“The most acutely dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners.” Read more here>

Most oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (lye) or sulphuric acid to react with the grease in your oven. The chemical fumes not only get into your lungs and linger in your home as you spray and scrub the inside of your oven, residue gets left behind exposing you again the next time you turn on the oven. Then there’s the environmental hazards that are introduced as you wash the cleaner down the drain.

Some examples of common oven cleaner ingredients include:

Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether: Suspected of causing reproductive toxicity, cardiovascular or blood toxicity, kidney toxicity, and neurotoxicity according to sources compiled by Scorecard (www.scorecard.org)

Triethanolamine: Suspected of causing immunotoxicity, respiratory toxicity, skin or sense organ toxicity, and asthma according to sources compiled by Scorecard (scorecard.org)

2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)Ethanol: Suspected of causing skin or sense organ toxicity, according to sources compiled by Scorecard (www.scorecard.org)

There are of course alternative methods to clean your oven with ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already:

Baking soda and vinegar method:
You’ll need: ½ cup of baking soda, water, white vinegar, gloves, sponge, spray bottle (but not required)

  1. Take out the racks, pizza stone, thermometer and anything else you may have hiding in your oven.
  2. Make a paste with a ½ cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Coat the inside of the oven with the baking soda paste, using your gloved hand.
  4. Let it sit over night
  5. Using a spray bottle or sponge, add vinegar to all surfaces. Let the mixture bubble and fizz with the baking soda paste for 2-5 minutes.
  6. With a damp sponge, wipe out the oven using the scrubby side as needed.
  7. Do a final rinse and wipe-down.

Dish soap, baking soda & vinegar method:
You’ll need ¼ cup of dish soap, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup coarse sea salt, warm water and white vinegar. 

  1. Make a past with the soap, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cover the oven using your gloved hand
  3. Let sit overnight
  4. Using a spray bottle or sponge, add a small amount of vinegar to all surfaces. Let the mixture bubble and fizz with the soap & baking soda paste for 2-5 minutes.
  5. With a damp sponge, wipe out the oven using the scrubby side as needed.
  6. Final rinse with warm water

Replace the racks, pizza stone, etc… and post a selfie with your sparkly oven. Seriously, you’ll want to share this!



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