Many people are thinking of going "green" by using products and practices that are environmentally safe or at least kinder to the environment. There is no national standard for what is "green" and what is not--so, what is meant by manufacturers who market their products as "natural?" One company--Clorox, whose name is practically synonymous with bleach--has set its own standards for its Green Works products, making them from 99% natural materials such as coconut, lemon, and corn. How well do natural cleaners work? Here are unscientific assessments on four of the Clorox products.

  1. Put the all-purpose cleaner to work on countertops, cook tops and spills on the inside of the oven door and floors--it seemed to work as well as most traditional cleaners. There was little to no odor, and the detectable smell was not offensive.
  2. Use the bleach-free Green Works natural bathroom cleaner to clean porcelain sinks, chrome plumbing fixtures, and ceramic tile in the shower area with good results.
  3. Try Green Works glass and surface cleaner on mirrors. It starts out looking sudsy, but clears to a squeaky clean surface without smears or smudges. It works as well on windows and uses no ammonia or alcohol.
  4. Switch to the Green Works concentrate for floors. Water-borne cleaners are generally not recommended for wood floors, but the solution worked well on marble tile. Dispose of the used cleaning water down the drain because Green Works cleaners contain no phosphorous.

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