At the ShiftCon EcoWellness conference I went to this year, I got to view my fair share of great nontoxic products. One of the areas I always have a problem with is finding good quality cleaning products that do the job. Luckily, I met Grab Green, makers of effective, nontoxic laundry and home care solutions. I received a sample of:
- 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Fragrance Free Sample and Gardenia, Full Size
- Bleach Alternative Pods Sample
- Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods, Tangerine with Lemongrass
- Hand Soap, Red Pear with Magnolia
What I liked about this sample was the that it included pods. They are so much easier and are a real time saver when you’re in a hurry to do the dishes or laundry.
Right off the bat, I noticed my dishes were cleaner, my clothes took less The pack comes with 24 pods, which is far better than 20 that comes with other brands. Relative to other greener brands I’ve purchased, I did notice a difference. The whites definitely looked brighter without that annoying dazzle look. (It’s just me, I think it’s weird if clothes shine.) And believe me, with hard water and messy kids, getting things clean is a challenge in my home!
I loved the smell of the hand soap too; it also cleaned well.
Overall Nontoxic Rating: Good
Grab Green’s nontoxic cleaning products are free of free of phosphates, chlorine, dyes and masking agents. and they are also not tested on animals. Chemicals in the detergent products that get a bad rating on The Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep Database included sodium silicate (moderate hazard for skin irritation and organ damage) and subtilisin (moderate hazard for the same concerns). Other than that, most of the chemicals were level 1 and a few level 2 (still in the nontoxic range) at EWG except about 4 items I could not find. Additionally, while the fragrance is partially scented by essential oils, it also contains “a blend of safer man-made ingredients to ensure a consistent scent.” I’m always concerned with this kind of nondisclosure when a company can choose to list ingredients.
I was more concerned with the hand soap, which contains phenoxyethanol and cocamidopropyl betaine, both of which get a level 4 moderate hazard rating. Phenoxyethanol has the low issue concerns of skin irritation and organ damage, but cocamidopropyl betaine is associated with irritation, skin allergies and is suspected to be an environmental toxin. All the other ingredients are fine.
Basically if you are ok with a yellow warning from EWG in a handful of the ingredients, I wouldn’t worry about these products. They would not have gotten into the ShiftCon conference if they were not safe. However, if you have sensitive or highly allergic skin, you might want to skip the hand soap.
Green Grab’s Statement About The Fragrances
Fragrances are notoriously unregulated in the U.S. and so that concerns me. However, Grab Green is still less toxic than popular or greenwashed brands in my opinion. Additionally, you can choose to select fragrance-free options. I often to this unless I know it’s 100% essential oils, because so many things make me sneeze, but I had no ill effect or sneezing from these products. Green Grab actually contacted me to disclose about these ingredients, which makes me pretty happy:
The ‘man made’ portion of the fragrance is actually quite cool. It comes from citrus pulp (the white stringy stuff in citrus fruit) and terpenes* leftover by manufacturing in the pulp and paper industries which would otherwise be discarded as waste. So rather than throwing that out, they are scientifically changed into fragrant materials we use in our products.
*terpenes are the primary constituents of the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers.
Because of the processing necessary to turn these substances into a form we can use in our fragrances we cannot call them “all natural” but actually what we are doing is better for the planet as we are upcycling what otherwise would be thrown out.
In addition, we practice the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Code of Practice Guide which has a global commitment to providing fragrances that are safe for use by consumers and the environment.
In addition to the IFRA set of standards, we abide by the California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the “clean air agency” in the government of California, one of the strictest states in the US.
At around $8 for a bag of 24 pods on the site, this is mixed scenario. There are cheaper brands, but they do have less pods (20 typically, which go MUCH faster than 24) and less options on bigger packs. However, if you’re buying larger bags, then you will save money. Buy a bag of 60 pods for $18.50 or 132 for #39.00 and you come down from $0.33 a pod to $0.29 per pod. I haven’t found brands that offer as much in bulk packagaing and it’s far easier to buy in quantity. 132 pods will last nearly a year if you do laundry 3 times a week, and over 4 months if you run your dishwasher daily. That’s a pretty nice thing not to have to think about!
Other than buying online at Grab Green, you can also buy Grab Green products at many health food stores. In my area, it’s available at Fresh Market, but use their product locator to see where it is sold near you.
Overall Opinion: Good
I like the effectiveness of these products and the scent. While a little unsure of the ingredients, I will tell you that the scents did not have any negative effects on me, as is often true of toxic fragrance brands. I loved the way all the detergents and bleach worked myself. I feel like things haven’t been this clean in a long time. Imperfect? Yes, but that’s what this blog is all about! Give Grab Green a try to see if it’s for you.
Grab Green Gift Card Giveaway
Curious? Excellent! Today, I’m giving away a $35 gift card good for your choice of products at Grab Green. That’s enough to purchase on one of their ready-made, money saving bundles or starter pack or one of their gift sets, like a student care package for housewarming gift. Grab Green is a great idea for the holidays to entice your non-green friends to clean up their products.
How will you use a Grab Green Gift Card? Enter to share!