Clorox’s Green Works dishwashing liquid was one of the few more environmentally friendly options (and personally I remember it being the only greener option, though maybe I just didn’t look hard enough) available at my small Save Easy grocery store.
It wasn’t available in a bottle that was as large as others but when when compared across price per mL it was only slightly more expensive. It claims to be 98% “naturally-derived” (though, as many other blogs have pointed out, this is an undefined, unregulated term) and the ingredients list does do a good job at making you feel like you can understand what’s contained in it. They definitely want you to know that it’s a Clorox product too, with the brand prominently on the front and mentioned several times on the back. They do have a minor spelling mistake on the label though where they say “Not be tested on animals”. It also has an endorsement icon on the back from “U.S. EPA – Recognized for Safer Chemistry” (not pictured). The packaging is also recyclable.
I hadn’t realized until I was thinking about buying this product that I too had been conditioned to think that “green” products might not be as effective as others. I worried that it wouldn’t clean my dishes properly, and since my roommate and I frequently cook meals from scratch we tend to have a lot of dishes, pots, and pans that need to be scrubbed. I bought it to help work through the idea that I “couldn’t afford” to be green as a student, and I have to say, about half a bottle in, I’m glad that I did.
My previous choice had honestly been the cheapest, biggest, off-brand, “lavender”-scented, purple dishwashing soap. In my use of it though, I feel like the Green Works product has worked a lot better. I haven’t been going through it as fast as I thought I would as you don’t need as much to get the dishes clean as the other product I was using and the dishes come out very clean. Personally, I find there’s also less residue on the dishes and pans too. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the quality of the usefulness of the product. Though, some of this might just be the difference between buying cheap soap and name brand soap.
I’ve done some research about it online, and it is generally considered a better environmental alternative to regular soaps, though there are still some concerns about it. Some of their “naturally derived” ingredients, such as coconut oil and corn based inputs have issues with unsustainable farming practices for example.
As a company, Clorox appears to be competing against other companies such as Seventh Generation on the basis of both price and mainstream brand equity. Green Works is sold at a lower price than its main competitors in the green market and prominently features its parent company, which has a strong mainstream affinity. There was issues of trusting the brand however when it first came out because it was from Clorox, but it appears to be more widely accepted now.
I think Clorox holds a very interesting position where it can not only cater to those who want to be “green”, those who want to be green but can’t or won’t pay a whole lot extra for it (like me), and those who are more mainstream customers not necessarily focused on being green but could be pulled into the green market with a strong brand they recognize. Seventh Generation’s CEO was quoted as saying he welcomed increasing competition because he felt it was the only way for the industry segment to increase in size and attract more customers.
Overall, I would probably buy Green Works products again, and more seriously consider other greener options for cleaners as well now too. Which I suppose makes me the ideal customer in some ways for Clorox (repeat buyer, long customer lifetime potential, willing to recommend to others, etc.) but I’ll try to put my business courses away for now and enjoy the product.
If anything, I think I would recommend that people do spend the little bit extra and try buying a “green” cleaner of whatever kind they need from whatever brand they think would be good. I definitely think its worth a try, even if it is just to start to dispel some of our own hangups about green products.