Back to school time is here and the school supply lists are dropping like hot fire. Like most parents, I examined the list with an eye of scrutiny because hello budget. One of the other things that I really looked hard at were the classroom supplies that were for cleaning.

Not All Cleaning Supplies Are Made Equally

Growing up, I remember believing the strong smells of bleach were synonymous with clean. Now that we have more education, we know this isn’t true. Because of the amount of cleaners that we use that have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted as you clean, the pollution in the air indoors is almost five times more than outdoor air. That’s a scary statistic to have our children sitting in for most of their days.

Mamavation has done a study on cleaning supplies and it was determined that the following ingredients are what should be avoided:

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
  • SLS/SLES: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Styrene
  • Undisclosed Fragrance/Perfume
  • Benzophenone
  • PEGs/Polysorbates
  • Ethylene Glycol
  • Ethoxylated Compounds
  • Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
  • Methyl Alcohol
  • Ethanolamine
  • Butylphenyl Methylpropional
  • Benzyl Salicylate
  • Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides
  • Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate
  • Octylisothiazolinone
  • Artificial Dyes
  • Dimethicone
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Propanediol
  • Coumarin

For more details on why to avoid these, in particular, click here.

Ok, so now that you’ve been properly scared and possibly overwhelmed with information, here are some eco-friendly options that can replace what is on these classroom supply lists.

Eco-Friendly Finds For Back to School


Seventh Generation Multi-Purpose/Multi-Surface Wipes

Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Wipes

Method All-Purpose Compostable Wipes

Babyganics All-Purpose Wipes

Disinfecting Spray

Method All-Purpose + Antibac

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray


Seventh Generation Tissues

Seedling by Grove Tree-Free Facial Tissue

Baby Wipes

Stall Mates Flushable Wipes

Babyganics Wipes

Seventh Generation Wipes

Cloud Island Baby Wipes

Water Wipes

So how ready for back to school are you and your kids?