What are cruelty-free cleaning products? A customer asks “Can you clean my space with cruelty-free cleaning products?” And I don’t know the difference between Kosher cleaning products and vegan cleaning products. Are non-toxic, eco-friendly, cruelty-free cleaning products all the same thing?
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives cleaning advice on Multi-Level-Marketing or MLM detergents. What is the difference and what do the labels mean.
Watch: What Are Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: What Are Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products?
Cruelty-free products. What do you do when a customer asks if you will use cruelty-free products when you clean their home?
Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products – What Does That Mean?
Over the last few years the cleaning products market has become quite competitive. Labels splash across bottles of detergents promising “Vegan Cleaning Products or Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products.” But what does it mean?
Everyone is looking for the slight edge that makes their product better from everyone else. And so there are a lot of labels attached to products that say “kosher” or “organic”.
The cruelty-free label is not regulated by anything. And so, they can say cruelty-free, which does not necessarily mean it was not tested on animals.
Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products Are Not Regulated
That’s what it would lead us to believe, but that is not what it means. Here’s how it works.
There are a variety of different chemicals pieced together that create a cleaning solution. And the finished cleaning solution may not have been tested on animals. But all the other chemicals in the background that create the main product, could have.
The chemical ingredients that comprise the main product are often shipped from other countries. Those countries don’t have the same regulations as the United States.
What Does it Mean – Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products?
A label can say that the product is cruelty-free. Who can prove that, and what does it mean?
It means something different for every different company, so it’s kind of left up to interpretation.
Many times, a customer will ask for cruelty-free cleaning products. And what they’re asking for are products that won’t make their pets sick.
A good question for a customer that asks that is, “are you looking for products that have not been tested on animals? Or are you looking for products that are safe for your animals?
If a customer is looking for something safe for their pets, then most non-toxic cleaning products will work.
Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products Are Sketchy Promises
It’s a great idea to clean with non-toxic, pet-friendly, organic cleaning supplies.
And how about Vegan cleaning products? What does that mean?
Well, it means that there are no animal by-products inside that cleaning solution. Some cleaning solutions are pure like vinegar or baking soda. And there are no animal by-products in there. So, if Vegan doesn’t apply to a cleaning product – why is it on the label?
Cleaning Products Aren’t Regulated by the FDA
Well, it’s on the label because no one else is using it on the label. A cleaning company may say their products are Vegan – Okay, whatever. No harm no foul. But it’s like saying a pencil is Vegan. It’s doesn’t apply but nobody cares if the label is used in marketing. It doesn’t mean anything.
Kosher Cleaning Products – Do Relate to Meal Time
There are families whose eating practices are all Kosher. This means that the countertops they prepare their food on must be Kosher. So, do the utensils and dishes they use. Also, plates that serve food and the food itself.
Most house cleaning services don’t wash dishes and won’t interfere with a Kosher meal. Nor will they be the last person in the kitchen (the chef will be, and the chef can prepare the counters in a Kosher way.)
So, any non-toxic cleaning solution should work.
If that is not the case – the homeowner will give you specific instructions on how to clean up.
Clients Can Provide Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products
Seek clarification. Make sure you understand what the customer is asking of you. If you’re doing spring cleaning and they expect you to use a special solution they can provide it.
A client who has specific needs will also have the solutions to complete the task.
Please don’t buy expensive products to cater to a single client.
There are plenty of non-toxic, eco-friendly products on the market that are inexpensive. You will be using these for your cleaning business. It is unreasonable to buy 30 sets of cleaning solutions for 30 different clients.
Customer Service Is Not a Scam
Now, we do want to service the customer in a way that’s meaningful to them. So, make a note on your customer worksheet; “In this house, we want to use this particular product.”
Beware. Lots of homeowners are in Multi-Level-Marketing programs also known as MLM. And they sell cleaning products staking all sorts of claims.
Their products claim to be cruelty-free cleaning supplies or Vegan or eco-friendly. And they say this is important to them to get you to buy from them.
They hope you will become a distributor and then sell their cleaning supplies to all your cleaning clients. Don’t get scammed by their enthusiasm.
If a product is important to them, and they sell it, they can provide it for you.
A Word About MLM’s That Sell Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products
If a customer pitches you an MLM and you want to join that’s fine. But join because you want to and you love the product. Buy it because you will use it. Not because they guilted you into it.
I’ve seen lots of house cleaners fall into this trap. They are afraid if they tell the client no, they will lose the client. And then they end up with buying requirements each month to meet the quota that doesn’t fit into their business budgets.
If they fail to buy the monthly products, they get dropped anyway, so the homeowner can “sell” to a cleaner who is actively working the MLM.
Just avoid the MLM + house cleaner role. They are not a good fit most of the time.