Lingo Label
on Oxygen Bleach Products

Figuring out whether a label on oxygen bleach cleaning product is safe for you and the environment can be difficult.

Manufacturers are not required by law to disclose ingredients.

To help, here are definitions of terms you're likely to encounter when shopping.

Your safest bet is to buy from companies that list all ingredients on their labels. Recommended products.

Label on Oxygen Bleach


What it Means

The Bottom Line


The product will break down overtime into harmless materials.

Doesn't mean the product is safefor the environment unless the manufacturer says how long it will takeit to biodegrade.  The sooner, the better.


Contains no chlorine, a toxicchemical responsible for more household poisonings annually then anyother and a cause of ozone depletion.

Opt for chlorine-free versions ofall cleaners and stop cleaning with chlorine bleach, for your healthand the environment's.


Only a very large amount will causedamage.

Use of the term isn't regulated, sochoose products from manufacturers that indicate in what way productsare nontoxic ("non-toxic if inhaled," for example).


Helps whiten and brighten byreleasing oxygen, which breaks up stains and eliminates mildew.

Safer than chlorinebleach.  Oxygenated products may not work as quickly aschlorine-based products, but they are effective when you follow labeldirections.


Contains no phosphates (whichincrease a detergent's effectiveness).  When phosphates enterwaterways, they spur algae to overgrow, depleting oxygen and killingfish.

A meaningless marketingterm.  Phosphates are banned by law in all cleaning productsexcept automatic dishwasher detergents.


The active cleaning agent indetergents.  Conventional products often use petroleum-basedsurfactants.

Opt for surfactants described asplant-based; these are a better choice for the environment.


From Label on Oxygen Bleach to Organic Cleaning Product