Our Standards: Household Cleaning Products

We’re committed to selling the best sprays, scrubs and detergents for you, your family and the planet.

various household cleaning products on white surface

We get it — cleaning’s not fun, and it’s even less fun when the products you use either don’t clean effectively or contain unnecessary ingredients. That’s why we asked our customers for their input on cleaning ingredients. You cleaned, you spoke, we listened.We revamped our standards and did our research to eliminate certain ingredients and find better alternatives for you and the planet. Our rigorous standards for all household cleaning products we sell require:

Ousting Optical Brighteners

Optical brighteners are synthetic chemicals added to liquids and powders like detergents to make clothes appear whiter and brighter. Side note: They’re also unnecessary, so we’re leading the way in the industry as the first national retailer to ban them from our aisles.

Trustworthy and Performance-Tested Brands

When it comes to household cleaning, our priority is giving you the best of both worlds. That means providing effective cleaners and ingredients that may have a lower impact on the planet. That’s why we’ve vetted and performance-tested our products for efficacy. So go ahead — spray, scrub and clean the tub without a second thought.

140+ Banned Ingredients and Counting

There are certain ingredients that just don’t belong in household cleaning products. That means no phosphates, phthalates or FD&C colors. If you’d like to test your pronunciation skills and see which products weren’t up to our test, take a look below.

Below are many of the ingredients we’ve banned.

Banned Ingredients

1,4-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dimethyl ester, polymer with 1,2- propanediol, diester with amethyl-

2-oxepanone, homopolymer

3 (Trihydroxysilyl) propyldimethyl octadecyl ammonium chloride


4-Formylphenylboronic acid

4,4′-Diamino-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid

Acid blue 82

Acrylic acid/styrene copolymer, sodium salt

Alcohols C12-C18, ethoxylated, propoxylated

Alizarin cyanine green F

Alkyl (C10-16) benzene

Alkylphenol ethoxylate


Aminomethyl propanol

Anionic modified polyester

Benzalkonium chloride

Benzene (C14-C30) alkylate

Benzenesulfonic acid, (1-methylethyl)-, sodium salt



BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

bis(2-(2-butoxyethoxy)ethyl) hexanedioate



Butyl carbitol acetate

C10-14 Alkyl benzene sulfuric acid

C12-14 Ethoxylated propoxylated alcohols

Calcium phosphate


Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite)

Chromium hydroxide green

Cocamide DEA

Cocamide MEA

Cocamide MIPA

Decyl Phenoxybenzenedisulfonic Acid

Di-(palm carboxyethyl) hydroxyethyl methyl-ammonium methyl sulfates

Dialkylester ammonium methosulfate

Diaminostilbene disulfonic acid

Diazolidinyl urea

Dicocoethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Diethylene glycol butyl ether

Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether

Dimethyl octadecyllamine

Dimethylaminopropyl amine

Dipropylene glycol monobutyl ether

Dipropyleneglycol monomethyl ether

Disodium distyrylbiphenyl disulfonate

DMDM hydantoin


Dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid

Ethanaminium, 2-hydroxy-N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl)-Nmethyl-, methyl sulfate (salt), octadecanoate (ester)

Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid

Fatty alcohols C12-C14 ethoxylated, propoxylated

FD&C Blue No. 1

FD&C Blue No. 2

FD&C Green No. 3

FD&C Red No. 3

FD&C Red No. 40

FD&C Yellow No. 5

FD&C Yellow No. 6


Hexahydro-1,3,5-Tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine


Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexene carboxyaldehyde

Hydroxyethyl-methyl ammonium methosulphate

Hypochlorous acid

Hypophosphorus acid

Imitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate

Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

Isonicotinic acid-n-oxide

Isoparaffinic hydrocarbon solvent

Lauramide DEA

Laurtrimonium chloride

Linear alkyl benzene sulfonates

Manganese, ((2,2',2''-(nitrilotris(2,1-ethanediyl(nitrilo-kappaN)methylidyne))tris(phenolato-kappaO))(3-))-, (OC-6-22)-



Methyl anthranilate

Methyl bis(soya amidoethyl) 2-hydroxyethyl quaternary ammonium methylsulphate



Monoethanolamine oleate

Montan Wax

n-Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride

n-Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride


Nonylphenyl ethoxylate

Octadecyldimethyl (3-trimethoxysilylpropyl) ammonium chloride


PEG 22 Dodecyl Glycol Copolymer

PEG 300 Monoctyl Ether




Polycarboxylate, sodium salt

Polymeric Blue Dye

Polypropylene terephthalate

Polyquaternium- 7


Potassium alkyl benzene sulfonate

Potassium Alkylpolyoxyethylene Phosphate

Propyl gallate

Quaternary Coco Alkylamine Ethoxylate


Quaternized Coco/Soya Fatty Acids

Salt of Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

Salt of Triethanolamine Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

Silver chloride

Sodium acid pyrophosphate

Sodium dichloroacetate

Sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate

Sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate

Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate

Sodium monochloroacetate

Sodium petroleum sulfonate

Sodium phosphate

Sodium xylene sulfate

Sodium xylene sulfonate

Sulfuric acid

Tetrasodium EDTA


Tributylphenol polyglycol ether, 12 – 14 EO

Tricalcium phosphate


Tripropylene glycol methyl ether

Tripropylene glycol n-butyl ether

Trisodium nitrilotriacetic acid


White mineral oil

Wood dust

If that induced painful flashbacks to high school chemistry, don’t worry – you won’t see any of those on our ingredient labels and you can trust that when you see a hard-to-pronounce ingredient on one of our labels, we’ve done the homework.

Note to product suppliers: This list is intended for our shoppers. It’s not for use in formulating products as it doesn’t include all Whole Foods Market requirements and ingredient restrictions. Creating a product with no unacceptable ingredients does not guarantee that we will sell it.

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