Due to the clumsy, imperfect nature of human beings, I know that everyone out there has spilled at least one thing in their lifetime. From pasta to apple juice to everything in between, our friendly surface cleaners have come to the rescue once or twice.

A day.

Lately, though, the powers of Windex and Clorox have been challenged by alternative, greener cleaners. But what is so bad about ‘dirty’ surface cleaners? And just how clean are these greens?

In everyday society, people are obsessed with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. But in the past few years, a new variable has come into play of consumer decisions: eco-friendliness.

Eco-friendly alternatives have been all the rage these days. Everyone is looking towards greener pastures for the future, which affects their buying habits tremendously. Major commercial industries, such as Tide and Windex, have noticed this trend in buying patterns, and have come out with greener alternative options. But the question remains: how effective are these alternative cleaning products?

According to livescience.org, it isn’t about the cleaning product you use, but rather how many you use. While ‘dirtier’ cleaning products may have some small side effects due to long exposure (such as a headache or mild irritation), most people use more than one cleaning product while cleaning their homes. “There is one for the toilet, one for the mirror, perhaps one for surfaces, another to clean mildew from tiles and then tons of other “specialized” cleaning product options,” says Live Science. “The repeated exposures to the chemicals in all of these products can add up.” Due to the prolonged exposure of all of these different chemicals, cleaning the bathroom (or pretending to), while it may seem mundane and insignificant, could have some serious, long-term effects.

While Windex and Mr. Clean may be your go-to surface cleaners, it’s also important to consider other, greener options. In addition to eliminating possible chemical-induced illnesses, making the greener switch could also help our environment. By reducing chemical use, we can also help to reduce our carbon footprint. Of course, you don’t have to be a crazed germaphobe that refuses to use cleaning products. Just be aware of your chemical intake, and we can help to make the world a cleaner place.

This wasn’t *exactly* a myth, but let’s just say that alternative cleaners are the winners here.