Innumerable products are available in the shops to help us keep our homes and offices clean, with special ones for kitchens, bathrooms, different surfaces and so on. Advertisers promote these products, and hygiene and cleanliness, with vigour, and new products or repackaged products appear frequently. Cleaning is certainly easier than 100 years ago when there were fewer products and few labour-saving devices such as washing machines, dishwashers or vacuum cleaners. But what is the environmental impact of these products? Are some brands ‘greener’ and more environmentally friendly than others?

The pages in this section – index on the left – provide you with information and there’s a section suggesting what you can do. Many of the online shops sell cleaning products and there are also specialist suppliers on the internet.