What does it all mean?

You have a right to know what’s inside the products you use, especially when those products are brought into your home. When it comes to cleaning, there are a lot of terms out there: Natural, Organic, Bio-Based, Biodegradable, Biocompatible, Renewable Resources. What should you be looking out for? 

In short, transparency and honest testing. The only way to determine if a product is safe for you and your family is to have it tested. The only US Government Agency who provides this Certification is the EPA Safer Choice working in conjunction with third party labs who independently test each ingredient as well as how all the ingredients react to each other in the formulation. In addition, each fragrance is tested and reformulated to be the Safest Choice for you and your family.

At Berkley Green, we believe no one should have to choose between safety and effective cleaning products. Here you can find a glossary of common industry terms and a full list of all ingredients. If you have any questions, please let us know!



Fragrance formulas are protected as trade secrets. That means you will always see the words fragrances or perfume on the label without the actual chemistry. We send all of our fragrances to the NSF for a complete toxic review. We always put our customers safety first and voluntarily comply with the EU fragrance allergen directive and list all ingredient on our web site.To learn more about fragrances allergens designed by the EU please go to  http://ec.europa.eu/commission/index_en.


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored. 


If the carbon in an ingredient is exclusively derived from petroleum or natural gas the ingredient is considered synthetic.  


Meaning the ingredient is derived from a plant or plant oil. Sometimes a plant oil is modified with carbon from other sources to improve it’s performance. If it is more that 50% we call it a plant-modified synthetic. 


Berkey Green products use a preservative call (MIT) We have chosen this preservative because we feel it is the safest choice. It allows us to use the smallest possible amount of preservative with the highest level of broad base natural ingredients. MIT is an EPA Safer Choice Approved preservative. 



These surfactants enhance the mixing and solubilization of oil and water by having these contrasting sections within the same compound.


Amino Acid

Alkyl Polyglycoside

Natural plant based cleaning agent made from corn sugars and coconut oils. This plant-based cleaning agent is great at dissolving and removing dirt, oil and grease. They are derived from sugars and fatty alcohols. Produced from renewable resources.

Alpha-Amylase Natural Enzyme Stain Remover

Amylase is a generic term given to starch-degrading enzymes. These enzymes are used for a variety of purposes. In cleaning products they assist soil removal by breaking down the starch components in the soils.

Boric Acid

Mineral-based enzyme stabilizer. Disperses into the environment.


It is derived from the fruit of mountain papaya Carica pubescen. It was developed to meet US 3rd party industry standards such as EPA Safer Choice's Solvent Screen and CleanGredients® database. 

Calcium Chloride

Mineral used to stabilize enzymes. This is a white deliquescent salt that occurs naturally in seawater and it is used as a drying agent.


An Enzyme used to mend fabric and protect color


Plant based cleaning agent and complexing agent. This corn based ingredient reduces the minerals in your water to assist the natural cleaning agents effectiveness. The ability of citric acid to bond with other minerals can make it helpful in softening water. Soaps and laundry detergents can be more effective when they contain citric acid.

Coca Betaine

Plant based cleaning agent derived from coconut oil. Works as a surfactant, foaming agent, viscosity increasing agent, emulsifier and conditioner. As a surfactant, it’s mostly used in bath products because it gently cleanses by helping water to mix with dirt and oil so that they can be rinsed off. Additionally, its pH range contributes a germicidal effect, which also makes it an effective, yet mild cleansing agent.

Coconut Oil

Skin conditioner.


Ecological and bio-degradable, cationic surfactant used in fabric softeners. Helps with anti-static and softening effects.


Surfactant that has good compatibility with anionic, cationic, nonionic, and other amphoteric surfactants, which enables it to remain stable within a wide range of pH values.

Ethyl Alcohol SDA 3C

Cleaning agent made from fermented corn sugars.


Foam stabilizer, enzyme stabilizer, feel enhancer and conditioning agent.

Lauramine Oxide

Plant based cleaning agent derived from coconut oil. It can have highly solubility in some solutions and low in others. Lauramine Oxide creates positive charges and negative charges in different atoms and it carries anionic or cationic properties depending on the pH value. Although Lauramine Oxide is seen most frequently as a foam builder in beauty products, it can also be used as an emulsifier, surfactant, anti-static, and viscosity controlling agent.


Enzyme that breaks down the fats and oils in stains.


Plant derived enzyme soil remover. Removes tough guar gums from fabrics.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Also known as sodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.

Oleic Acid

Plant based cleaning agent that keeps foaming under control. This is the ingredient that makes (HE) high-efficiency washing machines possible.


A water-based compound that entraps foul smelling molecules, eliminating odors. It is frequently used in shampoo.

Organic Aloe Barbadenisis Leaf Juice

Skin conditioner.

Organic Salt

Anti-spotting agent and accelerator derived from natural sources.

Potassium Hydroxide

Boosts alkalinity, dissolves stains and is an abundant natural mineral source.


A colorless liquid glycol derived from corn that can be used as a renewably sourced alternative to petroleum-derived glycols.


Enzyme that breaks down protein stains.


Stain lifting enzyme.

Shea Butter

Skin soothing.

Silicone emulsion

Stabilized by hydrocarbon emulsifiers shows drastic changes in their electrokinetic and optical properties under external perturbations.

Sodium Carbonate

Mineral alkalinity builder or good old fashioned washing soda. It helps to soften hard water to enable cleaning ingredients to perform better.

Sodium Chloride

Natural mineral used in cleaning products - table salt. It prevents your cleaning ingredients from breaking down. It is also what helps thicken your dish soap.

Sodium Hydroxide

Mineral based ingredient increases the pH levels in our products to improve cleaning performance.


An accepted contraction of sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste).

Sodium Xylene Sulfonate

A surfactant found in personal care products, primarily in shampoos, because of its ability to serve as a claritant or wetting agent that helps a formula spread more easily and ensure efficient cleansing.

Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate

Known as aspartic acid, is a plant-derived water softener.

Tomamine Amphoteric

An amphoteric surfactant with high active content (50%) for use in alkaline and acid cleaner formulations. It is a low foam hydrotrope which provides exceptional coupling and wetting properties in cleaner formulations.


Soy based soap.

Xantham Gum

Xantham gum is a corn based, fermented product. It is made by fermenting corn sugar with a microbial called “Xanthomonas Campestris”. It’s used extensively in the food industry to make products thicker and it’s a common ingredient in gluten-free recepies.