About Us

Our Place, Our People, Our Products

We are a group of Oregon-based scientists and environmentalists who have discovered a better way to make and distribute green cleaning products. By combining nature’s own powers with our cutting-edge chemical and engineering science, we create cleaning solutions that are truly green and effective.

Inspired by the pristine beauty of Oregon’s Wallowa Valley, we are redefining the meaning of green. If you check the labels on many soaps and detergents, even those labeled “eco friendly,” you often find ingredients that sound eco-friendly but are actually unsafe for the environment. Alternatively, products may boast natural ingredients, but they just don’t get the job done. We aim to eliminate these trade-offs and provide products that leave the earth—and your home, car, and clothing—sparkling. That’s what green means to us.

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Offering New Solutions To Big Problems

We had three goals when we started Wallowa Valley Cleaning Products. First, to create truly environmentally safe cleaners that actually do the job of cleaning; second, to use less plastic; and third, to make our products simple for everyone to use. Using the most advanced cleaning technology available, we developed eleven formulations that go far beyond what is currently considered green, and then dedicated three years to field testing our products to ensure that they work as well as or better than conventional detergents and cleaners. Our biggest challenge has been mitigating how we use plastic—could we claim to be green when our products come in plastic bottles? We believe we can: we have developed a recycled, recyclable bottle that can be refilled with our products again and again once we establish a distribution system designed to facilitate reusing the same bottle.

During our testing process, we got some important feedback from senior citizens. They told us that many cleaning products are too heavy for them to handle, and use labels that are hard to read. We listened, and now most of our formulations are available in smaller packages with elder-friendly, large-print labels—just another example of the revolution we’re starting here in Wallowa Valley.

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Transparency

We disclose every ingredient we use, be it plant, mineral, or synthetic, as well as its source or derivation. Our website and labels also list the ingredients we will never use, even if other “green” companies do.

We use approximately ten synthetic (oil-based) ingredients, and all are listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “Safer Choice Ingredients” per the Code of Federal Regulations. We use them because we are not aware of an effective substitute at any price. Without them, our products will spoil or may not work effectively, based on current scientific data. All the synthetic ingredients we currently use are targeted for replacement, and used as sparingly as possible. All are recommended by the EPA as the current best option relative to safety, the environment, and sustainability. If you are aware of a plant-based substitute for any of these synthetic ingredients, we would love to hear from you.

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Chasing What’s Best: Continuous Improvement

WVCP’s core character is rooted in continuous improvement. Our founders—seven broadly experienced men and women—are committed to continual improvement and innovation, both in our lives and in how we operate WVCP.

WVCP is committed to completing the implementation, registration, and operation of the company utilizing a Quality Management System (QMS) under the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Organized, consistent, impeccably-managed continuous improvement is the engine of this system, and powers everything we do. We actively, persistently, methodically, and effectively improve our formulations, manufacturing systems, containers, and interactions with customers and distributors and refillers.

In addition to emphasizing human safety, environmental impact, and sustainable sourcing, we embrace comprehensive continuous improvement across our entire organization. While we believe we are already second-to-none in terms of ultra-green and ultra-effective, we will continue to search for safer and more effective ingredients until all are sustainable and plant-based. If you have scientific data on improved ingredients, please let us know. Our chemists are always looking for breakthrough improvements.

How do we do it?

Our ISO 9001 certified process ensures continuous improvement in the following:

  • product formulations to increase human safety.
  • product formulations and packaging to decrease negative impact on the environment.
  • product formulations to further decrease use of synthetic ingredients.
  • products’ effectiveness.
  • manufacturing and packaging consistency.
  • customer satisfaction.
  • manufacturing costs and customer prices.
  • traceability of all raw materials and finished products.
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Banishing the Bad Guys

When we say we use the best ingredients we can, we mean it. This means avoiding many ingredients used by many other companies, such as Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). EDTA is a cheap chemical commonly used to combat soap scum and water hardness. You’ll find it in many “green” detergent brands. While it is considered non-hazardous, it is not biodegradable. In our minds, that’s a hazard. When EDTA makes its way into water systems, it binds with naturally occurring metals and disrupts the balance of healthy biomes like our beloved Wallowa Lake. For EDTA and other questionable components, we use our collective expertise to create substitutes that may be more expensive, but are equally effective and, most importantly, totally benign. And that is just one of more than fifteen common cleaning ingredients we will never use.

See the list of commonly used chemicals you will never find in Wallowa Valley Cleaning Products

We will never use:

    1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This is the low-cost foundation for most big-company soaps and cleaners as well as many so-called green products. Because of widespread public health concern and reports from multiple environmental groups, WVCP never uses SLS in any of our products. It was difficult to formulate effective products without the use of SLS, but we did it!
    1. Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES): SLES causes suspected carcinogenic contamination from 1, 4, Dioxane. SLES depresses the central nervous system; irritates eyes and skin; potentially disrupts endocrine systems, lowering fertility; cannot be processed by our livers; and accumulates in our bodies.
    1. Phosphates: Environmental harm results from excessive nutrients (algae) decaying and absorbing oxygen from water, causing that water to be toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
    2. Ethylenediamine Tetra-Acetic Acid (EDTA): Environmental harm results because this otherwise “safe” ingredient degrades very slowly. Because it is not readily biodegradable, when it bonds with metals removed from clothes and dishes, it causes the accumulation of those metals on the bottoms of lakes and rivers. EDTA causes metals to accumulate in sediments and ultimately, in fish and other aquatic creatures and plants.
    1. Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DDBSA): DDBSA causes environmental harm results due to long-term toxicity for rivers and lakes, and information as to biodegradability is conflicting.
    1. Dyes: Dyes increase the cloudiness of waterways, causing them to absorb more heat, raising water temperatures, and hurting fish and aquatic life. No dish or laundry product needs dyes.
    1. Synthetic Fragrances: Synthetic petroleum-based fragrances are cheap and present in most big-company cleaners and many so-called green cleaners. Such unsustainable fragrances may contain diethyl phthalate and allergens, and are suspected of causing a broad range of significant health problems. “Natural fragrances,” as defined by ISO 9235: 2013, are made using ingredients derived exclusively from plants using only physical processing such as distillation, expression and extraction.  WVCP uses only ISO 9235:2013 certified natural fragrances. They are expensive, but worth every penny.
    1. Ammonia: Ammonia is a corrosive and toxic chemical. It decreases the immune system’s response to infection, and irritates respiratory systems. It is an environmental contaminant.
    2. Chlorine: Chlorine is a potential carcinogen and a corrosive irritant that corrodes equipment and is harmful to fish and other aquatic life.
    1. Artificial Brighteners: Artificial brighteners are synthetic (petroleum-based) chemicals that make clothing appear more vibrant. They are often used in detergents to counteract the greying effect (fading colors) of other inexpensive harsh ingredients. Well-engineered, greener detergents are more gentle; therefore, artificial brighteners are not needed. WVCP never uses artificial brighteners because our premium ingredients delicately clean fabrics.
    2. 2-Butoxyethanol (Butyl): Butyl is toxic with multiple harmful health effects. It can damage the eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, hematopoietic system, blood, kidneys, liver, and lymphoid system.
    3. Triclosan: Triclosan is toxic, corrosive, and aggressive to the environment. It is harmful to the human immune system, and alters hormone regulation. It can also alter thyroid hormone and testosterone concentrations in males; it can lower the age of puberty onset in females.
    4. Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA): PVA is used to make water-soluble pouches. It is a synthetic non-sustainable chemical. Water-soluble pouches are convenient but not environmentally sound.
    5. Diethanolamine (DEA): DEA is a suspected carcinogen suspected of being readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder cancers.
    6. Paraben Preservatives: Paraben preservatives are an environmental contaminant because of toxicity to fish and other wildlife. Para-hydroxybenzoic acid has been implicated in breast cancer and is suspected of disrupting the estrogen cycle and age of puberty as an endocrine disruptor.
    7. Phthalates (including diethyl phthalate): Phthalates are an endocrine and hormone disruptor. They can decrease male fertility and increase absorption of heavy metals into the body. They have a negative impact on fish and other aquatic life.
    8. Alkylphenol and Polyethoxylated Derivatives: These are toxic to wildlife and people. As a persistent environmental contaminant, they interfere with the hormonal systems of reproduction in fish and wildlife. They reduce the reproductive capacity of fish and wildlife through reduced sperm counts and inability to produce offspring.
    9. Animal Testing: Ingredients WVCP uses are selected carefully and deliberately based on known safety characteristics so that animal testing is not required.
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Smelling Like Roses

Did you ever buy a product only to find it smells cloyingly fake? The science of fragrance is chemically complex and the formulations that deliver those smells can impact both the environment and personal health. Our ultra-premium, expertly crafted fragrances are certified as 100% derived from natural sources. This means they come with a special hard-earned designation called ISO 9235 that verifies the fragrances come exclusively from plants. Not only does this ensure that our cleaning formulations don’t hide any undisclosed bad chemicals, it also means our fragrances have a gentle therapeutic smell. We want to please the senses, not knock them sideways.

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Crafting vs. Manufacturing

Because we are a self-managed, small-scale producer, we can control and deliver extremely effective cleaning solutions that not only meet but surpass current standards for environmental and human safety. Think of us as a craft brewery or village bakery: we create artisanal products with a considerate and hands-on approach.

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Creating a Legacy

As a caring cadre of science, engineers, and business nerds, we are bent on taking sustainable cleaners to a new level by sourcing superior ingredients, engineering effective formulations, and deploying operational excellence to rival that of the world’s best visionaries. The goal is simple: maximize human safety, minimize environmental impact, and tell the truth.