Greenwashed by Simple Green? Ask Annie

Dear Annie,
I’ve been using Simple Green for years thinking that it is an eco-friendly product, but a friend told me recently that they thought it was not green. What is your opinion? –Sally, KY

Dear Sally,
Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) published the results of a study of five of the leading cleaning product companies regarding the use and labeling of toxic ingredients in products. The study is called The Dirt on Cleaning Products, and Simple Green, manufactured by Sunshine Makers Inc., is one of the companies investigated.

The Dirt on Cleaning Chemical Companies report card about Sunshine Makers Inc./ Simple Green was that their product ingredient disclosure received a D+; their responsiveness to consumer concerns received an F; their toxic chemicals screening process received a D+; the toxic chemicals in their products received a C; the number of cleaning products on the market was 15; and the number of products that contain chemicals of concern were eight. The chemical of biggest concern cited by WVE is 2-butoxyethanol.

The report from about this chemical is that it is a suspected:

Cardiovascular or Blood Toxicant
Developmental Toxicant
Endocrine Toxicant
Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant
Kidney Toxicant
Reproductive Toxicant
Respiratory Toxicant
Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant

Yes, I’d say if you were led to believe that Simple Green was a “green” product then you have been a victim of greenwashing!


Carol C.
Carol C.2 years ago

Dear Kami & All:
I have worked for Simple Green for over 20 years. Simple Green is not bottle of 2-butoxyethanol! Toxicity and all other toxicology-related expressions listed in this article are dose-related. Just like the medicine you take (even aspirin) can be toxic at high enough levels, the same holds true for cleaning products. Since 1975 the Simple Green formula has been extensively tested and reviewed by regulatory, scientific, and legal bodies around the world and has never been found to be in violation of environmental or marketing laws. Our claims have been upheld in a court of law. Further, the information about our ingredients has never been hidden.
It has been appropriately listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet which has always been publicly available. LASTLY, due to changing air quality regulations in the USA, Simple Green has not contained 2-butoxyethanol since 2012. Of course, getting Care2 to remove incorrect information is nearly impossible. PLEASE LEARN MORE at Thanks!

Kamia C.
Kamia T2 years ago

I used to use Simple Green all the time, for the same reason, and because I loved the minty smell. But then I started pulling up the Material Data sheets on products I used (every manufacturer has to give them to you) and stopped buying it completely. So sad when companies lie like that!

Derek D.
Derek D.3 years ago

If you are looking for the "Real Deal" check out the Better Life Products.
I am a distributor in Bermuda and they are fantastic! in the US, or my facebook page

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Vicky P.
Vicky P4 years ago

pretty sad that companies are allowed to lie about this

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago


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Chris R6 years ago