Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Simple Green Naturals Liquid Hand Soap | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Simple Green Naturals Liquid Hand Soap, from the makers of the original "green cleaner", California's Sunshine Makers, Inc., a green cleaning product manufacturer for 30 years, is part of their new Naturals line of natural cleaning products. The aroma of Simple Green’s Herb Garden scented soap is an earthy-herbal scent, not flowery or fruity, so it is a good choice for people who dislike floral scents.

Simple Green, one of the oldest environmentally-conscious cleaning product companies, has come under fire during the last few years for not divulging all the ingredients of many of their products (a hopefully soon-to-change practice in this industry in the United States) and they have come under fire in particular for having possible contaminates from their manufacturing process lingering in their cleaning products.

Price 2.88 for 16 ounce bottle.

Pros Naturals Liquid Hand Soap, herb garden scent

• 100% natural ingredient sources
• Non-toxic formulations
• Biodegradable formulations
• No animal testing
• Full ingredient disclosure
• International scientifically-accepted ingredient names
• Scents made of 100% natural essential oils & plant extracts
• 100% recyclable bottles with 25%+ post-consumer content
• No synthetic preservatives, dyes or perfumes


I applaud Simple Green's transparency in regards to listing their ingredients.

The Simple Green Naturals line of cleaners are 100% naturally-derived from: chicory, coconut, corn, palm, naturally-occurring minerals, salt and sugar, and water. The key word here is “derived”.

They explain on their website: “Sometimes naturally derived ingredients are modified by man-made chemicals. If there is not a natural ingredient that does a great cleaning job for us to utilize in making a Simple Green Naturals product, we will source a naturally derived, safe, green, man-modified one instead.”

However, in my research, some of the naturally-derived ingredients they include in their Naturals line are questionable (information from the Environmental Working Group):

Ingredients (Not in order of amount):

Water, Borax, Sodium chloride(salt), Citric Acid, Natural scent-blend (basil oil, sage oil, clary sage oil, rosemary oil, orange oil);

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (while not a carcinogen itself, according to the American Cancer Society, it does have a moderate risk for other health issues, and also can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by the known carcinogens, Ethylene Oxide or 1,4-Dioxane)*

Cocobetaine (an untested chemical)

Cocamide DEA (a moderate risk for cancer and other serious health issues)

Laureth-7 (a polyethylene glycol ether, which also can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by 1,4-Dioxane)**

* **Simple Green is aware of these possible contaminants and filters them out of all their products, down to "parts-per-thousand to parts-per-million levels". Many "green" consumer products still contain both these ingredients.

I Want Natural, Not Merely Naturally-Derived

As consumers become more knowledgeable and concerned about the purity of household and personal products that they use, the companies who market themselves as green cleaning manufacturers are needing to keep pace and “clean up” their act even further.

This is true for Simple Green. Thirty years ago, they were a pioneer, providing one of the first non-toxic, biodegradable lines of cleaning products—now they and other companies hopefully will heed the concerns of environmentally-conscious consumers and move even more toward all natural and healthful ingredients and not merely “naturally-derived”.

Thumbs Up!
For being biodegradable, using natural versus synthetic scents and dyes, and for a great price.

Thumbs Down! For having a number of “naturally-derived” ingredients with questionable health issues. I want higher standards with my natural cleaning products and I’m sure you do too. --Enjoy your Spring Cleaning! Green Keen a.k.a. Pamela Palmer

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