June Junk Claim #3 – Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Dish Soap Not So Clean As It Contains 1,4-Dioxane

June Junk Claim #3 is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap and the company’s claim that the products are “always EARTH FRIENDLY.”

Mrs. Meyer’s products are sold and marketed as “green” products. The packaging is retro inspired cute.

But, the thing is, they are not as eco-friendly as you think. For example, the Dish Soap was found to have high levels of the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane. In fact, according to testing commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Mrs. Meyers’ Clean Day Dish Soap had the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane in the group of products tested. The levels in the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap were 204 parts per million (ppm), ten times higher than any other similar product in the study.

1,4-dioxane is a by-product of the ethoxylation process. Ethoxylation is used to make certain ingredients milder and change solubility and foaming properties. It involves the addition of petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. You’ll find 1,4-dioxane in products with ethoxylated ingredients, usually identified by the “eth” – such as sodium laureth sulfate. Several “eth” ingredients are derived from natural sources – such as coconut – so you’ll find carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane in a number of products that claim to be derived from natural ingredients.

Unfortunately, the ethoxylation process results in a contaminant, 1,4-dioxane. So those allegedly naturally derived ingredients can have a carcinogence contaminant that is not identified on the ingredient label.

And Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap has it.

I don’t know if using the product poses a health risk. Since it is a rinse off product intended for use on dishes, I wouldn’t think that there is much dermal exposure (exposure through the skin) at all. Even if used as a hand soap I doubt there is any significant dermal exposure. And exposure from inhalation is probably minimal too.

But, the presence of carcinogenic 1,4-dixoane as a result of using petroleum derived ethylene oxide doesn’t really seem earth friendly to me.

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  1. Have you looked at their other products? We use the liquid hand soap (had ordered a case from Amazon) and my mother-in-law uses their laundry detergent. I also have their toilet cleaner but I won’t be buying more because I’m replacing my cleaning stuff with homemade stuff as I run out.

  2. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  3. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  4. Great post, Jennifer! I, too, am dismayed that Mrs. Meyers products are always touted as a green cleaner, when they still contain some not so green additives. I wrote an article about their dish soap http://getgreenbewell.com/2009/07/21/mrs-meyers-clean-day-geranium-dishwashing-liquid/ and the synthetic chemicals that are still present. The funny thing is, though, that this information is right there on their website, yet no one even looks!

  5. I started using Mrs. Myers because it was such a nice smell and other cleaners would give me mirgraines. That with the fact that it was sold at Whole Foods made me feel like I could trust the product. I recently stocked up on the dish detergent…. sad.

  6. I found it suspiciously stinky (spray cleaner) and wondered if it’s not really that green…Hmmmm….I’m starting to wonder.

  7. chilipeppertexan says:

    Did you know that if you spray Mrs.Meyers counter spray on ants they will die instantly. This has always bothered me.

  8. Karla Fillion says:

    I have severe chemical allergies so I bought the Basil Scent dish sopa and it is HORRIBLE!!!!!!! Not only does it smell up the whole house & give me a violent headache, it does NOT rinse off of the dishes so everything you eat or drink tastes yucky too. This stuff is going in the garbage.

  9. @chilipeppertexan If you mix any dish soap with water and spray that on ants it will kill them instantly as well. I don’t think there’s cause for alarm as far as the spray killing ants goes.

  10. SouthTexan says:

    @chilipeppertexan I spray 50/50 vinegar & water on any ants inside…instant kill. I think they drown. Outside, we use straight boiled vinegar on fire ant beds, but even then we can’t get complete control sometimes. They just move.

    I just bought a case of Mrs. Meyer’s Orange Clove Dish soap on clearance on their website, along with another dozen clearance items. I plan to dilute the dish soap (which Mrs. Meyer’s brand is good but too expensive for me) with 15 parts water and make a laundry detergent. I will use 1/2 cup vinegar & a few drops of pure essential oil for the fabric softener. Wish me luck and not a kitchen full of suds! I read online that if you dilute it highly, it works well. Highly is key to avoid a soap party. Since I bought the bottles this morning at $2.39 for 16 ounces and I bought a case, that should last us till the next decade.

    Take care ya’ll

  11. SouthTexan says:

    Another note, I pulled out a bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap that I already have. Sodium laureth sulfate was not listed; Sodium laurel sulfate was. Is there a difference between laureth and laurel? Jennifer’s original post here made me go check that out.


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