In January, I wrote an entry about eco-friendly natural cleaners for eliminating pet odours and stains. One of the products I came across was Wee Cleaner. Their website made it sound fantastic for getting rid of the smell of cat pee: “WEE CLEANER is non-toxic, fragrance-free, dye-free, phosphate-free, and enzyme-free. It is biodegradable and produces no fumes.” As a result, I included it in my review.
Over the past few months, I’ve been learning a lot about cleaning products, largely spurred by becoming a Wowgreen Independent Distributor. The more I learned, the more surprised I was about what is actually in common household cleaners. I knew they weren’t that great, but I didn’t realize how scary some of them are.
As a result of my newfound knowledge, I kept wondering, how can Wee Cleaner possibly clean without enzymes? It HAS to use chemicals. I contacted Wee Cleaner and requested an MSDS, that’s a Material Safety Data Sheet. This is a document that manufacturers have to provide for their cleaning products when they’re used in a workplace setting. The MSDS identifies the hazardous chemicals in the product’s formula as well as the risks associated with product exposure. Interestingly, manufacturers do not have to disclose this information for HOUSEHOLD cleaning products.
Wee Cleaner did not have an MSDS for their product, but they did provide me with an ingredient list. Here it is:
Distilled water, hydrogen peroxide (35% grade), sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidoproply betaine, cocamide MEA, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, citric acid
Nothing in the list is considered a hazardous chemical, but I started looking up the ingredients in the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database. They give ingredients a rating based on how hazardous it is. Keep in mind that ingredients are rated in the context of using them as cosmetics as opposed to carpet cleaners.
Hydrogen peroxide got a really scary rating of 3 to 8 (depending on product usage) out of 10 on their hazard scale. A 3 is considered a moderate hazard and anything over 7 is considered a high hazard. It was flagged for cancer, neurotoxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes, and more…
Sodium laureth sulfate, which you might think is worse since we’ve heard so much about sodium lauryl sulfate, is actually rated less hazardous. It was rated between 3 to 6 depending on product usage, making it a moderate hazard. It was flagged for cancer, persistence and bioaccumulation and organ system toxicity.
Definitely makes you go, “Hmmm”. I think I have to look up all of the ingredients in my toiletries now…