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Are Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products Safe?

Quite a few of my friends who are into organic food and healthy lifestyles use Mrs. Meyer’s products.  These products are available at almost every grocery store and are widely advertised on the Internet.  Of course, I couldn’t pass this brand by, especially after hearing from many people that their products are natural and even organic.  So, in this post, we will discuss Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products and their ingredients. And you will see whether they are safe and whether what people say about them is true.

Are Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products Safe? A photo of fresh clean drying laundry with the green valley in the background.

Do natural cleaning products and organic cleaning products exist?

Because of the high search volume for these items on the internet, it seems like a very legitimate question.  Let’s give an answer to it.

Can cleaning products be natural?

To begin, the term “natural” has no legal definition, and, thus, its meaning may differ depending on the context.  Even though a product may contain natural ingredients, such as extracts and oils, it does not mean that the whole product is natural.  Additionally, if a label describes its ingredients as “naturally-derived,” it can be rather misleading.  For example, Cocamide DEA which is considered a carcinogen is derived from coconut oil.  Another example is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which can also be made from coconut oil.  But what does the derivation process involve? 

Firstly, coconut oil is turned into fatty acids that are used to derive lauryl alcohol.  Then, lauryl alcohol is treated with sulfur trioxide gas or chlorosulfuric acid to produce Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.  Finally, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is treated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make Sodium Laureth Sulfate.  This process is called ethoxylation.  As a result, carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane is produced and can remain in the final product.  But you won’t find 1,4-dioxane on the label, because it is not an ingredient but an impurity that does not legally have to be disclosed.

So, are Mrs. Meyer’s products natural?  We will find out as soon as we look at their ingredients.

Can cleaning products be organic?

Often people refer to cleaning products as “organic.”  If you want to be sure that the product you are using is organic, you need to look for an organic certification, such as the USDA Organic logo.  Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products do not have an organic certification, so they are not organic. 

As you may know, for a product to be certified “organic” by the USDA, at least 95% of its ingredients must be of agricultural origin and organic.  Besides, the USDA has very strict regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. 

Thus, if you are looking for an organic laundry detergent, head to my post about two certified organic brands.

Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products

The Mrs. Meyer’s products that we will talk about include household cleaners, laundry detergent, dish soap, and hand soap. 

Mrs. Meyer’s household cleaners

To begin, here are the Mrs. Meyer’s Mint Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner ingredients:

Water; Decyl Glucoside; [Fragrance: Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil ; Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil; Dipropylene Glycol; Methyldihydrojasmonate; 2,6-Dimethyl-7-Octen-2-Ol; Ethylene Brassylate; Amyl Cinnamal; Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil; 3,7-Dimethyloctan-3-Ol; Benzyl Benzoate; Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil; Linalyl Acetate; Limonene]; Lauryl Glucoside; Sodium Citrate; Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate; Citric Acid; Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate; Methylisothiazolinone; Benzisothiazolinone (source)

Contains Fragrance Allergens

The ingredients I would like to draw your attention to are fragrance and preservatives.

Fragrance in Mrs. Meyer’s products

Above all, I want to praise Mrs. Meyer’s for disclosing their fragrance ingredients.  Because manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in their fragrance formulations, many times we see ‘fragrance’ on products’ labels as if it were just one ingredient.  But it is not.  That is to say, fragrance is a mixture of multiple ingredients, many of which can cause allergies.  When you do not know what the ingredients are, you can’t make a fully informed decision about the product.  Therefore, I applaud Mrs. Meyer’s for providing a full list of their fragrance ingredients. In addition, they also warn us that the products contain fragrance allergens. 

For instance, the ingredients in the Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products that may be associated with allergy are Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalyl Acetate, and Limonene.  As for the other fragrance ingredients, even though their rating is 1 (with 10 as most toxic), they have limited safety data as indicated in the EWG Skin Deep database.  

Preservatives among Mrs. Meyer’s ingredients

The preservatives I see in many household cleaners as well as in some Mrs. Meyer’s products are methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone. 

Methylisothiazolinone has a rating of 4-7 out of 10 in the Skin Deep database and is associated with contact allergy.  (By the way, the EWG seems to be making a lot of changes to their ratings recently.  For example, Methylisothiazolinone’ rating used to be 7 and now it is 4-7.)  Moreover, the American Contact Dermatitis Society named this ingredient Contact Allergen of the Year for 2013.  Further, lab studies on the brain cells of mammals suggest that MI may be neurotoxic.

As for Benzisothiazolinone, the Skin Deep database rates it at 3-6 (used to be 6).  The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) considers benzisothiazolinone safe for use as a preservative in cosmetics products up to 0.01% with respect to systemic toxicity.  However, the SCCS states that Benzisothiazolinone is a known sensitizer.  So far, there is no information on what may be safe levels of exposure to benzisothiazolinone in cosmetic products from the point of view of sensitization.  Until safe levels of exposure have been established, the use of benzisothiazolinone in cosmetic products as a preservative or for other functions cannot be considered safe in relation to sensitization (source).

Certainly, the preservatives in Mrs. Meyer’s products are not the best choices and do not add to their safety.  Therefore, if you use Mrs. Meyer’s cleaner, please wear gloves.

Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent

Next, let us look at the ingredients of one of the Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products – Lavender Laundry Detergent:

Water; Laureth-7; Lauryl Glucoside; Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate; Fatty Acid, C8 – C18 And C18 Unsatd.; [Fragrance: (Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool); Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil ; Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil ; Linalool; Geraniol; Geranyl Acetate; Coumarin; Phenethyl Alcohol; P-Methoxybenzyl Acetate; Hexyl Salicylate; Camphor; Pinene; Limonene; Lavandula Hybrida Oil; Dipropylene Glycol; Linalyl Acetate; Limonene; Pinus Palustris Oil; Eucalyptol]; Sodium Citrate; Subtilisins (Protease) Enzyme Blend; Amylase Enzyme Blend; Mannanase Enzyme Blend; Lipase Enzyme Blend; Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate; Glycerin; Calcium Chloride; Sodium Chloride; Sodium Sulfate; Potassium Hydroxide; Methylisothiazolinone; Benzisothiazolinone (source)         

Contains Fragrance Allergens

We can see that the preservatives we discussed above are here, too.  Also, there are some additional ingredients in fragrance that are associated with allergy.  Besides, there is an ethoxylated ingredient in this laundry detergent. 

Fragrance ingredients of concern

Besides limonene that we talked about before, there are such concerning ingredients as Coumarin, Geraniol, and Linalool.  They are rated between 2 and 5 in the Skin Deep database (with 10 as most toxic), have fair research data, and pose a risk of allergy and immunotoxicity.  I hope the day will come when Mrs. Meyer’s products will include unscented versions. 

Ethoxylated ingredients in Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products

The ethoxylated ingredient in Mrs. Meyer’s detergent is Laureth-7 with a rating of 3 and limited data in the Skin Deep database.  Because it is the second on the ingredient list, its amount is quite high.

To clarify, here is what I do not like about ethoxylated ingredients.  They are created through the process of ethoxylation in which carcinogenic ethylene oxide is reacted with other ingredients to make them less harsh on the skin.  As a result, carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane is created and can remain in the end product as a contaminant.  In addition, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies show that 1,4-dioxane can penetrate human skin.  As consumers, we do not know if there is any residue left in the products we use.  However, I do not believe products that we use on bodies or at home should be made with carcinogenic chemicals because they are not good for the environment and workers.  That is why I don’t recommend Mrs. Meyer’s products – or any other products for that matter – that contain ethoxylated ingredients.

Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap

To continue, these are the ingredients of Mrs. Meyer’s Rose Dish Soap:

Water; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; Lauryl Glucoside; Lauramine Oxide; Polysorbate 20; [Fragrance: (Citronellal, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool); Rosa Damascena Flower Oil; Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil]; Glycerin; Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice; Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate; Citric Acid; Methylisothiazolinone; Benzisothiazolinone; Sodium Chloride (source)

Contains Fragrance Allergens

As you can see, the dish soap ingredients also have methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone preservatives.  In addition to some concerning fragrance ingredients mentioned above, there is Hexyl Cinnamal.  The Skin Deep database rates it at 3 (with 10 as most toxic), because it may cause allergy and immunotoxicity.  Moreover, there is Polysorbate 20 which is an ethoxylated ingredient. 

Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap (H3)

Finally, these are the ingredients in one of the other Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products – Rose Liquid Hand Soap:

Water; Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine; Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate; Glycerin; [Fragrance: Rosa Damescena Flower Oil; Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil; (Citronellal, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool)]; Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil; Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice; Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate; Citric Acid; Sodium Chloride; Potassium Sorbate; Sodium Benzoate (source)

The fragrance ingredients contain some of those that we discussed above – geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, and linalool. On the other hand, it is great to see that not all Mrs. Meyer’s products have methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone preservatives.  We will talk about the ones used in the hand soap further.  Also, there are surfactants in this product that I want to discuss.

Preservatives in Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap

The two preservatives used in Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap are Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate.

Both Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate are food-grade preservatives.  You can see them in processed non-organic food.  Again, that does not mean that they are safe to eat.  However, I believe that they are much safer than methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone.  In fact, they are on my approved list of preservatives. I recommend products containing them on my blog.  By the way, the absence of preservatives in a product is concerning too and sometimes even dangerous.  You can read more about that in my post about WaterWipes baby wipes.

As a matter of fact, Sodium Benzoate may cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive people if used in concentrations over 5%  (source).  However, according to the Ingredient Glossary, there is less than 1% of sodium benzoate in Mrs. Meyer’s products.  

Note that Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap contains citric acid, too.  If you are concerned about the interaction between sodium benzoate and citric acid, please check out my Sodium Benzoate & Citric Acid Myth post. 

Surfactants in Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products

The first surfactant is Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine. It is rated 1 (with 10 as most toxic) and has limited data in the EWG Skin Deep database.  Nonetheless, in my opinion, it should have a higher rating for the following reasons.  Firstly, “with limited data” means that there are not enough safety studies.  Secondly, it is a close relative of cocamidopropyl betaine which was named the Allergen of the Year in 2004 from the American Contact Dermatitis Society.  In my post about the safety of cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, you can learn about the chemical used to produce this ingredient, and also why it is considered a sensitizer.

The other two surfactants in the Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap are Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate and Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate.  My concern about them is that they have no safety data.

In conclusion, I believe Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap is not bad. That is to say, it is an improvement over a lot of other hand soaps you can read about in my Non-Toxic Hand Soap guide.  However, you can do better if you want to. 

Grove Collaborative and Mrs. Meyer’s products

Grove Collaborative is an online store for those seeking non-toxic products.  Currently, they send Mrs. Meyer’s products for free if your order exceeds $20.  After a brief look into the Grove Collaborative, I can tell you that not all their products meet my safety requirements. Thus, it’s not one of those companies where you can say that all the products are toxic, or all are safe.  Hence, if you seek help in determining their products’ safety, book a consultation with me.

Conclusion about Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products

In short, to answer the question posed in the title as to the safety of Mrs. Meyer’s products, unfortunately, I do not recommend them.  However, there are noticeable changes in their products, which I attribute to consumer power.  Therefore, thank you, my reader, for being active in the consumer market and affecting manufacturers’ decisions.

The first change in Mrs. Meyer’s products as I mentioned above is the disclosure of their fragrance ingredients and warning us that there are allergens among them.  Another change is that Mrs. Meyer’s does not claim any longer to have natural cleaning products.  

As always, I emphasize the importance of looking at the ingredients.  My Superpower Cheat Sheet will help you estimate a product’s safety in a matter of seconds.  Please feel free to visit my IRLFY Shop to check out the products I approve of and recommend. I like these safe cleaning products especially.

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42 thoughts on “Are Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products Safe?”

    1. Alina, you are the third person who asked me about Honest company. I got their product samples and reviewing them right now. Thank you for your comment!

      1. Hi! I just read your article. I use Mrs Meyers dish soap, hand soap, surface cleaner and bathroom cleaner. I recently had a friend (who sells essential oils) send me an article really bashing the brand and it’s ingredients. I appreciate your article because it points out some questionable ingredients but also says that it’s one of the better ones out there considering there are very harmful products in the shelves. Have you visited the mrsmeyers.com/ingredients-glossary ? I went there after reading your article and looked up the ingredients you wrote about. If you have looked at it, or decide to, please share your thoughts on the definitions they supply. Hard to know what to believe these days. Even harder to understand why products are being sold when they are so clearly harmful.
        Thanks for your research!

        1. Hi, Kim: Yes, I visited their glossary. I looked at the safety of the ingredients by reading CIR reports and medical studies. I do not take companies’ safety claims at face value. ~Irina

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog…thanks for making sense of these crazy labels. So regarding the article I read about Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day hand soap…I too am using cute liquid soap dispensers in my home and want to find large refills of a safe soap. Did you ever end up finding one? I don’t even know where to begin with this one…
    Thanks,
    Joan Miller

    1. Thank you for the nice comment, Joan. It is funny that you asked because I knew that I have not completed my hand soap series but I thought since nobody asked for it I can work on something else. Anyway, all the liquid soaps I’ve looked at have synthetic surfactants and preservatives and I am not a big fan of either. My all time favorite is Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. But you have to use foaming dispensers with it; otherwise, it is too thin. I hope it helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

    2. I got this hand soap thinking it was only scented with essential oils. I am here looking it up from Google. Because the scent of the soap makes my nose burn. It’s very similar to what an air freshener or perfume does to me. If they make this product unscented that may be the only way I could use it.

  2. Kathy Anderson-Scott

    Please think also of all the extra energy requirements of liquid soaps – you are essentially moving water around just so you can use a dispenser and perhaps save a little ‘mess’. Definitely on the ‘unnecessary’ list of products for a sustainable planet. This was pointed out to me many years ago and I went straight back to good old-fashioned bars of soap (easy to find without any nasties) and unquestionably environmentally superior too. WIN WIN 🙂

  3. On my quest to find completely honest natural products in store has been hard .I turn to the back and find a list of unnatural ingredients one that pops up on almost all us sls it is also understand a list indifferent names but same thing basically .so I have been using 1/4 Dr.bonners Castile soap peppermint mixed with distilled water and 5 drops tea tree oil for killing terms as a hand soap in a old foaming hand pump.kids and I love it but my dad hates it 😂.you can add any of your fav essential oils I suppose .so far this works great for us but that’s just for hand soap .I sure would love to find honest natural products !!!!!

  4. I am so happy that I found You! I have a small boy with many allergies and sensitivities. Along with that he has autism so it can be difficult to know if something is bothering him so I chose to know what I’m using before hand just in case. Label reading is very hard to understand. Thank you!

  5. I don’t know what you guys are looking at But my bottle of meyers hand soap says it has formaldehyde in it,, since when it that natural?

  6. shirley redford

    I have chemical reactions to lots soaps, cleaning supplies etc. I usually buy free of all dyes, chemicals and perfumes. Is ur products free of these

  7. I used Mrs Meyers body wash one time and my skin has never been the same ever since. I’ve never had dry skin before the day I used it… I’ve always had very fair skin, but also very soft. Every area of my skin, where I used the body wash, became dry, irritated and tight. Like a burning feeling. Very very dry. It’s never recovered since I tried it the one time. At least I didn’t use it on my face, so its still soft and not painfully dry and damaged like the rest… Maybe it burned my skin? Idk… My skin has never been in this condition before I tried this product. I thought I’d try a different type of body cleanser after seeing all the ads and positive reviews for this brand. …Foolish blind trust… 🙁 Hope this coment helps someone at least…

  8. Hi Irina,

    I recently watched a documentary on the chemicals that are not disclosed on the products we use everyday. It freaked me out and now I want to ditch all my cleaners, body products and even my kids clothing! I have been looking into young living essential oils and their cleaning products. Any thoughts on whether these essential oils are safe? Thank you!

  9. Hello and thank you for the very important work you are doing. Do you have a preference for an essential oil company ?

  10. Have you ever done any reviews on Amway or Shaklee cleaning products? I find it strange that other reviewer’s never include these two companies in their reviews. They say they are very healthy, but I would like to have an independent review of these products.

    1. I used to buy Shaklee products and then I found out that they have been sold several times. Look at the ingredients! I now use basic baking soda for cleaning and Bob’s Red Mill for personal care, and Vinegar for cleaning. So much less expensive! And Bob’s Red Mill is processed differently, at least the article I read a long time ago said so. And Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t have a chemical smell. I also use their oatmeal, which I love! I only use Dawn dish detergent on my dishes and I use it for cleaning, but not hand washing. I found it to drying to my skin. You can also look products up at ewg.org They did not rate Shaklee very high.

  11. I recently switched my family to using Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for bathing and hand soap. They hate the scummy feeling while bathing and we can’t get the soap to lather enough to bathe. I was looking at Mrs. Meyers soaps and I’m grateful for your review. I really don’t know what to do now. Can you suggest how to create more lather in Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap? And what is the scrum feeling while we bathing? Thanks for you help.

    1. Hi, Patsy: it sounds like you have hard water. It is true saponified soap does not work well with it. I’d go with EO or Seventh Generation. Thank you for asking. Let me know if you need more help. ~Irina

      1. Thanks, Irina, for the info. I checked out the 7th Generation ingredients. Lots of long chemical words. Do you feel the ingredients are safe to shower with? Just read that South Texas (where I live) has hard water so confirms your suspicions. Thanks again for your help. 🙂

        1. Hi, Patsy! It depends… If you can’t use regular soap because of hard water, you’re looking for an option that you can find in most stores or Amazon, and you don’t have individual sensitivity to chemicals in the 7th Generation hand liquid, this is a good option for you. It does not have known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or allergens. Please know that I provide paid services, consultations and membership, with which you can get more help and attention. Thank you! ~Irina

  12. I I used the rosemary handsoap I believe it was .. yesterday and had a instant severe allergic reaction to it. I was itchy red breaking out all over itchy throat coughing started choking had a hard time breathing I took benadryl and it helped before any swelling happened but worst allergic reaction I’ve experienced so far to anything

  13. Hi!
    Can you please tell me if you know anything about “Branch Basics” and what you
    Think?! Seems too good to be true 🤔 hehehe

    Thanks!
    Larissa 🙃

  14. Hi Irina, thank you for your work.

    A big use of hand soaps are at restaurants – where often there is no choice but to use their product. Most restaurants use what seem to be bargain basement soaps – obviously – can’t blame them. But from a ‘green’ perspective are they really that bad? After a bit of digging i found that a lot of restaurants used NOBLE CHEMICAL INC. products. Here are the ingredients listed for one of their hand soaps. Would love to hear your perspective on these ingredients – how do they compare to brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method, etc:

    https://cdnimg.webstaurantstore.com/documents/pdf/147pearl_1g_999pearl.pdf

  15. Would you recommend using Dr. Bronner’s body wash or bar soap and would any scent be okay to use in the shower.

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