What They’re Not Telling You: Companies That Refuse To Disclose Their Cleaning Product Ingredients


— Why won’t makers tell you what’s in their products? Find out 9 common products you might want to avoid.

Earthjustice lawsuit against cleaning product companies

Many conventional household cleaning products have secret chemical ingredients in them that can cause both human and environmental harm, and the companies making them don’t want you to know what they are!

Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental group focused on using the law to affect environmental change, has recently launched a lawsuit against the biggest offenders.

Using a little-known piece of legislation in New York State that requires manufacturers to report the ingredients in their products on a semi-annual basis, Earthjustice hopes to force big companies to reveal what’s in their cleaning products.

The law hasn’t been used since 1976, but if required to follow it in NY State, Earthjustice hopes the information will become available to all American consumers.

Earthjustice’s Clean Up Their Act lists the companies that haven’t yet disclosed chemicals in their cleaning products.

Here you’ll see some of the most popular products on Earthjustice’s list, but you can find out more by accessing their entire list here. Then use that list to weed out potentially harmful chemicals from your home so that you and the planet can breathe a little easier.

1. Softsoap – Colgate Palmolive

Softsoap by Colgate Palmolive comes in all shapes and sizes, including hand wash, body wash, as well as body creams and more.


How do we know that their motto of “Later up for Good Health” is true if they won’t tell us what goes into the products?

2. Calgon – Reckitt Benckiser

True, Calgon is a 50-year old brand, but who knows what they’ve been putting in their products all this time, especially since they won’t tell us!


3. Vanish – Reckitt Benckiser

Here’s a fabric stain remover that should vanish away the stains in your laundry, but what does this disappearing act cost the environment and human health?


4. Woolite – Reckitt Benckiser

Another heritage fabric washing product, Woolite has been a staple in homes in 30 countries for a long time.


It claims to be gentler on clothes, making it a good choice for delicates, with the added benefit of preventing color fading or shape loss. But how does it achieve these wondrous results?

5. Scrub Free Soap Scum Remover – Church and Dwight

This cleaning product is designed to get your tub and shower cleaner without the use of any elbow grease.

Scrub-Free Soap Scum remover

Its powerful formula removes soap scum and leaves your bathroom smelling good and look sparkling and clean. Wish we knew what chemicals were used to remove all of that soap scum!

6. Brillo Steel Wool Soap Pads

Made to make your cleaning job easier, these steel wool pads are doused with chemicals that make it quick and simple to remove baked-on, dried-on stuff from your pans, pots, and oven.

Brillo Steel Wool Soap PadsBut again, it’s a bit of a mystery as to what these chemicals are.

7. Tide laundry detergent – Proctor & Gamble

As a product synonymous with laundry day, Tide is one of the most popular laundry brands in North America.

tide laundry detergent

But, it too is one of those brands for which you’ll be hard-pressed to find an ingredient list. The company has a great sustainability message, but why aren’t they backing it up by telling us what ingredients they use in their products?

8. Swiffer WetJet – Proctor & Gamble

Sure, it’s convenient and easy to use, but what of the environmental consequences. Not only do these mopping products add piles and piles of waste to landfills, we don’t know what chemicals go into making them.

swiffer wet jetAnd they’re pretty expensive per use compared to a regular mop you’d wash yourself rather than throwing away.

9. Mr. Clean – Proctor & Gamble

If you’ve ever experienced that post-clean headache, it may have come as a result of these highly-perfumed cleaners like Mr. Clean (although many create similar reactions).

Mr clean

Once again, we’re in the dark about how they get their cleaning power.


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