Mrs. Meyers as Natural as you Think?
UPDATED JUNE 2019
This was a hard post to write over 2 years ago, as I was big fan of Mrs. Meyers.I had been using their products for years and the thought of parting with the brand made me sad. However I have committed to make my home as "clean" and "chemical" free as possible and this brand did not hold up to my standards and I wanted to be transparent with others who want the same thing with the information I find.
I had LOVED Mrs. Meyers products for years and was saddened to find that I cannot trust their ingredients to be “all natural”. We used their, dish soap, hand soap, room spray, candles, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, surface spray, and surface scrub. So basically all of my cleaning products were Mrs. Meyers.
Are MRS. MEYERS Products “Clean” or “Dirty”?
I have been using apps like the EWG and Think Dirty as a quick way to look into brands and products to check up on their ingredients. I like EWG better however they don’t have as many products in their data base as Think Dirty so you have to look up each ingredient separately, which can be very time consuming.
Think Dirty is an app that tells you if your health and beauty product's ingredients are "clean"or "dirty". It is a great way to easily bring awareness of how many "dirty" ingredients are in products that claim to be all natural and clean.
I was surprised during a conversation with a friend (this was a couple of years ago now) when she informed me that most of Mrs. Meyers products showed up as a 9 on the app. (7-9 is considered dirty or bad. I hadn’t even thought to look up the brand since they were marketing themselves as “natural” and “Green” I just assumed that they were a safe bet. However, I was wrong. Every Mrs. Meyers product is “Dirty” according to this app.
The news of the potential harmful ingredients was a real bummer. If you have ever washed your hands with any of Mrs. Meyers soaps I am sure you remember the first time... Maybe thinking "wow this smells amazing", "I need to switch to this great smelling natural product", "I can't believe I ever used anything else!" Their products smell dang good but their ingredient, maybe not worth it.
The Dangers of “Fragrance” in your products
Once I began the dive into researching this brand I found the main reason Mrs. Meyers products are questionable is because of the fragrance they add to all of their products. Why is this a big deal? The fragrance industry is protected by patent/ trade secret laws, which allows them to hide ingredients.
When you see an ingredient labeled "Fragrance" with no foot note beware. Legally there can be a combination of nearly 3,000 ingredients under the one name “fragrance”.
So these "carefully selected synthetic ingredients " I know synthetic isn’t always bad, they are certainly safe synthetics out there but what exactly are these ingredients? Let’s continue with why this is potentially bad.
What are the possible side effected from using synthetic ingredients for the purpose of improving the scent? Multiple sources such as Think Dirty, I Read Labels for you, the OCA, and the EWG all show Mrs. Meyers products as having potential dangers.
Fragrance mixtures have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, potential harms to the reproductive system, a known endocrine disruptor, and a possible carcinogen.
There are over 3,000 other potential ingredients hidden under the term “fragrance”. A few of examples of toxic ingredients are phthalates, octoxynols and nonoxynols. All three of these are known hormone disruptor and phthalates are linked with birth defects specially in baby boys.
Even as I updated this article I noticed a candle I had once loved changed their ingredients from “essential oils” to “100% natural fragrance”. Did they actually changed the ingredients?They claim they did not, but that term fragrance could have a lot more than just essential oils in it. This is a great reminder to check in with your products every few months to make sure they aren’t making this subtle changes.
MRS. Meyers, Additional Questionable Ingredients
Another ingredient in most Mrs. Myers products is methylisothiazolinon. Methylisothiazolinon was named allergen of the year a few years back. Linked to skin issues, high concern for acute aquatic toxicity, and neurotoxicity. Methylisothiazolinon has heavy restrictions/ is banned in Europe, Canada, and Japan.Ranking at a whopping 7 on the EWG this ingredient is one to be avoided!
Mrs. Meyers and Other Brands that use Greenwashing
What is greenwashing? Greenwashing is when companies make unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the environmental or health benefits of a product. This is commonly seen when brands use terms like “all natural” or “green” when the products are not.
Mrs. Meyers is not the only brand that uses green washing as a way to make you think their products are safer than they really are. There are many other products/ brands who also claim to be all natural or green products who are not.
I am not trying to single out Mrs. Meyers, they are just the brand that I was using for just about all my cleaning products. It was also becoming increasingly popular in my community and people thought it was a good natural option.
Simple Green and Method, and the new Target line Everspring are a few other companies to watch out for. If you are shopping in a health food store this does not mean all their products are safe, read the labels and try to avoid the ingredient “fragrance”.
Other brands are adding questionable ingredients into their products as well and that is a bummer but let’s dive in a bit more to why Fragrance is so bad and should be avoided.
As someone who has hormone imbalance and cares a lot about reproductive health, my main concern is with potential harms to the reproductive system.
Once you Know Better, Do Better
I think my generation as a whole is so much more aware of how what we eat and what we allow our body to come into contact with affects us. We want all around natural health, good ingredients, good products that are safe and we have no problem keeping companies accountable.
Our environment is increasingly getting worse every year, we have so many toxins our bodies are fighting to get rid of, some we are aware of and some not. So to me why allow anymore potential harmful toxins in when our bodies are already working so hard?
Once you begin to research ingredients and really get to know brands you may find yourself disappointed and even discouraged. Products may go from having great ingredients to ones you no longer approve of. Don’t give up! It is so worth using and loving your safer products.
Vote with your dollar. Don’t buy from brands who use green washing techniques and questionable ingredients. Once you know better, do better!
Are Mrs. Meyers Products Worth The Potential Harm?
Here is what it really comes down to for me, yes I ADORE the smell of just about all Mrs. Meyers products, but now knowing what I know is it something I feel comfortable using every single day?
Unfortunately NO, even though I LOVE the smell, it is not worth it to me to have Mrs. Meyers products a part of my everyday. I do not want any unnecessary potentially dangerous ingredients in my household products especially when there are so many other great options available with much cleaner ingredients.
SO for me NO Mrs Meyers products aren’t worth the potential harm to my or my family’s health.
Safe Alternatives to Mrs. Meyers Products
Okay so finally to wrap this post up, Now what?? Thanks Nichole for ruining my favorite cleaning products, what am I supposed to do now. I was right there with ya a few years ago!
Here are my current (2019) Mrs. Meyers Swaps that I have grown to love!
Alternative for Mrs Meyers Laundry Detergent:
This has been the laundry detergent I have been using for almost 2 years now.I switched over right after Mrs. Meyers and really like it! Our clothes smell fresh and this detergent cleans really well.
I purchase in a 2 pack for convenience. I also have purchased their individual non scented pods which are an amazing travel hack.
Seventh Generation is not perfect and has some ingredients that the EWG has rated a “C” I do admire this brand because they do disclose their ingredients and their products work really well for us! This is a great example though where you should do your own research before deciding what is best for you and your family.
Alternative for Mrs Meyers Dryer Sheets
Great alternative to dryer sheet. They last a really long time and I simply add a few drops of essential oil onto the ball the last 10 minutes of the load drying for a fresh scent.
Alternative for Mrs Meyers Candle:
I do like to diffuse essential oils instead of candles however sometimes that just wont do and you need to light a candle.
Beeswax Candles are a favorite of mine. They do not have much of a smell but purify the air a give you that nice cozy feel. I like to find mine at farmers markets when possible but I linked a good one available online above.
Manready Mercantile Bergamot Teak is my all time favorite candle. It smells amazing and is made with essential oils and clean burning soy wax. All of their candles are amazing but this one is seriously heavenly.
Alternative for Mrs Meyers Room Spray:
I diffuse essential oils and this keeps the rooms in out house smelling fresh! However sometimes rooms need a little extra help!
This is still my favorite and go to recipe for a simple DIY ROOM SPRAY
Alternatives for Mrs Meyers Surface Spray:
Another product I prefer to make my own, I typically use the On Guard concentrate and mix with filtered water.
Alternative for Mrs Meyers hand soap
Currently loving the Orange Blossom Honey Hand Soap for Trader Joes. Its about $4 at TJ so I recommend buying there vs online :)
Alternative for Mrs Meyers Dish Soap
I have been using Seventh Generation’s Dish Soap since I stopped using Mrs Meyer and have been really happy with how well it cleans the dishes. We don’t have a dishwasher so It is important to me that our dishes get clean without being exposed to harsh chemicals and artificial fragrance.
Brands To Check Out (I’m Not Currently Using):
Biokleen (Personally don’t love this one, however I do know a lot of people who do so may be worth checking out).
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap ( I always have an unscented and peppermint bottle on hand for quick DIYs)
One last note, my goal for this post was not to scare anyone out of using Mrs. Meyer, but to open up the conversation about the fact that often times we are not given the full story when it comes to the ingredients in our everyday products. Care about what you are putting on and in your body, share with others, and keep companies accountable because once we know better, we need to do better. Please feel free to comment below any thoughts, opinions, or your own research!