Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent is a biological laundry liquid that I’ve had my eye on for a while. I’ve been aware of the company for a while and they have quite the backstory.
Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer is an Iowa native and mother of nine. The company started when one of her daughters was walking down a cleaning aisle, eyeing all the products with their harsh, stinky chemicals. Right then and there, she had an idea: “Let’s make cleaners that smell nice, like my mom’s garden, but still work like the dickens on daily dirt and grime.”
With “scents that are inspired by a midwest backyard garden, and products that are chock-full of plant-derived ingredients” the company aim to be “continuously channeling Thelma’s passion for the environment”.
As a mother of nine, she was no-nonsense, and had a sensible approach to living a healthy and balanced life. It’s this balance that we hope to achieve with the products we make.
On the face of it, Mrs. Meyers represents a new breed of cleaning product manufacturer who are slowly emerging. The new breed are aware of the problems caused by the traditional approach to manufacturing cleaning products. They understand the impact their products have and have formulated them accordingly.
Unlike the mainstream manufacturers, the new breed of company aren’t scared to disclose their ingredients. Quite the opposite – they shout about them from the rooftops.
Mrs. Meyers are one of these companies.
The company fit the bill. What about the detergent?
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day detergent promotes itself as natural, “rooted in goodness. Squeaky clean, not stinky clean.”
This product boasts it has no parabens, phthalates, phosphate, chlorine or formaldehyde. That’s a pretty encouraging news for the consumer.
The bottle arrived and the branding looked very homely – which I expect the company wants to convey with the name they’ve chosen.
This particular bottle is the “lemon verbena scented.” Version – there’s a multitude of options available.
Opening up the bottle I would agree it was not an unpleasant smell – it smelled a bit like detergent with a bit of cut grass.
The liquid inside was light yellow in color but not lemony, even with citric acid as an ingredient. On a scale of 1 to 5, I gave the smell about a 3.
So how did it wash?
After washing and drying a load I noticed the clothes did look cleaner, slightly brighter. Even my light blue tee shirt had an ground-in orangey stain that was noticeably faded. The white stripes on my green jacket were extremely white, though what looked like old dirt stains didn’t completely come out.
So while it’s not a stain remover, I’d certainly use it for an everyday wash. The results were very good indeed.
And the formulation?
This was the key part for me. Do the ingredients match the claims. And the results are mixed.
There are some really well-chosen ingredients in here.
The four main cleaning agents are:
- Lauryl Glucoside – a mild sugar derived gentle surfactant
- Laureth-7 – a plant-derived, very gentle nonionic cleaning ingredient. However, it’s can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane depending on how it’s manufactured.
- Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate – a coconut derived readily biodegradable gentle surfactant with viscosity modifying characteristics from coconut Another really gentle surfactant
- Coconut Acid – a coconut derived gentle cleanser and emulsifier
This is a biological detergent, meaning additional cleaning enzymes have been added to boost performance.
- Amylase Enzyme Blend – removes starch stains and helps surfactant ingredients clean even better
- Mannanase Enzyme Blend – removes organic stains and helps the detergent ingredients clean even better
- Lipase Enzyme Blend – removes fat and oil stains and helps the detergent ingredients clean even better
In addition, there are three essential oils:
- Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil – provides fragrance
- Abies Alba (Fir) Leaf Oil – provides fragrance and cleaning efficacy
- Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil – provides fragrance and reduces foaming
If this was the crux of the formulation I’d have been singing its praises from the rooftops. Yes, the essential oils do contain fragrance, so those sensitive to fragrances should look elsewhere. But they have been chosen to boost performance as well as scent.
But unfortunately, there are three ingredients in particular that stood out for all the wrong reasons.
- Fragrance – the company have added an artificial fragrance in addition to the essential oils. Why I have no idea. I understand they want to “make cleaners that smell nice” but surely essential oils alone could do that?
And the two preservatives are:
- Methylisothiazolinone – while this is a non-formaldehyde preservative which ther company proudly claim, this preservative won contact allergen of the year in 2013 and caused a media storm as it was singled out for causing an “epidemic of allergies”. Many manufacturers have since stopped using it. I wish they all would. I’m a member of a Facebook group of allergy sufferers and they can suffer dramatic reactions.
- Benzisothiazolinone – Basically see above. Another of the unpronounceable isothiazolinones. This preservative is known human immune system toxicant, and also is classified as an irritant for skin, eyes and lungs.
So do I recommend it?
This is a tough one.
Compared to the more mainstream detergents I definitely would. Absolutely. You know exactly what you’re getting, warts and all.
Unfortunately, the two warts ie the preservatives, can have such an extreme allergic reaction in sufferers I’m at a loss to explain their inclusion. Especially considering how much care and attention they applied in choosing the other ingredients.
It smells good. It washes well. It’s slightly more expensive than supermarket detergents. But I can’t see past those two preservatives.