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Active Ingredients in Simple Green

by
author image Joshua Duvauchelle
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.
Active Ingredients in Simple Green
A woman is cleaning her kitchen counter. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Overview

The founders of the California-based Sunshine Makers, Inc., started manufacturing the Simple Green cleaning solution in the mid-1970s as an environmentally friendly method for cleaning the stains left by roasting coffee. It's since become a popular all-purpose cleaner formulated with several active ingredients to help you conquer dirt and grime and keep your home looking pristine.

Water

Water comprises the majority of the liquid you see in your bottle of Simple Green. It provides the base for the product's cleaning chemicals.

Butoxyethanol

Butoxyethanol, a colorless organic liquid, acts as the main cleaning solvent in Simple Green to help clean dirt and grease. Simple Green's material safety data sheet state that it's the only active ingredient in the product that may be dangerous if you're exposed to too much of it, though its 4 percent concentration in Simple Green does not pose a hazard to your health.

Mixed Alcohol Ethoxylate

Mixed alcohol ethoxylate works as a biodegradable surfactant in Simple Green. Like all surfactants, the ethoxylate helps ensure easy spreading of the product when sprayed onto your windows, furniture, floors or other areas that need cleaning.

Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate

Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate crystals are dissolved into the Simple Green solution as a detergent. The pyrophosphate provides some level of foaming and helps clean dirt off of hard surfaces.

Sodium Citrate

Sodium citrate works partly as a stabilizer to maintain the shelf life of Simple Green.

Fragrance and Colorant

The manufacturer of Simple Green adds several unspecified dyes and fragrances to lend the product it's characteristic scent and dark green color.

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