Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Fragrance That Cleans Your House




I’ve been using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day all-purpose cleaner for a few years. It appealed to me initially because it was nontoxic, and reasonable. Two pints of the concentrate, which costs around $8.00, will make sixteen gallons when diluted with water. You can clean just about everything in the house with it. I used to use the Lemon Verbena, but the other day I was at the hardware store, and noticed “Geranium.” I bought it for a major cleaning -- floors, counters, walls, etc.  When the DH got home, he asked me what perfume I was wearing!
There is a good bit of geranium in it, but rose, too. A lovely, not-too-sweet rose.


So, I got curious and visited the company’s web site. Here's what they say about their scents:






Each scent combines natural essential oils in the fragrance blend along with top, middle and base notes. Top notes are the lightest, most whimsical evaporating components in a fragrance; the initial burst that you will notice when experiencing a fragrance. Citrus and fruits are used primarily as top notes. After some time you will start to smell the middle notes, these are slightly heavier, less airy components, often called the “heart” of the fragrance. You will notice these as the fragrance dries down and the top notes have evaporated. Middle notes are mostly comprised of herbs and flowers. Finally you will smell the base notes. Base notes are the heaviest, most substantive ingredients, meaning they will last the longest. These will be what you smell as the fragrance ages, evaporates or dries down. The base notes and components stay the longest, often representing woody notes, resins, vanilla and musk.


Not bad, eh? I don't think I've read a clearer explanation of the notes pyramid than this, anywhere.

When I read “at least 98% naturally derived” on the label I thought, “Yeah, right.” How many times have we seen this one before? ("Water" is the first ingredient, as in nearly every liquid product there is, thereby making it easier for manufacturers to claim that products are "natural," because water is. But I digress.)  They go on to list the essential oils used -- one is Rose Centifolia, familiar to any perfume fan. And I have to say that the rose here smells real. 



The company obviously has its marketing acumen together, as it repackages essentially the same substance as countertop spray, countertop wipes, window spray and more -- all of which I’d just use the diluted all-purpose cleaner for; I mean, why call it “all-purpose” if you also sell endless repackages of the same thing? But this is how marketing is done in the U.S. Create a need for the un-needed.


The "Geranium" scent also comes in powdery scrubs, dish soap, dishwasher detergent and the like. Also candles and those “scent diffusers” one plugs into the wall, which, unless you’re a slob and/or have five big dogs, seem a little much to me.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent product. It cleans well. It smells good. The company uses post-recycled plastic in its containers. It's biodegradable, cruelty-free and the manufacturer  appears to respect and value its employees. 
I used to use a special commercial cleaner for laminate hardwood floors. Then, my cat developed an asthma-like cough. We had to use an inhaler on him -- yes, they make such things, a sort of adapter which is a cat-nose shaped face mask, fitted with one of those  inhaler cartridges people with asthma use. I finally realized that the floor cleaner might be the cause, so I switched to Mrs. Meyers a few years ago. His cough disappeared. I think that’s pretty good evidence that it really is non-toxic.
Here is what Mrs. Meyers does for me: it makes cleaning pleasant, almost fun. (Note that I said “almost.”) It makes my house smell good. Smelling it improves my mood, something like perfume does. What more can you ask from a cleaning product?


Mrs. Meyers Clean Day is widely available at retail in the U.S., and through the company's website.
“Notes” for the essential oils in Mrs. Meyers “Geranium” All-Purpose Cleaner are: Geranium Maculatum, Rose Centifolia, Eugenia Caryophyllus (clove) and Betula Alba (Birch Bark) extract. Other “notes” include peach, cassis, berry, moss and woods. The label also lists chemical ingredients like Sodium Methyl-2 Sulfolaurate; this is not a “100% Natural” product.
Full Disclosure: I bought my bottle at Ace Hardware for $7.99.
The image comes from the Mrs. Meyers website.

10 comments:

Lovera | Your Way to Radiant and Beautiful Skin said...

I'll consider trying this one=) Thanks for sharing.

Elisa said...

Can you use the all-purpose cleaner to wash dishes? I frequently buy Mrs. Meyers dish soap but I wonder if there's a distinct difference between the two versions.

Olfacta said...

Hi Elisa -- I haven't tried that, but I would probably buy the dishwashing liquid for that -- I usually use Dawn, but that's because I'm an oil painter and use it to clean jars and so on. I guess if you wanted to use it, you could -- it seems to get everything else clean, and isn't toxic.

Charna said...

I love Mrs. Meyers! I started using these products when I found a holiday gift set heavily discounted at T.J. Maxx. It smelled like tangerine and cloves, and had dish detergent, counter spray, air freshener and the multipurpose cleaner. I loved it. I haven't tried Geranium yet, but sounds like it's a winner. What I like about Mrs. Meyers and Caldrea is that they make great multipurpose products that don't leave a dull film on shiny appliances like Simple Green and other natural cleansers.

Olfacta said...

Hi Charna -- Agree, and I wish the Simple Green didn't have a smell that almost makes me gag! Because it was the first, and is still around, which is remarkable.

brian said...

I have the geranium air freshener, and aside from something Demeter once made, which I still own and don't want to use and see gone forever, it's the best geranium fragrance I've smelled. The lemon verbena is excellent too, I think.

olenska said...

Every time I go into our local Restoration Hardware store, I see the Meyers Cleaning Products and say "Hm" to myself. Next time, I will actually take a bottle with me to checkout!

Barbara/Perfumaniac said...

What progress was made when everyday cleaning products began to smell good. Meyers, the amazing Method Target products...

It's hard to believe people still use Windex when they can clean windows with something peppermint scented...

Bloody Frida said...

I'm such a dolt! I didn't realise that it was concentrate! d'oh! LOVE the scent!

The Left Coast Nose said...

I *love* Mrs. Meyers!! I once wanted to do a post on why Mrs. Meyers was a better perfume house than Hermes, but I wasn't sure I could stand the hate mail...

Try the lavender-- please! I think there's rose in it, too-- creamy, crisp-- a true pleasure.

I use the lavender laundry soap and softener-- or sometimes, a la Jo Malone, I layer it with the geranium. Gerani-yum, if you ask me!

The only Mrs. M product I can't quite wrap my nose around is the basil toilet bowl scrub-- actually the whole basil line is a bit lost on me...

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