Simple Green FAQ

1.     Is Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner Biodegradable?


Yes. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is readily decomposed by naturally occurring microorganisms. Simple Green meets the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) requirements for ready biodegradability. ("Ready" biodegradability is the highest biodegradable classification that a product can achieve.)


2.     How is Simple Green different from other cleaners?

Simple Green started over twenty-five years ago as a concentrated, non-toxic and biodegradable cleaner long before it was trendy or mandated by law for products to be environmentally friendly.


Concentrated: As a concentrate, Simple Green is more economical, versatile and uses less packaging than most other cleaning products. Simple Green can be custom diluted with water on practically any washable surface. (SEE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS FOR MORE DETAILED USAGE INFORMATION.)

Non-Toxic: Check the labels for other products on the shelf and very few will say Non-Toxic right on their label. Simple Green is the safer alternative to toxic cleaners, solvents and bleaches. Simple Green is more responsible to you, your children, your pets and your environment.

Readily Biodegradable: Simple Green is readily decomposed in the environment by naturally occurring microorganisms. Simple Green meets the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommendations for ready biodegradability. Simple Green's biological oxygen demand (BOD), as a percentage of its chemical oxygen demand (COD) after 4, 7, and 11 days is 56%, 60%, and 70% respectively.

Independent Laboratory Data: All of Simple Green's claims are actually credentials, backed up by over $3 million spent on independent laboratory testing for verification.


3.     Can I use Simple Green in the kitchen?

Yes, Simple Green can be used to clean ovens, range hoods, vents, counters, stove-tops, refrigerators, sinks, floors, polished marble, stainless steel, chrome, most plastics and cabinets. Simple Green is authorized by the USDA (United States Department of Agricultural) for use in food processing establishments. Food-contact surfaces should be rinsed after cleaning. Please read and follow all label instructions.


4.     Can I use Simple Green in the bathroom?

Yes, Simple Green can be used to clean (not disinfect) porcelain, ceramic tile, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, faucets and fixtures, glass shower doors, floors counters, aluminum, chrome and stainless steel. Use with adequate ventilation and please read and follow all label directions.


5.     Is Simple Green safe to use in the laundry?

Yes. Simple Green boosts cleaning in the washing machine. Please read and follow the label instructions for laundry use.


6.     Can I use Simple Green on my car or in my garage?

Yes, Simple Green can be used both on the interior and exterior of your car. In the interior, use Simple Green for deodorizing and cutting grease & dirt on carpet and upholstery. On the exterior, Simple Green is effective at removing grease, dirt, brake dust, rubber oxidation, road tar, bugs and oil trails on the grills, headlamps, bumpers, wheels, trailers and more. Keep Simple Green in the garage for cleaning tools, workbenches, shop floors, garage doors, oil pans, and wash basins. (*Note: The Clean Water Act prohibits putting anything down storm drains. When washing your vehicle, let rinses fall on dirt or grass. The rinse won't harm grass, trees, shrubs, etc., and the natural microorganisms in the soil will breakdown any grease or oil.)


7.     Is Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner non-toxic?

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has been classified as a whole for a toxicity rating in accordance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This is because Simple Green is used in the commercial workplace as well as in the consumer household.

In reality, toxicity is relative. Everything is toxic in large enough quantities. A person could consume enough milk, chocolate or even water to cause death.


8.     Can I use Simple Green to clean my drains?

Yes. Although Simple Green will not always break apart complex clogs that contain a variety of things (hair, food, grease, etc.), it can be instrumental in keeping your drains free of clogs. When cleaning your kitchen floor with Simple Green, try mixing the dilution in your sink (with the drain plug in, of course,) clean and recharge your sponge-mop directly in the sink while cleaning the floor, and then pull the plug and let the dirty Simple Green/water flow down the drain. Or, mix the dilution in a bucket, mop the floor, and then pour the bucket down the sink drain. (You may need to have a drain-sieve in place when you do this).

A good regular maintenance tip is to plug the sink, fill the sink with hot water and add 1 cup Simple Green for small sinks (bathrooms) or 2 cups for large sinks (kitchen), and then (wearing a rubber glove to protect from the hot water,) unplug the sink and let the mixture flow down the drain. Regular maintenance of drains can greatly diminish or eliminate clogging problems.


8.     What is the fragrance in Simple Green?

Simple Green is scented with synthetic sassafras - a clean, licorice-type herbal scent.


9.     Can I mix Simple Green with bleach or ammonia?

No. We recommend that you NEVER mix household chemicals. First, mixing bleach or ammonia with Simple Green just detracts from the positive qualities of the chemicals - bleach won't whiten or disinfect as well, ammonia won't clean as well, Simple Green won't clean or deodorize as well. You will get better results when using Simple Green separately from bleach - or from ammonia. Simple Green is neither chlorinated or ammoniated, however, DO NOT MIX BLEACH OR CHLORINATED PRODUCTS WITH AMMONIA OR AMMONIATED PRODUCTS. THIS CAN RESULT IN HIGHLY TOXIC FUMES.


10.     Can Simple Green be disposed of down storm drains?

No. The Clean Water Act of 1995 protects surface water and groundwater quality by forbidding putting any foreign material down storm drains. Do not dispose of degreasing rinseates into or near storm drains. (Here's a tip: For home vehicle washing or exterior home cleaning, allow the used Simple Green/water/dirt & oil mixture to fall onto the ground or grass. The non-toxic formula won't harm grass, plants, shrubs, trees - and the natural bacteria in the soil will consume the hydrocarbons (greases & oils) that come off in the rinse. Just don't leave standing puddles of Simple Green that pets or wild animals could drink - - as it could give them diarrhea.)


11.     What are the ingredients in Simple Green?

Simple Green is a blend of water, surfactant (surface-active) agents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, color and scent. Surfactant agents lift grease and oil up off of the surface, wetting agents help Simple Green penetrate soils, and emulsifiers put those soils into solution so that they can be washed away.


12.     Why aren't the ingredients listed on the label?

Simple Green is non-toxic. Therefore, the listing of ingredients on the label is not required by law. Simple Green's unique formula is protected under the US Trade Secrecy Act and has been extensively tested to verify the product's credentials. Simple Green complies with all current labeling requirements for ingredient disclosure on cleaning products. If you have an allergy, medical reason, or technical reason for wanting to know if Simple Green contains a particular item, please contact us at 800-YEL-DAWG and we will help you as best we can.


13.     What type of packaging does Simple Green use?

Simple Green is being packaged in more and more PETE (Polyethylene Terephlate) containers.

For many years as our company grew, it was impossible for the switch from less environmentally-responsible PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) to readily recyclable PETE to occur because our volume did not warrant a share of the PETE market that would be economically feasible for our company and our customers. However, our volume has grown to the point where we can now command more of the market share of PETE and still continue to offer our customers and attractive purchase price and hit a profit point to stay in business. We will continue moving more of our products into PETE in addition to searching for more packaging that utilizes post-consumer recycled plastic or source-reduced plastic. Because Simple Green is an effective emulsifier, we must also take care not to package in plastic that is too thin or flimsy. For many years, our bulk containers (pails, drums and totes) have been packaged in environmentally-friendly HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) which is also readily recyclable.


14.     Why do you put Simple Green concentrate in a spray bottle if you can't use it straight from the bottle?

Rather than only putting Simple Green in refill containers (which are also available) we wanted to package our product in a sprayer that is high-quality, reusable, and labeled properly for using Simple Green. The Simple Green Trigger Spray bottles are designed to deliver Simple Green solutions in droplet, rather than fine mist, form so that the user is less likely to inhale the surfactants. When first purchasing Simple Green in a trigger spray bottle, it is most economical to pour the product into a clean empty water bottle and then dilute back into the spray bottle. Then, purchase of refill bottles is most economical.


15.     My home is on a septic system. Is it safe to use Simple Green?

Yes. Under normal household use, Simple Green won't harm the helpful bacterial and enzymes that are used to keep septic systems free-flowing. The readily biodegradable Simple Green formula breaks down quickly in the leach-field, and underground water tables are not adversely effected.


16.     Can I use Simple Green on marble?

It is safe to use Simple Green on true, polished marble. Caution is given for use on cultured marble, which is actually a matrix of marble dust or chips and a resin binder. Low-grade cultured marble can sometimes be damaged by using Simple Green too strong or leaving it on the surface for too long. Simple Green has an alkaline pH, and is water-based, so it meets most manufacturers' recommendations for cleaning products to be used on marble. Caution is also given for use on unfinished or honed marble, as sometimes the green color of Simple Green can stain unprotected marble, particularly on light-colored marble.


17.     Is Simple Green safe to use on my hardwood floors and cabinets?

Please read and follow label directions with regard to wood. We recommend using a 1:30 dilution ratio and not putting Simple Green on unfinished wood.


18.     Can Simple Green be used around birds or to clean birdcages?


Simple Green can be safely used around birds if certain common sense precautions are taken. Birds are keenly sensitive to foreign agents in their environment, so it is important to follow these precautions.

  1. Remove the bird from the cage. If possible, place them on a perch or in a travel cage in a different room.
  2. Mix a 30:1 solution of water and Simple Green (add an ounce of Simple Green to about 1 quart of water. If more solution is needed, add four ounces Simple Green to 1 gallon of water.)
  3. Using a sponge, scrubbing pad, or non-metallic bristle brush, wash down the cage. If the cage is really large, start at the top and work downward, stopping after sections to rinse the cage so that the Simple Green doesn't dry on the cage (it's harder to remove if allowed to dry.)
  4. Rinse each section, or the entire cage, by either hosing down (if outside) or using a bucket of clean water and a cloth or sponge to rinse down bars, perches, toys, food and water dishes, base and legs. Don't leave small bits of foamy Simple Green clinging to cage.
  5. Let cage dry and then set it back up for the bird (paper or litter, feed and water, toys, etc.)
  6. Return the bird to the cage.

You'll be reassured to know that we have three birds in our headquarters office - an African Grey Scarlet, a Severe Macaw Oscar, and an Umbrella Cockatoo Jimmy. All three birds are healthy and (I hope) happy - - and have their cages regularly cleaned with Simple Green.


19.     Do any Simple Green products contain CFCs or ozone depleting substances?


No. All Simple Green products are CFC-free and utilize a non-CFC butane & propane propellant. The Montreal Protocol and the US Clean Air Act, Sections 602 and 611, and various international agreements outline the reduction of use, and ultimately the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons and other ozone depleting chemicals. Simple Green products do not contain any ozone depleting substances


20.     What causes the destruction of the ozone layer, and why is this important?


The ozone layer shields the earth from ultraviolet radiation harmful to biological life. This destruction of ozone is caused by the breakdown of certain compounds containing chlorine and/or bromine (chlorofluorocarbons or halons) which then reach the stratosphere and catalytically destroy ozone molecules (see Chlorofluorocarbons, Montreal Protocol and U.S. Clean Air Act). Simple Green contains no ozone depleting substances


21.     Can Simple Green be used in a Pressure Washer / Power Washer?

Simple Green does a great job when used in or with a pressure/power washer.
It can be used to clean vehicles, concrete, siding, lawn furniture, canvas, etc.

For cleaning siding (aluminum or vinyl) use approximately a 30:1 dilution. (30 parts water to 1 part Simple Green.) If you have to pre-mix in a bucket and then your equipment pulls it straight through, mix 4 ounces Simple Green for every 1 gallon of water. If your equipment automatically gives you a dilution and you can't alter that dilution, it is probably a 7:1 dilution (most common.) In that case, mix a 4:1 dilution in a bucket and pull that through. (4:1 @ 7:1 = a 28:1 solution.) Start at the bottom and work upward to avoid clean streaks. Work in sections, cleaning and rinsing, so that the product does not dry on the surface before the rinse stage. Really heavily soiled siding might require light scrubbing with a non-metallic bristle brush or shop broom.

Before doing this job, make sure you have eye protection. Simple Green will sting your eyes but not damage them. However, the pollutants and oxidized paint that can come off of your siding can seriously damage your eyes - so please wear safety glasses or goggles. Additionally, move any vehicles, people or animals away from the downwind area of your job. (Vehicles won't be harmed, but wax might be removed if over-spray sits on the car for too long prior to rinsing.)

After the job is over, give any ground areas exposed a good watering. This will help the Simple Green and water penetrate the soil, where it will biodegrade. Rinse off plant leaves and tree-trunks. Don't leave any standing puddles or containers of Simple Green and water where animals might drink. Too much ingested can cause diarrhea.

Lastly, when cleaning vehicles, lawn furniture or canvas (same dilution ratio as siding,) don't allow runoff to enter storm drains. This is a violation of the Clean Water Act (which states that nothing can be put down a storm drain but rainwater!). Simply push the runoff with your hose or pressure washer to a grassy area and water it in.