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Simple Green

Simple Green is a brand of cleaning agents manufactured by Sunshine Makers, Inc. This article refers to Simple Green's concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner

For North American consumers, the most recognized product in the line of approximately 25 Simple Green products is a concentrated all-purpose cleaner and degreaser.

The concentrated cleaner is an all purpose cleaner and degreaser used diluted in water for direct, spray, and dip tank applications. Depending on the application, the label recommends a dilution with water of anywhere from 1:1 to 1:10. It is a translucent dark green, water-based liquid with a unique sassafras scent and an alkaline pH. A yellow, lemon-scented version was later introduced.



The exact ingredients in Simple Green are not disclosed. Since Simple Green is considered non-toxic, the company is not required to list the ingredients. The product does contain over 1% phosphate, over 5% 2-butoxyethanol, and Nonylphenol ethoxylate. Since there are environmental concerns about phosphates and nonylphenol ethoxylates, Simple Green is not a "green" product.

2-butoxyethanol is considered to be the most toxic glycol ether.


Simple Green was developed over thirty years ago in the 1970s by Joe FaBrizio as an industrial cleaner. Joe wanted to create a safer alternative to the toxic cleaners originally designed to remove tannic acid, a by-product of coffee roasting, from roasting machinery, and a non-toxic cleaner for removing burnt coffee residue from glass coffee pots used in the restaurant industry. After Joe's son, Bruce, Graduated from Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Bruce began selling Simple Green to industrial customers in 55-gallon drums for use as a cleaner on equipment and floors.

Despite his father's death in 1979, Bruce not only kept the business running, but made it the successful business that it is today. In 1981, he named it "Sunshine Makers, Inc." Simple Green was then introduced nationally into several new markets including hardware/Do It Yourself, consumer grocery & drug, GSA (government) and industrial classes of trade.

Warnings and Safety

Simple Green should not be used on the following surfaces:

  • Plastic instrument panels
  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Unfinished wood
  • Opals
  • Pearls

It is recommended that Simple Green be tested on an inconspicuous area of the surface to be cleaned. Using the appropriate dilution, according to label instructions is always recommended.

According to its MSDS, Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner is non-flammable, non-toxic, non-mutagenic, and non-carcinogenic and biodegradable. It is a mild irritant to eyes and mucous membranes, and to those with sensitive skin. None of the ingredients in Simple Green® are regulated or listed as potential cancer agents by any of these organizations: OSHA, NTP, or IARC.

According to its MSDS, Simple Green hand cleaner Gel had the following Special Hazard Precautions: Acute: Eyes: Reddening may develop Skin: Some animal studies have clearly shown dose-related adverse effects on the CNS, the blood forming tissues, the blood, the kidneys and the liver associated with the administration of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. However, testing conducted on the complete Simple Green mixture does not show the same adverse effects as those conducted on raw, undiluted ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. This supports the dose-related aspect of determining toxicity.


  • Simple Green is used to clean wildlife affected by the slick from oil spills.[citation needed]
  • The sassafras scent is added to the cleaner as a perfume and is synthetic.
  • A portion of all net sales from Simple Green products funds the EGBAR (Everything's Gonna Be All Right) Foundation, which was created by Bruce FaBrizio to promote environmental awareness in educational curricula.
  • Simple Green is an excellent means for hobbyists to strip paint off of models.
  • The "green" in the name refers to its color, not to any environmental movement sense of the word.


  • Simple Green can be used to deodorize laundry. Add 1/4 cup to a wash, and it will get the smell of week-old cat urine[citation needed] out of clothes without damaging color or fabric. Depending on fabric, this may take 1-3 washes, with heavier fabrics being more difficult to de-scent.


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Simple_Green". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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