The Pink Thing: How It Works and Surfaces Can Hurt

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One of the main appeals of The Pink Stuff is the claim that it’s 100% natural, as in “it’s not as harmful as most household cleaners these days”. (It’s “100%” on the website and “99%” on the jar.) Material Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) don’t disclose everything that’s in a product, so we can’t check every ingredient in The Pink Stuff. Only chemicals considered hazardous should be listed, so other materials may not appear in the data sheet. CR contacted Star Brands for comment but received no response.

“It could very well be made of materials that you can find in nature, but the term ‘natural’ only conveys emotion, no meaningful, scientific, standardized definition of the properties of the contents,” says Dickerson. “It reads like a marketing piece to address people’s concerns about safe cleaning products.”

As with food, it’s important to keep in mind that natural ingredients aren’t necessarily safer than synthetic chemicals. Natural ingredients can be allergens, and under US regulations fragrance ingredients do not need to be disclosed, although some can be irritants.

For what it’s worth, one of the ingredients of The Pink Stuff is the fragrance. But the subtle floral scent didn’t bother me, unlike many harmful cleaning products I’ve tried, abrasive or otherwise.

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