A while back I wrote a product review about the Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface spray. At the time it had just hit store shelves and being a sucker for new cleaning products I immediately ran out and bought it. It claimed to be gentle enough to use around kids and food, yet powerful enough to kill common household bacteria. In fact, its exact claim was that it was “as gentle as water.” But, as an astute Families.com member pointed out, it should be, since it contains 99% water and less than 1% Sodium Hypochlorite (the active ingredient in Clorox).
ARGH! So basically, for $2.67 I bought a bottle of water with a dash of Clorox in it. The Families.com member went on to say that after reading the ingredients label she decided she would use up the product then make her own version of the Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface brew and restore it in the original bottle. GENIUS! Considering how easy it is to make (water and a little Clorox) and how much cheaper it is ($2.67 for the original spray versus $1.50 for a gallon of Clorox), I kicked myself for not reading the label first.
I’ve since got over torturing myself for not being a savvy consumer. I have decided to keep my Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface spray bottle and follow the Family member’s brilliant idea to refill it using the ingredients I have around my house. In the end, this Clorox episode taught me a lesson about the value of reading product labels. In fact, it inspired me to go through my cabinet and read the labels on some of my favorite cleaning products. The results were startling (to me anyway).
For example, I am a big fan of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (I consider them Wet-Ones for counters). I keep a container in every room. I use them on practically everything, from telephone receivers to toilet seats. And how simple are they to use? Just pull out a sheet, wipe, and bye-bye bacteria, right? I thought so… until I read the label. Apparently, if you want the wipes to “disinfect” you are supposed to use enough of them to saturate the surface of the product you are cleaning and not only that, the label goes on to say that surface needs to remain “visibly wet for 4 minutes.” Four minutes! I thought I all I had to do was wipe and go. That’s not all. If I want to “sanitize” an area using the wipes, the label says I need to use enough of the product to saturate the surface AND it needs to remain visibly wet for 30 seconds.
Which leads me to wonder, for all the times that I didn’t use enough wipes to get a surface “visibly wet” for 30 seconds or 4 minutes, am I to assume that the areas weren’t properly “sanitized” or “disinfected”? And how much money have I wasted by not properly saturating an area? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that I will now start reading labels before I buy a product.