Is Method Cleaner Safe For Your Home? Does It Really Disinfect?

Method cleaner

Created in the 1990s by two college pals, Method has become a $100 million business today. The brand owns a slew of cleaning and personal care products, of which home cleaners are one of the best and most preferred in the segment. They use natural ingredients and are non-toxic. They are touted as being safe for your kids and pets.

Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of the product and see if we can give it a clean bill.

What is Method All-Purpose cleaner?

Method home cleaning products offer the following assortment

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Anti-bacterial cleaners
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Floor cleaners
  • Glass cleaners
  • Specialty surface cleaners
  • Home refills

The All-purpose cleaner is a solution for all your cleaning jobs. Formulated with the company’s patented Powergreen technology, it is claimed to work well on all surfaces – like steel, marble, wood, and granite.

You can use it for dusting surfaces, as well as to clean tough stains and mess. It is said to be made with environment-friendly and natural ingredients. However, the product list on the company website shows that it includes both plant and mineral-based, and synthetic ingredients.

The All-purpose cleaner comes in a variety of colorful and aromatic options such as Honeycrisp apple, clementine, french lavender, ginger yuzu, lime and sea salt, pink grapefruit, grapefruit, and lavender.

Method cleaner ingredients

Method cleaners are cited to be made of non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients that are chiefly derived from corn and coconut. Other chemicals are plant and mineral-based. They include –

  • Water
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Sodium gluconate
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Laureth-7
  • Citric acid
  • Decyl glucoside
  • Lauryl glucoside
  • C 12-16 Pareth 7
  • Polymeric red
  • Polymeric blue

The product also contains synthetic components such as linalool, acetate 6 hexylic, aphermate, Dihydro Myrcenol, Galaxolide, hexyl cinnamic aldehyde, hexyl propionate, colorant, Dipropylene glycol, benzyl salicylate, and Terpinyl acetate. These synthetics are primarily used for fragrance.

Is Method cleaner toxic?

While we may like to believe that cleaners made from naturally-derived products may not be as harmful as conventional products, it turns out that Method cleaners are rated to be as toxic as conventional products by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The Method all-purpose cleaner has earned the F rating from EWG – with top concerns indicated as asthma, respiratory, skin allergies, and irritation.

The ‘naturally-derived’, ‘plant-based’, and ‘mineral-based’ ingredients in Method cleaners are mainly coconut oil and corn. However, they undergo a substantial amount of chemical processing – thereby relinquishing their naturalness and becoming toxic. This adds to the other chemical elements in the formulation.

So, in what ways is Method cleaners toxic?

  • pH – The pH of the product is 10.5-11.5. Cleaning products have high acidic value as a preservation system. However, higher pH means a higher concentration of hydrogen ions – which can be corrosive to the skin and dangerous to the environment.
  • Fragrance – The fragrance ingredients like acetate, aphermate, linalool, hexyl cinnamic, dilhydro myrcenol, hexyl propionate, and peach pure can cause skin allergies, skin sensitization, endocrine disturbances, and cancer because of inhalation and/or skin absorption.

The European Union has defined many of these ingredients as toxic to aquatic life as well.

  • Colorants – Synthetic colorants may be derived from petroleum products and heavy metals. They consist of harsh chemicals like aryl amines, oxazines, phenothiazines, carbazoles, and anthraquinones that can be harmful to the skin and environment.

Does Method cleaner have ammonia?

The company calls ammonia a ‘dirty ingredient’. It does not use it in any of its products.

Ammonia can cause skin and eye irritation. It can also result in irritation of the respiratory tract, wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath when inhaled.

Does Method cleaner have chemicals?

Method cleaners are not all-natural and biodegradable as they are advertised to be. Even the natural ingredients undergo a lot of processing, transforming into chemicals.

The plant and mineral-based chemicals in the cleaning product include potassium hydroxide, sodium gluconate, sodium carbonate, laureth-7, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, citric acid, C 12-16 pareth 7, polymeric red, and polymeric blue.

Method cleaner also has various synthetic chemicals in it, such as – linalool, acetate 6 hexylic, galaxolide, hexyl cinnamic aldehyde, hexyl propionate, benzyl salicylate, terpinyl acetate, dipropylene glycol, peach pure, arylamines, carbazoles, and dihydro myrcenol.

These chemicals are toxic and act as skin and respiratory irritants. 

Chemicals in Method CleanerWhat do they do?
LinaloolA dangerous chemical that can cause irritation, pain, and allergy when absorbed through skin or inhalation.
GalaxolideFragrance ingredient that can affect hormones and chemical signals in our body and result in development, reproductive, metabolic, and behavioral issues.
Hexyl cinnamic aldehydeIncreased exposure can cause skin sensitization and skin dryness.
Hexyl propionateInhalation can cause respiratory problems.
Benzyl salicylate Fragrance chemical and a suspected carcinogen. Also, harmful to the environment when it goes down the drain.

Does Method cleaner contain bleach?

Method cleaner does not contain bleach as it does not meet the company’s health and environmental standards.

Chlorine bleach is usually used in cleaning products as a disinfectant. It is known to be skin corrosive and harmful to the respiratory system.

Does Method cleaner disinfect?

Method cleaner is known to effectively bring a sparkle to your surfaces, but it does not disinfect.

The Method Antibacterial cleaner can help you to disinfect surfaces as it is a cleaner with antibacterial properties. It is claimed to be capable of eliminating Staphylococcus aureus, influenza flu virus, rhinovirus, E-Coli, enterobacter aerogenes, and salmonella enterica.

Do Method Cleaners kill bacteria and germs?

Method cleaner is meant for everyday cleaning to remove dust and grime from your surfaces. Spick and span may not necessarily mean sans bacteria and germs. You can therefore use Method antibacterial cleaner periodically along with the all-purpose cleaner to keep your home and surfaces free from bacteria and germs.

Does Method cleaner kill mold?

The Method All-Purpose cleaner is not useful in killing mold. Instead, you can use Method bathroom cleaner. It also helps in killing mildew.

Is Method cleaner safe for pregnancy?

The Method cleaner is not particularly unsafe for you if you are pregnant. Familiarize yourself about the common side effects that could be unpleasant for you. Some fragrance ingredients can cause hormonal and behavioral problems – be wary of them. You may also want to avoid this cleaner if its aroma and aerosols aggravate your morning sickness, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

To be on the safe side, make sure there is a circulation of fresh air and wear a face mask while using the product so that you do not inhale the harmful chemicals. Further, use gloves and fully covered clothing to avoid the absorption of chemicals through the skin.

Is Method cleaner safe for babies?

Babies have delicate skin and unstable respiratory systems. They may develop skin irritation and respiratory issues from a dint of exposure to the chemicals in any cleaning product. Some household cleaners are known to have caused wheezing in early childhood.

Method cleaner is no exception, as some of its ingredients are perceived to cause respiratory and skin problems. So, keep your baby in a safe place while you are using the cleaner to avoid spills, skin contact, and accidental swallowing. It is also a good idea to keep the place well ventilated so that the baby does not inhale the fumes.

Is Method cleaner safe for pets?

While the manufacturer says that its cleaner is environmentally friendly and pet safe, the truth is that it does contain several chemicals that can surely be dangerous to your pets – they can smell trouble!

We know that dogs and cats have a heightened sense of smell. Inhaling the fragrance chemicals or the aerosols in the cleaner could alter their behavior and even cause kidney damage and pneumonia.

Dogs could even suffer seizures, coma, vomiting, lethargy, and even death if the chemicals are ingested. The chemicals are highly toxic for cats too. Birds absorb 90 percent of what they breathe in as compared to 30 percent in the case of humans – this makes it extremely perilous to use the cleaner around birds.

Therefore, while you are at your tidying business – keep your pets in a safe place, away from the fragrances and aerosols. Wash your cleaning buckets and equipment thoroughly so that your pets do not happen to ingest any harmful chemicals.

Is Method cleaner safe for all surfaces?

Method asserts that its cleaner is impactful in ‘cutting through dirt and gunk’ from all surfaces. But it also recommends testing the cleaner on a small patch to ensure surface compatibility.

Let’s scrutinize how Method cleaners behave on different surfaces.

SurfaceHow Method Cleaner Behaves
QuartzThe Method All Purpose cleaner may not be safe for quartz as the acidic content of the high pH is likely to damage the surface permanently. You can instead use Method Daily Granite cleaner for cleaning quartz.
GraniteAccording to Method, its cleaner is safe to use on non-porous stone types. It however recommends its Daily Granite cleaner as the high pH could damage the surface.
MarbleThe Method cleaner is safe for marble. However, you can use the Method Daily Granite cleaner that is specifically formulated for stones.
Quartzite countertopsNon-acidic, low pH cleaners are more suited for these surfaces. Hence, opt for Method Daily Granite cleaner.
Stainless steelMethod cleaner works well on stainless steel. It is also safe for the surface. But if you are using it on steel utensils, crockery, and cutlery, make sure the cleaner is properly rinsed as ingestion of its chemical ingredients can negatively impact health.
Wood and wooden worktopsChemicals and fragrances in the cleaner can wear down the shine and finish of the wood. The cleaner may also be too wet for the wood and cause warping. So, use the all-purpose cleaner only if your wood has a plastic coating. Else, go with Method Wood Polish or Method Daily Wood Cleaner.
LeatherDo not use Method All Purpose cleaner on leather. The chemicals and fragrances can discolor the leather. Moreover, you do not need a cleaning product for leather.
Carpet The cleaner may damage your carpet and even leave a residue – which can be harmful to your family, baby, and pets. Vacuuming and steam cleaning are better options for your carpet.
Vinyl The Method All-Purpose cleaner is known to be safe for vinyl. It is widely used to clean vinyl and laminated floors.
KarndeanKarndean surfaces require ph-neutral and fragrance-free cleansers. Hence, Method cleaner is not safe for it. Further, the citrus in Method cleaner can damage the surface and leave a residue, making it discolored and slippery.
LaminateThe Method All-Purpose cleaner is safe for laminates. But if you observe that the cleaner is peeling off the adhesive on your laminate floors, then switch to Method Daily Wood cleaner.
FurnitureThe All-Purpose cleaner may not be ideal for your wooden furniture as it may affect the shine, and cause discoloration and warping. Method Wood Polish or Daily Wood cleaner would be a better option. Meanwhile, using Method cleaner that has chemicals and fragrance ingredients on plastic furniture may corrode and damage the material. However, the cleaner may work well and safely on metal furniture.
CarThe Method All-Purpose cleaner may be safe for the dashboard, mirrors, and foot mats of your car. You could also use Method glass cleaners for the mirrors for improved cleaning of oil and grease without creating streaks.
Use the all-purpose cleaner at your discretion for the seats – depending on what the seat material is. For the body of the car, the all-purpose cleaner may not be safe. The high pH, acidic content, potassium hydroxide, and perfume ingredients may damage the paint.
ClothesThe Method All-Purpose cleaner can be safe for your fabrics. However, for regular washing of your fabrics – use Method’s dedicated laundry line of products.

Are Method products safe for septic systems?

The All-Purpose cleaner may be safe for septic systems as it is said to be biodegradable and does not have chlorine. However, since it is not antibacterial it will not disinfect your tanks. Therefore, use Method antibacterial tank cleaners that are free of chemicals and phosphates to clean and disinfect your septic systems.

Can Method cleaner cause fire?

Method cleaner has flammable chemicals such as potassium hydroxide and lauryl glucoside. In addition, fragrance chemicals are known to be highly flammable. The cleaning product could leave aerosols when used through sprays – therefore be vigilant while using it around flames. Keep the products contained and place them away from fire and heat when you are not using them.

Can Method cleaner cause cancer?

The Method cleaner is not known to cause cancer. Its fragrance ingredients however may enhance the risk of cancer. In case of safe use and prevention of accidental ingestion by children and pets, you could prevent any risk of cancer from Method cleaners.

Can Method cleaner cause sore throats?

If you have an increased sense of smell, the fragrances in cleaners could affect the olfactory area in your nose and cause a sore throat. The chemicals in fragrances have the potential of causing eye, nose, and throat irritation. To use the cleaner safely, you could cover your nose and mouth while cleaning to avoid inhalation.

Can Method cleaner cause rust?

Rust forms when the metal comes in contact with acidic substances. As Method cleaners do not contain chlorine and ammonia, they are not known to cause rust. However, the high pH could be corrosive. While the cleaner is found to be safe for steel, follow the instructions while using it on other metals.

Does Method cleaner expire?

Just like all cleaning products, Method cleaners also lose their efficacy after six to 12 months. If the expiry date is not printed on the product package, contact the manufacturer for details. Else, use it within a year from the date of manufacture.



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Anand Srinivasan
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