Confusion on Aisle 9

If we had our way, there’d be a buyer beware sign at the entrance to every cleaning-supplies aisle: Caution: You are about to enter a bewildering region where products will tempt you with delicious-sounding scents and eye-catching colors. Succumb to their siren’s call and you may find yourself up to your eyeballs in unnecessary cleaning agents.

How did we get from the old days of Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean to the smorgasbord of products now on the retail shelf? Mango-mandarin burst, anyone? How about ginger yuzu?

It’s a problem that’s not limited to the cleaning-products aisle, of course. In the last few decades, the choices we face when shopping have skyrocketed in every department, even though studies suggest that too many options only make it more difficult for us to choose among them. But that doesn’t stop product managers from trotting out new flavors, scents and colors  and promises  every year. After all, if we try their new products just once, that boosts short-term sales and makes their resumes sparkle like Mr. Clean’s gold earring.

Besides all the bubbly, scented sales gimmicks, there’s also been the antibacterial, antimicrobial trend in cleaning products. It’s easy to forget that the Purell revolution is a fairly recent  and controversial  development. Now it’s not enough to say “kills germs” on the label. Manufacturers boast of killing 99.9% of bacteria or viruses in addition to 100% of dirt and grime.

At the same time, there’s been a different consumer shift toward products that are non-toxic, all-natural and fragrance-free. That’s led to a shelf war among products each claiming to be greener, purer and safer than the next. Yet they’re all still bottled in plastic  even if it is recycled  and their first ingredient is always water.  

All this marketing mania has led us to our current predicament of 99 bottles of cleaners on the wall. And when we take one down, we seem to add two more.

At Truman’s, we definitely believe that less is more  and vice-versa. We know that a few safe and simple ingredients  starting with the one that comes straight from your faucet  can solve 99% of a home’s cleaning needs. We also know when it comes to the three Rs  reduce, reuse, recycle  we haven’t been putting the effort into the first two that we could. On top of that, many communities lack recycling operations altogether.

That’s why we’re proud to offer a collection of safe and basic cleaners in bottles that can be refilled over and over again, keeping people out of those pungent and perplexing cleaning-products aisles and plastic out of our landfills and oceans.