I recently used an all purpose cleaner that I found out was a highly toxic un-vetted product, according to the EWG. I used it on a couple of shelves. I obviously threw the product away, but how do I know rid my shelves of this toxic, is simply washing it enough? Link to product. http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/1545-SimpleGreenConcentratedAllPurposeCleaner

3 Answers 3


I did some reading on this. Wikipedia says the following which I checked elsewhere:

2-Butoxyethanol usually decomposes in the presence of air within a few days by reacting with oxygen radicals.[12] It has not been identified as a major environmental contaminant, nor is it known to bio-accumulate.[13] 2-Butoxyethanol biodegrades in soils and water, with a half life of 1–4 weeks in aquatic environments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-Butoxyethanol

The product "Simple Green" is considered to have low toxicity, which means there isn't much to worry about. Only with extreme concentration is there a concern.

From what I read, allow the shelf to air out over a few days if you have concerns.

  • 3
    If you consider this highly toxic (though as mentioned by @dmcdivitt, it is not), then why did you write, "I obviously threw the product away,", when it should have been disposed in a safe manner, e.g. municipal HM collectoin? See epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/hhw.htm . Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 0:57

My advice is to clean the shelves again with homemade non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaner. There are tones of recipes on Pinterest. Most of the time I mix some liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Or you can call and ask your local cleaning company.


2-butoxyethanol evaporates pretty quickly once you wipe up the excess. If your shelves feel dry, they are dry and there's no more there to worry about.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.