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Is Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner a Disinfectant? (Explained)

Is Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner a Disinfectant

Trader Joe’s is known for their line of fantastic cleaning and household products. Their multi-purpose cleaner is a favorite among many, but consumers are often confused as to whether multi-purpose cleaners are able to disinfect surfaces. 

Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Clean is an excellent product, but it doesn’t disinfect or sanitize surfaces. It doesn’t contain any ingredients that are known to be effective in killing germs or bacteria. 

Multi-purpose cleaners will sometimes have a disinfectant built in, but generally speaking, disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaners are two very distinct products. 

Understanding Multi-Purpose Cleaners and Disinfectants

A multi-purpose cleaner is meant to provide a surface clean on a variety of household surfaces using one product. Not all multi-purpose cleaners will be formulated with a disinfectant.

Disinfectants are not meant for general cleaning but to eliminate any potential germs, harmful bacteria, and viruses that could be lingering around your home. 

Multi-purpose cleaners come in many forms but share some similar attributes. They often contain acids, water softeners, and alcohols among other ingredients to remove household mess from multiple areas of the home.

Disinfectants often have chlorine-based ingredients, hydrogen peroxide, alcohols, and more that kill bacteria, germs, and viruses. 

Multi-purpose cleaners may or may not clean off some germs and contaminants while cleaning off dirt, dust, and debris.

Disinfectants will kill germs as well as other harmful contaminants that may be in your home. Disinfectants are not meant to be used as a general cleaner around your home. 

Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaning Product

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Trader Joe’s carries a Cedarwood and Sage Multi-Purpose Cleaner that is very popular amongst consumers.

It provides a gentle yet effective clean for a variety of surfaces and uses essential oils for a mild scent. The formula has eliminated many common allergens contained in cleaners and avoided using harsh, artificial scents and dyes.

The cleaner is also free of preservatives, parabens, and gluten. The multi-purpose cleaner comes in a liquid formula contained inside a plastic spray bottle.

It’s a very affordable product compared to similar products and is scented with essential oils.

On the label, it recommends you avoid direct contact with skin and eyes. The label also provides a full list of ingredients. 

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Presence of Disinfectant Properties in Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner contains only 9 ingredients to make it as versatile and safe as possible. However, none of these ingredients are able to disinfect your home.

While you might find some similar ingredients in disinfectants, the overall formulation is not guaranteed to kill any bacteria. 

Using liquid disinfectants to clean will technically work, but disinfectants have stronger chemical components than multi-purpose cleaners because they are meant to disinfect and sanitize.

Using disinfectants in excess in your home will expose you to high concentrations of ingredients that can be toxic through continuous exposure. 

Health Effects and Concerns of Disinfectants in Multi-Purpose Cleaners

Disinfectants are only meant to be used on commonly touched spots like doorknobs, handles, and places where bacteria often loom such as bathrooms.

Misuse or overuse of disinfectants can lead to respiratory concerns, irritation, and with frequent overuse, potential nervous system issues and serious health problems. 

Since multi-purpose cleaners are used throughout multiple spaces in the home, if they contain disinfectants, you’re spreading those hazardous chemicals throughout your home and maximizing your exposure. 

It’s best to avoid multi-purpose cleaners that have disinfectants unless you only use them as a disinfectant. Don’t use them in spaces where you might handle food or where kids and pets tend to roll around and play. 

Consumer Attitudes Towards Multi-Purpose Cleaners with Disinfectant Properties 

Disinfectants have become increasingly popular with the prevalence of airborne viruses like COVID-19. It’s important to be aware of how to use disinfectants safely. Not every inch of your home needs to be disinfected. 

Ultimately, whether you use a multi-purpose cleaner with or without disinfectants will depend on the particular cleaning task you’re embarking on.

When you want to spot clean and disinfect common areas, a multi-purpose cleaner with disinfectant is suitable. For any other kind of cleaning you need to do, try to stick to a multi-purpose cleaner with no disinfectant. 

Disinfectants are important tools to reduce the spread of transmissible viruses and illnesses. The emergence of COVID-19 and other viruses over the past few years have caused consumers to increase the frequency of sanitization.

However, the downside is that disinfectants have ingredients known to be harmful to human, animal, and environmental health with frequent exposure. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Multi-Purpose Cleaner a Disinfectant?

Multi-purpose cleaners are not disinfectants and don’t adequately eliminate a lot of viruses or bacteria. They may clean off some simple germs but they shouldn’t be relied upon when you need that powerful sanitization. 

What Is Multi-Purpose Cleaner Used For?

Multi-purpose cleaners can be used to clean counters, shelves, floors, kitchens, and bathrooms. It can be used on most kinds of hard surfaces you find around your home, workspace, or indoor space.

Some of these cleaners are formulated to work on more sensitive surfaces such as wood and glass, but you should always read the label of your chosen product before using it. 

Where Should You Not Use All-Purpose Cleaner?

All-purpose cleaner and multi-purpose cleaner shouldn’t be used on soft furniture such as mattresses and couches or on anything made with fabric.

Once again, not all of these cleaners work on wood, glass, or windows. If your goal is to disinfect or sanitize, reaching for an all-purpose cleaner won’t get the job done. 

Final Thoughts

You can’t use Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner as a disinfectant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective cleaner. The Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner does an incredible job at removing residue, stains, and dirt from your household with a mild scent, but it won’t sanitize your space. 

Multi-purpose cleaners and disinfectants are two completely different products and should never be used interchangeably. 

When you’re looking to give your home a general clean and refresh, reach for a multi-purpose cleaner. Only use disinfectants when you need to sanitize a specific area. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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