Home » Non-Toxic Cleaning Products » Citra-Solv & Citra-Suds Is Sneaky Stuff!

Citra-Solv & Citra-Suds Is Sneaky Stuff!

detergent.citrasudsLast year, when I researched Citra-Solv (they make household cleaners, dish soaps, and laundry detergents), I was assured that their products do not contain sodium laureth sulfate (also known as SLES–check our glossary for some compelling reasons to avoid products containing this foaming agent.). I also was told that their Valencia orange detergents and soaps were scented with orange oil.


My exchange with Cindy of Citra-Solv in January 2011:

Me: Can you please clarify if your essential oils are steam-distilled? And, do any of your products contain SLS or SLES? Thanks!

Cindy: We do have other products that contain SLS. I don’t know about the steam distilled essential oils. The Valencia orange fragrance for the laundry is cold press 5 fold orange oil.

Me: Thank you, Cindy. And to be clear, the laundry soap (which I got today–thanks!) does NOT have SLS or SLES? Thanks again.

Cindy: Correct.

Unfortunately, Cindy was either dishonest or (more likely) uninformed. Per a reader’s request, I recently reached out again to the company and received a detailed list of all of the ingredients (their labels use misleading terms like “plant derived surfactant.”). This time, I learned that some of their products do contain SLES, including the laundry detergent that I was recommending!

In addition, several Citra products contain limonene, which, unlike orange oil, is implicated in a host of health issues (check our glossary for more information).

I’ve updated our laundry detergent page to reflect this discovery, which leaves us with even fewer clean options when it comes to washing clothes.

While I don’t want to overstate the dangers of using detergent that contains SLES (I’m not going to throw away my unused bottle of Citra-Suds), it is frustrating to realize that not only are labels misleading, but you also can’t necessarily trust the information provided by company representatives themselves!

I am sorry that I didn’t have the information right the first time, and I am grateful for my vigilant readers.

Stay sane,







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