15 Mar

Costco Kirkland Signature Eco Friendly Cleaners

Posted by Norman F

Last Updated: 3/15/2016

Kirkland Signature eco friendly cleaners- Kirkland laundry detergent

Costco’s Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly – Eco Friendly cleaner made from environmentally friendly ingredients that are biodegradable and biorenewable. Plant based formula, made from bio-renewable resources.  No Phosphates or dyes, cruelty free, natural fragrance.  Costco Connection has an article on this product in Costco Magazine page 55.

Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly fabric softener is also available. It uses biodegradable softening agents.

Costco Kirkland Signature Eco Friendly Cleaner Ingredients

Keep in mind that Costco does not produce items, they private label products made by other companies. Kirkland brand items are manufactured by large companies specializing in the particular area. Costco lists all active agreements. Coconut and palm oils ingredients as well as natural plant oils are used.  MSDS documents are tough to get. Calling Costco at 800-774-2678 lead to a recommendation to call their supplier for these products, Huish detergents – Sun Products, at 800-776-6702.  You can call them and ask for the MSDS documents.

Costco follows the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) requirement of cleaning agent degrading. Biodegrades 70% in 28 days after functioning.

Costco has stated that “Palm and coconut products are purchased only from certified-sustainable plantations where deforestation and irreversible damage to the ecosystem are forbidden.”

Per the Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) or MSDS documents, the Multi Purpose Cleaner has Cocamide DEA (From coconut oil, toxicity) and d-limonene (major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind). They do not indicate how much is present.

The Liquid Dish Detergent has Ethanol. (On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders)

Liquid Laundry Detergent did not list items on its MSDS.

Digging into a product takes a while but can produce some interesting results.  At least Costco is moving in the right direction.  Using these products rather than old fashion ‘regular’ cleaners is a step in the right direction.

We find it interesting that Costco.com does not sell Kirkland Detergent, but has other companies like Ecos, Seventh Generation, Finish, and Tide.

Don’t forget to wash your clothes in cold water to save money.

Honest Laundry Detergent

In March 2015, Honest Company (Founded by Actress Jessica Alba), makers of Honest Laundry Detergent made news for allegedly using the skin irritating chemical sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS even though they had previously advertised that they would not use it. SLS is used for cleaning and foaming in detergent. Honest quietly dropped the SLS claim on their website, last year after a rival filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General.

The Wall Street Journal in April 2016, had an independent test done, which indicated a significant amount of SLS in the detergent. Honest disputes the claim.

Earth Friendly Products actually makes the liquid laundry detergent for Honest. They also sell products under the Ecos brand name, and list the same ingredients as Honest, yet only Honest says they are free of SLS.

Honest claimed to use Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) instead of SLS. The SCS they used came from Indian company Galaxy Surfactants, Ltd, which also labeled it as SLS. SLS is one component of SCS.

Sounds like Honest was not that honest.

Clorox Greenworks Natural Laundry Detergent

Clorox Green Works Laundry Detergent

Clorox Green Works openly list their ingredients open on their packaging, unlike most other Clorox products:

Water, plant-based cleaning agents (methyl ester sulfonate, alkyl polyglucoside, cocodimethyl amine oxide), glycerine, water softener (sodium citrate), plant-derived soap (oleic acid), enzyme stabilizer (boric acid), natural enzymes, alkalinity builder (sodium hydroxide), fragrance with essential oils, salt, calcium chloride, biodegradable preservative, blue & yellow colorant. Contains no phosphate or bleach.

Their MSDS (Material Safety Document Sheet) document shows several hazardous ingredients and petroleum-derived ingredients.  Clorox Green Works products are not perfect, but a step in the green, eco friendly direction.  Clorox has wide distribution so they will allow more mainstream customers to access greener cleaning products. We prefer the slightly more green Method ultra concentrated or Seventh Generation products ourselves as they do not  have petroleum derived products. What exactly is a natural cleaning product?

Safeway Bright Green Eco-friendly Products

Safeway Bright Green Eco-friendly Products are a new line of products introduced by the supermarket giant that help add to mainstream green product acceptance. Everything from CFL’s to cleaning products to paper products are represented. They try to use naturally derived and biodegradable ingredients wherever possible. While no one agency is certifying green products, they are working with a third-party, Scientific Certification Systems, in their product development and evaluation process.

Additionally Safeway was one of the first major retailers to convert its entire fleet to bio diesel, helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 75,000,000 pounds annually.

It is good to see that the major supermarket chains is embracing green ideals and helping to make these products, mainstream.

Check out our post: Save Money by not buying Organic

Scotch Brite Greener Cleaner Green cleaning products

Scotch Brite Greener Cleaner

Scotch Brite Greener Cleaner products are now available. They utilize biodegradable and natural ingredients, instead of metal or landfill clogging ingredients. Another example of mainstream products adopting eco-friendly, green ingredients.

While the new natural fiber non-scratch scour pads do not work as well has the old metal ones, they perform just fine.

Arm & Hammer Line of Essentials

Arm and Hammer Essentials

Arm & Hammer has a line of Essentials cleaners that use plant based cleaning formulas, come with refillable spray bottles, and has ingredients that are biodegradable. Plant-based cleaner derived from Coconuts and Palm Kernel Oil and contains other biodegradable eco-sensible cleaners. It contains no harsh ammonia or phosphates. The products contain no ammonia or phosphates, and contains between 20 to 38 percent less chemicals than traditional cleaners in pre-filled 32oz bottles. They use twist on concentrated cleaning cartridges and water you supply, saving on shipping costs. You can register on their web site for coupons. The cleaners cost about $4.

MSDS documents for these cleaners are on their Commercial & Professional Products website. Some interesting facts in the documents for the All Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser:

1) Chemical ingredients are listed at 100% Proprietary, so who know what is in it

2) TOXICITY: This product is expected to be moderately toxic to aquatic animals.

3) BIOACCUMULATION: This product is moderately expected to bioaccumulate.

4) HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS: Toxic gas and oxides of sodium and sulfur.

While I like the concept of this product, I worry about the composition of the cleaner. Their competition is a lot more transparent about ingredients. I think I’ll stick with them.

Be sure to check out our posting on Clorox Green Works Household Cleaner, Method, Seventh Generation.

Alternative Eco Friendly, Green Cleaning products

eco friendly, green Seventh generation household cleaner

An easier route we take is buying Planet, Seventh Generation, or Method product from a local grocery store or Amazon.  Free shipping and low prices make it easy. These vendors clearly declare ingredients used in their products. No need to lug the heavy items too!

Have you used Costco Kirkland Signature detergents or cleaners?  How has your experience been?

Posted on March 15th, 2016
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43 Responses to “Costco Kirkland Signature Eco Friendly Cleaners”

  1. CoconutOilGuy Says:

    Hello! “…Costco lists all active agreements. Coconut and palm oils ingredients as well as natural plant oils are used…”
    – Yes, coconut oil and other tropical oils are certainly eco-friendly. Kind of like “nature just going back to nature…” Just my two cents.

    Your Drugstore in a Bottle

  2. agnes wachtel Says:

    thankk ou for the information. i need the input of those who can understand “ingredients”

  3. meccano Says:

    >An easier route we take is buying Planet, Seventh Generation, or Planet >product from Amazon. Free shipping and low prices make it easy. No need >to lug the heavy items too!

    Oh good grief! Do you have any idea what the carbon footprint is on a single order of cleaning products packaged and shipped to you via UPS from Amazon? This is NOT the way to be ecologically friendly. A distribution method such as one used by Costco is much more ecologically friendly – which BTW, is why it is also cheaper. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish! The first thing to do when trying to be ecologically friendly and lowering your carbon footprint is to use common sense.

  4. iamjuan Says:

    My sister purchased the Costco Kirkland Eco Friendly laundry detergent and broke out in hives all over her neck and back. She has a slight allergy to shrimp, and clearly was very allergic to somthing in this detergent. She’s going back to her regular detergent.

  5. Doug Says:

    We have been using this detergent for about 6 weeks and last week I developed a very itchy rash. I’m not completely certain it is the detergent, but it started the day after I the cap fell off the detergent when I was starting a load so I got some extra detergent in the wash. I rewashed everything, but this rash will not go away and it is driving me nuts! It appears I have developed a sensitivity. I hope this is the case because the next most likely possiblity is an allergy to gluten.

  6. Norma J F Harrison Says:

    the Kirkland dish detergent has way too strong a smell – I smell it from the next room. Tone it down, please.

  7. Monica Says:

    I saw the info on being allergic and I’m having the exact same response. I’m also allergic to shrimp. I think it’s this and need to try something new. Thanks for putting this info in.

  8. David Says:


    My wife ruined a Rubbermaid one gallon plastic container that I have used to make ice tea in for about 3-4 years. She washed the container in “Kirkland Brand environmentally friendly liquid dish soap” over two weeks ago,and I am still trying to get the smell and taste out. I think the thing is ruined. I even tried bleach and the soap smell over powers the bleach. Talk about strong! Over ten gallons of water soakings don’t even help. It still smells like soap.

  9. Patricia Says:

    My son is also allergic to the eco-friendly detergent. It took several visits to the pediatrician and emergency room. Finally, a co-workerasked if we had a new detergent that might be creating the rashes. So we stopped using it and it started to immediately clear up. He is not allergic to shrimp, however, as others have suggested. We are unsure of what ingredient in the detergent that he is allergic to.

  10. Carla Says:

    I too have had a rash develop all over my chest, neck,shoulders and back. It does not itch or hurt. Looks like chicken pox. Seeing dermatologist, he’s stumped, but I think I may have found the culprit, Ecos laundry detergent. I’m switching back to old detergent, and we’ll see if the rash leaves.

  11. Michele Says:

    My husband also broke out in a rash around his neck and shoulders after I started using this detergent. There is something in there that is causing a problem for those sensitive to it!

  12. Yolanda Says:

    Thanks all. After using the detergent for a month developed a hives. This has happened before when I’ve used a eco-friendly product. They should label their products. I am using the lavender scent. I usually use a non fragrance detergent.

  13. easy eco blog Says:

    Have you tried Planet’s laundry detergent? I’ve used it and found it ok.
    You can always return the other one to Costco.

  14. Jennie Chamberlain Says:

    I received their material data sheet and two ingredients were listed on the OSHA hazard list:

    Methyl ester sulfonate
    Cocamide DEA

    I found the latter on the cosmeticsdatabase.com A summary of their conglomerated research on this ingredient:
    According to studies that have been completed –
    Known human immune system toxicant – according to National Library of Medicine
    Human skin toxicant – strong evidence
    Possible carcinogen
    One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at very low doses – according to RTECS®- Journal of the American College of Toxicology 1996
    Persistent or bioaccumulative and moderate to high toxicity concern in humans – according to Environmental Canada Domestic Substance List
    National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.

    The material data sheet also noted that it is:
    Incompatibilities:Strong oxidizers, acids or bases
    (these are all things I think that people routinely add to laundry detergents…..)

    They claim it is safe if “used according to directions” – I’m wondering now what the directions are on the bottle, if it says not to mix it with bleach (oxidizer) or an acid (like vinegar)…… I also don’t know really what “strong” means here…..

    It says that no real protections are required (other than skin protection). But that respiratory protections do not need to be considered…. that said, it also says regarding inhalation that “Prolonged exposure may produce headaches and mucous membrane irritation.” And to avoid “extreme heat” – I’m not sure what “extreme” means. Washers and dryers can get pretty hot.

    I emailed [email protected] to request the MDS.
    And then they had it sent to me from [email protected]

    The good news is that if you bought it and used it and don’t want it, at least Costco will take it back and grant you a full refund.

  15. Laura Peskin Says:

    Coconut Oil Guy I hate to inform you that the more plam oil plantations that are planted, the more tropical rain forests that are cut down. Very far from sustainable. Deforestation for palm plantations is big problem in Malaysia & Borneo. Orangetuns will be extinct in 10 year largely because of the problem.
    I’m trying to avoid tropical oils in all products while still buying non-animal based cleaners w/ stearic acid, animal glycerin etc., and staying away from petro-based products. A tall order to fill indeed… but not impossible. 7th Generation is committed to sustainable, non forest-destructive palm oils. They show their commitment mainly through a cap & trade program, but that’s better than nothing. Dr. Bronner’s claims it buys it sources its palm & coconut oil fr. small farmers- again better if not optimal.

    What’s Kirkland doing to promote sustainable tropical oils ?

  16. Julie Nguyen Says:

    I developed a severe rash (very red and itching) for 3 weeks already and noticed that my husband has switched to the Kirkland Eco Friendly Detergent. He ssid we’ve been using it for 4-5 months so I’m not sure if this is the problem but it’s very likely. I took methylpredisolone 10mg and the rash came back after I finished the medication. Can anyone suggest on how to get rid of the rash. I’m desperate!

  17. patricia Says:

    We rewashed everything that we had washed with the Kirkland detergent. If you haven’t rewashed your sheets or any towels you may be accidentally re-exposing yourself to the detergent.

  18. N M Says:

    Thanks to everyone who has posted regarding hives! My three year old daughter has been periodically breaking out in hives over the last few weeks. After ruling out all the common food allergens, it appears to happen when she has recently put on a new outfit and then gets hot. I’m not sure what the heat factor has to do with it, but crying or running around at the park egg it right on.
    Has anyone asked Costco for a refund or tried to exchange the detergent?

  19. julie nguyen Says:

    I reported the rash problem to Costco and talked to Lauren from Costco today. Costco said that they will look into the problem. I think it will help if more people voice their concerns to Costco regarding the safety of this product. I hope Costco will do the right thing by either removing the product from the market or at least put a warning on the label. I will probably file a report with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission if I don’t see any positive actions taken by Costco within the next couple of weeks.

  20. easy eco blog Says:

    For sensitive skin, I’ve found trying different detergents that have no dyes or perfumes helps. Seventh generation worked well for me.

  21. maria chiquita Says:

    We have been using the Costco environmentally friendly detergent for over a year now and no problems until this evening, when my boyfriend accidentally spilled some on his wrist and now has a painful, nasty burn that almost seems like a chemical burn. Both he and our daughter have sensitive skin and no prior reactions or problems, but pretty scary to think what would cause such a burn when he had quick direct contact to his skin like that.

  22. sarah Says:

    My husband bought the kirkland HE detergent in the cardboard box. My office is near the laundry room. For several days, I have had a burning throat and felt like I had swallowed chemicals – I can taste them! I kept thinking it was the next door neighbor’s rehab job – I thought maybe they were using solvents – but – NO – it was the box of detergent just sitting there in the next room!!!! Aaaaack!!! We hadn’t even opened the box — back it goes! I wonder what they put in there! Just awful. No reason to have such strong, acrid “scent” in laundry detergent. I’m going back my natural lavender oil scented detergent!

  23. Diana B. Says:

    My Costco ran out of/stopped carrying the ECOS brand we usually use and I bought some of the Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly Detergent thinking it would be similar. Started breaking out all over in serious hives after about a month of use. Going to go to the doctors and to return the remaining detergent today!

  24. Gina B. Says:

    HORRIBLE Product!

    The Costco environmentally friendly laundry detergent is a horrible product. It doesn’t clean a thing. I have done several loads of laundry with this product and it has left my laundry looking dingy, stained, and without a clean or fresh smell. I was trying to cut down on household product costs in addition to trying something environmentally friendly. I will be going back to Tide.

  25. Lana P. Says:

    I switched from Tide to Kirklands Ultra Free and Clear (high efficiency)two weeks ago. My daughter has suddenly developed a fairly severe itchy rash. Rewashing with Tide starting last night. Hope this does the trick. Thanks for all the helpful comments.

  26. John Says:

    I purchased Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly Detergent from Costco several weeks ago and I now have a rash from neck to toes….anywhere that my clothes touch me. I have told my wife to switch back to tide and I will take this CR@P back. I will also report this product to whatever federal agency I kind find. I am talking big time rash here folks.


  27. Paula Says:

    OMG, this stuff totally causes immediate itchy rash from even brief indirect exposure. I had out of town company visit and just being near them and their clothes (washed in this detergent – not even my own) made me break out in an immediate (next day) itchy rash – first on an arm, then the other arm, then started spreading to my thigh. Crikey! I am not allergic to shrimp (as other posters noted) but am allergic to some pesticides (esp. used on apples) and some typical pollens (like ragweed). My guest was stumped about my reaction, but I asked, what bath soap or detergent do you use? They sent a pic of the bottle of this CR@P, I googled the brand and found this site and unbelievable list of similar reactions! First, Costco needs to stop billing this stuff as “eco-friendly” – it’s human UNfriendly and definitely has something extremely caustic in it. They should stop selling it period or at least put a warning label on it. People, do call them and call your state consumer protection agency to report. It’s false advertising at a minimum and – worse – is causing medical harm obviously to more than a small handful of folks.

  28. Paula Says:

    UPDATE: I just spoke to Ramiro at Costco customer service, product info line (800 774-2678) and he took down my info. I asked if they keep a log of such calls? He said, yes, they track such things, and they submit the data to their buyers but basically sounded like mot much would be done unless there’s enough volume of serious complaints to warrant a product recall (he said none for this product exists). He also suggested you could go by your local Costco store and fill out an “incident form” (but sounds like not much is going to be done). However, just this blog comes up in a google search of the product so others won’t think they’re crazy and/or help dermatologists pinpoint people’s medical condition, and there’s always the power of twitter. 🙂

  29. Vicky Says:

    I also have been using the product for 2 months now and could not figure out what has caused these hives all over. Using cortisol creams from the doctor etc. I thought it was a food allergy- but now after reading all this I am starting to think it is the detergent! I will rewash everything and see what happens!

  30. Jack Says:

    Ive been struggling w/ a rash on my arms, chest, ankles and feet. I’m sure it’s the Kirkland Signiture powder laundry detergent, item #119903. I was fine when using a very tiny amount, but my mom did a load of whites and my feet/ankles broke out again. Very itchy, looks like mosquito bites where my socks were. My feet have even broken into hives.

  31. ka Says:

    I used Kirdland eco friendly dish soap for three days. The scent is too strong, so I have to wash it off many times to eliminate the smell. Also, the scent stuck to all my toppleware. My 19 month old baby suddenly broke out rash on his neck and back. He is allergic to chemical scent. I think this product is not eco friendly at all. I’m going back to my old dish soap.

  32. Amy Says:

    I have been getting rashes on my forearms and neck and also my throat has been feeling like it’s closing up for weeks now. I’m 100% sure it’s the ECOS Laundry Detergent Magnolia & Lily. I finally figured out for sure that it’s the laundry detergent. Just took a benadryl as it’s likely an allergic or highly-sensitive reaction to some ingredient in the detergent. Everyone else’s comments/symptoms confirms this in my mind.

  33. Alison Says:

    I just figured out that the Kirkland envir. friendly lavender laundry detergent is not so friendly to my body and skin. At first, I thought I had spider bite, but then realized I gained a more of the rash each day. It also stinks wsy too much. I am calling and writing Costco!

  34. Virginia Says:

    I just found the website after my 13 year old daughter broke out tonight. She became hot and started itching everywhere. We’ve given her benedryl and it seems to be helping. After reading this board, we are re-washing everything in hot water and will not be using this detergent again…

  35. Julie Says:

    My husband washed clothes yesterday with Costco “environmentally Friendly” laundry detergent. This evening I put my pajamas on that had been washed in it and was first very out off by the chemically smell. I should have looked at the bottle closer but just assumed that it would smell like ecos, etc…it doesn’t. It’s an awful chemical smell. I also started having a reaction very shortly after putting my clothes on. It started as a bit of trouble breathing and itching. I suspected the detergent right away because and took the clothes off. We will have to rewash everything (thankfully only one load) , probably more than once, to get this nasty stuff off of it. Also, strangely enough, I am also allergic…very allergic…to shrimp, specifically the sulfites that shrimp and some other seafood is dipped in immediately after they are caught. I am wondering if it is a sulfite ingredient that people are reacting to? I’m returning the product tomorrow and will fill out an incident report.

  36. james Says:

    Seems like Costco Kirkland’s brand of “eco-friendly” products is yet another example of greenwashing.

    Take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s analysis of the dish soap ingredients:


  37. MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets - What ingredients are in a product? | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Costco Kirkland Signature Eco Friendly Cleaners […]

  38. Mike Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s having an allgergic reaction! I thought it was like a rash or chicken pox! Stinkin’ Kirkland Detergent messed me up! I tried calamine and neosporin for days before I realized this detergent was the problem because we had switched to it about 3weeks ago.
    Purex also does the same thing to me! Tide is the only thing that doesn’t for some reason I have found. Rewashing all my clothes and sheets as we speak with Tide!

  39. Carla Says:

    Norwex Ultra Power Laundry is the best in my experience and you can use it in a front load machine.

  40. Kimmy Says:

    I went to my friends house to watch the football game. It was kinda cold and she handed me her throw blanket. After 15 minutes, i felt itchy and suddenly developed a rashes on my arms. I asked her if she used kirkland as her detergent and she said yes. Before I got hives and my eye drooped but I was not sure about it if the food I ate or something else. I remembered my mom used kirkland for her laundry. I was not sure that time but now Im truly convinced that it’s the reason why I get rashes!! Will never use this product nor even get near of this thing!!! Messed me up!!! They should ban this in the market since it’s not good and safe product!!!

  41. Alex Says:

    So glad I’m not the only one who has had a bad reaction to Kirkland Signature Free and Clear 2X Concentrate Ultra Clean Premium Laundry Detergent. I’ve had bad rash outbreaks around my neck and hips. It took forever to figure out what was causing this. I thought I had was having an allergic reaction to bath soap, but it was Kirkland Ultra Clean Laundry Detergent. If you think you have itchy skin, hives, or rashes while using Kirkland Signature Free and Clear 2X Concentrate Ultra Clean Premium Laundry Detergent, switch to a hypoallergenic detergent.

  42. ME Too Says:

    Ugh. I’ve been trying to figure out the rash problem too. I’ve been using this stuff for about 1 month. A week and a half ago, I started having mild itching all over my skin. Then, in the areas where my clothing touches the most, I started getting rashes. Then, it kept expanding. My whole torso is covered as is my pelvis and part-unknown…You do not want this rash on parts unknown. My legs and arms have it too.

    I just decided to google Kirkland and Rash…Low and behold. Both here and on Amazon.

    A combination of Benadryl, Ibuprofen, and Calamine has helped a little.

    I’ve started re-washing all of my clothes.

  43. Rebecca LaBuy Says:

    I paid an allergist, MD to test me to figure out just what I am allergic to.

    It is a very commonly used preservative. LONG chemical name usually found toward the end of the ingredient list

    isomethyl ionone Sometimes called alpha isomethylionone

    Causes very bad rashes and or hives. Used in MANY products. I avoid it now but get frustrated when only the word “preservative” is used.

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