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Question from PJ

Dear Debra,

When I read suggestions from yourself and readers about various cleaning products (hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap etc.) I have noticed that Trader Joe’s brand products are seldom mentioned. I am wondering if you are unfamiliar with them, or if they have been found by you to have questionable ingredients? I have found them to be more reasonably priced than other organic products. Please comment.

I also wondered if you are familiar with Country Save brand laundry detergent? The powdered form has NO odor. I am sensitive to many fragrances, including plant based ones, and have been so happy to find a non-toxic product without added fragrance. When I read about people taking the time to make their own laundry detergents, I wonder if Country Save would be a good alternative for them? (Their web address is: I buy it locally in a 10 lb. (80 load) box for $12.99. Ingredients: sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, sodium borate, sodium alkyl aryl sulfonate, linear alcohol ethoxylate, coconut diethanolamide.

Thank you for your dedication to making the world we share a healthier place.

Debra’s Answer

I am familiar with Trader Joe’s cleaning products and they are fine. I haven’t put them on Debra’s List because they do not sell their products on a website and Debra’s List is geared mainly to online sources of nontoxic, natural and earthwise products, though many of them are also sold in stores. Also, I don’t have Trader Joe’s here in Florida, though it was one of my favorite stories when I lived in the San Francisco area.

Country Save is also fine, and I’ve added it to Debra’s List.

However, neither of these are organic (as you stated in the title of your post), to the best of my knowledge (haven’t looked at Trader Joe’s recently) but they are natural.

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