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Review: Lemi Shine Machine Cleaner

A Natural Cleaner for Dishwashers, Washing Machines, & Garbage Disposals

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Lemi Shine Machine Cleaner

Lemi Shine Machine Cleaner

Photo © Karen Peltier

The Bottom Line

This natural machine cleanser does a fantastic job at removing detergent build-up, banishing mineral deposits, removing stains, and eliminating odors, but all of its ingredients aren't fully revealed. Read on for more details including how it fares in terms of environmental friendliness and safety.

Pros

  • Effectiveness: Cleans and eliminates odors very well
  • Environmental Friendliness: Recyclable packaging
  • Multi-Functional: Cleans dishwashers, garbage disposals, and washing machines
  • MSDS: Available on company website
  • Price: Very economical
  • Ingredients: Plant- and mineral-based ingredients

Cons

  • Certifications: None
  • Company Transparency: Not all ingredients are fully revealed
  • Sizes: Only one size available

Description

  • Type: Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Washing Machine Cleaner
  • Size: 7.5 oz. (213 g). Contains three 2.5 oz. pouches.
  • Scent: No scent indicated on packaging
  • Cost: $2.77 - $6.75 (varies greatly by retailers)
  • Ingredients: Real fruit acids, natural citrus oils, and sodium bicarbonate

Company Background

Envirocon Technologies, Inc., manufactures Lemi Shine products, which include a rinse-aid, detergent booster, and machine cleaner. On the Lemi Shine website there is a product timeline that notes in 2009 the company "staked a claim" to be "Creators of innovative, sustainable household cleaning products"; however, more detailed information about its sustainability efforts couldn't be found at the time this review was written. For more information about the products and company, visit the Lemi Shine or Envirocon Technologies website.

Product Effectiveness

I was excited to try this product due to its natural ingredients and the fact that I could use it to clean three machines in my household! Here is how the manufacturer suggests the product be used:

  • To initially clean your dishwasher, pour the entire contents of one package in the bottom of your dishwasher, allow the cycle to run for a few minutes, and then pause it. Let it soak for four hours and then resume the cycle.
  • For regular dishwasher maintenance, pour the package in the bottom of your dishwasher and then run a cycle.
  • To clean your garbage disposal, pour a package in with two cups of water. Let it dissolve. Then turn on your garbage disposal and let water run through it for five seconds.
  • To initially clean your washing machine, use up to two packages. Let the cycle run for a few minutes and then pause it and let it soak for four hours. Then resume and finish the cycle.
  • For regular washing machine maintenance, pour a package in the detergent dispenser cup or in the bottom of the machine. Then start a wash cycle using warm water.

I had a chance to test this product in my dishwasher, which happened to have a really bad odor. I followed the initial treatment instructions and it worked well, but there was still a slight odor left behind. So I gave it another shot and it took care of the odor completely. I also tested it in my garbage disposal. As far as I could tell, it worked like a charm!

Health & Safety

According to the ingredients listed on the product label, this product appears to be completely natural and derived from plants and minerals. It is also free of petroleum-derived chemicals, synthetic dyes, and bleach. The manufacturer divulges one of its ingredients, sodium bicarbonate (i.e., baking soda), which is generally regarded as safe, but isn't transparent about the "real fruit acids" and "natural citrus oils" it contains, unfortunately. However, I would venture to guess that most fruit acids, such as citric acid, are generally regarded as safe with most normal household usage. Also, if the "natural citrus oils" refer to essential oils, those are generally safe as well.

The label warns to keep the product out of the reach of children. It also cautions that the product should not be mixed with chlorine bleach. First-aid measures include flushing the eyes well with water if contact occurs and drinking plenty of water if swallowed. If irritation develops, it is recommended to contact a doctor. For further information, check out the MSDS on the Envirocon Technology website.

Environmental Notes

The product packaging is made with 85% post-consumer content and is fully recyclable. Baking soda is a green ingredient, but the environmental effects of its other ingredients is difficult to discuss due to lack of full ingredient disclosure.

Final Thoughts

This product definitely worked well, but I was surprised at the lack of information about the company on-line and the fact the ingredients aren't fully revealed. This lack of transparency makes the company not appear very green. Therefore, I had to knock off some points. However, compared to other brands out there, Lemi Shine is more up front about the kinds of ingredients it uses, so it may very well be one of the better choices.

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