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Sodium Benzoate in Cleaning Products: Is It Safe for Your Home?

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Here at Therapy Clean, we sometimes get questions about the ingredients used in our plant-based cleaning products. One such ingredient is sodium benzoate. Let's dig into this everyday ingredient, learn what a benzoate really is, and get to the bottom of whether sodium benzoate is safe for your home.

What is Sodium Benzoate?

Sodium benzoate is a sodium salt derived from benzoic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid found in various fruits and spices, such as cinnamon bark, apricots, and apples. When combined with sodium hydroxide - which is produced by electrolysis of sodium chloride (table salt) or extracted from natural sources like brine wells - it forms sodium benzoate, which is commonly used as a preservative in various industries, including food, beverages, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.

In the food industry, sodium benzoate is widely used as a preservative and acidity regulator, particularly for acidic items like fruit juices, carbonated drinks, pickles, and salad dressings. It is also used in the medical industry to help enhance medication stability and shelf life.

In the context of cleaning products, sodium benzoate plays a similar role, helping to prevent the growth of microorganisms that could compromise the quality and effectiveness of the solution. It helps to extend the product's shelf life by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungi. This will enhance the longevity and stability of the formula, ensuring it remains effective over time.

Benzoates and Their Uses

The term "benzoates" refers to a broad category of compounds that includes sodium benzoate and other salts and derivatives of benzoic acid. These can include potassium benzoate, calcium benzoate, and benzoyl peroxide, among others. Each benzoate compound may have specific applications and properties, but they all share the commonality of containing the benzoate group. 

Because benzoates like sodium benzoate are commonly employed to extend the shelf life of products by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold, benzoates also play a crucial role in personal care products, acting as preservatives in cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, and other toiletries to prevent microbial contamination. In pharmaceuticals, benzoates help maintain the stability and safety of medications. Additionally, benzoic acid derivatives find uses in industrial settings, such as plasticizers in the production of plastics, and serve as intermediates in the synthesis of various chemicals. 

Is Sodium Benzoate Safe for Your Home?

We’re happy to report the compound has been deemed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) in common household products by the FDA - we wouldn’t use it if it wasn’t!

Sodium benzoate's preservative properties are advantageous in cleaning products, preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms and ensuring the product remains effective throughout its shelf life.

However, individuals should be mindful of potential sensitivities or allergies as with any chemical. It's crucial to be aware of personal reactions and choose cleaning products accordingly.

To sum things up, sodium benzoate, with its well-defined formula and established use as a preservative, is considered safe for use in cleaning products. When evaluating cleaning products, it's not just about the ingredients; it's crucial to understand their role and impact. As always, we encourage you to make choices that align with your values and contribute to a safe and healthy home environment.

Looking for natural and effective products but not sure where to start? We got you! Check out Therapy Clean’s curated collection of best sellers and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from using products you know are safe for your home and the planet!

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