Recall: Throw Out This Household Cleaner

When the recall notice went out, the American public was stunned. “What do you mean Pine-Sol is contaminated with bacteria?” Consumers pondered. “Isn’t that product famous for killing germs on surfaces?” Bottles are a surface. “Well,” the Clorox company answers. “Yes, and no.Original Pine Sol is a “disinfectant.” The 37 million bottles of Pine-Sol cleaning products pulled off the shelves are not.

Recall on Pine-Sol

Clorox recently announced the recall of roughly 37 million bottles of Pine-Sol products suspected of containing the potentially harmful bacteria “Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” The organism can “harm people with compromised immune systems or people with external medical devices.” That’s because they “pose a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment.

People usually buy Pine-Sol to kill germs like that. A whole bunch of Americans were shocked to learn the truth. It’s all printed right there on the label but nobody can actually read those. Instead, they rely on what the marketing department says in the ads. We just learned that can be fatal.

Eight different versions of Pine-Sol multi-surface cleaners have been recalled. All but the original. The only real difference between the recall items is the scent.

Pine-Sol scented multi-surface cleaners (lavender clean, sparkling wave and lemon fresh scents), CloroxPro Pine-Sol all purpose cleaners (lavender clean, sparkling wave, lemon fresh, and orange energy scents) and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol lemon fresh cleaner.

Original Pine-Sol, the company continues to insist, “is a registered disinfectant.” When used at full strength according to the instructions on the product, “it kills 99.9% of germs, household viruses and bacteria on hard, nonporous surfaces. It disinfects against Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Influenza A virus (Hong Kong strain).

The strain listed in the recall is named specifically as one prevented. Nobody uses that version because it smells so nasty. The Pine-Sol blends which don’t smell nasty don’t kill germs either. They’re great for cutting grease though.

No injuries reported

The good news is that according to the CPSC, “no injuries have been reported.” CNN is sure to report that the products affected by the recall “were made between January 2021 and September 2022.” All of them came from the Clorox factory in Forest Park, Georgia. They were “sold on Amazon and at several national retailers such as Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Kroger and Dollar Tree.

Every bottle subject to recall has a date code that starts with an “A4” prefix. After that will be a “five-digit number less than 22249.” The various products are all distributed in different size bottles ranging from 28- to 175-fluid ounces. If you happen to have one of the affected lots you don’t need to save it for evidence.


Clorox instructs those with a Pine-Sol product subject to the recall to jot down the date code then just to throw it away. After that, you can give them a jingle for a refund. They have a special website set up for those, too. If you have a bottle of one of those products under your sink that isn’t contaminated, be extra aware it might not be as powerful as the label says it is. While these products may boast 4X the cleaning action, that’s only against grease and grime. They don’t do a thing against germs or bacteria.

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