What is Gumption?
Gumption Multi-Purpose Cleaner is a cleaning product popular in Australia. It has been around for 60+ years, and tons of users swear by it. The product claims to be non-toxic, fume-free, free of harsh chemicals or bleaches, and is supposedly effective on tons of household cleanups.
What are the ingredients of Gumption?
I actually had a hard time figuring out exactly what is in Gumption. The back of the package shows something like this:
When the package doesn’t say exactly what is in the product, it is really tough to say definitely whether something is bad for us or not.
Is Gumption Hazardous?
Under the criteria of the NOHSC Australia, the product is not classified as hazardous. The Australia Dangerous Goods code states that it is Not a Dangerous Good.
In a recent Material Safety Data Sheet published by Clorox Australia Pty Limited (source), the product is apparently not harmful, and presents no hazards. It is “unlikely to cause any discomfort in normal use” and contains no ingredients are are classified as carcinogenic.
We don’t know much about the specific recipe of Gumption. But we do know that is contains Isopropanol. Isopropanol is also known as isopropyl alcohol and/or propan-2-ol. It is a very flammable, colorless liquid which smells a lot like alcohol. It can be found in tons of cleaning, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products that we use every day, generally in small amounts. (Think cleaners, rubbing alcohol, de-ciers, anti-freeze, disinfectants, etc).
Inhaling Isopropanol may cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Ingestion of Isopropanol may cause burning in the mouth and throat, stomach pain, headaches, dizziness and other serious problems. It irritates the skin and eyes as well.
The jury is still out on whether Isopropanol is confirmed to be carcinogenic. We know that it is a nervous system depressant and prolonged exposure to high levels of it has caused degenerative changes during animal studies.
It is pretty unlikely though that if you used Gumption infrequently that you would ever expose yourself to as much of the Isopropanol as was delivered to a rat in an animal study. You definitely wouldn’t want to go out of your way to expose yourself to a lot of it through.
Does that mean that Gumption is safe to use during pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, it is always best to look past the advertisements, and go straight to the warnings on the product and the ingredients. Since the ingredients list is not that helpful, look at the warnings listed in the associated packaging or in the advertisements.
I found an advertisement for Gumption cleaner over at Amazon. Here’s what it said in the product description section. It states, “caution: may impair fertility” and also “may cause harm to unborn child” and then “keep out of reach of children” along with “do not breath dust”.
As a pregnant woman, these details should be alarm bells for whether or not you should be using a product that claims to be “non-toxic.”
Just about everything I have found on the internet seems to say that Gumption should be 100% safe to use during pregnancy. But when I see warnings on products that state that the product may cause infertility or that it may cause harm to an unborn child, I hear alarm bells. And not because I think the product is one that is really actually harmful and the company is trying to CYA (cover its bum if you know what I mean) because it knows that it is.
Instead, these warnings tell me that the labels have gone through the Legal Department. And if the Legal Department isn’t 100% sure that the product is 100% safe, such a disclaimer has to go on the product and in the advertisement. The company has no information confirming that the product isn’t safe, but it doesn’t have any information confirming 100% that the product IS 100% safe. The company doesn’t know for sure if the product is safe. It thinks so, because it is selling it and hasn’t seen any reason not to sell it. But CYAs are there for a reason.
Conclusion On The Safety of Gumption For Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms
Is Gumption a safe product for pregnant or breastfeeding moms to use? I don’t think that the product is hundred percent okay to use. In fact, I have some real questions about whether or not is something that a pregnant mother should utilize. I have trouble with the fact that the packaging as the disclaimer on it, even though it also says that it is non-toxic and the website where it is sold claims that it is safe for use with children.
When you’re dealing with issues of chemicals during pregnancy, I think it is best to err on the side of caution. If it is a chemical that is not necessary for you to use, then it is best to be avoided. If they can’t say with 100% certainty that the product is something you should use that you should avoid it.
Alternatives to Using Gumption While Pregnant or Nursing
There are tons of non chemical products that you can utilize while you are pregnant to avoid exposure to chemicals. I myself adopted the use of vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap while I was pregnant and breastfeeding.
You can easily make a paste that is good for scrubbing by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water.
I frequently used white vinegar mixed with water, as a disinfecting spray for the sinks, toilets, tubs, and toys.
I substituted vinegar in ever place where I would have previously used bleach.
If I needed a little bubbles while cleaning, I would mix in some dish soap.
But in general, I didn’t have concerns about exposing myself to baking soda and vinegar because I know for the most part that these substances are not toxic and wouldn’t harm my children.
And funny enough, it is strangely satisfying to mix up vinegar and baking soda in the toilet and watch them come up before I get in there and scrub. Your older children will enjoy it too (and may even be willing to help you scrub).
One thing though you have to know is that it is imperative that you not mix any cleaning product containing bleach with vinegar, because if you do so, you risk creating a very dangerous chlorine gas. It is best to generally commit to cleaning with only vinegar and baking soda based solutions if that is the road you are going down, and not mix up your old cleaners with it.
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the screen when the kids are occupied. She can be reached through the Contact Us page.