It’s easy to confuse Pine-Sol and Pine Glo.
Not only do their brand names sound similar, but they both make pine-scented multi-surface cleaners.
So what’s the difference? Which should you use?
In this comparison of Pine-Sol vs. Pine Glo, you’ll learn how these brands differ in product offerings, performance, ingredients, safety, usage, and more.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Pine Glo vs. Pine-Sol: Key Takeaways
- Product Offerings
- Ingredients and Safety
- FAQs about Pine Glo and Pine-Sol
- Bottom Line: Should You Use Pine Glo or Pine-Sol?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the key differences between Pine-Sol and Pine Glo. I provide more context, details, and photos of each brand throughout the full comparison.
Product Offerings: Pine Glo makes various cleaning products, including disinfectants, degreasers, and fabric refreshers. Pine-Sol has a narrower product range focused primarily on multi-surface cleaners. Its Original cleaner is a disinfectant; the others clean and deodorize but don’t kill bacteria and viruses.
Scents: Pine Glo cleaners come in a wide range of scents (over a dozen), whereas Pine-Sol only has a handful of nature-inspired scents.
Ingredients: Pine Glo cleaners contain various formulations of ammonium chloride as the active ingredient. Pine-Sol, made initially with pine oil, now uses glycolic acid and sodium carbonate as its main ingredients. Both brands are rated poorly by the Environmental Work Group for toxicity and risk to human and environmental health.
Uses: Pine Glo cleaners are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms since they’re registered disinfectants by the EPA. Pine-Sol is more of an all-purpose cleaner. The Original formula is an effective disinfectant, while its lemon and lavender-scented cleaners cut through dirt and grime but don’t contain bacteria-killing ingredients.
Availability: Pine-Sol is readily available in major retail outlets, hardware stores, and convenience stores, while Pine Glo is sold primarily in discount retailers like Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Walmart.
Bottom Line: Pine-Sol is the original pine-scented multi-surface cleaner with wider availability and a choice of disinfecting or regular strength formulas. Pine Glo offers broad disinfecting power but with harsher ingredients and limited retail presence.
Pine Glo offers a broader range of cleaning products compared to Pine-Sol.
Pine Glo’s primary product is its Antibacterial & Disinfectant Cleaner. However, they offer a wide range of products across various cleaning needs.
Its lineup includes multi-surface cleaners and disinfectants (various scents), disinfecting floor cleaners, degreasers, septic maintenance solutions, pet stain removers, glass cleaners, fabric refreshers, soap scum removers, bleaches, carpet cleaners, drain openers, and more.
Pine Glo makes all these products, but some are marketed under sub-brands like Septix, Glass Glo, Green Power, and Renew.
Pine-Sol has a more focused range of products. While the brand is best known for its Original Multi-Surface Cleaner (pine-scented), it also makes multi-surface cleaners in other scents, a floor cleaner, and a wood polish.
While all Pine-Sol products leave your home smelling of fresh pine and sparkling clean, only the Original pine-scented cleaner is a disinfectant. The others remove grease, dirt, and deodorize but don’t have the germ-killing punch. All Pine Glo multi-surface cleaners are disinfectants regardless of the scent.
Pine Glo cleaners come in an extensive array of scents. Here’s what they offer:
- Rainy Island Breeze
- Spring Fresh Scent
- Wild Flower
- Rainy Meadows
- Twisty Apple Berry
- Fruit Passion
- Laundry Fresh
- Sunset Spice
Pine-Sol is more concise in its scent offerings:
- Original (Pine)
- Lemon Fresh
- Lavender Clean
- Sparkling Wave
- Outdoor Fresh
- Orange Energy
- Wildflower Blast
- Mountain Energy
Ingredients and Safety
One of the most notable differences between Pine-Sol and Pine Glo is their ingredients.
Pine Glo is not a “green” cleaner. It’s a potent formula with harsh ingredients.
The active ingredients in its disinfectant cleaners are different formulations of ammonium chloride, which serve as disinfectants. Most Pine Glo cleaners contain the following:
- Octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
Besides ammonia, Pine Glo contains Tetrasodium ethylenediamine tetraacetate (chelating agent), Ethoxylated C9-11 Alcohols (surfactant), and Sodium metasilicate pentahydrate (detergent). These ingredients help to break down grease and grime and wash it away.
Many people associate Pine-Sol with pine oil because that was the main ingredient when the product was invented in 1929 and became more prevalent throughout the following decades.
However, today’s formulations don’t contain pine oil. Instead, Pine-Sol Original contains glycolic acid, an organic acid that can tackle dirt, grease, and tough messes like soap scum and hard water stains. As a bonus, glycolic acid has low toxicity and is biodegradable.
Pine-Sol’s other multi-surface cleaners, such as Lemon Fresh, Lavender Clean, and Sparkling Wave, rely on sodium carbonate (or soda ash), a mild but effective degreaser and water softener. These cleaners also contain surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol ethoxylates.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which rates products on health and environmental safety, sheds light on the relative safety of these cleaners.
Their rating scale ranges from A (few/no known or suspected hazards to health or the environment) to F (potentially significant hazards to health or the environment).
While Pine Glo’s products don’t appear in the EWG database, some of its ingredients do — and their safety ratings are poor:
- Dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (Rated D)
- Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (Rated F)
- Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (Rated D)
So, despite their different formulas and risk profiles, Pine-Sol and Pine Glo are far from “green” cleaners. Always use caution when using these cleaners, and follow the instructions on the label carefully.
Pine Glo liquid multi-surface cleaners are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, two rooms where germs linger. The EPA recognizes Pine Glo as a registered disinfectant. So when you wipe your counter with it, you remove grime and potentially harmful germs.
Pine-Sol is primarily known for its liquid disinfecting cleaner. It is perfect for tackling tough stains, soap scum, and hard water deposits. But its uses aren’t limited to just standard cleaning. Here are some unique ways people are using Pine-Sol (note: these uses only apply to Pine-Sol Original):
- Laundry booster: Adding a 1/2 cup to your wash can enhance your detergent’s cleaning power. Pine-Sol is especially adept at removing stubborn stains and neutralizing odors on athletic wear. However, avoid using it on delicate fabrics.
- Hairbrush cleaner: Grease and hair products can clog up your hairbrush. A short soak in a hot water and Pine-Sol solution followed by a good scrub with a toothbrush will get it looking and feeling new.
- Insect repellent: A blend of Pine-Sol and water can keep away flies and wasps.
- Trash can cleaner: A quick wipe with Pine-Sol not only cleans but also repels pests.
- Flu season safeguard: A 10-minute application on hard surfaces kills the viruses that cause the flu.
- Wall cleaner: A diluted Pine-Sol solution can remove tough stains from walls — even crayons.
- Plastic item refresher: From toys to chairs, Pine-Sol can clean, disinfect, and refresh.
Remember, whichever brand you’re using, always read and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you’re using the product safely and effectively.
You’ll find Pine-Sol in a variety of retail outlets. It’s stocked in big-box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, grocery stores, local convenience stores, and ACE Hardware.
On the other hand, Pine Glo’s distribution is more limited to discount retailers such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Walmart, and Dollar General.
Here are some of the most common questions regarding Pine Glo vs. Pine-Sol.
What surfaces can you use Pine Glo and Pine-Sol on?
Both products are safe on hard, non-porous surfaces. Pine-Sol is also safe on finished hardwood, cement, carpet, and glass. It’s safe on some painted surfaces but always test in an inconspicuous area before applying it widely.
Where should you NOT use Pine Glo and Pine-Sol?
Avoid using Pine Glo on porous or painted surfaces. The ammonia within Pine Glo can dull, discolor, and deteriorate wood floors, cabinets, and furniture. Pine-Sol isn’t suitable for marble, aluminum, car paint, or certain wood surfaces. Always perform a patch test on a hidden area if you’re uncertain.
Do Pine Glo or Pine-Sol contain bleach?
Neither Pine Glo nor Pine-Sol multi-surface cleaners contain bleach. However, some Pine Glo products, like the drain opener, contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach).
Can I mix Pine Glo and Pine-Sol with bleach?
Never mix Pine Glo or Pine-Sol with bleach or any other cleaners or chemicals. Combining them could lead to the release of hazardous gasses.
Does Pine Glo and Pine-Sol contain ammonia?
While Pine-Sol cleaners are ammonia-free, Pine Glo does contain ammonia. Ammonium chloride is one of the main ingredients in Pine Glo.
Does Pine Glo and Pine-Sol emit strong fumes?
Pine Glo and Pine-Sol, like many chemical cleaners, produce fumes during use. Although not excessively strong, they might irritate your lungs if inhaled continuously. When using either product, open a window and make sure the room is well-ventilated.
Are Pine Glo and Pine-Sol bad for your health?
Both cleaners have ingredients rated by the Environmental Working Group as potentially harmful. When using Pine Glo or Pine-Sol, protect your skin and eyes, ensure the room is ventilated, and store them safely away from children and pets.
Can Pine Glo and Pine-Sol kill bacteria and viruses?
All Pine Glo multi-surface cleaners kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Pine-Sol Original is also a disinfectant, proven to kill 99% of bacteria and viruses; however, the Lemon Fresh, Lavender Clean, and other scented cleaners are not disinfectants. Those products effectively cut through dirt and grime but do not kill bacteria and viruses.
Are Pine Glo and Pine-Sol safe to use around children and pets?
Both products are toxic, so they should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. However, using the cleaners in playrooms, bedrooms, and other areas where children and pets play is perfectly safe. But make sure no one is in the room while you clean, and keep the space clear until the scent has fully dispersed.
What is the shelf life of Pine Glo and Pine-Sol?
Pine-Sol lasts about two years, though its color may change over time. Pine Glo doesn’t provide a specific shelf life for its disinfectant, but it’s stable when stored correctly.
Are Pine Glo and Pine-Sol made in the USA?
Yes, both are produced in the USA. Pine Glo is made in North Carolina, while Pine-Sol products are manufactured in Forest Park, Georgia.
Who owns Pine Glo and Pine-Sol?
The Diehl family proudly owns Pine Glo, keeping it a family-run business since its start in 1979. A chemist named Harry A. Cole invented Pine-Sol in 1929. The company has changed hands several times since then but was acquired by its current owner, The Clorox Corporation, in 1990.
Bottom Line: Should You Use Pine Glo or Pine-Sol?
So, should you use Pine-Sol or Pine Glo?
Based on my testing and research, Pine-Sol is the better choice for most cleaning needs. It’s just as effective as Pine Glo, but the formulas are milder and less harmful to your health and the environment, and it’s widely available in a range of stores.
Use Pine-Sol Original when disinfecting is your top priority. For everyday grime, the lemon or lavender-scented options get the job done without harsh chemicals.
If you shop at discount retailers and need an effective disinfectant, Pine Glo is an affordable option. But if you’re cleaning dirt and grime but don’t need the extra disinfecting power, their harsh ammonia-based multi-surface cleaners introduce unnecessary chemicals into your home.
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