Having a clean home is essential to protecting your family’s health and well-being, but did you know that the cleaners you’re using may contain harsh chemicals that do more harm than good? TSP is one of the most commonly-used additives in household cleaners and is found in many of the most popular brands. Many people falsely believe that since TSP is so widely used, it must be safe; however, this potent chemical is toxic and can cause a myriad of health issues. If you’re looking for a safer alternative to traditional chemical-laden cleaners, switching to a TSP substitute cleaner is the best way to keep your home cleaner and your family safer. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about TSP, including our pick for the most effective TSP cleaner substitute, so you can feel good about the cleaners you use in your home.
What Is TSP?
TSP, or Trisodium Phosphate, is a cleaning formulation containing between seventy-five and eighty percent trisodium phosphate and twenty to twenty-five percent sodium carbonate. This non-sudsing powdered cleaner is odorless and often added to household products due to its potency and ability to remove dirt, grease, soot, and more. Due to its highly toxic composition, TSP can cause serious skin and eye irritation and sickness if swallowed, and the phosphate may seep into local waterways, killing fish, causing algae blooms, and decreasing the overall ecological health of the area.
Why Should You Not Use TSP For Cleaning?
Apart from its harmful side effects, cleaning with TSP is a bad idea for many other reasons. TSP can cause corrosion and darkening when used on metal surfaces, making them look pitted and dull. It also harms woods like maple and oak, causing a chemical reaction within the fibers that stain and darken the surface. If not wiped away quickly, TSP can break down grout and glazing on tiles, often causing costly damage over time. Environmentally speaking, the phosphates in TSP wreak havoc on fish and plant life, making their way through the local waterways to major aquatic locations like lakes, rivers, and oceans. Algae thrive on phosphates, which triggers an overgrowth of these quick-growing plants, causing the water’s oxygen levels to drop, suffocating marine life. No matter how you look at it, TSP is harmful to humans and the environment, which is why you should avoid using it throughout your home.
What Is TSP Substitute Cleaner?
A TSP substitute cleaner uses a heavy-duty, phosphate-free formulation to provide the same powerful cleaning results as TSP without the harmful chemical. A TSP cleaner substitute removes grime, grease, soot, smoke, and more from a variety of surfaces, including floors, walls, metal, and glass.
Are TSP Substitutes AS Good As The TSP?
With the banning of phosphates from all fifty states, companies had to find ways to provide their consumers with the same high-level cleaning results without a TSP additive. Fortunately, many top cleaning product manufacturers were already working hard to develop effective and safe alternatives. As a result, consumers can easily find a high-quality TSP substitute cleaner in their local grocery or big box store. These cleaners work just as well as their TSP counterparts and, in many cases, outperform their harmful counterparts.
4 Of The Best TSP Substitute Cleaners
Now that you have a better understanding of why you should avoid purchasing TSP cleaners, you’re probably wondering which cleaning products to choose. I’ve done the hard work for you, testing the effectiveness of the top TSP-free cleaners on the market to find which ones stand out and which fall short. The result? Four cleaners rose to the challenge, blowing their competitors out of the water and making their way onto our list of the best TSP substitute cleaners available.
1. Savogran TSP Substitute All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner
Savogran has created a long-lasting concentrated TSP substitute cleaner for both indoor and outdoor use. The all-purpose concentrated solution goes the distance and removes heavy grime and grease deposits. It’s great for prepping surfaces for painting and is usable in power washers, and the best part? No rinsing is required!
2. Simple Green
Simple Green has made a name for itself as one of the most effective industrial strength cleaners and degreasers on the market. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable, and nonabrasive, making it the perfect alternative to toxic cleaning options. You’ll love this super-concentrated cleaner’s pleasant scent and mild 9. 3 to 9. 5 pH formula. Simple Green is USDA authorized for use around meat and poultry and does not contain petroleum distillates.
3. Sunnyside Phosphate Free TSP Substitute All Purpose Cleaner
When you want a powerful clean, turn to Sunnyside. The powdered formula makes it easy to adjust your cleaning power, giving you unmatched flexibility and control. Mix the easily dissolvable powder with warm water and spray it on virtually any surface, including floors and woodwork, to remove stuck-on grime, grease, smoke, chalked paint, and soot. For mildew and mold stains, mix Sunnyside with bleach and apply to the affected area to disinfect and brighten.
4. Kleen Strip TSP Substitute Cleaner
Kleen Strip is the ultimate in simplistic cleaning, providing powerful results without the fuss. This ready-to-use formula doesn’t require diluting or measuring and is ideal for prepping solid surfaces prior to painting. It is effective on wood, brick, and metal and is safe to use in a pressure washer or pump sprayer, making it a top choice for both indoor and outdoor use.
Note – All of the TSP substitute cleaners mentioned above are excellent for cleaning heavy-duty messes without exposure to harmful phosphates. Although they are a safer alternative, it is important to use common sense safety precautions like wearing gloves and eye protectants, avoiding contact with eyes, or ingestion.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Borax a good substitute for TSP?
Yes, Borax is an excellent substitute for TSP, requiring far fewer safety precautions and causing significantly less damage to the environment. As a naturally occurring compound, Borax offers many of the same powerful benefits as TSP, removing mildew and mold, disinfecting, and freshening with ease. Simply mix 1/4 cup of Borax into warm water and spray, letting the mixture sit for a few minutes for especially dirty surfaces.
What is the TSP alternative for painting?
Prior to painting, you want to find a heavy-duty TSP substitute that will clean the surface without causing damage. All of the products mentioned above are ideal for pre-painting cleansing on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, tile, and more. Ensuring you have a clean “canvas” to paint on will make the pain apply more smoothly and give you a more seamless finish, so you can enjoy the results for years to come.
What is the TSP substitute for cleaning walls?
When painting interior and exterior walls, it’s essential to properly prep them to ensure a seamless application. To do this, you must first do a thorough cleaning with a heavy-duty cleanser. There are many effective TSP alternatives for prepping walls for painting, but our favorite is Sunnyside and Kleen Strip, which I mentioned above. Sunnyside is excellent thanks to its customizability, while Kleen Strip requires no measuring or mixing.
Can You use the TSP substitute for wood?
Yes, many TSP substitute cleaners are safe for use on wooden surfaces, including floors, furniture, and cabinetry. As with all cleaners, be sure to check the label before applying it to ensure the product you choose won’t harm your wood finish.
Can I use vinegar instead of TSP?
For decades people have used vinegar as a safe and effective all-purpose cleanser, and it’s clear to see why. Vinegar works wonderfully as a degreaser, cutting through layers of grease with ease. It’s also a natural disinfectant and air freshener, leaving surfaces sparkling clean. You can use vinegar at full strength or diluted to remove mildew stains, grime, and grease, without worrying about leaving behind a chemical residue. For tougher stains and dirty surfaces, vinegar may not provide the same level of cleaning as a TSP cleaner substitute, so you may want to reach for those if the area is particularly dirty.
What can I use instead of TSP for cabinets?
When it comes to cleaning your cabinets, Simple Green is one of the most popular TSP substitute cleaner choices. This powerful, irritant-free cleanser will remove stuck-on dirt and grease from all cabinet materials with ease. Plus, it will leave the room smelling great, thanks to its light and pleasant sassafras scent.
When it comes to cleaning, choosing a TSP substitute cleaner is the best way to cleanse your surfaces without harming your family or the environment. I’ve chosen the top picks for the four best TSP-free cleaners that are perfect for painting or all-purpose use. Don’t risk exposure to toxic and harmful chemicals; switch to a TSP cleaner substitute today!