We know when we go shopping that containers will usually have a bit of empty space at the top, a phenomenon called slack fill. In the case of Honest Co.’s popular dish detergent, bottles were under-filled by about 10%, and may have contained less detergent than stated on the label for years.
Honest Co. is a line of household and baby products, which was co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. The company markets its products as effective, but also eco-friendly and non-toxic. It has faced accusations of being dishonest about what its products really contain, such as leaving out a controversial chemical on detergent labels when the substance was in another ingredient, or calling its products “natural” when they are not. The company settled class action lawsuits over that issue without admitting fault.
The company is once again in the news, this time because retailers have been removing Honest Co. dish soap from shelves recently: An Honest Co. spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the company learned its bottles only contain 24 fluid ounces of detergent, while the label states that the bottle contains 26.5 fluid ounces.
Honest Co. doesn’t manufacture its own products, but uses multiple suppliers. The WSJ reports that the company is in the middle of reformulating its lines while also expanding into new products. One reason for the reformulation is to get rid of the controversial ingredient, sodium coco sulfate, which chemists say contains sodium lauryl sulfate. The company advertised its products as “SLS-free,” but lab tests showed otherwise.
Honest Co. says that a new version of its dish soap will have an accurate label and new formula.