2 B-E or not 2B-E

2 B-E what is it? Also known as butyl cellosolve, 2 B-E is formally known as 2-Butoxy Ethanol. As the name suggests with ethanol being a petroleum derivative, 2B-E is a very effective solvent. I can remember when it was the active ingredient in almost half of our 12 cleaning products back in the late 70’s. Glass Cleaner, Degreaser, Floor Cleaner, All Purpose Cleaner and even some hand cleaners. 2B-E represented a massive trade for nearly 50 years. In the 70’s it became common knowledge that many petroleum distillates were known carcinogens. Eventually replacements came on to the market using dozens of alternative technologies, but it was the newest technology in terpenes known as d’limonene that took the crown from Butyl solvents. Although in retail circles heralded as the leading technology for the newish millennium, d’limonene has recently fallen out of favor with cleaning product manufacturers.
Why did I write this blurb then? Simple awareness. If you take the time to read a safety data sheet you will benefit. A little bit of knowledge will benefit you when it comes to making product choices. My recommendation? Try to work Butyl solvents out of your cleaning product repertoire. Look at green products, they don’t cost more these days and in fact in many cases they work better and quicker.

Need a ‘greener’ solution? Ask us for help selecting the product best suited to your unique cleaning needs. Or check out a few of our favourite greener cleaners below!


Leave a Reply