Tough & Tender is Light Years Ahead of Formula 409

tough tender melaleuca

Throw out Formula 409® Multi-Surface Cleaner. A known lung irritant doesn’t belong in your house. But Tough & Tender® does.

Tough & Tender is Melaleuca’s unmatched all-purpose cleaner. A product far ahead of its time, Tough & Tender replaces Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner and other multipurpose cleaners for so many good reasons.

Tough & Tender cleans everywhere there is dirt without using caustic chemicals. All it leaves behind is sparkling clean rooms and a light, pleasant fragrance. It’s perfect for countertops, stoves, refrigerators, cabinets, appliances, bathroom surfaces, venetian blinds, walls, lighting fixtures, and so much more. It even safely cleans natural stone.

Tough & Tender replaces Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner completely. That’s a very good thing because Formula 409 contains—are you ready?—Alkyl C12-16 Dimethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride Alkyl C12-16 dimethylbenzyl. Yikes!

What in the world is Alkyl C12-16 Dimethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride Alkyl C12-16 dimethylbenzyl? Well, among other things, it’s a quaternary disinfecting compound. And scientists are learning that quaternary disinfectants are dangerous because they cause skin and respiratory irritation. A recent study based on 20 years of research reveals that cleaning your home with common, well-known grocery store brand cleaning products like Formula 409 significantly damages lung tissue in women. In fact, the study showed that cleaning with such products as little as once per week over time is as damaging to respiratory health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years! It’s confirmation of what Melaleuca has known about toxic cleaners for a generation. We were just ahead of our time.

Beyond that, Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner is not good for the environment because it’s toxic to aquatic life and alters the ecosystem when washed downstream. In short, the quaternary disinfectants contained in Formula 409 are not healthy for your family or your world.

So stop spraying them in your house!

And Tough & Tender is more affordable than Formula 409! It’s 12x super concentrated so one 8 fl. oz. concentrate bottle makes six ready-to-use 16 fl. oz. spray bottles!

While you always need a good all-purpose cleaner around the house, what you don’t need are quaternary disinfectants or cleaners with toxic chemicals like chlorine and ammonia. As diligent as you are about keeping your family healthy, why would you clean your home with a known health hazard?

So dispose of the Formula 409 Multi-Surface Cleaner responsibly. Then replace it with Tough & Tender—Melaleuca’s incredibly effective all-purpose cleaner that loves you, your family, and your environment.

P.S. Tough & Tender Biodegradable Cleaning Wipes give you quick cleaning power wherever you go. Which is good, because life’s messes happen everywhere!


  1. Anna McNeill says

    How does a person responsibly dispose of chemicals such as household cleaners described in this blog post? I am converting my whole home to Melaleuca products and I don’t know what to do with my toxic cleaning chemicals.

    • Cailin says

      My town (I live in CT) offers hazardous drop off days at the local dump. You can bring old paint, harmful chemical cleaners, etc. Best to check with your town hall to see if they offer the same service. Good luck!

    • Diane Conrad says

      This is from Melaleuca product line ~ No it doesn’t disinfect but it is safe on granite, marble & stone. The Solu-Guard disinfects, which is another one of Melaleuca’s great products. The awesome thing is that Melaleuca has no caustic chemicals to worry about. Our Solu-Guard botanical disinfectant is powered by citric acid and Thyme oil. The only thing Solu-Guard cannot be used on granite, marble or stone, FYI.

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