The Truth About Dollar Tree's $1 Cleaner

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Bargain hunters at Dollar Tree and Dollar General know that some items are worth far more than the $1 price tag. LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner sets big expectations with its name, but according to many of its users, it really is totally awesome. The bottle claims the cleaner is effective for removing everything from blood, to gum, to hair dye, and it can be found both at Dollar Tree and Dollar General. For the most part, LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner seems just as good as its fans claim — that is, if you don't have a sensitive nose.

Dollar Tree's website attracted plenty of five star reviews, including from users who claim the cleaner worked on "dirty farm clothes," and oily engines. If you want to watch the cleaner in action, there are dozens of YouTube videos where users try Totally Awesome on their own tough stains. Watching dirt drip off DT's tires after just a few sprays is pretty satisfying. If you're skeptical that the cleaner works on fabric, watch YouTuber 505BOSE use a scrub brush to get stains out of car seats. While the stains required a little more scrubbing work, the final results are impressive, and most of the visible stains wipe right off.

You may want to think twice if you have a sensitive nose

While the product is highly praised for its cleaning abilities, it may not be the best choice for those who have a sensitive sense of smell. According to Clark, LA's Totally Awesome cleaner received an "A" from the Environmental Working Group, which rates products on their levels of toxic chemicals. So while it may be free from toxicity, the smell says otherwise. While many reviews claim that the smell was fine, an overwhelming amount disagree. One Amazon reviewer claims that the smell was so bad it made her cough, saying "the smell of it is unbearable. It's so bad that it makes me cough and feel like I'm choking just if I even smell it at all when I am cleaning."

Similar comments were found on Influenster reviews, with one commenter saying "It works great — the smell is the only thing that would keep me from buying it."

Still, even with some comments about the smell, which, according to Apartment Therapy, has a grapefruit scent, many agree that it is still worth it for its intense cleaning abilities and low price.

Don't forget to dilute the cleaner

Unfortunately, while the ease of buying this $1 cleaner is likely its best trait, using it isn't quite as simple. The formula of this cleaner is super concentrated, meaning it needs to be diluted with water before using (so, it's not a simple spray and wipe situation). In fact, it says right on the front of the bottle to "dilute before using" with a chart on the back to show you what ratios to use depending on what you are cleaning. According to Motivated Moms, you simply consult this chart and mix the cleaner with the recommended amount of water.

But while this extra step may be a negative to some, it actually has one big perk: it makes the product last even longer. Many Amazon reviewers commented about how this product is such a good bang for your buck since diluting it means you have even more product to use. "You can use this on anything and dilution allows it to go a long way," said one reviewer.

Be careful ordering LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner online

If you are searching for LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner, your best bet is to run into your local Dollar Tree to purchase it. But, if you don't have one nearby, be careful before you buy the product online. Several reviewers on Dollar General's website complained their bottles were damaged by improper shipping. "I appreciate DG and I look forward to using the product, but sadly it wasn't packed properly and arrived damaged," one reviewer said. Other online retailers mark up the price. One Amazon reviewer said, "I bought this to clean my Cricut mats. It's fantastic! ... But then I found it [at] 2 different dollar stores!!!! ... I do recommend this product 100 percent but not at this price on Amazon."

If you are searching for a product that cleans everything from your car to that wine stain on your carpet without paying a premium, you may have just found the ultimate cleaner. While the smell and instructions may cause some to look elsewhere, the $1 price tag and ability to clean the toughest stains make this a top choice for many — happy cleaning!