You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers
What does the EPA Safer Choice label mean and why is it important?
This was a non-starter for us. Of course, every single one of our Sensitive Home products would carry the EPA Safer Choice or the EPA Safer Choice FragranceFree label. The Safer Choice label helps you identify products with ingredients that protect the health of your family, pets, and the environment. Every ingredient must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment. Products made with safer chemicals also can improve indoor air quality because fumes from cleaning products can linger long after they have been applied, which can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. So go ahead and get cleaning….cleanly!
Learn more about the EPA Safer Choice program at www.epa.gov/saferchoice
What is USDA BioPreferred Program® and why is it important?
Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred Program is to help increase our use of biobased products which are derived from renewable resources such as plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. At the same time, this decreases our use of non-renewable resources such as those in petroleum-derived products which is good for people and the planet.
All Sensitive Home products are USDA Certified Biobased. We’re proud to say that our spray cleaning products contain 100% USDA certified biobased content. Our Dish + Laundry detergents contain 96+% USDA certified biobased content so we have a little more work to do here to achieve our standard of 100%.
Learn more about the USDA BioPreferred® program at www.biopreferred.gov.
Do your products kill bacteria on surfaces (i.e. disinfect)?
We focused our initial products on ensuring effective cleaning. While the particular ingredients we use may disinfect under the right conditions, our products are not yet formulated to kill bacteria to the extent required by EPA regulations to be considered a disinfectant or sanitizer. We are working to bring disinfecting products to the market. To be the first to know once they are available, become part of our Sensitive Home community by signing up for our email list.
What is the difference between unscented, fragrance-free and Free & Clear?
With no universally recognized definitions, the terms “fragrance-free” and “unscented” can be confusing as they sound very similar. "Unscented" products can actually have added fragrance agents used to mask other smells. "Fragrance free" means nothing should be added to change the product’s naturally occurring scents from the other ingredients in the products. In other words, you may smell some of the ingredients. Free & Clear is an extension of “fragrance-free” and indicates there are no fragrances AND no artificial dyes in the product. Our Free & Clear products contain no fragrance chemicals or maskers. At all. Period.
Is your product hypoallergenic?
Yes, our Free & Clear Laundry Detergent and Free & Clear Dish Soap have been tested by an independent 3rd party laboratory to be hypoallergenic.
Are your products tested on animals and okay for vegans to use?
We never ever, ever test our products on animals, nor are our products made with animal-derived ingredients.
Where are your products made?
All of our products are manufactured in the USA in the Chicagoland area. We source all of our bottles and caps in North America with the exception of our dish soap bottles which come from Taiwan and our spray bottle triggers which come from China.
Which laundry detergent would you recommend for sensitive skin?
All of our detergents are formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin, however we do recommend our Free & Clear detergent for those with extra sensitive conditions.
Are the laundry detergents safe for greywater and septic systems?
Yes! All of our products are compatible with greywater and septic systems.
What is in your products?
The most important question to ask! And one we’re happy to answer.
Because we designed our products specifically for those among us with sensitivities, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Working tirelessly for 8 years, we discovered that not all “same” cleaning ingredients are actually the “same”. There are many plant-based mainstay ingredients that everyone uses that can introduce toxins (e.g. low but significant enough levels of benzene derivatives). We also learned that when you combine some ingredients together, unexpected results can also introduce nasties no one wants in their home.
Time and experience has resulted in our new patented approach that uses a carefully curated set of ingredients to eliminate known irritants, harmful emissions and toxic residues - period. Every single one of our Sensitive Home products carry the EPA Safer Choice or the EPA Safer Choice FragranceFree label. And all Sensitive Home products are USDA Certified Biobased (surface cleaning products at 100% USDA certified biobased content and Dish + Laundry detergents at 96+% USDA certified biobased content).
Check out the “ingredients” tab on each product page to find an inclusive ingredient list with individual explanations.
Do your surface cleaners contain harmful VOCS?
Never! All of our products are carefully formulated and tested to ensure that they do not produce harmful VOC’s and also stay below California Air Resources Board health-based limits.
If you are like our team Chemist and love to get into the science stuff, here’s the Chemistry 101 explanation. We only use ingredients that are considered low vapor pressure volatile organic compounds (LVP-VOC), with the exception of denatured ethanol (ethyl alcohol) which is limited to a maximum of 0.5%. Unlike other companies, our denatured ethanol does not contain methanol or isopropanol both of which are petrochemicals and toxic. The ethanol is used as a solvent to help with the thickness of our detergents, as well as for quick evaporation for some of our surface cleaners, where quick drying is important. We chose ethanol since it’s one of the more innocuous solvents available and is 100% bio- based (not so for most solvents).
What preservatives do you use? Why are you using phenoxyethanol in your Laundry + fragrance Dish products?
We look beyond just ingredients to preserve the integrity of our products. With our advanced manufacturing capabilities, we are able to control potential contamination which allows us to use either low levels of hydrogen peroxide and/or the product’s natural pH to create a "self-preservation" system in most of our products. However, the laundry and dish detergents posed additional challenges that we’re working to solve. For these products, we chose two ingredients to help with preservation – phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin which are not plant-based. While phenoxyethanol is regarded as being safe at low levels, we use it at levels over 50% below the recommended concentrations that have been shown to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Also, the Environmental Working Group considers it to be safer than parabens, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and isothiazolinones. That said, we have leads on plant-based systems that we are working on right now!
Even though all of our products carry the EPA Safer Choice label and are 96-100% USDA Certified Biobased, we are determined to achieve 100% biobased ingredients for all of our products, eliminating the use of phenoxyethanol and ethylhexyglycerin.
What surfactants do you use in your products?
We use a variety of bio-based surfactants including Alkyl polyglucosides (all products – 100% bio-based – comes from corn), sodium coco sulfate (laundry and dish – 100% bio-based - has SLS), and cocoamine oxide (dish – 85% bio-based). Check the individual product pages for more details.
Are your cleaning solution ingredients biodegradable?
All of our products are good for people and better for the planet. Our organic ingredients come from plants and are intended to return to their rightful origins after they are used, therefore they are readily and ultimately biodegradable. Our mineral based ingredients (such as salts) are also formulated to return to nature.
Do your products have disinfecting properties?
While the particular ingredients we use may disinfect under the right conditions, our products are not yet formulated to kill bacteria to the extent required by EPA regulations to be considered a disinfectant or sanitizer. But big things are on the horizon. Join our Sensitive community to stay in the know about our new product offerings!
What is your packaging made of? Do the bottles contain BPA?
Our laundry and surface cleaner bottles are made of 50% HDPE PCR (post-consumer-recycled) plastic and our dish bottles are 50% PET PCR plastic. All of our bottles are also BPA-free. The use of plastic isn't an end game for us. Stay tuned as we’re working on more innovative eco-friendly packaging options.