FrequentlyAsked Question’s – From the list below choose one of our FAQs topics. If you have a question which is not in this section, please contact us.
Are Simply Safe products better for the environment?
Simply Safe products are made from relatively simple, organic (carbon-based) ingredients, and are therefore biodegradable. In addition, Simply Safe products are manufactured using green power and with a cradle-to-grave approach to safety and environmental stewardship. Unlike other so called “natural” cleaning product companies, we do not offer powdered products (i.e. scrubbing powder, automatic dishwashing powder) because the inorganic ingredients used are not biodegradable and can bioaccumulate. In addition, we steer clear of so-called “natural” ingredients like d-limonene (derived from orange peels and used in orange cleaners) which is considered to be a hazardous air pollutant.
How can “industrial strength” be “family friendly”?
Simply Safe cleaners are based on proven, highly effective formulas used to clean floors, manufactured parts and machinery in industrial settings. As you can imagine, factories can be dirty, grimy places. Not only to the industrial cleaners have to work well, they have to comply with laws governing worker safety, wastewater discharges, and air emissions. Factories have to comply with strict laws from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and other state agencies. Industrial cleaning products are governed by these strict laws. The industrial products that Simply Safe products are based on are considered to be non-hazardous, as defined by government regulatory agencies.
Most of these environmental, health and safety laws governing industrial cleaning products to not apply to consumer cleaning products. This is difficult to understand because a hazardous chemical is a hazardous chemical, regardless of where it is used. Why should a worker in a factory be better protected than a worker in the home (meaning you)?
Rather than make up some sort of green certification like other companies seem to be doing, Simply Safe products are held to the same laws as industrial products are even though there is no legal requirement to do so. Why reinvent the wheel when the environmental, health and safety laws already exist and can be followed? Industrial strength and family friendly can coexist with Simply Safe.
What are some of the bad ingredients in ordinary cleaners and what makes them bad?
Typical hazardous ingredients include bleach, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, phosphates, hydrogen chloride, amines and nonylphenol surfactants to name a few. Even so called “natural” ingredients like the essential oils of lavender and tea tree are suspected hormone disrupters in kids. An ingredient called d-limonene from orange peels is a hazardous air pollutant. Just because it comes from nature does not mean it is safe or environmentally friendly.
What if my child accidentally ingests Simply Safe?
To be on the safe side, always call a doctor immediately. Because the products have a neutral pH (except for the toilet bowl cleaner), they are non-corrosive to skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Even the toilet bowl cleaner is considered to be only a mild eye and skin irritant and does not contain the strong mineral acids (i.e. muriatic acid, phosphoric acid) or strong alkalines (i.e. bleach, sodium hydroxide) of competitive products. There is nothing inherently toxic contained in the products, especially in small quantities. Since people and especially children can react differently to product exposure, it is still a good idea to call a doctor immediately to err on the safe side.
Simply Safe products are pH neutral. What does that mean?
Neutral pH is another way to say pH balanced. The pH scale goes from 0-14, with 0-6 being acid and 8-12 being alkaline. A product being neutral means that it is neither acid or alkaline. The further away from the neutral range you go in either direction, the harsher the products tend to be. Neutral pH products tend to be milder to skin, eyes and surfaces. Because the pH is neutral, these products tend not to chemically attack dirt, surfaces or skin.
If Simply Safe doesn’t have hazardous chemicals, how can it work on tough cleaning problems?
Instead of cleaning by chemically attacking soils (i.e chewing them off the surface) like the harsher products do, Simply Safe products get underneath the soils and gently release them from the surface. It is almost like the soap lifts the dirt up from the surface. We like to call this the “Spatula Effect.” The end result is that the soil is still cleaned from the surface without damaging it. No need to use a sand blaster when a simple spatula will do the trick. This gentle cleaning action accomplishes that same goal of a clean surface without the harshness or potential for damage.
Why take the chance of damaging a surface when a safer option exists?
Are Simply Safe products safe for septic systems?
The short answer is yes, and here is why.
All Simply Safe products have a neutral pH (except for the Toilet Bowl Cleaner which is mildly acidic). The active organisms in a septic system perform optimally under neutral pH conditions. Harsh traditional cleaners can raise or lower the pH in a septic system, which will decrease degradation efficacy of the organisms or even kill them (especially if disinfectants are overused). Less efficient degradation or dead organisms cause solids to build up and create major problems for the septic system performance. Even the Simply Safe Toilet Bowl Cleaner is only mildly acidic and will not lower the pH appreciably (and thus should not decrease efficacy of the organisms) like other products can.
All Simply Safe Products are composed primarily of carbon-based (organic) ingredients that will biodegrade. Many traditional cleaners (as well as many so-called green cleaners) contain inorganic ingredients like carbonates, bicarbonates, and silicates that can eventually build up in the septic system over time so it not longer works properly. In addition, the build up of these inorganic ingredients can cause pH fluctuations that alter organism degradation efficacy. Simply Safe represents a new generation of products that are safe, affordable and eco-friendly, keeping septic systems and overall wastewater treatment in mind.
Do Simply Safe products disinfect?
No. Simply Safe products do not disinfect. They are effective cleaners that do not claim to kill microorganisms. Comparing a non-disinfecting cleaner to a disinfecting cleaner is like comparing apples to oranges.
The question then becomes why and where do you might need a disinfecting product in your home. There are only a couple of instances where these products really need to be used in a home (unless perhaps you have a suppressed immune system or other condition that would require greater than normal use). For instance, if the pet has an accident on the floor, you would clean up the mess using a disposable paper towel and an all purpose cleaner, and then disinfect the area. If you cut raw meat on the countertop, you would first clean the area using a disposable paper towel and an all purpose cleaner, and follow it with a disinfectant. It is best to use a disinfectant in situations where there is a potential for greater numbers of harmful microorganisms to be present (i.e. raw food (especially meat), human or pet waste, mold growth, or something similar).
In order to properly clean and disinfect a hard surface, a two step process is normally required. First, the surface must be cleaned to remove all dirt and soils, followed by a sanitizer or disinfectant. If heavy soils are not removed from the surface first, they can shield the microorganisms from the sanitizer/disinfectant and thus survive. These soils must be removed in order to maximize the disinfecting process. This is the required technique used by food and drug manufacturers.
Care must be used when using a trigger spray-type disinfectant. These are typically strong, germ killing products and you have to be careful not to breathe the fumes or mist generated by the trigger spray. A safer option is a disinfecting wipe because the chemistry tends to be a bit milder and there is no chance for spray atomization. In those few instances around the house when disinfection is needed, reach for the disinfecting wipe. Use care to minimize the duration of skin contact when using the disinfecting wipes.
Under normal conditions, there is just no need to use a disinfecting cleaner everyday, in every area of the home (i.e. in the air, on the windows, on mirrors, on appliances, etc.). Non-disinfecting cleaners (like Simply Safe) can be used for routine cleaning of countertops, stovetops, glass surfaces, floors, furniture and such the majority of the time. When disinfecting is needed, clean the area first with Simply Safe followed by wiping the area with a disinfecting wipe.
Are Simply Safe products tested on animals?
No. Unlike most products that rely on test data derived from testing on animals (primarily rabbits), Simply Safe products are tested using an in vitro (think petri dish) method for determining eye irritation. Ironically, this in vitro test method is more sensitive than the rabbit version and not typically used for traditional cleaners (which tend to be too harsh for the test). Using the in vitro test, the Simply Safe All Purpose Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Tub and Tile Cleaner, Daily Shower Cleaner, Carpet Stain Remover, Floor Cleaner, and the Automatic Dishwashing Gel have been shown to be non-irritants to eyes (on a par with baby shampoo). The Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Liquid Laundry 2X were determined to be only mild eye irritants. Thus, Simply Safe products are shown to be safe for eyes without the need to use animal testing. Unlike many competitors that claim to not test on animals (which most likely means they do not test at all), Simply Safe independent lab test results confirm the safety of our products.
Why does it say to “Shake Well Before Using” on the back of every Simply Safe product?
Since the storage conditions for Simply Safe are outside our control, we put “Shake Well Before Using” as a precaution to make sure that the product stays mixed consistently. If the product is stored in extreme heat or freezes, ingredient separation or stratification may occur. The same thing can happen with almost every cleaning product, but since the Simply Safe bottle is not opaque, you will be able to see this separation (if it has occurred). A separated product will not perform or clean consistently. Once the product has returned to normal temperatures, a gentle shaking will mix the ingredients back together if they had separated. Vigorous shaking is not required. It would be more like a gentle swirling. Once you have the product at home, shaking would not be required before use unless it was exposed to extreme heat or freezing temperatures for a long period of time.
On what surfaces in my home can I use Simply Safe?
Because every product except the Toilet Bowl Cleaner has a neutral pH (the pH of water), Simply Safe products can be used on virtually any surface in the home.
All Purpose Cleaner – can be safely used on stainless steel, laminate, granite, marble, tile, grout, corian, travertine, porcelain, chrome, nickel, stone, concrete, glass, finished wood, vinyl, coated wicker, fiberglass, and many other materials. This water-based product does not contain a rust inhibitor so use on uncoated mild steel or uncoated cast iron may result in surface rust.
Glass Cleaner – can be safely used on laminate, marble, granite, tile, grout, corian, travertine, porcelain, chrome, nickel, stone, concrete, glass, finished wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and many other materials. This water-based product does not contain a rust inhibitor so use on uncoated mild steel or uncoated cast iron may result in surface rust.
Tub and Tile Cleaner – can be safely used on laminate, granite, marble, tile, grout, travertine, porcelain, coated vitreous, chrome, nickel, stone, concrete, glass, vinyl, fiberglass, and many other materials. This water-based product does not contain a rust inhibitor so use on uncoated mild steel or uncoated cast iron may result in surface rust.
Daily Shower Cleaner – can be safely used on granite, marble, tile, grout, travertine, porcelain, chrome, nickel, stone, concrete, glass, vinyl, fiberglass, and many other materials.
Floor Cleaner – can be safely used on finished laminate, granite, marble, tile, grout, travertine, porcelain, chrome, stone, concrete, glass, finished wood, vinyl, cork, bamboo, asphalt, diamond plate, and many other materials. This water-based product does not contain a rust inhibitor so use on uncoated mild steel or uncoated cast iron may result in surface rust.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner – can be safely used on porcelain, coated vitreous, and stainless steel. Because this product is a mild acid, do not use it on marble, granite, tile, grout, travertine, chrome, nickel, stone, concrete, finished wood, bamboo, cork, mild steel or cast iron.
Automatic Dishwashing Gel – safe for use on china, stainless steel, plastic, glass, crystal, silver, wood, bamboo, ceramic, non-stick coating, copper and other common materials for dishware. When washing more sensitive items like silver, crystal and fine china, stack dishwasher properly, do not use heat boost, and do not let the silver touch any other material in the dishwasher.
Air and Fabric Freshener – safe for use on cotton, linen, permanent press, polyester blends, denim, carpet, and other common fabrics and materials. Not recommended for silk or leather.
Liquid Laundry 2X – safe to use on cotton, linen, permanent press, polyester blends, denim, and other common fabrics and materials. Not recommended for silk, rubber, leather or hand-dyed items.
Carpet Stain Remover – safe for use on common carpet and rug materials. On hand-dyed or hand made rugs, test a small inconspicuous area first to test colorfastness before using.