Frequently Asked Questions
Why use Branch Basics?
Branch Basics is human safe, meaning not harmful if accidentally ingested, and actually works better than most toxic cleaners. Take a minute to read this super informative post Why Branch Basics? in order to understand why when choosing Branch Basics, you're choosing the safest cleaning soap available.
Where do you ship?
At this time, we ship to contiguous US states only. As we grow, we'll likely be able to expand our shipping regions and the best way to stay informed is to sign up for our newsletter our "Like" our Facebook page!
Is there an expiration date?
No, Branch Basics doesn't have an expiration date...it does not go bad.
(This is why many choose to purchase in bulk, reducing the cost per ounce and avoiding unnecessary shipping costs.)
What are the ingredients in Branch Basics?
Purified water, fatty acids, coconut oil, organic alcohol*, folic acid, minerals and enzymes derived from edible and seed-bearing plants.
*The alcohol is made from sugar cane and oats and is totally evaporated out in the process so that no alcohol remains in the final product.
NOTE: All the ingredients are food-grade (non-GMO) as opposed to industrial-grade and the minerals and enzymes are live and all derived from edible and seed-bearing plants.
Does Branch Basics contain ANY gluten, soy, corn, nuts, tree nuts (including peanuts) or dairy?
No, nada, zilch, zero, we promise!
What about the manufacturing facility? Does it contain any of the above?
No. Our facility uses no gluten, soy, corn, nuts, tree nuts or dairy so there is no possibility of cross contamination.
What are the specific plants used in Branch Basics?
The plants are leafy green seed-bearing plants. The specific blend of plants is proprietary information. If you would like to find out if a particular plant is used, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to let you know.
How does Branch Basics work?
Branch Basics works by enzymatic action, penetrating and breaking up oil molecules into soluble, biodegradable components. This process allows Branch Basics to outperform many of the toxic solvents, detergents, and cleaning products it replaces.
What sets Branch Basics apart from other soaps?
Branch Basics is "human-safe", comprised of all food-grade ingredients that are not only safe for the environment, but for humans and pets. This sets it above other "non-toxic", "green" and "all-natural" cleaners, many of which contain ingredients that are not 100% safe for humans, especially babies and pregnant women. Even the extremely chemically sensitive and immune compromised are able to use it with complete confidence. For more on why we're different, read Why Branch Basics?
Does Branch Basics kill bacteria, viruses and mold?
Branch Basics is classified as a "soap", and therefore doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA or the FDA. In order to make claims of killing or sanitizing or deemed an "antibacterial" formula, a product MUST contain a registered EPA pesticide and/or at least 62% alcohol. Because we refuse to jeaopordize the integrity of Branch Basics' purity and safety, neither of these are added and therefore such claims cannot be made. However, testing and trials do confirm that bacteria (and insects) hate Branch Basics. :)
Note that soap in itself is very powerful; even the EPA recommends ridding of bacteria on surfaces by “washing with soapy water." The best part is that there are no toxic side effects or chances of creating antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" in the body, which are associated with using toxic alternatives.
Branch Basics seems expensive. How does it compare to other products?
Au contraire! Remember that Branch Basics is sold in a concentrated form. The average cost of 32 oz "green" cleaners - many of which still contain harmful chemicals - is $6.18 (or $0.20 per ounce) and their uses are very limited. At the gallon concentrate - retail price, Branch Basics makes 24 all-purpose spray bottles (32 oz), costing $3.48 each, or $0.11 per ounce, versus average cleaners which cost about $0.20 per ounce.
Also, while we recommend a 1:5 dilution, most jobs can be cleaned effectively with much more water, bringing the average cost per ounce even lower. For example, streak-prone surfaces require just a few drops of concentrate in a 32 oz bottle and a cap-full of concentrate is all you need in a large carpet-cleaning machine. Finally, think of all the products you can replace with this one concentrate: cleaners, de-greasers, produce wash, laundry detergents, pesticides and body soaps.
FACT: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $659 on cleaning supplies per year. The 5-gallon pail of Branch Basics is enough to last this same household for at least a year, replacing virtually all cleaning products and costs only $355.05.
Does Branch Basics have a scent?
It is formulated for extremely chemically sensitive and immune-compromised individuals so the solution is unscented. It is virtually fragrance free, especially when mixed with water as the ready to use spray.
How long will a gallon size last?
Itdepends on what you use it for, how often you clean, and the size of your home and family. Customers that use it for EVERYTHING (laundry, hand & body soap, dishes, floors, produce, etc.) go through a gallon in about 3-6 months. If you're just using it to make spray bottles for general cleaning, a gallon can last over a year.
Are there instructions for mixing?
Yes, there are suggested uses clearly marked on the gallon as well as on the empty spray bottles, which also have dilution lines for easy pouring. You can also check out our user guide in both English and Spanish and expect a list of popular uses to be included in your order. There are endless amounts of uses and much room for error (exact measurements aren't necessary!).
Is Branch Basics safe for HE washing machines?
Yes. Also, the solution is activated in both hot and cold water.
How do you use Branch Basics for laundry?
For laundry, concentrate (undiluted) is best. We recommend one T for an average load. If your water is harder, you may need more. Ideally you’ll want to fill the machine, run the water and then pour the concentrate into the running water to help it disperse. If you have a front loader then simply pour the concentrate into the dispenser.
I use vinegar and water, why should I switch to Branch Basics?
Vinegar releases acetic acid into the air. From the Occupational Health Guideline for Acetic Acid: "Acetic acid vapors cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Inhalation of concentrated vapors may cause serious damage to the lining of the nose, throat and lungs. Delayed breathing difficulties can occur." This is especially important information to know if you have a baby or young children, are elderly, or someone in the household that has asthma, bronchitis, or chronic illness etc. as they are more vulnerable to this irritant.
In addition if a lot of vinegar is used for cleaning and there is not proper ventilation, over time the acetic acid will corrode soft metals like copper and brass and can cause problems with the HVAC system as the acetic acid passes through the air ducts.
But for vinegar and water users, not to fret! This is a much better alternative than most "green" cleaners. The caveat comes down to how you use it. If vinegar is used, it’s best to ventilate and avoid enclosed spaces as the fumes can build up and potentially irritate lungs, especially those of the little ones and immune compromised.
Also, did you know that most vinegar is made from GMO corn?
Finally, Branch Basics is much more versatile. It can be used as a hand soap, stain remover, vegetable wash, etc. in addition to household cleaning.
How does Branch Basics compare to Shaklee’s?
Shaklee’s products are not human-safe. Shaklee's Basic H2 Concentrate contains surfactants and their product label states that the product shouldn't come in contact with the skin or eyes (and gives directions how to flush your eyes or rinse your skin if you come in contact with it). There is not a list of ingredients anywhere on their site. The only ingredient they somewhat state is the product is made of corn and coconut. GMO corn? It doesn't say.
How does Branch Basics compare to Norwex cloths?
It's impossible to know if Norwex products are truly safe because when contacted regarding their ingredients, their response was: "Cleaning product manufacturers are not required to list ingredients except for the ones that are hazardous and those will be on the MSDS. If customers are allergic to certain ingredients you can email those to us and we will check with the manufacturer if they are in the product."
What kind of bottle do you use? Do they contain BPA?
Our bottles are made of HDPE (high density polyethylene) which means they are pthalate-free and BPA-free.
Yes, yes, YES! Its biodegradeable, pharamaceutical food-grade ingredients are from the earth and are all welcomed back there! Heck, we've even found that many plants respond positively to being sprayed directly with about a 1:10 dilution of Branch Basics (avoid those in sunlight as it can dry them out). Also, by using one product to replace virtually all other cleaners, and then refilling the spray and foamer bottles with concentrate, you avoid unnecessary waste of empty plastic cleaning bottles (and even the "green" cleaners often contain toxic residues).
Is your manufacturing facility eco-friendly?
Branch Basics soap is manufactured in a dedicated facility which means there are no other products made or chemicals used in the building. Also, our facility is located in the sunbelt, avoiding the need for forced heating or cooling. Our mixer operates on three-phase electricity which pulls very little amperage, keeping our electricity bill low, around $50/month. Finally, we don't have any byproducts or waste in production and if there is any spillage, we simply add water to clean!
Are your shipping practices eco-friendly?
We source ingredients as close to home as possible to avoid unnecessary shipping costs and carbon footprinting. As for shipping the product to you, we have recently switched to starch peanuts which are from a renewable source versus strofoam peanuts which are petroleum-based polystyrene (YUCK!). The starch peanuts are non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for humans and pets if accidentally ingested (sound familiar?!). They are also soluble in water and can be disposed of down household drains! We also highly encourage customers to recycle their boxes.