Tag Archives: Better Life

Why a Clean Kitchen Isn’t Always a Safe Kitchen: A Case for Natural Kitchen Cleaner

(Article written by guest contributor Amy Wynn)

As a kid, I always knew when my mom had been scrubbing the kitchen. Not just by how the sink sparkled and the floor shined, but by the pervasive smell of bleach and noxious blue window cleaner.

Like many of us, I grew up thinking that it’s not a clean kitchen unless it “smells clean.” But that particular “smell of clean” can also be the scent of damage to your body.

Toxic Clean

The American Lung Association warns of the dangers of many commercial household cleaners. The risks are plenty:

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), bleach, and ammonia are known lung irritants that worsen the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • When products containing household bleach and ammonia are mixed, they emit dangerous toxic gases into the air that have adverse effects on the body when inhaled.
  • New research shows that fragrances used in household cleaners, when mixed with ozone (O3), can create carcinogenic formaldehyde particles in the air.

Because of all of the risks associated with the use of harsh chemicals in our house, don’t you think it’s high time we reconsider the old “tried and true” cleaners as the benchmark of cleanliness?

Natural Clean

In all honesty, I never liked the smell of bleach or any other industrial cleaner when I was growing up.  As I’ve grown up and taken on the responsibility of managing the care of my own home, I’ve come to love the fresh and light aromas of pure plant extracts and essential oils found in natural kitchen cleaning products.

Products made with safe, natural ingredients instead of artificial chemicals can be just as effective at cleaning and sanitizing your home. And, you don’t have to give up “the smell of clean” just so you can get a product that’s safe enough for even the smallest hands and feet (or paws) in the house.

If you’ve ever caught your toddler (or pooch) eating food off the kitchen floor, you can appreciate the overall safety of a natural kitchen cleaner like Better Life’s All Purpose Cleaner.

Anti-Bacterial or Anti-Effective

When considering the effectiveness of natural ingredients, take for example the recent attention on the overuse of anti-bacterial soaps.

Once lauded as an aid in preventing illness and increasing safety, Triclosan, which is found in many anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers, has been shown to have no demonstrable benefit in preventing everyday illnesses. In addition, triclosan may pose additional health risks, like the contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria and causing adverse hormonal effects, when used long-term.

Top to Bottom

Even though my mom may not have had it entirely right with the “smell clean, is clean” mantra, she taught me that when we know better, we do better. It’s time to do better with our kitchen cleaners.

So when it’s time to clean your kitchen again (When is the kitchen really ever clean?), avoid the temptation of the “old smell test” and instead, opt for the refreshing aromas of natural ingredients that won’t overwhelm the olfactory receptors of your family. They will thank you, and your kitchen will thank you as well.

Here are a few of our favorite natural kitchen cleaners at Soap Hope.

Better Life: Safe AND Effective Natural Cleaning Products

For the last several months, Soap Hope has been on the lookout for cleaning products that we feel safe using and selling to our customers.

We heard about Better Life (and you probably have, too) because they were featured on Shark Tank last year and made quite the splash on national television.

better life screenshot
You can watch Better Life on Shark Tank by clicking here.

Better Life pitched their line of natural cleaning products to the investors (they got offers from all of the Sharks), and impressed them with their safer, effective cleaning solution.

Since then the company has grown in size and in the number of products they offer.

They’ve installed solar panels on the roof of their manufacturing facility, and were named the 503rd fastest growing company in the US by Inc. Magazine last year.

Tim Barklage, cofounder of Better Life, took the time to chat with us about the company and why they’re in the business of clean.

The Beginning of Better

He and high school buddy, Kevin Tibbs, started Better Life in 2008.

Before they launched the brand, there weren’t many options on the market. The available cleaning products claiming to be “safe” were really just less dangerous than the other alternatives.

“When my wife and I started having kids,” says Tim, “finding a solution for cleaning products became more crucial. And I wanted to find something that was safe from the ground up — not just ‘less dangerous’ than other options out there.”

Any product that they created had to meet their requirements: it needed to be safe enough for kids to use, safe on household surfaces, and needed to perform at the same level or better than other products out there.

“Once we realized we could do all of those things, we knew we had something to sell,” says Tim.

Building on Better

Creating quality natural cleaning products and maintaining control over the integrity of the brand has not come easily. The company was bootstrapped for the first several years.

Any entrepreneur will tell you how intense building a company like this can be, but Tim explains that bootstrapping “allowed us to stay in control of our business and focus on the products.”

Since the company has grown, they’ve found more stability and added more products, built out their team further, and are expanding their international presence.

Better Life was recognized by REAL SIMPLE for their Simply Floored cleaner as their top pick for all-surface cleaners, and the company was featured on the Today Show for their quality products.

“We’re really excited about the growth, and the fact that we’re creating jobs and opportunities for more people has been amazing,” says Tim.

On his favorite Better Life Products: “I use the No Regrets Liquid Hand and Body Soap everyday,” says Tim. “And I do the laundry in the house, so I’m a big fan of the Spin-Credible Laundry Detergent.”

On the future of Better Life products: “We can’t wait to share more products with our customers — we have some great things in store for everyone this year!”

You can shop for Better Life items at Soap Hope. Here are some of our favorites!