The short answer is, everything is a chemical. Even water is a chemical. So to claim a cleaning product is chemical-free or to say the product doesn’t contain chemicals is simply a marketing message designed to sell not communicate the truth.
The truth is, chemical-free cleaning products DO NOT exist!
Here’s how Wikipedia defines a chemical substance…
“…a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. It can be solid, liquid, gas, or plasma.”
What should really be stated is that a product is "hazardous chemical free". But that's a very low bar and most all-purpose cleaners could be categorised like this.
Is water a chemical? YES
Is white cleaning vinegar a chemical? YES
Is eucalyptus oil a chemical? YES
Are pure certified organic essential oils a chemical? YES
Is bicarb soda a chemical? YES
Is castile soap a chemical? YES
The truth is chemical-free cleaning products DO NOT exist!
"But I like my chemical-free cleaning product"
“But my cleaning solution provider says the product I use is chemical-free. They are nice people, I like them and the product works well, what’s the truth?”
The truth is, even if it works and you like it, the product is still a chemical. Marketers trying to sell their cleaning chemical products as a safer cleaning alternative often use the ‘chemical-free’ term but what they may be referring to is that the product contains no ingredients that are classed as hazardous or dangerous goods. Based on that definition the majority of general cleaning products on the market today would be classed as chemical free which would be a ridiculous claim.
Many cleaning chemicals contain raw materials that come from natural sources but that does not mean they are safe either. Natural and safe are not the same thing although both these terms are often used interchangeably.
Some people could say ‘chemical-free’ is a dishonest claim about a cleaning solution when the reality is they’re may be little difference between it and the vast majority of general cleaning products on the market.
Don't be fooled by tricky 'chemical-free' marketing claims
It’s good to be informed. Don’t fall for the chemical-free or no-chemical trick. You can be confident in this because everything is a chemical.
We've even seen some salespeople drink diluted "chemical-free" cleaning solutions to prove that a product is safe. We can say with confidence that the majority of these "drinking" demonstrations are done with water and cordial in a separate bottle or are done by a person that is not aware of the risks of consuming a cleaning solution. Under no circumstances should a cleaning solution ever be consumed.
Have you ever used a product claiming to be chemical-free?
How do you feel about buying products with dishonest claims?
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences.
And if you have any questions or would like more advice about the natural or chemical-free claims of cleaning products or cleaning solution please give the team at XO2 a call on 1300 123 499, or visit XO2's eco-friendly cleaning products online.