Sam tries Force of Nature to see if it is an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical disinfectants in single use plastic bottles.

To be frank, cleaning and disinfecting is already a horrible, mind-numbing task. But what makes it even worse is wasteful and toxic products.

For example, did you know it’s a federal crime to use a Clorox wipes “in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” Why would that be?

Recently I came across Force of Nature. This disinfectant takes tap water, salt, and vinegar and electrolyzes it into a disinfectant spray that is on the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. It also comes in a reusable bottle which cuts down on plastic waste.

Obviously, this seems too good to be true. So I tested Force of Nature to see if it works and what makes it eco-friendly.

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Does Force of Nature Really Work?

Since I’m not a doctor, scientist, or even a good house cleaner, I’ll have to take the Environmental Protection Agency’s word on this one. I feel good about this product’s disinfecting power because according to the EPA it is:

  • On List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Designated for use in “hospitals, ICUs, medical clinics, daycares, schools, restaurants & veterinary clinics & more.”
  • Proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses “including Norovirus, Salmonella, Influenza A, Staph, MRSA & Listeria.”

Now, the EPA says it kills germs and viruses including coronavirus. But, does the product actually work as advertised?

Setting up a starter kit

Force of Nature Starter Kit

Well, I took the $70 Starter Kit for a spin and I was pleasantly surprised. The setup is simple, the instructions are clear, and the equipment works like a dream.

(By the way, once you have the startup kit, refills are less than $1 each).

Mixing a batch of cleaner is easy. Just fill up the beaker with water, squeeze in the activator capsule, and run the electrolyzer. There’s lots of bubbling and flashing lights — it’s a real good time. Using an electrical current, the electrolyzer turns ordinary water, vinegar and salt into two cleaning elements:

  • Sodium hydroxide — to clean sticky messes and grime
  • Hypochlorous acid — to deodorize and disinfect, killing 99.9% of germs

Check out Force of Nature’s science page for short video of how it works.

A 12 oz batch lasts for two weeks. I use a batch for my monthly top-to-bottom deep clean and it works on everything. Countertops, windows, toilets, shower walls, carpets, couches — you name it.

To be honest, it smells a bit like a hotel swimming pool, since hypochlorous acid is a member of the chlorine family, but it’s very mild and I prefer it to harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances (and so do my lungs).

By all accounts, hypochlorous acid is natural, non-toxic, and safe for humans. Force of Nature has a perfect SkinSAFE score from the Mayo Clinic. And, unlike Clorox wipes, it’s not a federal crime to use without gloves!

In fact, Force of Nature claims you can use its cleaner without gloves or protective equipment. I have used several bottles without PPE with no issues.

What is Force of Nature good for?

A single 12 oz batch of Force of Nature lasts through an entire house-cleaning binge, with about a quarter of the bottle leftover. Since it’s powerful yet non-toxic, I find it especially useful for cleaning and deodorizing the following.

  • Hummingbird feeders (bleach is too harsh)
  • Regular bird feeders
  • Computer screens and keyboards
  • Guitars and instruments
  • Pots for indoor plants
  • Dog toys, leashes, collars, etc
  • The entire interior of my car, including fabric and upholstery
  • Shoes

I really like this product for cleaning birdfeeders, planters, and pet stuff, since living things tend to be sensitive to poison. But it’s also works wonders as a deodorant on my shoes and car seats.

Related: Which Eco-Friendly Spray Cleaners are the Best for the COVID-Era?

An Eco-Friendly Disinfectant?

“Eco-friendly disinfectant” seems like an oxymoron. I mean, isn’t the point of a disinfectant to kill things in the ecosystem, like viruses and bacteria? After all, eco is short for ecological, which refers to living organisms.

How Force of Nature is more eco-friendly than other disinfectants

Less single-use plastic. The only single-use part of this kit is the activator capsules, which are small and recyclable. Otherwise, the spray bottle and electrolyzer are reusable.

Less shipping emissions. Force of Nature is sold direct-to-consumer, which cuts out shipping to middleman retailers. Further, it is very light to ship, since customers provide water from their tap. That reduces the weight and emissions of shipping this product.

No toxic chemicals. Killing germs shouldn’t pose a risk to other life forms, including humans. What happens to those Clorox wipes after they’re thrown away? Why is it a federal crime to use them without gloves?

With a dog in the house, and probably kids someday, the last thing I need is toxic chemical overspray and residue hanging around my house.

Force of nature uses only three ingredients: water, salt and vinegar. There are no potential allergens for humans, no resource-intensive chemical engineering, and no risks of polluting the environment.

Ways to improve

I don’t see a way Force of Nature can simplify its formula or make it more eco friendly. However, it would be great to see them switch to non-plastic materials. The easiest step would be glass spray bottles, since plastic hardly ever gets recycled.

Also, I wonder if there is a compostable material for the activator capsules. My recycling service doesn’t handle small plastics well.

Lastly, I hope Force of Nature switches to non-plastic shipping materials. I’m not sure what good these plastic bags are even doing.

Could do without the plastic packaging…

Related: Tru Earth laundry strips: Do they work and are they eco-friendly?

Is Force of Nature Legit?

Absolutely. Force of Nature delivers on its promises of a non-toxic, easy-to-use cleaner. It is verified by the EPA to kill 99.9% of germs and has a place on the EPA’s list of disinfectants for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Furthermore, with a non-toxic formula and less single-use plastic, this one of the most eco-friendly disinfecting products on the market.

Plus, once you have a start kit, activator capsules cost less than a dollar each. So, over time, this product saves waste and plastic.

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