Putting Formulas to the Test

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Are y’all still working on the formula?!

We get this question a lot and it’s a fair one to ask! We thought it would be helpful to give more behind the scenes detail regarding this in-depth process and what’s involved in the journey to perfect the next BB concentrate…

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this past year, it’s the importance of working with like-minded partners. We looked high and low for a manufacturer who shares our passion for purity and transparency, one that understands the market’s need for a unique product like ours and is excited to help create the perfect formula. We actually found three that really resonated with us and were eager to help create our product. We spent months with each of them discussing and researching ingredient options and testing many, many formula samples. There was one formula and lab that stood out, however, and we took a day trip to meet face to face and tour the facility that would eventually manufacture our product. The impressive team and the operations left us super excited about the future!

So how do we test? First, there is a rather large time gap between communicating our desires with the formulator and receiving the actual samples for testing. Ingredients have to be sourced and shipped before the lab gets to work creating potential proportions and mixtures that they feel best meet our criteria of efficacy, safety and price point, as well as assure shelf stability.

The samples are then sent to each of us for preliminary testing…where the fun begins!! We practically wait by the mailbox for their arrival. Upon receipt, we’ll do a quick irritation test by spraying the diluted formula in the air and even in our faces/eyes and on our skin to make sure they don’t cause any initial sneezing, burning or itching. (This is where many think we’re crazy because, let’s face it, any cleaner you can spray directly into your face has surely passed the safety test, right?!). We have learned however that even the purest of cleaners, pure vegetable oil soap, can burn the eyes horribly and leave people sneezing when they inhale its mist.

Next is efficacy. Does it perform? We’ve learned which foods put up the biggest stain fights and have our go-tos like mustard, red wine, fruit jelly, soy sauce, hot sauce, chlorella and oils. We’ll apply multiple “stains” to a cloth surface and spray each one the same amount of times, from the same distance, while applying the same pressure to the trigger sprayer. After agitating, we’ll allow dwell time and then rinse…and repeat.

One of our favorite tests is to allow dishes to sit for up to a few days (no judging… 🙂 like fried eggs in a pan and see how well the formula removes the residue and odor. And there’s always the trusty bathroom grout which seems to attract dirt and grime just looking at it! Another test is to clean a large surface area like floors then step outside. Upon returning, is there a lingering odor?

And then there’s windows, mirrors, stainless steel, dirty stove tops, various types of counter surfaces, laundry….the list goes on. We assess all kinds of different characteristics. Does it leave a residue? Any streaks? Too many suds or not enough suds? Is it cutting the grease?  And of course we test in comparison to our previous Concentrate, so as you can imagine this takes time.

It would be easy to go to a lab and say, “Give us a stock formula that is non-toxic with as many natural ingredients as possible.” We could have been back in business many months ago, but just selling a product for revenue sake is not why we exist as a company. We exist to help people live healthier lives. That’s why we are working hard to create a custom formula that is as safe and effective as possible.

So although our journey to a new formula is an involved process before we even get to the point of third party testing (like making sure it stays stable), we are so excited and hopeful about how far we’ve come and how close we are to being able to share it with you all!!

Happy cleaning!

Allison, Kelly and Marilee

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