Optimize Your Branch Basics Cleaning Experience with Distilled Water
Are you having the ultimate Branch Basics cleaning experience? We want to make sure that you do! Branch Basics is a remarkable cleaning product and stain remover, but did you know that you can optimize its performance with the use of distilled water?* If you are currently using tap water to mix Branch Basics consider this – tap water varies in its degree of hardness and hard water can impact cleaning potential. According to a U.S. geological survey, hard water to some degree is found in more than 85% of the United States.1 We would suggest that you consider mixing Branch Basics with distilled water* to ensure optimum performance or if you have had any of the following issues:
If you use hard tap water (high in organic matter and minerals) to mix the solution, Branch Basics begins to activate as soon as it combines with the water. It begins to go to work inside the bottle, where the elements in hard water act as a catalyst that triggers the cleaning engine. One result of this interaction of Branch Basics with unfiltered tap water may be a cloudy solution. This does not affect the overall efficacy or mean that it is moldy, but indicates the formula is “working” to break down what it has come in contact with in the tap water. Using distilled water or highly filtered water* produces a clear solution in the bottle, where the formula is inactive. When mixed with distilled water, the formula only becomes active as soon as it hits a stain or any organic matter that it can break down. In other words, it only starts to work once you spray, rather than inside the bottle.
Stain Removal Issues
Hard water from the tap may inhibit the cleaning properties of Branch Basics in several ways. The minerals in the cleaning solution may cling to fabrics and create a “mineral ring” as it dries, which can trap dirt in the fabric. That is one of the reasons we always suggest using distilled water for the travel sprayer if you use it to remove stains. In addition to leaving mineral rings, the hard water affects the surface tension of the water and limits the formula’s ability to penetrate and lift stains, dirt, and grime easily, thus requiring you to add more product to achieve the same cleaning result. Note: This issue is compounded in homes with the use of very hard water in the washing machine and dishwasher. Branch Basics reacts with the minerals in the tap water, which actually consumes a portion of the cleaning product intended for washing or stain removal. We suggest you use distilled water for optimum stain removing performance and consider a water softener.
Sudsing or Foaming Issues
Hard water reduces the sudsing, lathering, and foaming capacity of the formula by lowering the pH as it interacts with minerals, especially calcium. This inhibits the natural surfactants’ ability to reduce the surface tension in the water. Reduced surface tension makes the formula less likely to create a nice rich foam. If you find that your foaming bottles produce a thin foam within a few days after you fill them, try using distilled water instead. The same is true of your spray bottles, particularly if you use them to hand-wash dishes. Switching to distilled water for these bottles will produce more sudsing action when you spray.
Stability & Preservation
We always recommend using distilled water for our Streak-Free bottles is because not only will tap water create water spots on windows, but also because there is such a small amount of Branch Basics in the water that the Streak-Free formula is more vulnerable to degradation and could possibly become a medium for bacteria. Using distilled water keeps the product “dormant and stabilized” until it comes in contact with a surface that contains anything that “unbalances” the equation. So as long as it remains in equilibrium, it is simply preserved. For the All-Purpose and the Bathroom bottles, preservation is not an issue due to the presence of Chamomile – our natural, plant-based preservative. However, using distilled water would just add another measure of stability and preservation to the mix.
*Options for Mixing Branch Basics CONCENTRATE:
- Use tap water as usual if you are satisfied with performance and not interested in any extra steps.
- If you have unfiltered tap water in your home and you would like to see what a difference it might make, then the least expensive and most convenient option might be to purchase a portable Zero Water Filter (available for about $10 online or in retail stores). This provides water with no dissolved solids and will also give you a great on-the-go water purifier. If you already have a countertop Zero Water filter, you can use that to fill your bottles.
- If you have a filtered water supply, depending on the system, that may be enough to keep the formula at tip-top performance.
- If you have a reverse osmosis water system, this approaches the purity of distilled water and will probably give you excellent results. You can also buy reverse osmosis water from dispensers at stores like Wal-Mart for $0.25-$0.35 per gallon.
- If you have a home distiller, that absolutely will produce optimum results across the board.
- You can also buy distilled water at Wal-Mart for $0.68 per gallon. One gallon distilled water will make five 24 ounce spray bottles of Branch Basics.
When in doubt, for the cleanest home, make sure you consider using distilled water to mix your Branch Basics All-Purpose, Bathroom and Streak-Free solutions.