Interviews With An Expert #4: Our Plant-Based Fragrances & Dyes

Words Like “Fragrances” And “Dyes” Sound Scarier Than They Actually Are

When you read the label of any product and you see ambiguous words like “fragrance” or “dye” you might be a little concerned. After all, you’re not sure what those “fragrances” or “dyes” are made of, how safe they are for you and your home, and if they are eco-friendly. To help ease your mind when you look at Boulder Clean products, we’ve asked the experts (our top-tier product developers) to break down what exactly the words “fragrances” and “dyes” mean in terms of their safety, efficacy and more!

What type of fragrances do we use?

We use fragrances and botanical oils that are plant-derived and Safer Choice Certified. Products have to pass stringent criteria in order to earn the Safer Choice label. Every ingredient is reviewed and evaluated by EPA scientists and must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment. Only the safest possible functional ingredients are allowed in products with the Safer Choice label.

Why do we use plant-derived fragrances instead of synthetic fragrances?

While plant-derived ingredients are better for our planet than petroleum based ingredients which are used to synthesize fragrances, the safety of fragrance is more complex. Almost every fragrance, whether it is natural or synthetic, contains one or more allergen. Each allergen has a reportable level in the full product. We calculate each allergen to determine if it is reportable, and if it is, then we include it on our label and on our website.

Why do some Boulder Clean products not smell exactly like they say they will? 

While all of our products smell great, from time to time we’ll receive a comment or two about the scents not always being exactly what you’d expect. That is simply due to some of the active ingredients our products contain. We try our best to make sure there is an equal balance of ingredients, so the product are both effective and smell as they should. But occasionally, we’ll use plant-based ingredients that have their own powerful smell. Take our Disinfectant Cleaner for instance. While the scent is listed as Fresh Lemon, and there certainly is an undertone of lemon, we typically get questions about the other scent you might be catching a whiff of. The active ingredient in our disinfectant cleaner is Thymol, a naturally occurring oil found in Thyme that has a pretty pungent smell, described as medicinal, woody, and spicy. Occasionally in our Disinfectant Cleaner the scent of thyme might be just as strong, if not stronger than the scent of lemon. This is a perfectly normal occurrence, and should not deter you from using the product as it is still 100% effective.

Why do we use dyes?

Some consumers prefer to have dye in their cleaning products because it cues efficacy and helps differentiate which cleaner is which. We use a different colorant for each product that has a similar bottle, trigger or cap.

What type of dyes do we use?

We use polymeric colorants for dying some of our products. We do not add colorants to our Laundry products, and have a dye-free version for most of our home cleaning products.

Why do we use polymeric colorants? 

We use these polymeric colorants because of they are non-staining and water-soluble. Because these dyes are water-soluble, they can easily be rinsed or washed out. While polymeric colorants are not plant-derived, they are food-grade, free from any heavy metals, and therefore not harmful to you, your home or the environment.

Looking for more Interviews With An Expert?

Interview #1: Breaking Down the Scary Sounding Ingredients
Interview #2: Understanding the Disinfecting Line
Interview #3: A Closer Look at Our Laundry Detergents
Interview #4: Our Plant-Based Fragrances & Dyes
Interview #5: Why Are We Plant-Based?
Interview #6: What’s Up With Cleaning Tablets?
Interview #7: How Power Sport Laundry Tackles Your Toughest Odors
Interview #8: Learn All About Our Refill Cleaning System

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