Frequently Asked Questions
About ingredients we use
Do you use local lemon myrtle and eucalyptus oils?
Yes we do. Our 100% pure lemon myrtle essential oil is grown local to us in the Northern Rivers of NSW. The 100% pure blue-mallee eucalyptus oil we use is grown in Victoria, although with the summer 2019/2020 bushfires we have needed to temporarily source a new oil grown elsewhere in the State.
What are the beneficial properties of lemon myrtle oil?
Lemon myrtle has a growing list of benefits, many of which are just coming to light. With regards to SimplyClean products, we use lemon myrtle because it has significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. Researchers at Charles Stuart University determined that the anti-microbial activity of lemon myrtle oil was shown to be 30% higher than tea-tree oil. This means lemon myrtle oil is actually a superior antifungal and antibacterial agent! We are fortunate that the lemon myrtle we use for our products is grown in the hills surrounding our factory.
Why do some SimplyClean products contain preservative? Are they natural?
Any cleaning or personal care product that is at risk of being contaminated with bacteria, or fungus needs a preservative to prevent unhealthy and unintended growth of these nasties in the product. Generally, this means any liquid product stored near water in the kitchen or bathroom would need a preservative. This includes body wash, hand soap and dishwashing liquid.
Our Lemon Myrtle Hand Soap is self-preserving because it already contains an antibacterial agent but some of our other products need the protection of a preservative. (Imagine fungus silently growing in your shampoo and you’ll understand what we mean - yuk!).
We use a combination of organic preservatives - phenoxyethanol and food grade sorbic acid. There is a more natural preservative available but it is a formaldehyde donor (and formaldehyde is a cancer-causer), and so we do not use this in SimplyClean.
Why do some SimplyClean products contain colour?
Our mantra is no unnecessary ingredients in SimplyClean, so wherever we use colour it’s there for a reason. The majority of our SimplyClean products are colour free (and as an aside, all are artificial fragrance free, of course). The products with colour fall into 2 categories – Eucalyptus Toilet Cleaner and our lemon myrtle products.
Our Eucalyptus Toilet Cleaner has colour to help you see where you’ve squirted in the toilet bowl and without it, you’d probably use too much. We’re happy to be convinced otherwise on this one!
You probably wouldn’t realise that our lemon myrtle essential oil changes colour with the seasons, ranging from pale hint of lemon through to deep golden. It can also mature in the bottle. Adding a tiny amount of colour smooths out the colour variation, which would otherwise cause alarm with customers wondering if the product is the same as last time. Is it “as strong?” or has it “gone off?” Rest assured, it is a natural variation and essentially has the same efficacy every time.
Are the colours used in SimplyClean natural?
Our colours are food safe but not natural. Through 2019 we tested natural colours in our products – chlorophyll extract and green apple – but, sadly, the tests did not work. The natural colours gave an unpalatable muddy grey green colour that most people would find unattractive or worrying in a cleaning product. So for now, it’s back to the drawing board.
What are surfactants and what do they do?
A surfactant – or surface-active agent – is an ingredient that directly helps with cleaning. They interact with water and loosen compounds such as dirt, food, blood and oil from whatever surface they are on – fabric, glass, metal, wood etc. They break down the interface between the cleaning solution and the ‘soil’ you are trying to remove, then hold the offending dirty component in suspension, so when rinsed with water the grime washes away with the surfactant.
Unfortunately, many surfactants are harsh and will irritate people’s sensitive skin or breathing. They can also have an environmental impact – if enough move into waterways, they can pose toxin issues to aquatic life.
At SimplyClean, we only use surfactants that are toxin-free and environmentally friendly.
How does hydrogen peroxide work to tackle stains, and kill mould?
Hydrogen peroxide is a wonderous compound, sometimes known as the superfood of the cleaning world. The formula is H2O2, but what is does is utilise the power of its “O’ – oxygen.
When it meets any kind of protein-based contaminant eg. blood, urine, mould, viruses and bacteria, the oxygen penetrates the cell of the contaminant and basically burns it from the inside out – known as ‘oxidising’. As well as breaking up other contaminants, it kills bacteria, mould and mildew.
Once the job is successfully done, the hydrogen peroxide biodegrades completely to just water and oxygen – leaving no residue behind.
Do you use optical brighteners?
We looked deeply at optical brightener when we developed the Simplyclean laundry powders and judged it is as a necessary ingredient. Reasons being, of the competitor powders and liquids we tested that had no optical brightener, they caused whites and brights to ‘grey’ in just one or two washes, which means clothes don’t last anytime at all before they look old, dingy and (to some people) unwearable. In hard water areas the salts in the water deposit onto fabrics faster and cause greying faster.
Fortunately, not all optical brighteners are the same. The old technology brighteners are persistent and do not biodegrade for example. Newer versions are far more effective.
We have chosen an optical brightener that is readily biodegradable, does not accumulate and persist, is not toxic (via eating or through skin etc), nor sensitising or allergenic, nor is it any issue with reproduction, mutagenicity or carcinogenicity. It would be irritating if put neat into the eye, but it’s in an extremely low dose in the laundry powder so nothing of any concern. In fact, any laundry powder would irritate if put directly into the eye (including ours) – all soaps and laundry products cause a sting if used without care.
The tiny percentage of optical brightener in our laundry powder also will not cause aquatic problems, which we have calculated specifically for the laundry powders (not tested on fish of course!) A large dose of neat optical brightener would be a concern, but this doesn’t relate to the amount in SimplyClean laundry powder.
Ingredients we don’t use
Why is chlorine bleach bad for me?
Chlorine, or bleach, is quite fumy, and those fumes are irritating to the respiratory system; particularly a problem for people with asthma and chronic fatigue, and generally unpleasant for almost everyone, especially in a closed environment such as a bathroom. If you inhale the fumes of chlorine, you may find your eyes and nose stings; you may cough or have a bit of light-headedness or develop a headache. Chlorine bleach can also damage your eyes and skin. Chlorine bleach must be handled carefully as when mixed with acidic chemicals it produces poisonous chlorine gas. Another concern is that chlorine bleach is corrosive to most metals and to grout, so will corrode tapware and the grout in the shower cubicle.
SimplyClean products do not contain chlorine bleach.
What do you mean by filler-free and how does that help?
Fillers are literally just cheap ‘bulking’ agents used by manufacturers when creating their laundry powder. They are there to make you think you have ‘more for your money’. In short, they’re purely marketing-lead and have no cleaning capabilities.
We don’t use fillers for many reasons, not the least of which that they cause issues with human health. They’re actually small, gritty grains so the particles get lodged into the weave of your clothes. Worse, they don’t dissolve, so remain in your clothes and turn them into sandpaper. Needless to say, they’re very unkind to your skin and cause irritation.
Fillers are likely contributors to the flaring up of sensitive skin and are irritants to people with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
SimplyClean products do not contain fillers.
What are SLES and SLS and why should I avoid them?
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are both surfactants and are great bubble makers, so are used by most cleaning and personal care product manufacturers to produce bubbly products, such as detergents and hand soaps. Both are recognised eye and skin irritants and are known to permeate through skin. Some SLES, mainly produced in Asia, is contaminated during manufacture by 1.4 dioxane, which is a carcinogen and it impossible to routinely detect.
SimplyClean products do not contain SLES or SLS.
What is CDE and why should I avoid it?
Cocodiethanolamide (CDE) is another surfactant commonly used in the manufacturing process of products such as body wash hand wash and detergent. It works as a thickener in liquid products. Whilst CDE is derived from coconuts, in an assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) it has recently been listed as a chemical known to cause cancer.
SimplyClean products do not contain CDE.
What are CMIT/MIT and why should I avoid them?
Chloromethylisothiazolinone/methyisothiszolinone (CMIT/MIT) are widely used preservatives in many personal care products such as body washes and cleaning products. They are a known factor in the possible development of severe lung diseases in humans.
SimplyClean products do not contain CMIT/MIT.
What do you mean by anti-bacterial?
Antibacterial means something that is actively working against bacteria. In short, they prevent the development of bacterial contamination.
What does “kills 99.9% of bacteria” mean?
The truth is, short of sterilisation (used in hospitals for instance), nothing is capable of killing every single form of bacteria and virus. This is because not all germs are created equal – occasionally, one may have an extra cell wall or a coating, which it can use to armour itself against household cleaning products. When 99.9% of bacteria have been killed this represents the acceptable level for safe food and household hygiene.
What does toxin free or non-toxic mean?
Toxins – or toxic chemicals – are poisons that are harmful to human and animal health. So a product that is toxin free or non-toxic means the product does not contain any ingredient at any level that causes toxic responses and poisoning.
What does sensitiser free mean?
A sensitiser is a chemical that causes a significant percentage of people or animals to develop an unwanted reaction (rash, reddening, itchiness etc) after repeated exposure. Sensitiser free means there are no harmful ingredients at any level that would cause such a reaction.
How is something powered by oxygen?
Some of our products contain hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is considered the superfood of cleaning products.
The powerful ingredient in these products is hydrogen peroxide (formula H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide utilises the power of its oxygen (O) molecule in order to penetrate the cells of mould and bacteria, thus dissolving them away. This process is called oxidation and is totally natural.
Are your products safe to use in greywater?
Yes, all our products are completely safe to use in greywater.
Are SimplyClean products safe to use around pets?
All our products are toxin-free and completely safe for pets as well as humans.
Do you use palm oil?
Never. All our products are 100% palm oil free, vegan and Peta certified cruelty free. For more information about our policies click here.
Are SimplyClean products suitable for vegans?
Yes. We are PETA certified cruelty free.
Does Simply No Mould kill mould
Yes. Arguably, hydrogen peroxide kills mould better than chlorine-based mould killers, because it infiltrates mould, then scorches the cells from the inside, destroying them in the process. And because this demolition of the mould cells is ‘powered by oxygen’, it’s a 100% natural, toxic-free process.
Is Simply No Mould safe for septics?
Yes, it is safe for septics. In case you’re interested why, it's for a couple of reasons.
The Simply No Mould is a spray product and its active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, breaks down very quickly to water and oxygen. What doesn’t get used up killing mould would rarely make it as far as the septic, as it would get to work on the various waste remnants in the pipework on the way.
Now, should a spray bottle of Simply No Mould be tipped directly into a septic (which it never would of course), the hydrogen peroxide would start killing some bacteria, in the process the resulting burst of oxygen would feed the septic’s oxygen-loving bacteria and help them to proliferate greatly. The dose of a spray bottle’s worth would probably do good, rather than harm.
Packaging and plastic
Can I return my used pails, containers and bottles to you for reuse?
We take back any of the bulk containers plus all of the white small containers, and we clean them up and reuse/refill them for resale. Usually though this is only feasible for Northern Rivers locals to return to us because transporting empty containers is not very economical and uses many more resources than recycling. If you live a distance away an alternative is for you to refill your single use containers. Find your nearest refill centre / zero waste stockist of SimplyClean on our list of stores here.
Alternatively consider setting up your own refill station by buying in bulk here.. Did you know our 15kg laundry powders can last a family 18 months – 2 years on average!
Are your bottles and pails recyclable?
Yes, all of our containers are recyclable. The small clear containers are made from PET and carry the (recycle 1) symbol. Our bulk containers and small white containers are made from HDPE and carry the (recycle 2) symbol. Both types are accepted by councils for recycling and are the most recycled plastics in Australia.
Why don’t you use biodegradable or composing packaging?
SimplyClean products are varied – powders and liquids; low pH (for bathrooms), high pH for tackling greasy stains and laundry, and in-between for hand soaps, body washes and general cleaning. What is common is all products have a minimum shelf life of 2 years. Sadly, this rules out biodegradable or compostable packs which, in their current state of evolution, are unfortunately unusable. We’d have packaging breaking down on the shelf causing spillage and waste.
What is the shelf life of SimplyClean products?
All SimplyClean products are tested for effective life before they’re made available for you to purchase and use. All of our liquids, such as dishwash liquid and body wash, come with a 2-year shelf life. Our laundry and dishwasher powders come with a 3-year life.
Actual shelf life is improved if you store your SimplyClean well – out of direct sunlight and heat, and powders kept dry. This is especially important for our products that contain hydrogen peroxide, Simply No Mould, HealthyClean Bathroom and Kitchen, to maintain their effectiveness.
Buying and Selling SimplyClean
I live in _____ where can I buy your products?
We have over 550 stockists around Australia. Find one closest to you by entering your postcode on our website here.
Are your products only available online?
We have over 550 stockists around Australia, mainly on the east coast but slowly extending to SA and WA. Find one closest to you by entering your postcode on our website here.
Where can I refill my SimplyClean, as I want to reuse my containers?
We have almost 80 zero waste stores and bulk food stores stocking a range of SimplyClean products, with more opening across Australia every month. Check out this list of refill stores here.
Do you have a discount code / promo code / coupon code I can use?
We have special promotions monthly on the SimplyClean website, accessible to our newsletter subscribers. To make sure you never miss a discount sign up to our monthly newsletter here.
I didn't get my discount code? I signed up for the email, so when do I get my discount code?
We send a monthly email in the first week of the month. We don’t send a code for signing up. Your discount code email might have gone to spam. To sign up here.
I have a shop and would love to stock your products
Please visit our wholesale enquiries page here. Depending on your location we may direct you to your local distributor for our products.
I have a business and we would love to use SimplyClean products
Please visit our wholesale enquiries page here. Depending on your location and the nature of your business, we may direct you to your local distributor for our products.
More about our products
How many litres does your Lemon Myrtle Disinfectant Cleaner make?
Each litre makes up to 40 litres of ready-to-use disinfectant cleaner. You can make it up in a spray bottle to use as a spray and wipe, or in a bowl or mop bucket for cleaning around the home.
How many litres does your Lemon Myrtle Floor Cleaner make?
Each litre makes up to 100 litres of ready to use floor cleaner. You can make it up in a spray bottle to use as a spot spray for spills, or in a mop bucket for whole floor cleaning.
Is the Lemon Myrtle Floor Cleaner ok to use on wooden floorboards?
Yes, absolutely. Our lemon Myrtle Floor Cleaner has a neutral pH and low foaming formula that makes it perfect for all floors but especially shiny floors - tiles, vinyl, painted concrete and sealed wooden and bamboo floorboards. The neutral pH protects floor coatings and waxes. The low bubble formula means no bubble marks are left after mopping and you’re left with a streak-free finish.
Do you have a stain remover spray?
We haven’t developed a pre-wash stain remover spray yet. Our Fragrance Free Laundry Stain Remover Powder can be used as a pre-wash soak or an in-wash boost to remove stains and it can be used for spot staining by mixing a small amount to a paste with hot water. If a spray is something you’d like, please contact us and let us know.
Do you have a fabric softener?
Fabric softeners have their pros and cons and we’re yet to decide if a SimplyClean Fabric Softener will make it onto our development list. Although the lingering smell of lemon myrtle would be divine! Fabric softeners have their benefit in producing softer and fluffier towels, bed sheets and clothes but this is done by leaving a film of fabric softener on the fabric fibres; similar to how a hair conditioner works. This film affects absorbency (unhelpful, especially for towels) and we prefer our laundry products wash cleanly away, so the fabrics next to your skin contain nothing itchy or sensitising. Check out our blogpost here.
Do you have a shampoo and conditioner coming soon?
Lemon Myrtle Shampoo and Lemon Myrtle Conditioner are definitely on our list of must-do SimplyClean products. They’re tricky to make well (avoiding all the unwelcome chemicals used by the big brands) and there are some natural hair products out there that perform very poorly. Please let us know if you’re keen!
I am a blogger, would you like to work together?
We are just starting to look at this area of collaboration, so thanks for getting in touch. If you have more information about you, your influence or your collaborative ideas please send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org -.we will discuss and get back to you.