June 9, 2010

Third Party Efficacy Tests

Product Science


Product The Test We Make Sure It Works!
Powder/Liquid Detergent Laundry Detergent Soil removal

Overall Soil Removal (HE Testing & Full Scale Wash): Our laundry detergents are sent to an independent third party lab to undergo testing using a standardized study. So what is this standardized test? Basically, they stain pieces of fabric with common "messes", such as sweat, juice, oil, make-up, chocolate, milk, and wine. Next, a machine that measures colors, called a colorimeter, is used to determine the intensity of the stain. Then, the lab washes them through a controlled wash and dry cycle. After, the fabric is measured again by the colorimeter to determine how much stain was removed in the wash. Based on this, the total soil removal score is calculated. With these scores we can compare our cleaning effectiveness to our competitors and see how we stack up. That's how we KNOW we work!

Foam Generation (HE Testing Only): Nobody wants super sudsy laundry detergent! What a mess. That's how the old school stuff used to work. The new stuff is meant to be nearly suds-free because these days, it's enzymes that do the serious cleaning. This is really important in HE machines, where water to remove suds and detergent is limited, and oversudsing can cause a lot of issues in your machine. So, we run a standardized test at a third party lab to make sure our detergent still works really well, all while not getting too sudsy. The lab runs a controlled wash cycle (consistent temperature, water quantity, amount of detergent, etc.) that measures how much foam appears near the rear vent of your washing machine. If the foam is too much for a standard HE machine to handle the "SUD" indicator light goes off! Our detergents all pass this test, so you can rest assured that our detergents will work well in your HE machine!

Fabric Softener Softening & Static Reduction

Static Reduction and Softness: We want to make your laundry feel as soft as possible and eliminate any static cling. So, we do our due diligence and test our fabric softener sheets and liquids to make sure we meet these goals. We send samples off to an independent third party lab that runs a test that using standardized methods to ensure that we do in fact, reduce static cling and make your clothes softer. So what do they do at the lab? They wash pairs of towels with different fabric softeners (ours and various competitors). First, they measure static cling reduction using an Electrocstatic Fiedmeter. They run 50 readings for accuracy. Then, trained sensory specialists compare them to each other, and assess their qualities of softness. Each towel is judged 30 times! We end up with a score, so we know how well we reduce static, increase softness, AND we know how we stack up to the competition.

Hand Dish Standard Guide for Foam Stability of Hand Dishwashing Detergents

Our dish liquid is put to the test using a standardized method, performed at an independent third party lab, that we call "plate count". What does this mean? Well, the lab actually takes a consistent measured amount of dish liquid, a bunch of dirty plates, and they start washing! Of course, the dishes are dirtied in the same way, the water is always the same temperature, and they have a specific way that they actually wash the plates. Doing everything just so, they see how many dirty plates that amount of dish liquid actually cleans before the suds go away. The more plates you clean, the better!

Auto Dish Glassware Deposition

For those of us who don't like doing dishes, the dishwasher is our best friend. It's hard to find an automatic dishwashing detergent that is green and really works, so we test to ensure that ours does just that, work. We test our detergents at third party independent labs so that we can ensure just this. We test for spotting, filming, stain removal, and food removal. To test for food removal (or general cleaning), a cycle of dirty dishes "messed" intentionally to test for specific removal is run, and then visually inspected (by trained experts) for evidence of leftover food or "soils". To test for spotting, filming, stain removal, we run another test. This one is similar to the food removal test, but it's done on glassware, so you can really see spots or film residues. Again, trained specialists assess the glassware for the absence or presence of stains, water spots, or film. After their professional assessment, they are rated based on designed criteria, and then judged and graded in comparison to the competition. Just another way we know that our dishwashing detergents work really well!

Diaper Absorbency & Rewet Testing

There are three tests that we put our diapers through to ensure that they work really well; the Absorbency Rate Test, the Re-Wet Test and the Total Absorbent Capacity Test. The absorbency rate test tells us how quickly a diaper can absorb liquid; i.e. if baby goes pee, how fast will it get absorbed? Those diaper cores have to catch liquid fast or it will leak out!  At a third party independent lab, they quickly pour a liquid solution into the diaper, not once, but twice (just in case baby goes twice in one diaper) and measure how long it takes for the liquid to be fully absorbed into the core. Now we know how quickly the diaper can absorb, but can it hold onto the liquid? We test this with the re-wet test, and it tells us how well our diapers can lock liquid into its core.  After pouring liquid on the diaper’s core, the lab will apply a weight to the diaper to see how much liquid seeps back out of the diaper.  We want to make sure the liquid stays locked into the diaper and not on the baby’s skin. The Total Absorbent Capacity test is the total of all of the liquid that a diaper can hold; i.e. how much liquid can you pour on there before it can't take any more. Our independent lab will dunk an entire diaper into a tank of liquid to make sure that it can hold at least three times its own weight! We run these tests to make sure our diapers work to keep baby dry and cozy.




All Purpose Soil Removal

All-purpose cleaners should be able to remove a variety of messes. We send our All-Purpose Cleaner off for testing at an independent 3rd party lab to make sure it gets rid of everyday messes like grease, soil, pencil and  crayon. This test simulates real life situations where you would be sure to reach for an all purpose cleaner. For example; grease left sitting overnight on a surface (think stove top), dirt that is caked onto tile (think bathtub post doggie tub time), and  crayon or pencil on the wall (I don't think you need an example for this one)! Our All Purpose Cleaner is tested in all of these conditions using a standardized test method. Then, its performance is evaluated using a reliable machine, and scored for soil removal. Our All Purpose Cleaner scores really high, and that's how we know it works!

Glass Cleaner

Cleaning/Streaking/ Smearing

Everyone wants sparkling and streak-free glass. That's why it is important that we test our glass cleaner to make sure it's going to deliver what you want. We put it through a standardized test, performed and judged by and independent 3rd party to assess a few things: how well it cleans and if streaks and smears are left behind after cleaning. The lab starts out with clean glass plates. then they dirty 'em up with all the same "stuff" and same amount of that stuff. Then the plates are heated up to make sure the stuff is really on there. We wouldn't want to let our glass cleaners off the hook too easily! The plates are then cleaned with the same technique for each glass cleaning product tested.  The cleanliness, streaking and smearing is judged based on a rating scale by expert judges and scored accordingly.

Toilet Bowl

Rust/Water Hardness/ Cleaning

We send our toilet bowl cleaner to an independent 3rd party lab to put it to the test under a variety of conditions. The lab uses a standardized method for all toilet bowl cleaners so it makes it easy for us to compare how well ours works next to the competition. Black and white tiles are dirtied and cleaned, then assessed for how clean and how glossy the toilet bowl cleaner gets them. They use four different methods for cleaning to ensure they cover all the different ways that someone might clean their toilet. After cleaning the tiles off using specific methods, they assess how clean and glossy they turn out. To ensure accuracy, they use a machine that measures these attributes.

All Cleaners

Surface Compatibility

The Surface Compatibility test, known in the industry as "Surface Attack", tests cleaners on many different surfaces to see if the cleaner can be used on them without causing any damage. We don't want any of our cleaners doing anything to your surfaces but cleaning them! We make sure the test reflects the real life usage of the product. So if it's a spray and wipe cleaner, we spray it on, and wipe it off. If it’s a cleaner intended to be sprayed and left for 5-10 minutes, we mimic that scenario as well. After the real-life scenario is enacted, each surface is visually evaluated by an expert group using a standardized scoring scale to determine if the cleaner is acceptable for use on that surface.

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