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How can we determine if your all purpose cleaner contains germ- or bacteria-killing ingredients?

All soaps are technically antibacterial by definition. Nevertheless, our products do not contain specific disinfectants intended for any given bacteria. We question the necessity of using disinfectants in cleaners, unless in certain environments such as hospitals, kitchens, washrooms or places where generally many people converge.

The regular use of disinfectants can destabilize the natural environment, since many bacteria are instrumental in maintaining environmental balance. Also, bacteria are capable of becoming increasingly resistant and ultimately immune to disinfectants over time.

Besides, bacterial colonies can repopulate so fast, you have to wonder just how effective the antibacterial solutions we often depend upon really are.

Why is the fruit and veggie cleaner not certified Ecologo?

The main ingredients of the Bio-Vert Fruit & Veggie cleaner (Alkyl polyglucoside and fatty ethoxylate alcohol) are vegetable-based surfactants that are not toxic neither for human health nor for the environment. Moreover the conservative used in this product is a food-grade conservative. The Bio-Vert Fruit & Veggie cleaner is a fully eco-friendly product and yet it is not certified by Ecologo because no standard does exist at the moment for this kind of product.

Why do I cough when using a conventional product to clean my bathroom?

Most of conventional bathroom cleaning products contain strong acids which dissolve limescale, rust and soap residues. When spraying, we breathe small particles of the acid which cause a reflex cough. Continuous exposition to these chemicals may lead to various changing in human health status. In the Bio-Vert formula these acids are replaced by organic and degradable acids such as lactic acid and citric acid which make the product as efficient as the conventional ones.

What is the impact of dyes on the environment?

Most dyes used in conventional products are synthetic dyes which are very resistant and biodegrade very poorly in the environment. Moreover, when these kind of dyes biodegrade, they generate by-products which are very harmful for the environmental balance. Lastly, synthetic dyes may cause allergies especially on sensitive skins. Since dyes are useful only to change the appearance of the product and have no cleaning function, it is better not to use them.

Are Bio-Vert products safe for septic tanks?

Yes. Bio-Vert products comply with the OECD biodegradability requirements for enclosed space environments, and are therefore septic tank friendly.

Where can I find the product Prolav Brille?

In Québec, Prolav Brille is sold at the Jean-Coutu and Brunet pharmacies, as well as IGA and Zellers stores.

Outside Québec, we can ship it to you through Canada Post (shipping charges will apply). Payable by credit card.

Are Bio-Vert products sold in large sizes?

Most health food stores carry Bio-Vert products in large sizes of up to 10 litres. To locate the store nearest you, contact the distributor below for your region. They will be able to provide you with the information based on your postal code.

AMS = 1-800-567-7376 or 819-657-4225 (Québec)
Horizon Distribution = 604-524-6610 (Western Canada)
ONFC = 905-507-2021 (Ontario)

Can you buy Bio-Vert products in bulk and refill containers rather than purchasing new ones?

Yes. Simply bring your empty containers to one of these two retailers.

Coop de la Maison Verte
5785 Sherbrooke West

Bi-Eau Sphère - Produits écologiques
12 rue Principale

Can I use regular detergent in my front-load washer?

Using regular laundry detergent in a front-load washer is generally not recommended. Regular detergents produce too many suds for low water front-load washers, which can make proper rinsing difficult and even cause excess sudsing to the point of damaging your washer, especially the water pump.

High-efficiency or HE detergents are specially formulated for front-load washers, and contain low-sudsing and anti-redeposition agents that prevent these problems from occurring.

If you insist on using regular laundry detergent in your front-load washer, be sure to use half the recommended quantity.

Bio-Vert markets both regular and HE laundry detergents.

Is there a Bio-Vert product I can use instead of bleach to remove stains and whiten my clothes?

You can use Bio-Vert’s active oxygen-based powder stain remover. This product is equally effective as a soaking solution once diluted in hot water or when poured directly into the washer as a laundry additive. It sells in a 600 g container

As with all bleaching products, it is always preferable to test the stain remover first before using it on colours or delicates.

This product is biodegradable and significantly less harmful to the environment and your health than bleach.

Can I use Bio-Vert fabric softener in my front-load washer?

Yes, Bio-Vert fabric softener is suitable for front-load washers, and in the same amounts you would use in a standard washer.

Why cold and hot water washing?

In addition to being more effective for removing certain stains, doing laundry in hot water also activates the wetting agents and helps additives in the detergent dissolve faster.

There are detergents that are very effective in cold water or even recommended for use with cold water. These save energy and can also save certain delicate fabrics not suited for hot water from being damaged. It should nevertheless be noted that wetting agents that are generally effective in cold water often produce cleaner results in hot water on deeply stained clothes.

All Bio-Vert laundry products are designed to work in cold water.

Are Bio-Vert products tested on animals?

No, Bio-Vert products are never tested on animals.

Does biodegradable necessarily imply environmental?

An environmental detergent is by extension biodegradable, whereas the reverse is not necessarily the case. Several additional factors, like water toxicity, must be considered to ascertain a product’s environmental value. E.g. a cleaning product found in household wastewater can have unwanted consequences on the environment, even if it is biodegradable.

Theoretically, toxic products that biodegrade quickly are less “toxic” simply because they do not have time to penetrate living tissue and harm the environment. In practice, however, ideal conditions for biodegradation are dependant upon the area where the products are disposed of. As a result, peak biodegradability is not always possible, and this can cause the products’ toxicity to linger. What does not degrade and the by-products of primary biodegradation preserve their toxicity because they have time to infiltrate the ecosystems and adversely affect, or more precisely, kill wildlife and plant life, which in turn destabilizes the natural balance.

For example, ammonia is biodegradable but also extremely toxic for aquatic life, even in low concentrations. Also, during the first stage of biodegradation, ammonia produces nitrites. These too are highly toxic. Therefore, if biodegradation conditions are not ideal, and the ammonia and/or nitrites enter an aquatic ecosystem, this will have damaging consequences on aquatic wildlife.

Several compounds, such as nonylphenol ethoxylates, are also both biodegradable and toxic. These have been determined to be toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Nevertheless, they can still be found on the list of ingredients of certain products sold in Canada.

Over and above biodegradability and water toxicity, impacts on human health must also be considered. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are a perfect case in point. These are used in the composition of some biodegradable cleaning products, but they are known for their harmful effects on human health when inhaled in certain concentrations.

Basically, when shopping for green cleaning products, reading the list of ingredients is as, if not more, important than looking for the “biodegradable” claim. To learn more about all the different factors you should be considering when assessing the environmental character of a cleaning product, go to How do I make sure a cleaning product is genuinely green?

How do I make sure a cleaning product is genuinely green?

Choosing a green cleaning product can be based on numerous observations. First, “EcoLogo” certifies the product is compliant with a series of specific environmental requirements such as no phosphates, biodegradable within 28 days, etc.

Selecting concentrated formulas, i.e. either dilutable or requiring very small amounts, is environmental because of the packaging savings. E.g. if one bottle can provide 2 to 3 times the laundry loads of a same-size competing brand, the impact of consuming the product is equally reduced by 2 to 3 times.

The packaging is also a good indicator of a product’s environmental quality. The lack of excess packaging, the container’s level of post-consumer recycled content, the container’s square shape requiring less shelf and shipping pallet space – these are all features that reduce a product’s ecological footprint.

Finally, buying local products, manufactured as close to the point of sale as possible, also constitutes a green choice for obvious reasons: shorter transportation distances, and therefore, lower GHG emissions.

Are green cleaning products as effective as standard cleaning products?

Green cleaning products can be just as effective as standard products by the leading brands. A lot of effort and research goes into finding ways of replacing certain undesirable chemical products generally used to formulate cleaning products. It should therefore come as no surprise that these scientists eventually obtain levels of effectiveness that match those of non-green products.

In addition, just like two competing regular brands are not necessarily equally effective, two biodegradable and green products can also yield different results. Essentially, not all green products are effective, but this is also true of non-green products. (Protégez-Vous reference?)

Finally, it is important to remember that EcoLogo certification not only guarantees the environmental value of a product, but its quality and effectiveness as well. Products that are EcoLogo certified have passed normed, widely recognized effectiveness tests, which are validated by an external organization.