We have questions asked about the Biodegradable of Barefoot's Secret Cleaning
Products all the time and what does that little number inside the triangle
mean on cleaning products that you buy. The following information from
the Science Department might help you to better understand this.
FYI . . . the number inside the triangle has nothing to do with the
biodegradable of the product inside. It merely identifies the level of
biodegradability of the container.
Biodegradation is the destruction of organic chemical compounds by the
biological action of living organisms. Untimately, the organic matter is
converted to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic salts and products associated
with the normal metabolic processes of the bacteria. Thus, in this process
complex matter is generally reconverted back to its primary building blocks
in nature. And the cycle continues.
At the manufacturer, the goal is to formulate cleaning products, which not only
contain biodegradable cleaning agents, but with auxiliary builders (boosters)
that, ultimately, undergo breakdown as well. In addition to ultimate break-
down, the speed of the biodegradation process is also a critical factor.
According to test protocol developed by the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (DECD) group of experts, any product in
which at least 60% of its organic chemical load biodegrades within 28
days under standard test conditions, is not only Biodegradable, but
conforms to the requirement for Readily Biodegradable status.
For the Barefoot Secret line of cleaning products, test results validate the claim
of Readily Biodegradable for every product except Germicide and Softener .
For Softener biodegradation does occur, too slowly,
however, to be classified as Readily Biodegradable. Unfortunately, the
current technology for our disposal for this product lacks softening
agents, which meet the requirements for Readily Biodegradable status.
However, we remain vigilant to new technologies, which may satisfy
requirements for both softening effectiveness and quick biodegradation.
In the case of Germicide, the germicidal ingredients are, by necessity, not
readily biodegradable. If they were, they would not effectively kill or
disinfect the target organisms. This is generally true for all germicidal
In summary, Barefoot's Secret cleaners are formulated with the safest, most effective,
non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients available. Our continuing effort
is to include those ingredients which degrade naturally into the basic
building blocks of carbon dioxide and water, thus minimizing contam-
ination of wastewater systems, rivers and lakes.