Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Flu Tips from CleanWell


Did you know? The germs that cause cold and flu are carried in airborne droplets (like in a sneeze) while other infections can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. Given the high viral nature of these infections, it is especially important to sanitize regularly and keep a healthy lifestyle during these months (typically October – early March). To help track and prepare, Flu Near You is a very useful tool to monitor and understand the patterns of illness and help your family stay healthy during cold and flu season. Read more about this tool via our blog post here and get savvy on cold and flu defense and prevention by reading the quick tips below.

It’s Thyme to Get Clean

The best way to kill germs in the house while cleaning is to think about high-contact surfaces, like remote controls, toys, countertops, and light switches. Cleaning your child’s toys regularly with CleanWell Botanical Surface Disinfecting Wipes or Sprays will help eliminate germs spreading, and should occur daily during an illness. Using CleanWell Botanical Surface Disinfecting Wipes not only will kill germs, but won’t leave harsh chemicals behind so you don’t need to rinse after cleaning.

All Hands on Deck!

Hand washing is a very important part of your winter season stay-healthy efforts. Studies show this simple daily ritual can cut down your rate of infectious disease by nearly 50%. You can do this by using CleanWell Foaming Hand Wash. When using CleanWell you will not have to worry about Triclosan or other harsh chemicals.

Don’t Infect – Protect

During flu season, keep children at home if they are sick – no exceptions! Until your child’s pediatrician gives him or her clearance, your child should be at home getting better, not helping spread the illness.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Get plenty of sleep, eat well and enjoy a relaxing cup of hot tea. When flu season hits, even if it is at very intense active levels, make smart choices but don’t panic. There is every good reason to take reasonable precautions including good hand hygiene, vaccination, and a common-sense absenteeism policy that keeps sick students and employees home so that they don’t contribute to the spread of illness.

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

FDA Antibacterial Soap Announcement; Consumers and The Environment Win

There has been a very exciting development in the fight against Triclosan; the FDA made a long awaited announcement outlining their plans for eliminating toxic synthetic chemicals from consumer soaps.

As a company that has been a leader in the anti-Triclosan movement since 2007 we are happy to share that the move by the FDA is a victory for all of us. Kudos to NRDC and Sarah Janssen, MD, MPH for their role in spearheading the legal action that brought this about.

Key Takeaways from the 137 page document (and yes we’ve read it so you don’t have to):

First, the FDA has acknowledged that consumer antibacterial soaps are different from healthcare products (products used in an institutional setting, like hospitals) and should be subject to different standards of regulatory oversight. This is important because homes and hospitals are very different environments with very different problems. Products formulated to prevent the spread of infection on the hands of doctors and nurses in hospitals are inappropriate for use by families in the home setting.

Second, they have defined a new safety standard (GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe) for consumer antimicrobial soaps. In order to receive approval as GRAS, antimicrobial ingredients must prove that they pose no health risk including risks from long-term daily use such as endocrine disruption and infertility. We agree that this level of concern is appropriate, especially for products that might be used by children on a daily basis for years. CleanWell’s Thyme Oil is likely the be the only antimicrobial ingredient on the U.S. market that would be able to meet this new standard.

Third, the FDA has proposed a new standard for product efficacy. If and when this proposal takes effect, it will no longer be sufficient to prove the active ingredient kills 99.99% of germs, instead companies will need to demonstrate that the product actually prevents illness in a properly conducted clinical outcome study. This will require a large, double blind, placebo controlled clinical outcome study. This is a very high bar and very expensive. It asks exactly the question that most of us want answered: Do antimicrobial soaps work any better at preventing illness than soaps without antimicrobials?

The Path Forward

Here at CleanWell we have noticed a disturbing trend where a number of large companies have responded to the growing issues with Triclosan by replacing it with Benzalkonium Chloride. This is another synthetic antimicrobial with well-established serious health issues including asthma, eczema, and allergies. Fortunately, these proposed FDA safety and efficacy standards will put a stop to the irresponsible practice of replacing one toxic antimicrobial ingredient with another.

The FDA proposed rule has a 180-day comment period and we fully expect that industry and trade associations will use this time to fight this proposal and make every effort to water-down, delay, or kill it. We hope that the FDA, the NGOs, and the public stand their ground and persist in demanding safe and effective products. Our projection is that if big industry doesn’t kill or dramatically alter the FDA’s proposal and it passes intact, in two years there will be no consumer antibacterial soaps sold anymore. Given industry’s long history of irresponsible use of toxic synthetic chemicals in consumer antibacterial soaps, this long overdue action by the FDA is very good news indeed.

At CleanWell, our mission in the soap category has been to provide safe, effective, and natural alternatives to Triclosan and Benzalkonium Chloride laden products. CleanWell products are formulated and designed to build consumer awareness about Triclosan, Benzalkonium Chloride, and other toxic antimicrobial chemicals and to eliminate them from our homes and workplaces. We’d love to cry out “Mission Accomplished” but we’ll hold our full celebration until after the comment period is closed and the FDA plans become action.

If you’d like to read more:

FDA Announcement: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378393.htm

FDA Proposed Rule: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-29814_PI.pdf

NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/health/fda-to-require-proof-that-antibacterial-soaps-are-safe.html?_r=0

CleanWell Triclosan posts: http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/blog/?s=Triclosan






Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Wish I discovered these India travel essentials much sooner

We’d like to introduce you to Evelyn YK Lee an international entrepreneur, world traveler and wellness lifestyle enthusiast. We look forward to sharing her global travel insights with you here on our blog

While it was a few years ago I remember vividly how relieved I was to finally get to my window seat on the airplane where I could rest my head and try to sleep for most of the long flight home. I had 11,122 km (6918 miles) ahead of me, a non-stop flight that would take over 14 hours. I had gotten quite sick toward the end of my trip to India and was dreading the long journey home.

My trip had started auspiciously, the weather was beautiful and I jumped right into my business engagements. I spent this first part of my trip in the city of New Delhi. Every night when I returned to my hotel I would notice a thin coating of dirt on my face, hands and hair. I would wash down in my hotel room, wishing there was something I could do throughout the day to keep my skin clean. But I have very sensitive skin and hadn’t found a product that I could use frequently without adverse side effects like drying and very uncomfortable itchiness.

When the business part of the trip was over I was able to squeeze in a visit to the Taj Mahal. Fittingly identified as one of the seven wonders of the world, every first time visitor to India should see it. Overall India presented a very interesting and stimulating experience. A unique culture with diversity and different environment including cows strolling next to the taxis. Cows are revered in Hindu culture and it’s a symbol of non-violence and mother goddess. Feeding a cow is seen as an act of worship and cows are good fortune provider. Perhaps the best insight I can give is to beware of the yummy Malasa Chai (spiced creamy tea tastes like the Hong Kong style milk tea that I just love). It’s everywhere, very delicious and easy to drink until your stomach hurts!

Between the business meetings, sightseeing, and moving around I was always surrounded by and in close contact with other people plus I was quite jetlagged (with time difference of more than 13 hours) and moving nonstop, so it wasn’t surprising that by the end of the trip I was sick.

Many years after my long, sniffly, feverish trip back from India to North America I was told by a colleague this early spring about a company in San Francisco that had developed a unique patented green technology. My colleague arranged for me to fly to California and met the CleanWell team, including Dr. Larry Weiss, a Stanford trained physician and an renowned expert in infectious disease. As the founder of CleanWell he had created a line of antibacterial products with the mission of making them great for skin, especially sensitive skin. He gave me a tour of the custom built lab in the San Francisco office and shared insights into the formulation process. He explained that CleanWell had reinvented disinfecting and antibacterial products by reintroducing an ancient, botanical ingredient (natural thyme oil) in a patented formulation. Unlike other antibacterial & disinfecting products, CleanWell doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. In addition to the active thyme oil ingredient they use other essential oils to scent their personal care products. While he shared he is proud of all of their products, he confessed that their travel sanitizing wipes, called the” pocket pack” is his favorite. I tried the wipes and just loved them. Thinking back to my India trip, this is what I had needed to wipe off the dirt and germs of travel throughout the day, after touching my luggage, handbag, laptop, electronics, clothes and shaking hands.

As I went through airport security on my way back to Vancouver from San Francisco, the TSA agent didn’t bat an eye as the compact 1oz hand sanitizer bottle and wipes (no alcohol, not flammable) passed through the x-ray. At that point I knew with all the traveling that lies ahead for me, I’d found my perfect travel companions.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Walmart’s Action Validates Our Years of Fighting to Ban Triclosan

Walmart’s new chemical initiative announcement represents a major milestone in the effort to eliminate toxic chemicals from everyday use consumer products. As part of their sustainability program Walmart has put their vendors on notice that they must eliminate Triclosan (and 9 other chemicals) from their products by 2016. Products that don’t comply will be banned. In anticipation of this both Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble have already announced their intention to eliminate these ingredients – I suspect that we will see more to come.

In my opinion, the true impact of this turn of events is that it validates the longstanding and very real concerns about Triclosan and other ingredients that are commonplace in traditional brands. In the past these concerns were dismissed or ignored. We know this first hand as we’ve been a consistent and persistent voice for the ban of Triclosan since CleanWell’s inception in 2007.

The part of this story that these companies have not yet revealed is what will be used in place of the banned ingredients. Most of these ingredients serve vital purposes, for example the preservatives keep bad things from growing in our soaps and lotions. We want to be sure one bad ingredient isn’t replaced with another. For example there is a family of antimicrobials called Quats which are of deep concern.

As we all watch these companies over the next few years navigate from here to the eagerly anticipated safer there, keep in mind that we developed CleanWell’s formula of natural thyme oil to solve this exact problem. We resurrected an ancient and effective ingredient and modernized it by getting our formula patented. We then went through a very involved EPA disinfectant registration process so that there would be unequivocal proof it works. We did this so that the CleanWell logo (our green leaf) quickly signals that you won’t find any of these ingredients of concern here. As we say at CleanWell “It’s what’s inside that matters”.

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

180 Days of School, 180 Days of CleanWell!

It’s been a great summer, now it’s time to get the family and kids ready for school!

We’ve brought together hand selected back-to-school brands for our 180 Days of CleanWell Giveaway. We hope you’ll spend some time with us and enjoy learning more about why CleanWell products are a great fit for your home and school. You’ll also see why Plum Organics, Lifefactory, Supergoop!, Laptop Lunches & Annies Homegrown are all great choices as well.

The 180 Days Giveaway

The grand prize is a years supply of CleanWell Botanical Disinfectants, Hand Sanitizers and Soaps for your home and your child’s classroom. Spread the word! If a different parent in your child’s classroom wins, then your child will enjoy the years supply of CleanWell too! Then there are 10 prize packs that include the great prizes from all the participating brands.

Click here to fill out the enry form on our Facebook page. You can enter between now and Sept 4, 2013.

Also stay tuned we have two tweet chats planned this month one called “Healthy Lunches” and the other “Chemicals to Avoid this School Year”.


Friday, June 14th, 2013

REVERB is armed with CleanWell to “green up” the hottest summer music tours

Are you heading to a concert this summer? Summer holds so many awesome pleasures and one of them is listening to live music. Throngs of us will be heading to amazing venues throughout North America and REVERB.org will be there too, making the hottest summer tours more sustainable.

Based in Portland, Maine, REVERB is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2004 by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Adam Gardner of Guster. Reverb provides comprehensive, custom greening programs for music tours while conducting grassroots outreach and education with fans around the globe.

This summer you’ll find them working on these amazing tours: FUN, Barenaked Ladies, Maroon 5, Guster, Dave Mathews Band, Phish, Yo Gabba Gabba and Brantley Gilbert.

At CleanWell we are thrilled to be part of their program. Cleanwell Botanical Disinfectants and personal care products are used to help keep the tour healthy and clean without any harsh chemicals.

And it gets better, if you are a fan of music and sustainability you can get personally involved in REVERB’s work by volunteering to be on site at the venue helping out during the concerts. See you there!

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Citrus Lane asks some great questions

It’s earth month and Citrus Lane has interviewed CleanWell Founder Dr Larry Weiss for their blog.

They came up with interesting questions that Dr. Weiss has not been asked in any previous interviews like:

Do you have a motto and if so, what is it?

I have several “mottos”, a few of which can be printed, and one “Law”. Perhaps this would be most appropriate – it is known as Weiss’ Law: “Before you open a can of worms, better get a larger can to put them away.”

Read the full interview here

And visit their facebook page for $1000 in prizes this April, including CleanWell products!


Monday, April 8th, 2013

CleanWell Gives Back

CleanWell Gives Back is our company’s volunteer program. This past week at the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks, we boxed 20,000 pounds of oranges for delivery to schools and other groups. It felt great to help get whole fresh food out to people in need!

To find a food bank near you click here.


Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Make it Three Dimensional

At CleanWell we love & celebrate creativity & innovation! We think this company that turns your child’s drawing into a toy is pretty neat. Check it out for yourself here: http://www.childsown.com/

Follow us on Pinterest for more cool finds like this one.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

How Perturbed Does your Gut Bacteria Get?

At CleanWell we talk about living in balance in terms of our microbiome. How long do you think it takes for your gut bacteria to recover after a course of antibiotic?

It was recently documented that the gut microbiota was dramatically perturbed after taking a treatment regimen commonly used for Helicobacter pylori infections, consisting of clarithro-mycin, metronidazole and omeprazole (Jakobsson et al. 2010). Using 454 pyrosequencing they found that some members of the faecal microbiota were affected for extremely long periods of time, i.e. up to 4 years post-treatment.

So now the answer is 12 months+, depending on the treatment regimen.

image source: http://simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com