Last Updated on May 28, 2022 by The Filtery Staff
You may have seen Force of Nature cleaner around the internet. It’s especially popular among parents because of how safe yet truly effective it is, especially for things like killing viruses and disinfecting after accidents.
But the concept is kind of weird compared to other household cleaners! A household cleaner you have to charge? What?!
So in this article, we’re answering just about any and all questions you might have about Force of Nature! What’s in it? Why do you have to plug it in? What can you use it for? And is it really legit?
This article is not sponsored. However, Force of Nature did send us a Starter Kit to try and this article contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are honest!
AT A GLANCE: Pros & Cons of Force of Nature Cleaner
- Very minimal (& truly non-toxic!) ingredients
- Safe for pets & kids
- Has a TON of different uses (see below for a list!)
- You don’t have to rinse it
- You can use it on all kinds of different surfaces
- Registered with the EPA to clean 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses
- Can save you money (fewer cents per ounce than most other cleaners and reduces the number of cleaners you need)
- Eco-friendly & low waste
- A little bit of a learning curve compared to other non-toxic cleaners
- Will expire in 2 weeks (so you have to pay attention to when you last refilled your bottle)
- Seems to require a little more “sitting” time for tougher cleaning jobs like caked-on foods
- Not great for older stains
- It’s worth being mindful of creating a “too-sterile” environment
What’s In It? (A Look At Force of Nature Ingredients)
Force of Nature is different than other all-purpose cleaners in that it actually uses electricity to transform salt, vinegar, and water into electrolyzed water. This electrolyzed water consists of two ingredients that make it an effective cleaning solution:
- Hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is a disinfectant
- Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which is a degreaser
Although the concept of electrolyzed water is a pretty new idea when it comes to personal home cleaning, it’s actually been used for a long time in areas like commercial cleaning and sanitation, veterinary care, and wound healing in medical settings.
Force of Nature has ZERO fragrances, dyes, surfactants, preservatives, or other toxic or questionable ingredients. This is what really sets it apart from all other household cleaners (even many all-purpose cleaners that are more “green”!)
How Does It Work? (Force of Nature Instructions)
Now, the way you use Force of Nature cleaner is a little bit different than what you’re used to… You can’t just buy and spray like the all-purpose cleaners you’ve used before; you have to actually “activate” the way. But don’t worry—it’s easy!
Here’s how to use the Force of Nature cleaner:
- Fill the “Electrolyzer” (the non-spray bottle with the button on the bottom) with tap or filtered water. (You don’t have to use filtered water, but you should if you have hard water.)
- Tear the cap off of one of the capsules and squirt the whole capsule into the Electrolyzer.
- Plug the Electrolyzer in (there’s a plug on the bottom back of it).
- Push the button on the front of the Electrolyzer.
- You’ll slowly start to see the light at the bottom turn from blue all the way to green.
- When the light is entirely green, it’s ready! (It usually takes 9-10 minutes.)
- Unplug the Electrolyzer and pour the solution into your spray bottle.
- Rinse the Electrolyzer and then pug it back in. Hit the start button twice to start your 2-week timer. (Or you could always just mark your calendar or use a marker system so you know when the solution is expired. More info on the 2-week time limit is below.)
- Spray, clean, sanitizer, and deodorize away!
If you’re already ready to try it out, you can use the code THEFILTERY30 for 30% off your own Starter Kit or bundle. Or keep reading for more info!
What’s With the 2-Week Expiration?
Your Force of Nature solution will only last two weeks. This is because hypochlorous acid (the disinfectant) disperses relatively quickly and will lose its potency. (“Like the bubbles in a carbonated drink” is how the brand explains it.)
To make it easier for you, the Electrolyzer light can actually act as a timer. After you make your solution, pour it into your spray bottle, and then rinse your Electrolyzer, plug it back in, and then push the button twice. This will start your 2-week timer. Every 2 days, one section of the green lights will go dark. When you’re almost out of time (with 2 days left), the lights will turn yellow. Then when your solution is expired, the entire thing will be red, indicating it’s time to make a fresh batch.
Or, you can do what I do and just add a note to your calendar when it’s time to replace the solution. I don’t really prefer to have more stuff sitting out on my counter and I put everything on my calendar anyway, so that’s what works for me! OR if you clean a lot and know you’ll use up all of the solution before the 14 days are up, then don’t even worry about it! You should use whatever system works best for you. 🙂
Oh, and if you don’t use all of the solution up by the time your 2 weeks are up, you can safely pour it down the drain.
Is Force of Nature Cleaner Legit?
Some people may be skeptical of Force of Nature cleaner at first because it uses a concept that most of us are not familiar with. We’re used to using normal soaps and cleaners!
But for all of the skeptics out there, Force of Nature actually comes with several different certifications. It gets the safest rating possible on Mayo Clinic’s Skin Safety rating system AND it’s registered with the EPA as a hospital disinfectant that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria (including things like Salmonella and current variants of SARS-CoV-2). In order to get that EPA registration, it has to go through a rigorous testing process, which you can read more about here. It also meets surface disinfection requirements for OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standards.
Additionally, as mentioned above, this solution actually isn’t new; it’s been used in medical settings for decades now. The only “new” thing about it is that Force of Nature has figured out how to bring the technology into the individual consumer’s home.
Honest Thoughts On Force of Nature
I’ll be honest: I was skeptical of the cleaner at first! Except for the smell (more on that below), it kind of feels like you’re just cleaning with water. The solution isn’t soapy or foamy or anything like that.
But, as I kept using it, it grew on me! I initially started using it as just a countertop cleaner but then started finding all kinds of other places to use it—in the shower, on my husband’s hockey gear, in my flower vases, on the couch, and more…
The more I used it, the more I liked it! It truly does the job. And I think the whole not-soapy thing is probably just psychological, anyway. I’m used to using cleaners that have at least a little bit of a bubbly texture to them, and that’s part of what I associate with ‘cleanliness.’ So once I realized and acknowledged that, it wasn’t an issue for me.
Truly a Multi-Use Cleaner
One of the main things that intrigued me about using Force of Nature was just how many things you can use it for.
Personally, I don’t want to have to use a bunch of different types of cleaning products for different projects and areas of my house. Do I really need to use a different cleaner for my countertops, my windows, my bathroom, my wooden furniture, my floors…? It just seems annoying and unnecessary to me!
But you can use Force of Nature on SO many different surfaces and for so many different purposes. We’ve compiled a long list of ideas for you below!
What About Downsides?
Are there any downsides to this cleaner? The only thing I really noticed is that the cleaning solution sometimes took a little longer to work its way through tougher messes (like things that were dried up and caked on the counter or whatever). Most cleaners require some “sitting” time, so that’s normal, of course… But I just get a little impatient sometimes and try to start wiping before I probably should! And I noticed that Force of Nature seemed to take a little longer than the more “soapy” cleaners that I’m used to using.
But that’s definitely not a deal-breaker for me, especially when Force of Nature can do sooo much more than other all-purpose cleaners can.
The other thing to just be mindful of is the fact that some research indicates that doing too much disinfecting and sanitizing can actually lead to antibiotic resistance, superbugs, and a decrease in overall immune function over time. Obviously, there are going to be times when killing germs and sanitizing surfaces is necessary. But even when I’m using a safe disinfectant (as is the case with Force of Nature) I still want to be mindful of not going overboard with it.
30-Day, 100% Happiness Guarantee
And here’s the other great thing… You don’t really have to take our word for it because Force of Nature has a “100% Happiness Guarantee,” which means that if you’re not completely satisfied after you give it a try, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund (minus the return shipping cost).
I always like to encourage people to try things out for themselves because everyone has different preferences, priorities, and lifestyles!
What’s It Smell Like?
Force of Nature has a slight chlorine-type smell to it that kind of reminds me a little bit of being at the swimming pool (except not nearly that strong!). For most people, that smell is associated with a “clean” feeling, so it’s not really a problem.
It’s not a strong smell. In fact, I found that I much prefer using Force of Nature in closed-in spaces even compared to other non-toxic all-purpose cleaners, which are still kind of overpowering to me in places like the shower.
Is It REALLY Just As Good As Other Cleaning Products?
Not only is Force of Nature really safe, but they actually did third-party lab tests to compare it to some of the common ‘conventional’ cleaners like Windex, Clorox, Scrubbing Bubbles, Formula 409, Febreze, and Resolve… And, you guessed it, Force of Nature was just as effective as all of those! If you’re curious, you can read more about those tests here.
What About Mold & Mildew?
This was an important question for me because I have CIRS and am super sensitive to mold. Force of Nature says the cleaner “cleans mold and fungus as effectively as bleach and prevents it from returning.”
It’s important to remember that “dead” mold is still toxic, so killing it alone (whether with bleach, Force of Nature, or something else) is not an entirely sufficient solution. For me, the key is to prevent mold as much as possible. So this is a key selling point for me when it comes to Force of Nature… I love that I can basically just spray it on things as much as I need to as an effective preventative!
Another thing Force of Nature says on this topic is, “a key thing to know is that because Force of Nature doesn’t contain any whiteners (like bleach), it won’t remove set in staining on porous surfaces like grout.”
Can’t you just use a DIY vinegar solution as an all-purpose cleaner?
Even though Force of Nature uses vinegar in its formulation, the end result of the Force of Nature solution is actually a totally different thing. From their website, here are a few key differences between vinegar and Force of Nature’s solution:
- You cannot use vinegar on stone surfaces like granite, marble, etc. You can use Force of Nature.
- Regular vinegar will corrode grout and rubber over time; Force of Nature will not.
- Vinegar is not an EPA-registered disinfectant and sanitizer; Force of Nature is.
In other words: sure, you can use a DIY vinegar solution to clean your home, but it’s not the same thing as the Force of Nature spray.
What Kinds of Surfaces Can You Use It On?
One of the best things about Force of Nature is that you can use it on almost any kind of surface in your home, including:
- stainless steel
- fabrics (both natural and synthetic)
Soooo, are there any materials you can’t use Force of Nature on?
Not really! The main thing is to be careful with metals. The Force of Nature website recommends that “if you’re using Force of Nature on brass or copper, either rinse with water or wipe until it’s thoroughly dry. Force of Nature shouldn’t sit on soft metals over time.”
One other thing to consider is that when using Force of Nature on things like glass or mirrors, you’ll want to wipe the solution all the way dry with a cloth in order to prevent streaks.
And if you’re ever in doubt about a certain material, just do a spot test first—the same way you would with any other type of cleaner!
20+ Uses for Force of Nature!
Okay, I think this is one of the biggest selling points for the Force of Nature cleaner. Unlike other non-toxic all-purpose cleaners, it can actually do a LOT more than just clean surfaces!
You can use it as a standard all-purpose cleaner for the usual stuff, like countertops, bathrooms, toilets, carpet (pet accidents), etc. But there are a bunch of other things you can use Force of Nature for, too. Since you don’t have to rinse it off, you can spray it on things that are hard to wash or things with lots of nooks and crannies in order to sanitize, deodorize, and freshen things up. Here are a bunch of ideas!
- Use it on baby gear (strollers, diaper bags, changing tables, toys, high chairs, etc.)
- It’s especially great for a rinse-free cleaner on things like pacifiers and teethers. (You could even put some of the solution in a mini spray bottle with a lid to throw in your diaper bag or purse! Just make sure you pay attention to the 14-day expiration.)
- Disinfectant & freshener for hard-to-clean things that you can’t really throw in the washing machine, like:
- pet gear (leashes, litter boxes, beds, toys, food bowls, etc.)
- As a fruit & vegetable cleaner (you can just spray it directly on your produce or you can spray and then wipe/rinse)
- To clean makeup brushes (no rinsing needed)
- To clean CPAP machines
- To spray on high-touch areas like doorknobs & lightswitches without having to rinse them off
- Spray on your clothes to freshen them up in between washes (and extend the life of your clothes!)
- Use it as a pre-treatment for stains before putting clothes in the laundry
- Mold & mildew prevention for hard-to-clean areas like the grooves of the washing machine or dishwasher, nooks & crannies in the bathroom, and things like kiddie pools!
- As a toothbrush cleaner/sanitizer
- To clean things like dish sponges and brushes
- As a cut flower food/preservative (just pour some in the vase with the water)
- As an air freshener (you can spray it directly in the air to eliminate odors or you can put it in the humidifier or diffuser)
- To freshen up the inside of things like trash cans, refrigerators, and diaper pails
- Use it to mop with
- Use it on your upholstered indoor furniture to freshen things up or to spot clean (just make sure to spot test first, as always)
- Use it on your outdoor furniture to prevent mold & mildew growth (especially if you’ve got non-toxic furniture that doesn’t have nasty PFAS in it!)
- You can even spray it directly onto your hands as a disinfectant without soap and water if you need to
Okay, So What Can You NOT Use Force of Nature For?
You can’t use Force of Nature as a replacement for dishwasher detergent or laundry detergent. The water will dilute the solution and make it ineffective. (P.S. If you need some recommendations for those products, click here for our favorite dishwasher detergents and check out our favorite non-toxic laundry detergent brands here.)
Is Force of Nature Sustainable & Eco-Friendly?
Force of Nature is definitely more eco-friendly compared to conventional cleaners like Windex, both in terms of ingredients and packaging.
Force of Nature is also Green Seal certified for environmental sustainability. Green Seal is an organization that looks at 4 areas: human health protection, climate preservation, clean water, and waste minimization.
Force of Nature is not 100% zero waste, though. The Starter Kit does come with some plastic packaging, and the individual capsules are made of plastic (though they are recyclable). That being said, the capsules obviously still use a lot less plastic than your typical 29 oz bottle of cleaner that you’d normally buy at the store.
(Maybe someday Force of Nature will be able to even eliminate the plastic used for the capsules, but as of right now, they are necessary in order to deliver the solution with the precise pH, which is what makes the cleaner effective.)
Where to Buy Force of Nature
You can’t currently get Force of Nature in stores, so you have to buy it off their website. You can use the code THEFILTERY30 for 30% off Starter Kits and bundles!
More Force of Nature FAQs
Okay, there are a lot of questions about Force of Nature cleaner! Here are some things you might be wondering about:
Can you make your own mixture of salt, vinegar, and water and use it in the Electrolyzer?
No, you shouldn’t make your own solution because you need exactly the right pH balance in order for it to work. If you do it wrong, you’ll end up with either bleach or a solution that doesn’t really clean effectively. (Force of Nature says the ratio found in their capsules is so precise that you’d need to use a lab-grade analytical scale to create it!)
Is Force of Nature just bleach?
No, hypochlorous acid (which is what is in Force of Nature) is not the same as bleach. The two have different chemical compositions, qualities, and uses.
Is Force of Nature safe for kids? What about pets?
Force of Nature is safe to use around kids and pets. It’s completely free from the endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and allergens that are commonly found in conventional cleaning products. Even some of the natural and non-toxic cleaning products on the market can include essential oils that may be irritating for some kids or pets, so Force of Nature is a good option for even the most sensitive individuals.
Can you use Force of Nature on plants?
Yes, you can use Force of Nature to dust your plant babies, too! We recommend you use it as you would a normal cleaner by spraying a cloth and then wiping the plant (as opposed to spraying directly on the plant) so you don’t mess with your plant’s chemistry.
What’s the active chemical in Force of Nature cleaner?
There are actually two active ingredients in Force of Nature that make it an effective cleaner: hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is a disinfectant, and sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which is a degreaser. These two chemicals are made using just the right amount of salt, vinegar, water, and electricity.
How long does Force of Nature take to work?
The solution takes about 9 minutes to make. After that, the time it takes for it to work on whatever you’re cleaning just depends on the seriousness of the mess! For light disinfecting, it works immediately. For things like grout buildup, carpet stains, or other tough jobs, we recommend giving it a liberal spray and then letting the solution sit for about 10 minutes or so before scrubbing or wiping it up.
Does Force of Nature really disinfect?
Yes, Force of Nature really does disinfect! In fact, it’s registered with the EPA as a hospital cleaner that can kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including things like Norovirus, Salmonella, Influenza A, Staph, MRSA, and COVID-19.
How long does Force of Nature cleaner last?
The solution lasts 2 weeks. After that, you need to make a new bottle. If you didn’t use up the whole bottle of your cleaner, you can safely dump it down the drain.
Can you add essential oils to Force of Nature cleaner?
Nope! It can mess with the chemistry of the cleaner (which is what makes it work!), so don’t add any essential oils or other additives to your solution.
Can you use distilled water with Force of Nature?
Yes, you can use distilled, filtered, or de-ionized water in your Electrolyzer. In fact, if you have hard water, Force of Nature actually recommends you do so in order to make sure the chemistry works properly.
Can you use any Spray Bottle with Force of Nature?
Yep! You can pour your solution into any spray bottle you want.
Can I use Force of Nature on my skin?
Yes, Force of Nature is completely safe to use on your skin and comes with the highest rating from Mayo Clinic’s Skin Safety system.
Can you use Force of Nature on fruits and vegetables?
Yes! You can either spray Force of Nature directly on your produce, or you can spray it on and then wipe/rinse it off.
Can you use Force of Nature on a mattress?
Yes, Force of Nature can be used on mattresses, either to clean spills or accidents, or just as a general refresher. As mentioned above, Force of Nature doesn’t seem to be as effective for old stains though (in my experience), so you want to try to get to accidents sooner than later.
Is Force of Nature cruelty-free?
Yep! Force of Nature cleaner is certified by Leaping Bunny to be cruelty-free.
Can You Buy Force of Nature Cleaner in Canada?
Yes! You can order Force of Nature cleaner to Canada right off their website. They ship to the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.