Cleaning products will keep our homes, belongings and bodies looking spiffy. But how much do we really know about these substances? According to Ryan Lupberger, not as much as we should.
Lupberger founded Cleancult, a startup providing a subscription box service for green cleaning products – starting with detergent. And the venture launched its Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 Tuesday, June 7.
“If you look at the back of laundry detergent, there isn’t an ingredient list,” Lupberger told us. “There’s a reason for that.”
If you look at the back of laundry detergent, there isn’t an ingredient list.
The founder, a Babson student, pointed to Tide pods as an example. The convenient, pre-measured pods have proven to be a poison risk for young children, and Consumer Reports issued a warning against this type of detergent in July, 2015.
Generally speaking, Cleancult’s Kickstarter page also explains that commonly used detergents “include 1,4 Dioxane which the National Institute of Health confirmed ‘to be a human carcinogen, and even trace amounts [of which] bring cause for concern,’…Canada and Europe have banned NPE and even Wal-Mart has listed NPE as one of three chemicals they’re asking suppliers to phase out. Moreover, 25 states have issued bans on phosphates, which makes up over 30% of most conventional detergents!”
Based on those revelations, Lupberger wanted to provide people a convenient way to buy safe products that clean just as well as conventional solutions.
“We started with the mindset of taking harmful chemicals out of people’s homes,” he said. “They’re in conventional soaps and detergents, and people don’t normally realize it. Their only alternative is bad green brands, which they think are ineffective and inefficient…They see green brands and think they won’t be as effective as other detergents. The truth is, that’s not the case. There are some really good ones, but it’s too crowded of a market with a wide range of quality, which makes every green brand look bad.”
With Cleancult, which is currently a part of Babson’s Summer Venture Program, consumers can take the thinking out of switching to safe cleaning products while using a detergent that removes 94 percent of stains without toxins. The subscription costs $11 per month via Kickstarter and there will be 10 to 12 loads in every box.
When Cleancult launches on its own e-commerce site, it will eventually offer different tiers of load numbers and pricing to accommodate individuals’ lifestyles. Following detergent, Cleancult plans to expand its box offerings to hand soaps, shampoo and laundry sheets.