Q&A with Branch Basics

Written by Kajsa IngelssonSeptember 25, 2018

Did you know that your cleaning products quite possibly do more harm than good? There’s a lot of evidence that came out this year stating that many of our most common household cleansers are in fact making us sick to the point of being carcinogenic. How crazy is that? Just imagine what they do to our planet and animal friends when entering our ecosystem… Luckily now that you know this, you can be part of the solution. Because as always, there’s excellent natural and eco-friendly alternatives to the old bad guys.

I had a chat with Aunikah at Branch Basics about their brand and to get more deets on the difference between dirty and clean (pun intended :P) products. Let’s get right into it!

Tell us, how do you think Branch Basics has the power to transform household cleaning?

Cleaning products have a major impact on our air quality and overall health. Almost all “non-toxic” household cleaning brands have at least some type of precautionary warning label such as “Keep out of the Reach of Children”, “Eye Irritant”, “Skin Irritant”, etc. Branch Basics is an incredibly versatile human safe cleaning concentrate that will transform your thinking about cleaning and cleaning products. Our products make cleaning safe, simple and sustainable. You can be comfortable knowing that you are not bringing harmful chemicals and toxins into your home while also tackling any cleaning job around the house with one concentrate. Branch Basics helps show that holistic health is not just what you put in and on your body but what surrounds your body.

So tell us the secret, what is the formula that you use for Branch Basics – are they really all natural products?

Branch Basics concentrate is unique in that it is ONE formula that, diluted with different amounts of water, can replace virtually every cleaner in your home. We use a formula consisting of nine plant and mineral based ingredients. Every single ingredient is non-toxic. When we were working with chemists to create this formula we found that each formulator had their own concept of what “natural” meant. It turns out definitions are vague and broad, and we were forced to further define Branch Basics’ explicit standards, priorities and “no-nevers” when it came to specific ingredients. No matter how persuasively evidence was presented to us at times, we simply wouldn’t budge on the safety side and rejected many ingredients that are commonly found in non-toxic cleaners. Below is a list of our ingredients – all rated “1” by the Environmental Working Group.

  1. Purified Water

  2. Coco Glucoside – A naturally-derived surfactant derived from coconut, coco glucoside is one of the most gentle cleansing agents available and is a natural alternative to the harsher cocamidopropyl betaine and sulfates. Its chemical nature and production process results in a surfactant free of impurities like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, making it suitable for baby and pet products.

  3. Chamomile Flower Extract – An organic flower extract with Allergen (IFRA) Certifications, which certifies it is nonallergenic and is not a fragrance. From its anti-irritant, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties to its nourishing and skin-soothing characteristics, this is our star ingredient!

  4. Decyl Glucoside – A naturally-derived surfactant cleanser derived from coconut and/or corn. Due to its mild nature, it is often used in skincare products and baby products as well as fruit and veggie sprays, as it will not harm the delicate skin on berries.

  5. Sodium Citrate – A plant-derived, biodegradable sodium salt that acts as a water softener. It’s also used as an acidity regulator in food and drinks (think club soda!) and as an emulsifier (it enables cheeses to melt without becoming greasy).

  6. Lauryl Glucoside – Lauryl glucoside is an non-ionic surfactant derived from coconut that can be used as a foaming agent, conditioner or emulsifier. Its excellent foaming capabilities makes it popular for hair care and dermatological products.

  7. Sodium Bicarbonate – A mineral-based water softener, also known as baking soda!

  8. Sodium Phytate –  A natural chelator, phytic acid is found in plant seeds and is often used commercially as a preservative due to its antioxidant properties.

  9. Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit – An organic extract of the fruit of the soapberry that contains saponin, which has natural cleansing properties, and is used as a hair, skin and laundry cleanser.

Is Branch Basics safe to use on all surfaces (metal, wood, marble, glass etc.)?

Branch Basics can be used on virtually every surface! From countertops, to hardwoods, to carpet stains, to mirrors, it handles it all! Our Concentrate is non-abrasive but if it is cleaning wood finishes, treating stains on fabric, upholstery or a surface you are concerned with, it is always best to test first on an inconspicuous area to see how the product interacts with the surface.

How can cleaning products affect someone’s overall physical health?

Most conventional cleaning products contain hazardous ingredients and signal words such as CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER, meaning they can cause injury if handled improperly. They not only pose a threat to people but the environment as well. Removing toxic pesticides, detergents and cleaners from your home and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives is imperative. The air quality change in your home from just that act may be enough to end congestion, allergic reactions, asthma, etc. By replacing all toxic cleaners and body care products with non-toxic products like Branch Basics, the immune system is relieved of the stress and energy the body would have had to use to detoxify those chemicals.The energy that was tied up with detoxification is now released for maintaining the integrity of the immune system and the healing/repair of the body.

Who founded Branch Basics? Tell us the story behind the brand!

Our three founders, Allison, Kelly and Marilee, started Branch Basics to help others experience the power of pure as they did and to show the body’s innate ability to heal if given the right food and environment. When Marilee’s son was exposed to pesticides and told by doctors that he would never recover, she began to explore how chemical exposures and the environment affect health. By eliminating these harmful chemicals from the diet and home, Marilee’s son healed naturally and went on to live an incredibly healthy life.

The “Summer Detox” was the launching pad for Branch Basics – when Kelly and Allison decided to visit Marilee for a summer to see the power of living in a truly clean environment. They learned that the things they put in, on and around their bodies could serve to rob and undermine their health efforts or to enhance and launch them to new heights. For Kelly, all of the “normal” problems she had experienced her whole life: dry and itchy eyes, painful menstrual cramps, and headaches disappeared! For Allison, this meant the reversal of severe PCOS, chronic pain resembling MS, and the inability to conceive naturally. We always say, “We never set out to sell soap”, and that statement is so true! Branch Basics is so much more than a cleaning company. We hope to educate and inspire others to create healthy homes so that they can experience similar transformations in their health as us.

Can you please tell us about the environmental impact of regular cleaning products vs Branch Basics.

Few people realize that the average American indoor environment is 2 to 200 times more polluted than the outdoor air. Household cleaners can contribute greatly to the pollutants and chemicals that surround our homes and environments. If you walk through cleaning aisles at retail or grocery stores you can smell the chemicals being released from products, despite being sealed. With Branch Basics, toxins are not released into the environment and indoor air quality improves. Branch Basics is also biodegradable and built on sustainability. All of our bottles using concentrate can be refilled and reused again, and our dryer balls decrease exposure to chemicals, decrease energy bills, and reduce carbon footprints. Branch Basics shows that cleaning products can be environmentally friendly and effective at the same time.

Who is your target customer?

Branch Basics is for anyone looking to transform their health and rid their home of toxic and harmful chemicals. We believe that every single home should serve as a safe haven for those that inhabit it, and we are passionate about reaching everyone on different points in their health journeys!

I have to say, we are totally behind everything you have told us here. It just makes no sense to poison ourselves and our planet in the name of “cleaning”. One last thing before letting you go, please tell us what inspired the creation of Branch Basics as a brand?

At the end of the day, it was really to prevent as many people as possible from one day saying, “Why didn’t someone tell me?!” Sadly, so many people are suffering because they simply don’t know that all the chemicals in our everyday products, food, furniture and building materials, as well as the electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones, Wifi and more, are affecting our health. Everything from menstrual cramps and headaches to severe, life-threatening chronic illnesses can be worsened – or even caused by – these exposures. We wanted to create a platform where we could educate and also provide a product that would help people get started on making healthier choices beyond exercise and diet.