Does Force of Nature Really Work?

About a month ago, I succumbed to a powerfully targeted Facebook “infomercial” and bought the cleaning system Force of Nature.

I was intrigued because anything that reduces waste, is completely non-toxic, and boasts powerful cleaning and deodorizing power from three ingredients will pull me in.

I bought a starter kit when Force of Nature was offering a promotion that seemed like a good deal. In my opinion, spending about $60 is about right for what you receive. Additionally, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The TL;DR version is that we are really enjoying using it. All the recommendation details are below! 

The premise behind Force of Nature is this, pulled directly from their site:

Force of Nature miniaturizes the electrolyzed water technology from the industrial space. It uses electricity to transform salt, water & vinegar into 2 non-toxic cleaning ingredients:

  • Hypochlorous acid: The active ingredient. Cleans & deodorizes as effectively as bleach yet non toxic.
  • Sodium hydroxide: a detergent but without bubbles. Contains a non toxic concentration of .0000003%, yet cleans as well as major brands.

So, what’s in the starter kit? You get the electrolyzer charger doo-dad, the bottle in which you do the electrolyzing, a spray bottle, and five “activator capsules” that contain the ratio of water, vinegar, and sodium. Concentrated cleaning magic. (I am a vinegar convert.)

Part of the appeal for me with this product, aside from the more natural cleaning product, is the reduction in plastic consumption. Our planet is choking on plastic and I am actively working to do my part to lessen its dominance in my life, especially one-use items that can’t be recycled.

The activator capsules come packaged in a semi-soft plastic but I was relieved to find out these are recyclable (#5). I like knowing my dependency on buying larger plastic cleaning bottles that have unknown and toxic chemicals in them will decrease significantly.

Before I dive into other nitty gritty details, here is the end result: this stuff WORKS. I have to admit, my expectations were pretty low. I’ve bought similar items from the interwebs before, including products from infomercials back in the day, and the excitement over the product usually wanes pretty quickly after purchase.

However, Force of Nature is proving itself to be a staple around my house. Even my husband admits to liking using it, which is a Big Deal for him. (See below for less-than-stellar video of my making a bottle of FON.)

So, what can you use this stuff on?

We haven’t discovered much it doesn’t do well with! Because it’s mostly water, there is no drying agent in the mixture. I never thought about this before with other cleaners, but that “no streak” factor that I like from some of my favorite cleaning products is somewhat due to the drying agent. Keep this in mind for surfaces like glass or countertops, as it’s not 100% streak-proof. Note: do not use on an unsealed counter top; sealed or non-porous counter tops only. We have quartz counters in our kitchen, which are non-porous, so it’s safe to use on them.

As for smell, it has a less-offensive chlorine scent, and even for a Super Smeller like I am, I don’t find it bothersome. When it dries, the area just smells clean. Force of Nature is more reminiscent of a pool than something as strong as chlorine bleach. My lungs don’t hurt if I take a breath around it the way bleach can hurt eyes and lungs. And lingers. Boy, does bleach linger. But not Force of Nature! It is safe to use around pets and babies and you don’t have to wear gloves to protect yourself from it if you don’t want to. Nor do you have to turn on every fan in your home after you’ve used it.

Effectiveness: in my opinion, Force of Nature is the best de-greaser I have found. I don’t say that lightly. It pulverizes grease, instantly dissolving it. Plus, it gets rid of odors. One of our favorite surfaces we love to use Force of Nature on is our butcher block in our kitchen. I like to spray it down, wipe it up with a paper towel, and then lightly spray on some more to let it air dry. After drying, the butcher block is completely deodorized and food-safe once again. I have always hated how chopping onions leaves a lingering odor no matter what we do, but this stuff gets it right out. Color me seriously impressed.

This stuff is a rockstar for cleaning bathrooms. I know it’s at least half psychological but I just don’t feel as “ucky” when I clean the bathroom with FON as I do with other cleaning agents.

Flooring: we have a large expanse of hardwood floor in our family room and in the natural sunlight, I can see every drip or paw print that has ever left an impression of any kind. Force of Nature gets it clean with no smudges. I wish I could make a whole bucket of it for mopping.

Because of the de-greasing power, I decided to try this on the inside of our oven door after my husband had tackled it with Barkeeper’s Friend. There was still some semi-permanent baked-on crud in there. I saturated the door and let it sit for a minute before I wiped it up. It got more up but didn’t get everything. That said, I love having something non-toxic to use on the inside of the oven. I would venture to say the majority of oven-cleaning products are overtly toxic.

We have not yet tried FON on carpets or drapes with any kind of stains. I would be interested to see how it does with pet stains. We have one of those small wet-vacuum carpet cleaners where you put the formula in one end and it sucks up the dirty water in another. At some point, I’ll test out this theory. Force of Nature does ask you to test out a small patch of carpet or other upholstery before saturating. They also have a comprehensive FAQ on their website about what you can/cannot/should do for different odors, stains, and surfaces.

The only surface I have tried this on that I won’t regularly use it on is brushed stainless, like our refrigerator. It left some obvious streaks and I prefer to use a traditional cleaner with a drying agent before hitting it with the special stainless goop we have on hand. Yet, just before writing this post, I used FON to clean the stainless steel sink drains and strainers in the kitchen. They came out sparkling clean with minimal elbow grease involved. If you’re remotely OCD when you clean, you’ll be happy with this product.

Other items of note: the electric charger base thingy has a counter on it with a very bright blue readout. My eyes are incredibly sensitive to blue light, so I do not keep the charger/base plugged in after I’ve made a bottle. If it doesn’t bother you, you can keep it plugged in and it will count down how many days remain of the 14 you get with each bottle. But if you’re like me, you’ll go through a bottle in under a week cleaning every surface and deodorizing all the things, so you won’t need to keep track of the days. You also have to keep it out of direct sunlight. We stash ours under the kitchen sink.

Refill packs are 25 for $19.99, $1 less if you are a subscriber. Pretty solid deal, if you ask me. The only other product they offer besides the starter kit and refills are travel bottles already made up for you. These would be great for road trips and/or traveling with little ones.

Last but certainly not least, each purchaser gets a referrer link. Here’s mine, if I’ve convinced you to try it. I hope I have! You’ll save $35 on your starter kit if you’re a new customer. (I will earn free refill packets.) Otherwise, there is no gimmick or sales pitch involved. It’s win-win, considering the money-back guarantee.

Force of Nature is definitely a Zoe Recommends product. If you’ve tried it yourself, I’d love to hear from you!

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Me Me Me: Observations on Facebook Brags

According to many a study out there, most everyone on Facebook is a narcissist of one form or another. And if you’re a frequent Twitter user, it’s probably worse.

I don’t happen to believe that narcissism through social media is linked merely to those two outlets. There are social networks out there I’ve never even heard of. But if you can have followers and if you have enough ego, you can certainly whip up an unhealthy dose of overinflated self-importance.

Ice cream flavor “Facebook”: the “taste of time-wasting narcissism.”

I happen to love social media. That’s probably not a shocking admission. I mean, I have a blog with my name in it. (Perhaps that’s the ultimate form of narcissism?)

But here’s where I want to focus on one specific aspect of social media narcissism, and those are the Facebook Brags. I’ve been watching a lot of The Newsroom lately, so if I come across as if I’m doing a monologue from an Aaron Sorkin production, that would be why.

The whole point of Facebook is to share one’s accomplishments, milestones, the occasional selfie, some vacation photos, a snarky observation or two, and even cute stuff.  And if you’re into debate, there are plenty of conversation-starting articles, too. It’s what makes Facebook go ’round. Facebook takes the narcissism to the next level by advertising every single change and/or update we make: Likes, comments, profile photos, cover photos, job description, etc, as if it’s all equally important; so to that extent, it’s not entirely our fault.

Where self-involvement becomes untenable is the constant (over)sharing of things a person is doing that are “above” his or her friends’ experiences. When your Facebook statuses are all brag and no substance, it makes other people you’re friends with (or “friends” with) want to click Hide.

Recent studies suggest that passive participation, as in, not actively participating, on Facebook makes a person more unhappy. Another blogger went into a lot of depth analyzing the different kinds of updates one can post and their underlying motivations, the main ones being narcissism, attention craving, jealousy inducing, and “image crafting.” Particularly on the subject of blatant brags, s/he writes:

Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re just excited and need to brag to someone. Even if that’s the case, the only people it’s okay to brag to in life are your close friends, significant other, and family members—and that’s what email, texting, phone calls, and live talking are for. Your moment of self-satisfaction is profoundly annoying to people you’re not that close with, and they make up the vast majority of people who will be subjected to the status.

I won’t lie–in the nine years since I have been on Facebook, spanning from my early twenties to my early thirties, I’m guilty of having penned most, if not all, of the types of status messages that Wait But Why writes about. Twenty-somethings are absolutely more self-involved than most other age groups. However, as I’ve gotten older, matured, and reigned in my baser impulses, I now much more carefully choose what I decide to put out there; so much so, that I have found myself all the more sensitive to brag after brag after brag, particularly if it comes from one person.

When I’ve realized someone is a Braggart 4 Life, each status message earns an eye-roll and some kind of thought along the lines of, “We get it, you’re fabulous and we should all be grateful to be associated with you,” and I categorize that person as shallow/superficial and on the outskirts of friendship. I’ve unfriended people for less reason than being a braggart, but I could see this type of behavior driving much of the unfriending happening around Facebook.

My point here is not to make anyone feel badly about using Facebook. I check it all throughout the day, even if I’m not posting anything, just to see what my peeps are up to.

The point is that braggy, douchey status updates, if someone just HAS to write one, MUST also be balanced out with other types of posts. It’s kind of like Newton’s third law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (ain’t that the truth)): for every hubris-soaked statement or photo you put out there, make the next two funny/snarky/sweet/banal. It’s that simple!

Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself without those who would share in your actual triumphs and joys. That’s a promise.

Breathes There the Man
Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
“This is my own, my native land!”
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonor’d, and unsung.