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Frequently Asked Questions

About Meliora Cleaning Products

Melly-orrah? Mell-yourah? How do you say that name?

Meliora is a Latin word that means "better", pronounced "meh-lee-OR-ah." You might recognize it as part of the English word "ameliorate" meaning "to make better."

Our name represents our desire to consistently and continually offer better cleaning products while simultaneously working to lower our (and your) environmental impact.

What do the logos on your packaging mean?

Certification labels are one way to make sure the products you are using actually are what they say. These certifications demonstrate our commitment to responsibly running a business with a people- and planet-friendly focus. Our current certifications are:

1% For the Planet: We pledge to give at least 1% of our annual sales revenue to non-profit organizations who support causes aligned to a planet and people friendly world. Our primary partner of choice is Women's Voices for the Earth, who works to amplify women's voices to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities.

Certified B Corporation is a third-party certification that validates our commitment to using business as a force for good.

MADE SAFE® has screened the ingredients in our products to ensure they are safe for human health.

Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free certifies that all of the ingredients in our products are made without continued testing on animals.

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certifies businesses owned and operated by women, like our company. We recognize the commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies and we are proud to be a woman owned business.

The Environmental Working Group has a Guide to Healthy Cleaning where all of our products and ingredients have been rated A on their A-F grade scale.

Is your packaging recyclable?

Yes, our packaging is recyclable! For example, you can recycle the canister. It's made of cardboard and steel. If you place the entire can in the recycling, it will be plucked out using giant magnets with the cardboard will likely burning off in the process. We're working on a canister that's easier to separate or is made entirely of a single type of material for ease of recycling.

We also make additional efforts to provide reusable items in order to create less impact with resources used to recycle. Our Laundry Powder comes with a reusable stainless steel measuring scoop. Even our zero-waste Laundry Powder Bucket size has been set up so that you can mail the bucket back to us for reuse at no additional cost.

Do you use animal testing?

No! We only use ingredients we understand and test all of our products in our own homes.

Since April 2017, all our products have been Certified Cruelty-Free by Leaping Bunny.

About Our Products

What can I clean with your products?

We recommend referring to our lists of compatible fabrics and compatible surfaces by product.

Most of our products are soap-based and gentle enough for a wide range of fabrics and surfaces. However, some ingredients and formulas may not be suited for delicate surfaces.

We always recommend testing our products on any treated, antique, or otherwise delicate surface in an inconspicuous area before cleaning fully.

Are your products safe for baby items?

Our products are designed to be gentle enough for those with sensitive skin, including babies and children. Our products are recommended by the Getting Ready For Baby guide as well as the MADE SAFE® Healthy Pregnancy Guide.

We don’t recommend washing microfiber (plastic) diapers because of the microplastic pollution released when washing this type of fiber. We have limited testing and feedback on this type of diaper.

You can read how to clean cloth diapers here.

Are your products safe for pet items?

Our products are safe for pet items, including beds, clothes, and more. We strongly recommend using our Unscented products, since dogs and other pets are especially sensitive to scents and some essential oils.

Do your products contain preservatives?

No! Our products are naturally shelf-stable without the need for preservatives. They do not expire unless they are mixed with water to form liquid solutions, which should be used within 6 months.

Preservatives are “natural or synthetic compounds that help slow or prevent bacterial growth in a wide range of products, including foods, medicines and personal care products.” Bacterial growth is common in products which have water as a primary ingredient, such as liquids and gels. All of our products are concentrated dry powders or solid soaps that do not require added preservatives.

Are your products organic?

Organic refers only to agricultural practices and products. This means that plant-based ingredients like coconut oil can be organic, but mineral-based things like baking soda cannot be Certified Organic. Since our products contain a lot of mineral ingredients, the label “organic” would not apply. Therefore, we don't use this as a marketing term for any of our products. You will find "made with organic ingredients" on some of our packaging. Whenever we use ingredients where a Certified Organic option exists, we use it!

Learn more about organic labeling standards.

Are your products vegan?

Yes! We do not use any animal-derived ingredients.

Can I use your products with a septic tank?

All of our products are septic-safe except for Oxygen Brightener, which includes oxidizers that kill bacteria. 

There are no ingredients in our other products that would interfere with the normal operation of your septic tank. We use all biodegradable ingredients, and no antimicrobials that could kill off the bacteria in the tank.

Can the byproduct of your products be used as gray water?

Though the ingredients we use to create our Laundry Powder don't have some of the additives as typical laundry detergent, we do not suggest you use our Laundry Powder in grey water used for plants. Though it is a planet-safe product, the addition of baking soda and washing soda would likely add too much sodium to your soil.

Here's an article that gives more detail as to how much sodium you can safely add to your soil.

About Laundry Powder

How much Laundry Powder do I use?

How much Laundry Powder you should use depends on your washing machine and the size and soil level of the load you’re washing. Start with 1/2 tablespoon if you have a high-efficiency (HE) washer or 1 tablespoon if you have a standard (non-HE) machine. This is based on a typical washing machine size of approximately 3.1–4 cubic feet and a load size of about 12–16 pounds. 

The stainless steel scoop that comes with our Laundry Powder canister measures 1 tablespoon, meaning that you may only use about half a scoop per load.

Read our How to Use Laundry Powder guide to learn more.

How do I get Laundry Powder to dissolve in the wash?

Here are some ways to reduce this happening:

  • Add less powder to the washer. You should only need one tablespoon for a regular washer, one half for an HE washer.
  • Add powder directly to the drum before adding clothes. This will help water reach the powder early in the wash and prevent powder from getting stuck in your clothes.
  • Use warmer water. The tap cold and cold wash settings may not reach the required temperature to dissolve powder, especially in cold weather.
  • Don't overload your washer. If you put too many items in the washer, there isn't enough room for sufficient water to dissolve the powder, or enough room for the clothes and powder to move around.

Read our How to Use Laundry Powder guide to learn more.

Does Laundry Powder work with cold water?

In most cases, Laundry Powder will work well in the ‘cold’ cycle, but you may want to use ‘semi-warm’ or ‘warm’ in cold weather.

Laundry Powder, like all other laundry detergents and soaps, requires water to be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.56 degrees Celsius) to work properly. 

In most modern washing machines, the ‘cold’ cycle mixes cold and hot water to reach this temperature. However, some machines also have a ‘tap cold’ setting that does not add hot water and may therefore not get warm enough to activate detergent. Additionally, cold weather can lower the temperature of water in your pipes and prevent the wash cycle from becoming warm enough. In this case, we recommend a warmer setting.

Does Laundry Powder work with hard water?

Yes! We use washing soda (sodium carbonate) in our Laundry Powder as a water softener so it will work in a variety of water conditions. 

Hard water refers to water with higher levels of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. Washing soda prevents calcium and magnesium from interacting with the soap in the powder. This helps the soap do its job of cleaning instead of getting caught up in hard water deposits and soap scum.

Here's an interesting map of water hardness in the United States.

Can I use Laundry Powder in a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine?

Yes! Laundry Powder is low-sudsing, so it works well in HE machines. Add half a tablespoon per load directly to the drum before adding clothes for best results.

Why are there no suds when using Laundry Powder?

Many laundry products on the market have ingredients added specifically to give a sudsy appearance that is often associated with effectiveness. These added ingredients are rarely necessary and are sometimes unsafe to people and the planet. Low-sudsing formulations also work better in HE machines, which use less water.

We believe in creating people- and planet-friendly Laundry Powder that works without any unnecessary additives. While you may not be able to “see” the cleaning during the wash, you’ll be able to see, smell, and feel that your clothes are clean.

Does Laundry Powder clog pipes or cause plumbing issues?

No! Our Laundry Powder is ultra-concentrated and made entirely from baking soda, washing soda, and soap — no fillers! It should dissolve completely in the wash cycle, provided the water reaches at least 60 degrees fahrenheit. Most machines reach this temperature, even on the ‘cold’ cycle. However, the water may not get warm enough using the ‘tap cold’ setting or if it is particularly cold outside when you're doing laundry. 

We also recommend using only a small amount of powder (1 tablespoon for standard machines and 1/2 tablespoon in high efficiency machines) and placing the powder on the bottom of the drum before adding clothes.

Some washers are designed to only use liquid detergent, so we would recommend checking your user's manual if that is a concern. Our Laundry Powder is septic-safe, so it won't hurt your septic system (or the environment!).

What do I do if my Laundry Powder forms clumps?

While you may notice the powder clumping in really humid environments, this will not hinder the effectiveness at all. Simply break the clump apart before using the powder.

Ask Us Anything

Please ask us if you have a question that isn't answered here. We continually update this page with the most common questions.