To find information and answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, click on a specific question below and you will immediately be directed to the relevant information. Or else you can browse down through this page until you find the information that you are looking for.
General Planet Inc. Questions
General Product Questions
Buying Planet Products Questions
Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent Questions
Ultra Powdered Laundry Detergent Questions
Dishwashing Liquid Detergents Questions
Delicate Laundry Wash Questions
All Purpose Spray Cleaner Questions
How did Planet Inc. get started?
Planet Inc. was founded in 1989 by Stefan Jacob, who at the time was living on a small island near Vancouver, British Columbia. As a commercial fisherman, Stefan was gravely concerned about the ever increasing pollution of our water and soil. Unlike most of us though, Stefan decided to act on his concerns and, with the help of several like-minded friends, launched a company committed to developing and selling environmentally friendly products. Today, Planet Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of environmentally friendly household products in North America.
To read the complete "Planet Story", click here.[Top of Page]
Are Planet products free from animal by-products and animal sourced ingredients?
Yes! All of our products have always been free from animal ingredients and animal by-products.[Top of Page]
Does Planet test any of its products on animals?
Planet does not test, and never has tested, any of their final products or product ingredients on animals. Planet also does not subcontract, and never has subcontracted, any animal testing of its products or product ingredients.[Top of Page]
Are Planet products certified kosher or vegan?
No. Although we do not use any animal sourced ingredients or animal by-products in the formulation of any of our products, none of our products are certified as being kosher or vegan. We cannot afford to own our own manufacturing facilities, so all of our products are produced at various third-party production facilities. Therefore we cannot guarantee 100% that our products at some point in the manufacturing process don't come in contact with any other product or piece of equipment that has come into contact with, or contains animal by-products or animal sourced ingredients.[Top of Page]
What does hypo-allergenic mean? Are all Planet products hypo-allergenic?
Hypo-allergenic is defined as having a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction. But because there are so many possible chemical intolerances and everybody is different, no product is truly 100% non-allergenic (well, except maybe water!). That being said, all of Planet's products are indeed hypo-allergenic. Our products do not contain any unnecessary additives and we avoid using harsh chemicals that are likely to cause allergies, but are commonly found in other brands. We frequently receive stories from consumers that describe how difficult their lives are because they suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), but how happy they are because they discovered Planet products. For many people, Planet is the only brand of household products that they can use without aggravating their allergies.[Top of Page]
Are Planet cleaning products safe to use in greywater systems?
There isn't a simple yes or no answer for this question, however generally speaking, yes our cleaning products are safe to use in greywater systems for watering of your lawn, flowers, ornamentals, vegetables, etc. For many years, people have used our cleaning products very successfully with their greywater systems. Just be sure to read up carefully on installing greywater systems, how to treat the greywater, and how to use greywater properly because there are many factors involved.
Laundry detergents are alkaline in their nature because alkalinity helps the detergent perform better in the wash. So if you are using greywater specifically from your washer for watering purposes, you should be aware that this will increase the alkalinity in your soil. Some plants and flowers are tolerant of alkaline soils, others are not. Our All Purpose Spray Cleaner is also quite alkaline, however this product should only be entering your greywater system in very small quantities. Our Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid and Delicate Laundry Wash have quite neutral pH's, so alkalinity is not a concern.
One final word of caution... If you are using our Ultra Powdered Laundry, you should be aware that this product contains small amounts of borax, which is a naturally occurring mineral salt that, if present in significant quantities, acts as a mild antiseptic, making plant growth difficult. So we recommend that you proceed with care if you are using Ultra Powdered Laundry. Our Ultra Liquid Laundry does not contain any borax and so produces greywater that is safer for watering.[Top of Page]
Are Planet cleaning products safe to use with septic tanks?
All of our cleaning products are 100% biodegradable. This means that all of the ingredients used in our products break down into carbon dioxide, basic minerals and water, and 70% of this biodegradation process occurs within the first 28 days. So if added to your septic system under normal use, Planet cleaning products should break down readily and not greatly affect the active bacteria population in your septic system.[Top of Page]
How long do Planet cleaning products last?
Planet cleaning products have a shelf life of several years and will last just as long in your home if stored intact in a cool, dry place. But because our cleaning products are biodegradable, they will degrade if mixed with any other liquids, including water. In fact, 70% of the biodegradation process for our products occurs within just 28 days. So if you want to make mixed or diluted solutions of our products, it's best that you do so just prior to use. Mixed or diluted solutions will not store for very long, however if you use distilled water, they should keep for a reasonable period of time. Distilled water does not contain any micro-organisms, which are responsible for breaking down the ingredients in our products.[Top of Page]
Why doesn't Planet produce larger product packages, which are more economical and more environmentally friendly?
This is not a simple question with a simple answer. There are many factors involved in deciding on packaging sizes, many of which consumers are not aware of and many of which are beyond our control as a small manufacturer of environmentally friendly products.
For a detailed essay on this subject, click here.[Top of Page]
Where can I buy Planet products?
Currently, our products are only being sold at retail grocery and health foods stores across the United States. And it is much easier to find our products on the west coast than anywhere else, although we are continually working to increase our distribution.
To see what stores are selling Planet products in your area, click here.[Top of Page]
Why does my local grocery/health food store not stock any Planet products even though this website says it does?
The store listing contained on this website lists all of those grocery and health foods stores that have formally agreed to carry some or all of our products. So every store listed on this website should be stocking our products. There are also many other stores out there who carry our products, however they are not listed on this website. That is because we do not have a direct relationship with these stores, as they choose to purchase our products through distributors, and so it's hard for us to know exactly who is and who isn't carrying our products.
From time to time, stores do run out of product and so we disappear for a short period of time until the store is able to re-order more product. However these shortages should be infrequent and temporary. If Planet disappears from your local grocery or health food store, it would be prudent (and very helpful to us!) for you to inquire with the store as to when more product is expected to arrive. Being a small company, it is very difficult and troublesome for us to keep tabs on every store and make sure that they are stocking our products. Obviously we would love to be able to do so, however we just don't have the financial and human resources. So if you would like to see Planet products being sold in your local grocery/health food store, speak with a store manager and voice your opinion. Or if you see a store discontinue carrying Planet products, please let us know so we can direct our attention to correcting the problem. We are relying on you, our loyal consumers, to be our eyes and ears out there in the marketplace![Top of Page]
Can I buy Planet products anywhere outside of the United States?
Unfortunately at this time, you can only buy our products in the United States. Soon we will be offering direct sales over the internet that will allow for greater distribution, but initially we will only be able to accommodate customers in Canada and the United States. Sorry![Top of Page]
Can I buy Planet products by mail order or over the internet?
Yes! Presently you can find our products at the following online retailers:
Can I buy Planet products wholesale or by bulk?
Sorry, no. Planet products are currently only sold at the retail level. If you are a retailer and are able to buy in volume, please get in touch with us. We do not sell in bulk or package our products in larger sizes at present.[Top of Page]
Why is Ultra Liquid Laundry not recommended for front-loading washing machines?
Planet Ultra Liquid Laundry is not generally recommended for use in front-loading washers because the detergent is typically quite sudsy. The suds themselves present no harm to your washer, however over-sudsing greatly affects the cleaning action in your washer. Too much sudsing in a front-loading washer acts as a cushion, limiting the ability of your clothes to tumble and drop as they should. With little or no suds, your clothes can move freely within your washer, as they should, resulting in far better cleaning performance.
So although we don't usually recommend that you use our Ultra Liquid Laundry detergent in your front-loading washer, you can still do so if wish. You will just have to experiment a bit in order to find an optimum amount of detergent that will produce an acceptable amount of sudsing. The basic rule of thumb is to measure only half of what you would normally use for a regular top-loading washer (2oz. instead of 4oz.) and then adjust up or down depending on your wash conditions. For example, a small, lightly soiled load washed in warm, soft water would require less detergent (as little as 1oz.). Whereas an extra large, heavily soiled load washed in cold, hard water would require more detergent (3oz. or more, but maximum 4oz.). If you have to use less than 1oz. of detergent to control over-sudsing, you may notice a reduction in cleaning effectiveness.
If you have a see-through glass window on the washer, it will be easy to see if you are getting too much sudsing or not and you can adjust the amount of detergent that you use accordingly. Some washers have indicators that tell you if there is too much sudsing. If you can't physically observe the amount of sudsing that is occurring in your wash, you may be able to tell by other factors such as poor cleaning results or a sudsy/soapy feeling in your clothes even after rinsing.
Planet does make a powdered laundry detergent, which is ideal for front-loading washers because it is low-sudsing. In measuring out an appropriate amount of detergent, the same rules apply as discussed above with our Ultra Liquid Laundry -- use only half of what you would normally use for a regular top-loading washer and adjust from there depending on your specific wash conditions. However unlike our liquid detergent, it is not as critical to observe the amount of sudsing because there is little chance of over-sudsing with our powdered laundry.[Top of Page]
Is Ultra Liquid Laundry available in sizes other than 50oz.?
Yes! Currently we offer two sizes -- 50oz. and 100oz.
Ultra Liquid Laundry was first introduced in the 50oz. format many years ago. Since then, with the increase in popularity of this product and the general trend in the marketplace for larger sizes, there was significant pressure to offer Ultra Liquid Laundry in a larger format. As a result, we have just recently released a 100oz. size into the marketplace. At present, some stores have already substituted the 50oz. size with the new 100oz. size, and some stores choose to carry both sizes. For the remaining stores that continue to carry just our 50oz. size, we are working to have the larger 100oz. size introduced at these locations.[Top of Page]
Does Ultra Liquid/Powdered Laundry contain any bleach?
No. None of our laundry detergents contain any bleach or bleach alternatives.[Top of Page]
Does Ultra Liquid/Powdered Laundry contain any additives like fabric softeners, optical brighteners or anti-static agents?
No. None of our laundry detergents contain any fragrances, dyes, enzymes, colorants, fabric softeners, optical brighteners or anti-static agents.[Top of Page]
Is Ultra Liquid/Powdered Laundry safe to wash my baby's clothes?
Yes, all of our laundry detergents (liquid, powder and delicate) are safe to wash your baby's clothes with. Our detergents do not contain any unnecessary ingredients, such as perfumes, dyes, enzymes or color brighteners, which could cause skin irritation or erode the fire retardant protection on your baby's clothing. And the actual detergent ingredients contained in our laundry products are generally less irritating than the detergents ingredients contained in other brands. In terms of mildness, our Delicate Laundry Wash is the most mild, followed by Ultra Liquid Laundry and then Ultra Powdered Laundry.
There is a difference between liquid and powdered laundry detergents. Powdered detergents will clean better overall because they are generally stronger than their liquid counterparts, however they are more likely to leave residues, particularly in hard water conditions, which can cause skin irritations. (For more information on eliminating residues, click here.) Therefore we recommend that you use liquid detergents, rather than powdered, for washing your baby's clothes. If you do want to try using powdered detergents, keep an eye out for redness or other irritation around areas such as waistbands or where elastics keep clothes closest to your baby's skin. These areas will be the first to show signs of irritation. If you don't see any symptoms after using powdered detergents, then by all means continue using the powdered detergent.[Top of Page]
Can I use Ultra Liquid Laundry to wash my dishes?
Technically, yes. There aren't any ingredients in our Ultra Liquid Laundry that would be unsafe for washing your dishes. In fact, the ingredients between our Ultra Liquid Laundry and our dishwashing liquid detergents are fairly similar. However Ultra Liquid Laundry is specifically formulated to clean your clothes, not your dishes, so it obviously will not be as effective as using our dishwashing liquid detergents. In addition, the Ultra Liquid Laundry makes a very slippery liquid solution, so be careful when handling your dishes, especially anything that is glass![Top of Page]
Is Ultra Powdered Laundry available in sizes other than 64oz. (20 load)?
Sorry, but at this time our Ultra Powdered Laundry is available only in the 20-load size. We are however, very aware of the pressure to produce large sizes that are both more economical for the consumer and less wasteful in terms of packaging per use. We just finished releasing a new larger size for our Ultra Liquid Laundry and now are currently working to do the same with our Ultra Powdered Laundry. Thank you for being patient![Top of Page]
What is wash residue? How can I prevent it?
Residue forms when undissolved minerals in hard water, such as calcium and magnesium, mix with the soda ash in powdered detergents and produce calcium and magnesium carbonate. These carbonate deposits are not harmful to you, they just make your clothes look terrible. Powdered detergents like our Ultra Powdered Laundry do not contain water softeners and therefore have more difficulty in dealing with hard water conditions. Residues occur most commonly on cottons (although residues can form on other fabrics as well) and are more visible on darker, solid colored items. Typical factors in the formation of residue (in order of importance) are hard water, not putting the detergent in first and allowing it to mix with water before adding your clothes to the wash, and overloading your washer. Any one or a combination of these factors can result in residue problems.
To counter residue problems, the first thing you should do is make sure that you add detergent first to your wash basin and let the detergent mix with water before adding your clothes. Doing the opposite, adding your clothes first and pouring the detergent directly on top of your clothes, prevents the detergent from properly dissolving in the wash water. Another reason why adding the detergent last is a bad idea, is because undissolved powdered detergent is quite concentrated and having it sit directly on your clothes might discolor the fabrics. You can also try adding white vinegar to the wash during the rinse cycle, as the vinegar will help dissolve any remaining residue and allow it to be rinsed away. (DO NOT add vinegar to your wash if you are using chlorine bleach, as the combination will produce harmful vapors!) Another option is to pre-dissolve the detergent first in water and then add it to the wash. If you still have residue problems after trying these suggestions, consider switching to our Ultra Liquid Laundry. Liquid detergents are specially formulated to avoid residue problems as they are water based, they are already pre-dissolved, and they do not contain soda ash.[Top of Page]
How can I remove residue from my clothes that appeared from a previous wash?
Adding vinegar to the rinse cycle on a regular basis will help keep new residues from forming, but an existing, heavy residue deposit often requires more aggressive treatment to fully rid the clothing of it. Soak the affected articles in a large sink full of warm water with a cup of white vinegar and a small amount of liquid detergent for at least an hour. Then launder as usual using a liquid detergent, or using a powdered detergent that you know doesn't give you any residue problems. Alternatively, you can use your washer's "pre-soak" or "pre-wash" setting with the vinegar and small amount of liquid detergent, before laundering as usual. This treatment will remove virtually all remaining traces of residue from your clothing. The vinegar is mild enough that it won't harm your clothes. In fact, the vinegar is quite beneficial to your clothing. Aside from keeping residues at bay, vinegar will also help soften your clothes and help set colors, keeping your colors bright. It will also keep your washer clean by removing buildup. DO NOT add vinegar to your wash if you are using chlorine bleach, as the combination will produce harmful vapors![Top of Page]
Why does Planet use plastic measuring scoops? And why must there be a scoop inside of every single Ultra Powdered Laundry box?
The fast and simple answer is that although a plastic scoop doesn't seem to be the most environmentally friendly option and neither does inserting a scoop inside of every single box, in our situation, the decision to do such things that way likely is the most environmentally friendly solution.
As far as powdered laundry measuring devices go, there really are only two choices available in the marketplace today -- plastic scoops and paper cups. Plastic scoops are by far the mostly common and readily available. The advantages of plastic scoops are that they are durable and re-usable, and they solve the very common problem of wicking that is inherent to powdered laundry detergents. (Wicking occurs when the non-ionic detergent ingredients in the powder soak into untreated paper, causing unappealing oily-looking spots. Although these spots have no effect on the performance of the detergent and do not cause similar spots on your clothing, people tend to think otherwise and will refuse to buy detergents if grease spots are visible.) We could use a paper cup instead, however pricing would be higher and supply would be very limited. Planet doesn't have the buying power of the larger companies, so we would be forced to buy paper cups at very high costs. As well, it would be difficult to find a supplier who would offer the small quantities that we require. Because of these two reasons, we continue to use plastic scoops until a better solution presents itself. But remember, plastic scoops can be recycled too!
As for why we feel the need to insert a scoop inside of every single box... Although it seems wasteful to insert scoops into every single box even though people likely still have a usable scoop or two left over from previous purchases, the logistics for us to do otherwise is even more wasteful. The logistics of having our assembly line put scoops in some boxes and not others, marking those boxes accordingly, informing the consumer which box to buy, and having the stores accept two different boxes, which they will equate as requiring twice the shelf space, is mind-boggling! Not to mention stores will want to create two SKUs for the two different boxes, even though they're the same product, risking our product to being discontinued because of lower turnover rates. Quickly you can see how a trivial thing like putting a scoop in one box and not in another is actually not so trivial, and a decision that Planet cannot take lightly.
Although in an ideal world, we would like to do things differently to best suit everyone's needs, the constraints of reality tend to dictate, or at the very least strongly influence, the decisions we make. So yes, we could use paper cups and selectively insert them into a percentage of boxes. However the trade-off would be much higher prices to you the consumer and much fewer Planet products being sold in the marketplace. So given the decision between selling greater amounts of environmentally friendly products with some extra packaging versus selling smaller amounts of environmentally friendly products with more efficient packaging, we choose the former. That being said, we are of course always looking for ways to reduce our packaging and make it more recyclable.[Top of Page]
What is the difference between Ultra and Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid?
Ultra Dishwashing Liquid is a new product that we have introduced into the marketplace to replace our Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid. The new Ultra Dishwashing Liquid has an improved and more concentrated formula as compared to the previous Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid. The smaller 25oz. bottle of Ultra Dishwashing Liquid will clean approximately 33% more dishes than the larger 32oz. bottle of Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid! Like the Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid, the new Ultra Dishwashing Liquid contains no unnecessary additives like dyes and perfumes, so as to remain hypo-allergenic and 100% biodegradable.[Top of Page]
Is Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid safe to use as a body wash or shampoo?
Yes! Our Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid can safely be used as a hand wash, body wash or shampoo. In fact, we regularly hear from people who cannot tolerate brand name shampoos because of all the perfumes and additives, and so choose to use our Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid. The detergents have quite a neutral pH and are fairly mild. So if used sparingly, most people's skin and hair will tolerate it.[Top of Page]
How can I make a bubble bath or foaming body wash with Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid?
Making a bubble bath with Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid is actually quite easy. The most basic of recipes is to mix 1/4 cup water, 1/5 cup Ultra (or 1/4 cup Extra Strength) Dishwashing Liquid, 2 tablespoons of glycerin and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Simply mix all of these ingredients together, add the mixture to your running bath water and voila! You now have a nice bubble bath to relax in. The glycerin and aloe vera gel are important additives because they help soften your skin and prevent your skin from drying out. Glycerin is also responsible for creating all those bubbles, which makes bubble baths so much fun!
If you feel like experimenting, there are countless of different bubble bath recipes that you can try. Try adding some scented oils to help you relax. Add some extra glycerin to create extra bubbles. Or substitute coconut oil for some of the glycerin to improve lather. Visit your local bookstore or search the internet for more information on different bubble bath recipes that you can try.
Similar to the bubble bath, you can also make a foaming body or hand wash with Extra Strength/Ultra Dishwashing Liquid. This recipe was given to us by one of our loyal consumers. First you will require an empty non-aerosol foam dispenser. Inquire at your local health food store to see if they sell empty refillable dispensers. Or buy a personal care product, such as a styling mousse, facial cleaner, shaving foam or hand wash, that uses a refillable non-aerosol foam dispenser. Then mix together 1/4 cup distilled water, 1/5 cup Ultra (or 1/4 cup Extra Strength) Dishwashing Liquid, 1 tablespoon glycerin and 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel. It is important to use distilled water because ordinary tap water contains micro-organisms that will cause the detergent mixture to biodegrade. Before using the hand/body wash, remember to give the dispenser a quick shake, as the ingredients might tend to separate.[Top of Page]
What other things can Ultra/Extra Strength Dishwashing Liquid clean?
Liquid dish detergent is a great general cleaner and is a great second choice for most cleaning jobs when you do not have the specific cleaner readily available.
For detailed information and suggestions for alternate uses, click here.[Top of Page]
What materials and fabrics is Delicate Laundry Wash safe to use on?
Delicate Laundry Wash is safe to use on almost any material or fabric including natural fibers, silk, wool, cashmere, outdoor clothing, and cycling clothing. If you are unsure, first test a small inconspicuous area of the item to be washed. If the test application does not damage the material or produce any discoloration, then Delicate Laundry Wash should be safe to use.
For detailed information and washing instructions, click here.[Top of Page]
What kinds of surfaces can All Purpose Spray Cleaner be used on?
All Purpose Spray Cleaner is safe to use on most non-porous household surfaces including counter tops, sinks, stoves, ovens, ceramic surfaces, porcelain surfaces, shower doors, carpeting, vinyl flooring, painted wood or metal, plastics, fiberglass and marble. If you have any doubts, it is a good idea to first test clean a small inconspicuous area of the surface that is to be cleaned. Apply the cleaner, gently wipe off, and examine the test area for any signs of discoloration or damage. If there are no such signs, then All Purpose Spray Cleaner should be safe to use.
For detailed information and cleaning instructions, click here.[Top of Page]
What kinds of surfaces should All Purpose Spray Cleaner not be used on?
All Purpose Spray Cleaner is safe to use on most non-porous household surfaces, however do not use the cleaner on any surface finished with a non-urethane varnish, as it will damage the finish. Also, avoid washing glass or mirrors because the cleaner will leave streaks. This is a strong cleaner, so be careful when using it on delicate or unprotected surfaces. If you are unsure, use a diluted solution or first test clean a small inconspicuous area. If the cleaner does not damage the surface or produce any discoloration, then All Purpose Spray Cleaner should be safe to use.
For detailed information and cleaning instructions, click here.[Top of Page]
|| Home | About Planet | Why Planet | Our Products | Product Certification ||
|Copyright © 1999-2012 Planet Inc.|