It’s been increasingly difficult lately to find quality disinfectants that are effective against SARS-CoV-2. Stores are still sold out of Clorox and Lysol. And when shelves are restocked, they get emptied shortly after. This is why I have been searching for a good replacement for bleach or Clorox wipes that could fit my need for self-sustainability while being environmentally friendly. Enter: Force of Nature.
Force of Nature is a small home appliance that creates an EPA-approved antiviral, germifugal, and anti-fungal cleaning agent that works against COVID-19. The process is really simple: you fill in a small electrolyzer with tap water, squeeze in a capsule containing a solution of salt and vinegar, press a button, and in less than 10 min the electric current converts the solution into sodium hydroxide (a cleaner) and hypochlorous acid (a disinfectant).
Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid used as a deodorant, bleaching, disinfectant, and water treatment agent. It has proven effective for its ability to treat wounds and various infections in humans and pets. It is used in hospitals, food processing facilities, industrial cleaning, etc.
Does hypochlorous acid work against COVID-19?
In total honesty, I wasn’t convinced about the Force of Nature device when I first bought it. I had never heard of hypochlorous acid before, nor did I know that such appliances existed, but I was eager to try it because of the difficulty in finding other antiviral cleaning products at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of us aren’t familiar with hypochlorous acid, but it is on the EPA’s list of approved disinfectants to use against COVID-19. That put my mind at ease. Other disinfectants include Clorox and Lysol, so I felt confident that hypochlorous acid would work just as well.
After trying the Force of Nature device, I grew more and more convinced that the science behind it is solid. Now, I have an alternative to bleach and Lysol wipes that doesn’t take too much space to store. The electrolyzer is only 8.5 x 4 x 3” and the spray bottle measures 10.5 x 2.5 x 2.5”. If you don’t want to use the FoN spray bottle, any one you have around the house will work just fine.
The electrolyzer and the spray bottle are relatively small (12 oz) because the final solution retains its antiviral and cleaning power for just two weeks. To keep track of the 14 days, keep the electrolyzer plugged in and press the power button twice. A green light will appear at the base, and will slowly turn blue, yellow and finally red at the end of the two week period. That way, you’ll know with just a glance when it’s time to make a new batch of disinfectant. You can also write down the expiration date on the bottle itself, on a calendar, or set up a reminder on your phone.
Testing the Force of Nature (FoN)
The first time I tried the device, I wanted to find out how long the pods lasted and how well they’d generally clean. Could it be true that I’d only have to use one pod every 14 days?
To clean my house, I usually use a separate cleaner for the bathroom, the toilets, the kitchen, the mirrors, and the floors. The first time I used FoN, I got carried away because it cleaned everything so well. I sprayed it directly on the surfaces and wiped it down using a microfiber cloth. I used it on the kitchen counter, cabinet doors, all the high-touch places such as door handles, keyboards, phone, light switches, remote controls, fridge handles, etc. as well as bathroom countertops, sinks, toilet, mirrors, and even bathroom floors.
Needless to say, I used a whole bottle in one cleaning session alone. After the initial splurge, I have been using it about twice a week to clean all the usual high-touch places, as well as incoming mail, packages, and groceries deliveries. By using it this way, one pod lasts me for about 7-10 days.
At $0.80 a pod, the FoN isn’t outrageously expensive to use. But there are definitely cheaper antiviral options on the market. It’s possible, for instance, to just use diluted bleach.
Is Force of Nature environmentally friendly?
Something also on my mind: the ecological impact of using the pods. FoN’s pods are small, so they don’t create excessive waste–at least not in comparison to throwing away a whole bottle of cleaner every time it’s empty. On the other hand, a bottle of cleaner or a tub of Clorox wipes will last for weeks before having to throw it away. But I suspect that these pods create less, or equal to, plastic waste than using any other disinfectant.
The plastic of the pod is recyclable, although I’m not sure if it even makes sense to throw such a small plastic object into the recycling pile. I’m no expert in recycling processes, but it seems to me that it would be impossible, or at least inefficient, to try and sort such a small object. If you know more about recycling, I’d love to know your opinion!
You can also try and make your own pod solution at home, making it even cheaper and eco-friendly.
The final verdict
Here’s what I determined after a couple of months of using the FoN cleaner.
- Easy to make and use.
- The electrolyzer, the spray bottle, and enough pods to last one year (if using one pod every two weeks) takes little space to store.
- Great as an alternative or an addition to your antiviral and cleaning preps.
- Safe for children, pets, and does not harm the earth.
- Initial cost/investment (make sure to use their 40% coupon offer on their Starter Kits).
- The solution is active for up to 14 days only.
- You are bound to buy capsules from FoN so if they stop operating you are left without the ability to source them, unless you stocked up in advance or you are ready to make your own solution.
- The electrolyzer comes with a one year warranty by default, but as with any electrical device, it will break down at some point. I don’t know yet how long it will take and if it’s going to be easily and cheaply repaired.
Force of Nature Starter Kit
Overall, I am really glad that I tried it. I now have the peace of mind knowing that I have enough disinfectant to last me for a few months, even if I am unable to source other disinfectants due to shortages. The electrolyser itself is small and the capsules don’t take much space, so I can store enough pods to last me a few years without sacrificing too much space. And if I need to make my own solution, salt and vinegar are already part of my preps, so I don’t have to think much about it.
Most importantly, the FoN cleaner works. Even better, I know it’s safe for the environment and for the household. I already switched to FoN as the disinfectant I use on a daily basis, and have already stocked up on enough capsules for the next 6 months. I’m planning to buy more to last me 1-2 years.
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