Homethings-Homethings Jargon

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A - D


When people ask, is a product ‘antibacterial’ they typically mean it in the ‘Kills 99.9% of all bacteria’ sense. If a product markets itself as Antibacterial, it falls into the biocides regulations meaning the product should contain approved biocidal ingredients such as Alcohol or Benzalkonium Chloride and have been independently tested against standards such as BSEN1276. 

Almost all cleaning products will be antibacterial to some degree as a result of their use of surfactants. What is in question with the claim is whether or not the product can actually claim to be biocidal in terms of killing all of the microorganisms present. Is Homethings antibacterial, I hear you ask?


Any ingredient that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms is considered an antimicrobial agent. Typically, when discussing antimicrobial agents are used in cosmetics or home care products to stop the growth of bacteria or fungi in a product over time. Using these agents, means product developers can ensure a ‘shelf life’ and that the product will not spoil, rot or grow mould within a reasonable time period.


A product that claims to protect people from viruses that affect the body could be claiming to be ‘Anti Viral’. In this case, the product should have specific tests against those viruses and should disclose which specific virus’ the product protects against. We do not make anti viral claims about our products.

B Corp

BCorps, all over the world, are changing what it means to be a ‘business’ in this bonkers world. 

The B Corporation stamp verifies that a business meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

More about that B Corp 

Biobased Ingredients

This is a definition established by the USDA meaning the ingredients used in the product come from renewable biological sources. Biobased products reduce the need for many petrochemical based products. The USDA certified biobased product label is common and sought out by consumers in the United States but the term is not commonly used in Europe. 

Learn more about it here: USDA


Biocidal products are intended to destroy or render harmless microorganisms by chemical or biological means.

Chelating Agent

Chelating agents are chemical compounds that bind with metal ions. In our formulations, chelating agents help to manage the variations in water hardness in tap water as they bond to particles in the water effectively suspending them in the dissolved solution to prevent them from impacting the cleaning performance or contributing to microbial activity. 

Cruelty Free

Being a cruelty free brand means that you stand against animal testing of cosmetics or (in our case) household products on animals. 

Homethings is a cruelty-free brand. We do not test on animals during product development or production - or allow any third parties to do so with our products. We will not sell our products in jurisdictions that require animal testing. 

We hold ourselves accountable to being a cruelty free brand by certifying our compliance to the third party, Cruelty Free International accreditation standards, that are globally recognised as best practices for brands in regards to animal testing. 


Not to be confused with disinfectants, detergents are any substance or mixture containing soaps or surfactants and intended for washing and cleaning purposes. For example, many toothpastes could be considered a detergent as many contain common surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.


A substance that kills or destroys microorganisms on inert surfaces may be considered a disinfectant. In the UK the regulation of disinfectants and disinfecting claims is tightly controlled through the health and safety executive. We recommend theirwebsiteif you’d like more information on biocides and disinfectants.

E- I

J - M

N - R

Natural / Naturally Derived

There is no industry standard and agreed definition of what a ‘Natural’ or ‘Naturally Derived’ ingredient actually is. This leads to brands applying their own definitions and, in some cases, greenwashing. 

Our definition of a natural ingredient is in line with the ISO 16128 standard that gives guidelines on this and we believe that a product can only be qualified as “natural” if the finished product contains a minimum of 95% ingredients of “natural” or “of natural origin”. An ingredient is considered a “natural derivative” as soon as it contains more than 50% natural raw materials. 

Our definition of a natural raw material, is one whose original source ingredient is directly from plants, minerals or microbes. For example, we would class the Citric Acid that we use as a naturally derived ingredient as it is industrially produced by microbial fermentation. 


For a product to be called organic, we believe it must contain at least 95% certified organic ingredients. These are ingredients that have been certified to have been grown without any synthetic fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and without any genetically modified ingredients. 


PCR means post-consumer recycled and it's what we use for our 100% PCR plastic kits. It's reusing plastics and giving them a second life as our refillable bottles, that you can refill again and again and again.

Plant Based

There is no industry standard and agreed definition of what a ‘Plant Based’ cosmetics or household product actually is. This leads to brands applying their own definitions and, in some cases, greenwashing. 

In formulation development across cosmetics and household products, a plant oil can be modified with carbon from other sources to improve its performance for specific purposes. 

In our view, if the carbon in the plant oil is more than 50% from plant sources, it is reasonable to refer to that ingredient as plant-based. 

We would always advise consumers to ask brands that market their products as ‘plant based’ for the brand to explain what it means to them.  

It’s also important to note that plant based ingredients are can be very different to botanical ingredients. A botanical ingredient is directly derived from a plant source with minimal processing to maintain their purest form. 


Preservatives are very commonly used in consumer products. You’ll probably find them in your bread, jam and that can of diet coke you just cracked open. 

We use preservatives in our formulas to help prevent the growth of microorganisms and bacteria in our products over time.

S - V

Sodium Coco Sulfate

Sodium coco sulfate is a surfactant that can be derived from coconut oil or palm oil. 

What Homethings products is it in?

Currently none.

Sodium Lauryl Sarconsinate

Loosens surface tension helping to remove grease and grime. 

This is a mild surfactant and cleanser derived from sarcosine, an amino acid found in the human body and just about every type of biological material from animals to plants. This ingredient is not to be confused with sodium lauryl sulfate. EWG Toxicity Rating

What Homethings products is it in?

Allthings, Baththings, Shinythings

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant that gives thick, rich foam and is used in many personal care, home care and cosmetics products. Sodium lauryl sulfate has been used for decades as a key ingredient in products like shampoo and is typically derived from petroleum or palm oil. Although there is no evidence that SLS is harmful or toxic many formulation developers are now using milder surfactants. 

What Homethings products is it in?

Currently none.


Surfactants are critically important chemicals in any cleaning or laundry product. The word is short form for ‘Surface Active Agent’. These are active ingredients that help to reduce the surface tension allowing particles, dirt and grime to be removed more easily in the cleaning process. 


Our definition of a synthetic ingredient is one where the ingredient has been derived or created in laboratory or scientific settings. This may include ingredients that are chemically identical to their natural equivalents.

In our view, it's important to note that synthetic ingredients don’t necessarily mean that they are “bad”, “toxic” or to be avoided. In certain circumstances, synthetic chemicals can be created in scientific settings far safer and far less resource intensively than their natural counterparts. 

Toxicology Risk Assessment (TRAs)

A toxicology risk assessment report is part of our standard process when it comes to formulating new products here at Homethings. These third party assessments review the final formula in detail for potential chemical hazards, dose-response and any risks that might arise from anticipated exposure. 


A Vegan product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients in either the composition of the product itself or in the processing and manufacturing or the product and its packaging. 

This includes, but is not limited to, ingredients such as honey, tallow, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, gelatin, urea etc. 

At Homethings, we use the definition of Vegan as provided by the Vegan Society. Our products have been proudly certified by their accreditation programme since we launched in 2020.  

W - Z