Frequently ask

Got a recurring question? We have an answer, come rain or come shine! 


Hertel products vs. house blend

Can I use a homemade mix to clean?

Tempted to mix baking soda with hot water, vinegar or borax to clean your home? Of course you can. But you will have to spend a lot more time and effort to achieve the same sparkly result you will get with Hertel biodegradable cleaning products.

By making your own mixes, you will need more products to get everything clean, which means more ingredients and a higher cost per square foot. In addition, studies have shown that most homemade cleaning products have no disinfectant properties. This means they can put your health at risk by not killing all the germs in their path. Only Health Canada approved cleaners have been evaluated for their ability to kill germs.

Hertel takes care of these things for you by offering effective household cleaning products that have undergone extensive performance evaluations before being released to the market.

We are in the business of making your life easier… while you enjoy it.

Product mix

Can I mix two or more cleaning or disinfecting products for best results?

It is not recommended to mix different cleaning products, as a chemical reaction may occur between the components of these cleaners. This could create harmful or undesirable by-products, and we don't want that for you.

So unless the household cleaning product’s label says so, do not mix cleaners on your own.

Asthma and allergies

How do household cleaning products help Canadians with allergies and asthma?

An asthma attack or episode can be caused by many things, including common allergens (animal dander, dust mites, molds, pollen, etc.). Some people are sensitive to one allergen, others to many. Because we care about your health, our cleaning and disinfecting products help eliminate these allergens and are an effective solution to reduce allergy and/or asthma symptoms.

And what about Hertel Cherry Almond All-Purpose Disinfectant Spray? Is it dangerous for people with a food allergy to nuts?

Not at all, everyone can enjoy this pleasant smell! This product is made of artificial flavours and does not contain almonds.


Are Hertel products tested on animals?

Hertel's policy is clear: our biodegradable cleaning and disinfecting products have never been tested on animals and never will be.

Expiration date

Is there an expiration date on Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products?

Yes for some, no for others!

Disinfecting products* are approved by Health Canada and have an expiration date to guarantee their disinfecting properties. Overall, the shelf life of a disinfecting product is two years. However, it is only one year if the disinfectant is bleach-based. To find out the exact expiration date, consult the product description.

All other Hertel cleaning products can make your life easier for a very long time. However, it is important to note that cleaning products lose some of their original properties as they age. Household cleaning products do not become dangerous when they expire, they are simply less effective at making your home shine. To maximize their life span, simply store them in a dry, temperate place.

* Hertel Cleaning and Disinfecting Wipes, Hertel All-Purpose Disinfectant, Hertel Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner, Hertel Disinfectant Odour Eliminator, Hertel Disinfectant Cleaner with La Parisienne Bleach, Hertel Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner and Hertel Degreasing Cleaner.



What is biodegradability?

It's a little more complicated than using our products, so let us help you here too!

Biodegradability is the ability of a substance to break down by the action of microorganisms.

In absolute terms, this characteristic can be applied to the vast majority of known substances. However, to ensure consistency in the designation, a standard has been recognized and accepted worldwide. A product is thus considered biodegradable not only if it meets the basic definition, i.e. if it is likely to decompose by the action of microorganisms, but it must also do it under precise conditions and within a given period.

Some internationally recognized organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have developed and published methods to be followed for a substance to be classified as biodegradable.

Therefore, to be recognized as biodegradable, a substance must have been subjected to one of these methods and meet standards that respect the internationally recognized regulations.

And are Hertel products biodegradable?

The vast majority of Hertel products have been created to be biodegradable under the OECD 301D standard*. Hertel cleaning products that are labeled "biodegradable" have all been tested to meet this standard by an independent laboratory and have passed all tests. Are they not brilliant?

The two exceptions are Hertel Disinfectant Cleaner with La Parisienne Bleach and Hertel Cleaning and Disinfecting Wipes which, for effectiveness, contain active ingredients that are not biodegradable according to the current standard.

The OECD 301D test is an internationally recognized test which states that, when at least 60% of a substance biodegrades within 28 days, it is automatically considered biodegradable. This is a fairly reliable indication that full decomposition is not far off. Hertel formulas are therefore at least 60% biodegradable—depending on the product—within 28 days.


Why are phosphates harmful to the environment?

Phosphates are a danger to marine ecosystems. They boost a higher than normal growth of cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria is the scientific name given to blue-green algae. They form in shallow, warm, calm or still waters. Cyanobacteria masses are called "blooms" (or “proliferation”) and usually occur during the warmer months of the year.

Cyanobacteria are composed of cells that can generate poisons called "cyanobacterial toxins". These toxins can attack the liver (hepatotoxins) or the nervous system (neurotoxins), while others cause skin irritations. In addition, by consuming a large amount of oxygen, they contribute to the disappearance of fish and other marine life.

When poured into the water, household cleaning products containing phosphates are therefore very harmful to the environment, as they destroy our marine ecosystems.

Do Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products contain phosphates?

Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products do not contain phosphates. They clean and disinfect without harming the planet!

Recyclable containers

Are the containers of Hertel's cleaning and disinfecting products recyclable?

Yes, Hertel's cleaning and disinfecting containers are recyclable.

We chose fully recyclable containers because it is an option that reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill sites and is a step towards a greener environment.

Why did we choose recyclable containers instead of biodegradable plastic? Because it is an option that is better suited to household cleaning products and better adapted to the reality of Quebec.

Indeed, a plastic is only biodegradable if it has the capacity to be decomposed by the action of microorganisms when in contact with oxygen in the air. Currently, the mass of waste in landfills is too great for the plastic to be in contact with the elements necessary for its decomposition. Sending biodegradable plastic bottles to landfills is therefore not desirable from an environmental standpoint. In addition, the biodegradable resins currently available on the market carry a risk of reaction with cleaning products.

Hertel wants to offer cleaning options that do not mess up the planet. Recyclable and reusable containers are the best solution for us and for you!


What is a toxic product?

There are several definitions of toxicity.

Health Canada defines a toxic product as a chemical that is :

  • capable of causing death to a human being;
  • capable of causing a serious and irreversible—but not fatal—adverse effect on a human being, such as reduced level of consciousness, muscle weakness or paralysis, acute renal or hepatic failure, cardiac arrhythmia, hypotension, dyspnea, respiratory depression, pulmonary edema or optic neuritis.

Are Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products toxic?

No, not at all! Our chemists have strictly followed the classification of consumer chemical products according to the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations (2001) and our formulas are non-toxic.

Are Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products more toxic than the bacteria they eliminate?

No, on the contrary! The use of household cleaning products and the control of the spread of microbes and bacteria have beneficial effects on the health of individuals and the community.

Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products contain substances that are approved by Health Canada and Environment Canada under laws and regulations. The manufacturers have demonstrated that these substances are safe and effective when used as directed. Hertel disinfecting products should be allowed to take effect for ten minutes on the chosen surfaces to kill bacteria. Simply apply the product and rinse afterwards. In the meantime, Hertel cleaning and disinfecting products do the work for you!

Septic tanks

Are cleaning and disinfecting products dangerous for septic tanks?

Hertel cleaners and disinfectants, if used as directed, are not a hazard to septic tanks.

Typically, household cleaning products are mixed with water before they reach the septic tank. Therefore, they are considerably diluted and their very low concentration is safe for the bacteria in the tank. Since most Hertel products are biodegradable, they are doubly safe for the environment.

Please note that it is not recommended to pour Hertel products directly into the septic tank.

Hertel puts a lot of thought into everything. We do it for you. Follow the instructions and everything will be fine!