Consumers want to see labels that instill trust.
The labels on your disinfectant sprays and wipes need to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and be easily understood by consumers. Studies show it is not enough to simply follow the government's rules to achieve the transparency and trust you need to win over customers. In fact, 70% of American shoppers will research a cleaning or disinfecting product on their phone before considering adding it to their cart.
Consumers are looking for clear instructions, whether the product is safe to use, and ingredients they can understand. Giving more information than a label requires is not only a smart strategy, it's something most companies have begun to do as a best practice. Before we discuss the six things you should add to your labels to build customer trust, let’s go over the government requirements.
EPA Requirements for Disinfectant Labels
Here’s what the EPA requires companies to include on disinfectant labels and should be close to this order.
- EPA Registration Number: Once your product is registered with the EPA, it will receive a number to show that it has been reviewed by the EPA.
- EPA Establishment Number: This identifies the facility where your product reached its final phase of production.
- Label Claims: Here you will state the purpose and intended use of the disinfectant. For example, your product might be a "disinfectant, fungicide, and virucide for hospital and industrial use."
- Effectiveness of Product Under Certain Conditions: State the product's effectiveness in the tested conditions.
- Active Ingredients: List the active disinfecting ingredients and their percentage within the solution.
- Inert Ingredients: You are only required to list a percentage of the total. For example, if the active ingredients make up 4% of the product, this section would only be required to read, "Inert Ingredients: 96%."
- Precautionary Statement: This highlights the product’s hazards and how they can be mitigated. Signal words that indicate the level of hazard are, in order of harmfulness: "Caution," "Warning," "Danger," and "Danger-Poison."
- First Aid: This area lists steps to take in case of accidental exposure or ingestion. You may also list "Notes to Physicians" should the user require professional medical attention.
- Company Name & Address
- Directions for Use: Here you must describe how to use your product. For example, you might list lengths of time and application techniques to kill certain microorganisms. These directions must be clear and easily understood. Many consumers don't apply enough product for the proper length of time to be effective, so this area must be as coherent and straightforward as possible. This would be where you would want to provide a contact number should the consumer require further guidance.
Building Consumer Trust
Now that you have the legally required information on your labels, let's discuss the six things that build trust and transparency on your labels.
- 3rd Party Certifications: Even though the EPA may have reviewed a disinfectant to evaluate effectiveness, they don't assess every possible health risk. But you can apply for the EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) logo for antimicrobial products, which will show that your product was evaluated for safety and is found to be in the least hazardous class. The DfE is the only certification legally observed by the U.S. to signify a product is less hazardous for humans and the environment. Green Seal and Ecologo are other logos that can show a product has been evaluated for safety, but unlike the EPA's DfE logo, they aren't legally recognized certifications according to the U.S.
- All Ingredients: Disinfectant products aren't required to list all of their inert ingredients, but for the sake of transparency and to be compliant with the 2017 California Cleaning Product Right To Know Act, many companies are beginning to list their inert ingredients or provide a website link where consumers can find the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). That way customers can see whether your product contains any soaps, dyes, perfumes, or other ingredients they may wish to avoid.
- No Empty Phrases: Consumers are savvy, so it's wise to avoid phrases like, "Environmentally Friendly," "Post-Consumer," or "Green." Instead, look for actionable and verifiable words that consumers can believe. If your product's container or label is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials, these are concrete attributes they can understand.
- Additional Information: Does your product contain aerosol? Is it fragrance-free, or does it contain fragrances meant to cover up odors? How should the product be stored? Providing extra useful and clear information makes the choice easier for the consumer.
- Social and Moral Statements: Many consumers are looking for clues as to the corporate environment surrounding the products they purchase. Stating that the CEO takes a lower than average salary, emphasizing diverse hiring practices, listing specific charities the product supports, or even including some humor can make a product stand out enough to win over new customers.
- Staying Up To Date: The information on your label not only needs to be honest but show your company is on top of trends and events. For example, on July 31, the EPA began allowing on label claims for effectiveness against COVID-19. Prior to this point, if a company wanted to claim that their product was able to neutralize the novel coronavirus, it could only do so "off label," such as on websites, social media, on literature for hospitals, or through toll free phone numbers.
The Right Labelers for Your Disinfectant Sprays & Wipes
All this may seem like a lot of information to fit on a container, but experienced partners like Pack Leader USA can help make the most of the space you have. For a small hand sanitizer bottle intended to be carried in a pocket, a wraparound labeler can apply a label with plenty of surface area for all the information you want to provide. For sprays, soaps, or larger hand sanitizer bottles, a front and back labeler can use less material but still provide enough space for your design. If you manufacture cleaning wipes, you might choose a wraparound labeler for a plastic cylindrical container as well as a top label machine for the lid. And keep in mind that a shrink labeler can apply a shrink label to just about any size or shape container and allows for much more artwork than any other label type.
To make it even easier, we’ve put together a list of the best Pack Leader USA labelers for your disinfectant hand sanitizers, sprays, and wipes. Whether you need in-line labelers to fit into an assembly line process, tabletop labelers for easy portability, or shrink labelers to cover many different products, you'll find the machine you need with expert support you can trust. And you can always set up a free consultation to find out the best product to maximize your efficiency and help your operation run smoothly.