By Kate Merrill

WESTFOD (CBS) – Paul’s Diner in Westford is busy just about any day of the week. Locals come in for your traditional diner fare of pancakes, paninis, and sandwiches named for local landmarks.

Owner Sal Buonacore said his customers had a lot of questions when the staff cleared nearby tables and wiped them down with a cleaning solution while they were eating.

“What’s that smell? What are you spraying? What’s in that product?” Buonacore said, listing off the diners’ concerns about the safety of the products being used near their food.

Buonacore doesn’t hear those complaints anymore thanks to a product called Force of Nature. It’s a small machine that uses electrical current to turn ordinary tap water and a small capsule of salt and vinegar into a grease-cutting, germ fighting solution.

“It’s a disinfectant cleaner that is registered as such with the EPA and it’s very, very, safe to use,” explained the product’s creator and Massachusetts native, Paul Lucci.

You pour water into the clear plastic container of the machine, add the salt and vinegar solution, and turn it on. According to Lucci, the electrical current causes a chemical reaction which causes the water to bubble. When the blue LED light at the base of the machine turns green, the product is good to use and stays active for two weeks.

But does it really clean?

“It does work,” Buonacore confirmed.

Even on common diner dirt like bacon and burger grease?

“I didn’t believe it myself to be honest,” he confessed. “I still had a couple of other products lingering around just in case, but there’s no need for them.”

The Force of Nature machine creates non-toxic cleaner. (WBZ-TV)

WBZ had one of our producers try it. She said it did appear to clean her kitchen surfaces, but it took a bit more work to wipe it dry. According to Tucci, that’s because traditional cleaners contain alcohol that helps the surfaces dry more easily.

Back at Paul’s Diner, Buonacore says he is spending about half of what he used to on cleaning supplies. A Force of Nature starter kit runs about $90 and includes the machine, a reusable spray bottle, and a handful of the salt and vinegar capsules. Refills of 25 capsules are about $20.

There are other, similar products on the market that are trying to cut down on waste and toxic chemicals.

Blueland’s ‘The Cleanup Kit’
Truman’s cleaners
Branch Basics cleaning products

Kate Merrill


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