Is scotchgard safe

Is Scotchgard safe?

Is Scotchgard safe? It’s a question asked more and more frequently, given the increased awareness surrounding toxic ingredients in fabric protectors.

While the safety of Scotchgard and its fellow brands remains (literally) up in the air, new and improved methods of fabric protection are gaining popularity.

A number of ingredients found in Scotchgard can pose potential health risks to humans and animals. Knowing and understanding these harmful ingredients is the first step towards living a toxic-free lifestyle!

We’ll identify which ingredients you need to look out for, why they’re a potential threat to your health and provide a safe alternative to Scotchgard that actually works.

The truth behind traditional fabric protectors

Several years ago, a worldwide health alert was issued stating that the main ingredients in Scotchgard were potentially toxic chemicals. These ingredients were found in human tissue, wildlife and the environment. A worldwide study found that the only human samples in which there were no traces of the chemicals was in Korean War soldiers, gathered before Scotchgard was invented.

What is in Scotchgard?

The dreaded ingredient causing the uproar is a fluorocarbon called PFOS. It’s among one of the most persistent synthetic chemicals on the planet. Constant exposure to these chemicals can create a build up in our bodies, which can lead to some pretty scary health defects including weakened immunity, hormonal imbalances, reduced fertility and an increased risk of cancer.

What action did the manufacturer 3M take?

3M (the company that produces Scotchgard), has since switched to an alternative formula using perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) in a bid to make Scotchgard safe. PFBS is claimed to be non-toxic, however it still persists in the environment.

While 3M are adamant that PFBS is not toxic and does not accumulate, it can still enter the bloodstream. 3M rebutted this concern by assuring consumers that it does no harm at low levels, and is eliminated quickly.   

The shift in Scotchgard’s chemistry may present less detrimental health concerns and environmental impacts, however the product is less effective. More PFBS needs to be used to achieve the same result as PFOS.

Taking a different approach

IOver time, we are learning more about the potential threats these ingredients pose and finding safe, alternative ways to waterproof and protect fabrics. Nanotechnology is now used as an alternative, and increases the performance of a fabric protector without the harmful effects on our bodies and the environment. Nanotechnology has allowed us to alter silicon dioxide (a natural substance), so that it creates a thin, malleable layer to be used as an effective protective barrier on surfaces. Our non-toxic fabric protector is water-based, odourless and proven to outshine traditional fabric protector sprays in every way.

Is Scotchgard is safe for babies, pets, our bodies and the environment? The answer is still unclear. While its ingredients have been altered to improve its safety, the effectiveness of the product relies heavily on the use of chemicals.

Our expert advice: opt for an eco-friendly fabric protector that is free from PFOS, PFAS and PFC. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Read our Ingredients page to find out more about the ingredients to avoid in fabric protectors.

Scotchgard alternative: non-toxic fabric protector

  • Sale!


    Fabric Protector Big Job Pack

    2L & Battery Sprayer

    Protects up to 20m2 for most fabrics

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    Fabric Protector Multi-Job Pack

    5L & Battery Sprayer

    Protects up to 50m2 for most fabrics

    Add to cart
  • protectME

    Fabric Protector Large Refill


    Protects up to 50m2 for most fabrics

    Add to cart
  • Sale!


    Fabric Protector Savings Pack

    750ml & 2L refill

    Protects up to 27.5m2 for most fabrics

    Add to cart

FAQs about protectME

protectME is made with pure silica (SiO2), an inert substance found in nature in things like sand or quartz; and that is already in use in many products such as glass or the water we drink. We only use non-toxic, eco-friendly ingredients, and our fabric protector spray is water based. Maybe more importantly, ingredients we do not use (and that you really don’t want to spray in your house):

  • PFAS, also known as PFOA, PFOS, PFCs/Fluorocarbons, GenX,
  • No parabens, sulphates, phosphates, petrochemicals, chlorine, soap, alcohol or dyes,
  • Fragrances or colours.


For more information, please read our Ingredients page or ask us for our Safety Data Sheet.

PFAS or polyflurorinated alkyl substances are highly toxic synthetic chemicals, which are harmful to our health and the planet. They are also known as PFOA, PFOS, PFCs/Fluorocarbons or GenX.

They are present in most traditional fabric protectors. They have been shown to have a causal link to changes in the liver, thyroid and pancreas, as well as hormonal changes, which can lead to potential cancer risk. PFAS are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time.

For more information, please read our Ingredients page and this blog article.

protectME is a nanotechnology fabric protector, whereas other traditional fabric protectors are not. The key differences are:

  • protectME lasts 3 times longer than other protectors. Mainstream stain guards typically last about 12 months, whereas protectME will go up to 3 years — a much more cost effective solution.
  • Once applied, protectME is embedded in the fabric strands, whereas mainstream protectors will simply sit on top of the fabric. protectME is more resistant to abrasion and exposure to UV rays, and has a higher level of coverage.
  • protectME won’t release toxic fumes during and after application, simply because it doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals. Our water based solution is non toxic, safe for your family and for the environment.

protectME is a water based fabric protector, which means that is it not solvent based and won’t release any fumes unlike other protectors. Our protector is made with pure silicon dioxide, an inert substance that surrounds us in nature as sand or quartz; the most abundant family of materials on Earth. For more information, please read our Ingredients page.

Our non-toxic fabric protector is the preferred choice for those suffering from allergies. It is odourless. For more information on ingredients, please read the Ingredients page.

Yes, it is the first criteria we have as a family owned business when developing our products. They must be safe to use around kids and animals.

For more information on ingredients, please read the Ingredients page.

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