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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? We have answers! 

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Nantucket Footprint Products 

Nantucket Footprint Family of Products

Can I use your laundry strips in a High Efficiency machine?

Yes! Our strips are designed to work in both high efficiency and conventional washing machines.

For best results put the strip directly into the drum before adding your clothes – if you throw it on top of clothes in a front loading machine, it may fall out and stick onto the door when the cycle begins.

For directions on how to use, visit How to Use Nantucket Footprint 

There isn’t much foam – how do I know your laundry strips are working? 

Our strips are designed to be low foaming so that they work in Hight Efficiency washers as well as regular ones. You can tell that they have worked because your clothes will be clean and fresh when you are finished washing them!

How do I use the cleaning strips?

The cleaning strips can be used with your own spray bottle or with ours (sold separately) roll one strip for every 8 ounces of water and insert it into the neck of the bottle.  To prevent the contents from foaming out, fill the bottle with water before inserting strips.  Shake gently until the strips are dissolved.

For directions on how to use, visit How to Use Nantucket Footprint 

My cleaning strips have become brittle and won’t roll

The cleaning strips are meant to be kept at normal temperature and humidity conditions. If it is particularly cold or dry, they may temporarily dry out and become brittle and crumbly.  This is normal and will not affect their performance – they will return to pliable when humidity rises.  If strips are brittle they can be used this way but if you wish to restore them to pliability to make them easier to roll or insert just hold them for 3-4 seconds over steam from a kettle.

TIP – if you store your strips during winter months in a bathroom with a shower, they are less likely to dry out.

How do I open the box?

The packages are a unique design that you will probably not have seen before. To open, press the button on the back of the box with the pad of your finger (not your fingernail) and slide out the drawer while pressing down. 

Why are the strips in a child resistant box?

Every day, in the USA, poison control centers receive about 350 calls about young children accidentally ingesting household cleaning products. As companies strive to create more eco-friendly, lower waste concentrates or convenient tablets and pods, the risk to children from these “pretty poisons” increases. Companies are not legally required to protect children from poisoning from cleaning products. We have decided to do so because it is the right thing to do – even one poisoning incident is one too many.

For directions on how to use, visit How to Use Nantucket Footprint 

What are the ingredients?

For full ingredient information, see the links below.

Nantucket Footprint Ingredients 

Read more on our search for clean ingredients: It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Search for (Truly) Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Nantucket Spider Products 

Which one should I buy? 

Nantucket Spider Bug Repellent:  This is our best seller.  It has a unique blend of essential oils of cedar wood, citronella, clove, geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint.  While our 8 ounce bottles have our signature trigger sprayer, our 4 and 2 ounce sizes (with pump sprayers) are convenient for travel and to carry in a handbag or a backpack. Comes in four sizes.

Nantucket Spider Summer Camp: It is much like the original formula, and is equally effective, but is citronella-free.  We made it for kids (and others) who may have an aversion to citronella.  Each bottle includes a hangtag with a space for a name, so it won’t get lost. Comes in three sizes. 

Nantucket Spider Extra Strength Tick Repellent: If you specifically want to repel ticks, this is a perfect repellent. It can be used alone or in addition to other repellents. While no repellent repels all ticks, in independent lab tests, ours repelled 92% of deer ticks. Comes in four sizes.

Nantucket Spider Bug Repellent for Dogs. This repellent is specially formulated without ‘citrusy’ oils that dogs dislike and clove oil, which they shouldn’t ingest. Instead, it contains thyme oil to repel fleas and other oils such as geranium, rosemary, cedar, peppermint and spearmint - all effective repellents.  And while it is formulated for dogs, it is often used on their owners as well! Comes in two sizes.

Can I use the Tick spray on my dog?

Our Extra Strength Tick formula is really for people.  While it is highly effective regarding deterring ticks, it contains some essential oils that are not recommended for dogs. 

Are your products safe for cats?

We don't recommend using any of our repellents on cats.  We are often surprised to see products with similar ingredients to ours being sold as safe for cats, as cats have particularly sensitive systems and can absorb essential oil products through their skin.  Essential oils and many other ingredients that are gentle on people, can be toxic to cats, and have the potential to damage their livers.  Their grooming habits also lead to the possibility that they will ingest essential oils directly.  One thing that you can do for your cat is to make a “tea” of fresh herbs such as thyme, catmint or catnip and keep it in your fridge to test on cats.

Can I use your products on my horse?

If you are looking for a fly, tick or mosquito repellent for your horses, all of our products are safe and effective. We recommend our regular product (the one with the orange label), which has received a lot of positive feedback for use on horses.

What is the difference between the people and the camp?

Our camp repellent is much like the original formula, and is equally effective, but is citronella-free.  We made it for kids (and others) who may have an aversion to citronella.  Each bottle includes a hangtag with a space for a name, so it won’t get lost

Are your sprays safe for my baby?

All our repellents are "minimum risk pesticides" with no age restrictions, however, we do not recommend that they be sprayed directly on the skin of infants and very young children. Children tend to have such delicate skin and may also have sensitivities or aversions to particular oils. Our tick formula does include cinnamon oil which is known as a "hot oil," and may be irritating to sensitive skin. A good rule is to put nothing directly on their skin until they are old enough to tell you if it bothers them.

The good news about our repellents is that, because they are water-based and not greasy, they can be sprayed on  hats, shoes, socks, clothing and strollers instead of on skin.  If you do decide to use any of our repellents on skin, it is important to "test patch," a small area before applying generally.

Can I use the dog product on me?

While the Dog Repellent is formulated specifically for dogs, it can be used on people as well.

Do the people and camp sprays protect me against ticks?

Summer Camp and People are best for mosquitos and are also great at repelling biting flies. They contain oils known to repel ticks but a lower strength and less longer laying than our tick repellent. The Extra Strength Tick is more of a precision instrument.  It has more of the stuff that repels ticks, but has not been tested against other insects. Tick repellent is best for waist down, socks and shoes application and the Camp and People repellents are great to mist over full bodies, hair, gear, clothing, etc.

How often should I reapply?

The tick repellent is long lasting and you will smell it on socks and shoes many hours after it is applied, however to be on the safe side, reapply every 1.5 hours. The repellent for dogs should be reapplied every 1.5 hours and after swimming or walking in wet conditions for ticks.

The dog, people and camp products should be applied “as needed” for flies and mosquitos. Humidity and infestation levels will affect how often they need to be applied – the higher the humidity and the higher the infestation level, the more frequently the products should be spritzed on. Fortunately, unlike DEET or other chemical repellents, Nantucket Spider’s repellents do not bioaccumulate and can be used as needed.

Are your products organic?

Yes, the essential oils we use are organic and non-GMO. They are not certified Organic for regulatory reasons.

Are your products soy and nut free?

Yes, all Nantucket Spider products are nut and soy free.

What are inert ingredients?

Water and vegetable Glycerin.  The tick product also contains natural vanillin derived from cloves to slow the evaporation of the oils.

My child has numerous allergy sensitivities - is your product safe to use? (this is the general language for any highly sensitive individuals/ dogs)

If you have a child with numerous or severe allergy sensitivities, it is important that you consult with your child’s health care provider before exposing your child to our products.

How should I apply the product to protect me against ticks?

To effectively protect against ticks, apply it specifically on your socks, shoes, and legs - where ticks usually find their human hosts.  It won't keep you from bumping into them - but will deter their natural upward migration toward other parts of the body. In order to effectively repel all insects, it can be used on top of your regular repellent, or you can use the tick repellent on your lower body and Camp or People on your upper body.

Does your product keep away spiders?

This is not the product to use if your goal is to get rid of spiders. Nantucket Spider is not a spider repellent: it is a repellent that you wear to keep away mosquitoes, biting flies and ticks.  (We call it "Nantucket Spider" because spiders are so good at repelling other insects!)

Does your product work on chiggers? 

While we have not specifically tested our products against chiggers, we have heard from our customers who have found both the people and camp products to work.

Is there a shelf life?

Our products are made with nitrogen added during bottling so that they are fresh when opened.  Essential Oils react to oxygen and become less effective over time once they are exposed to the air.  While our products do not go “off”, they may become less effective over time which is why we recommend that they be used within 12 months of opening.

My spray top isn’t working/ is broken/ wasn’t with the bottle (usually a problem from Amazon!)

Please contact us at and we will send you a replacement

USPS says my order was delivered but it wasn’t!

We are hearing this all of the time from USPS lately -- people get notified of delivery and then the package is delivered the next day or the day after. If your package isn’t delivered to you in the next few days, please let us know and we will be happy to resend or refund your order.

Do these work against sand gnats or no see ums?

When people are talking about no-see-ums they are generally referring to biting midges. We designed our original formula for mosquitos, deer flies, horseflies and black flies. We have not conducted formal tests with regard to no-see-ums. That being said, most of the feedback we have received regarding our repellent’s ability in deterring no-see-um bites has been very positive.

Is this safe to use during pregnancy?

We have had safety data sheets prepared for our products by an independent company that say that our products are considered safe for all people subject to allergy testing on a patch of skin because only trace amounts of essential oils are emitted with each spray. 

Having said that, people who are pregnant of course need to be extra careful about anything they use during pregnancy. The effects of essential oils really have not been tested on pregnant women.  Some natural health practitioners particularly warn against rosemary and citronella oils during pregnancy -- rosemary oil is present in both our people and our summer camp products.   Citronella oil, while very commonly used and considered safe in the US, is one which some people dislike for various reasons including allergy sensitivity and we have left it out of our kids' product in order to give our customers a choice. 

Will the tick repellent repel all ticks and how should it be applied?

Our Extra Strength Tick product repelled 92-100% of Deer Ticks in all trials of an independent lab test. Repellents in general will be less effective at repelling Lone Star and Brown Dog ticks because these species actively seek hosts and are more aggressive (the good news is they are also larger and easier to spot than Deer Ticks!)

Extra Strength Tick contains natural vanillin to make it slower to evaporate — the vanillin also makes it somewhat heavier.  You will notice that if you spray it on your shoes, socks or legs, you will be able to smell it many hours later. The tick product also contains cinnamon oil — an ingredient that is very effective against ticks but that can cause skin irritation and definitely eye irritation if it is sprayed on the face.

While the regular products do repel ticks, they won’t repel them as effectively or for as long duration.  

  • Things to bear in mind when applying repellent for ticks: All tick larva and over 90% of nymphs and many adults are found within 6 inches of the ground on grasses, leaves, and low growing plants.  The remainder of the adults are found in bushes up to waist high but it is quite unusual for adults to be on or in trees and to fall from above. 
  • Because nearly all ticks arrive on their hosts from the ground up and crawl up to good and warm hiding spots, it is an important goal of a tick repellent to create a low barrier. If a tick does get on you it will be deterred from attaching or from climbing upward where it will be difficult to find.  Extra Strength Tick Repellent should be applied thoroughly from the knees down on all sides including socks and shoes or from the waist down if in deeper brush and on arms if handling weeds or brush.
Ugh! I spilled the bottle in my car!

We heard last summer from a couple of customers who left their Nantucket Spider in their hot cars and found that the bottle boiled over. It is important to remember not to leave your bug spray in your car (many things including sunscreen, lotions and bug sprays will expand and leak in a hot car - not to mention how extreme heat may change the quality of the ingredients - in a heat wave the interior temperature of your car can climb above 150 degrees in half an hour!)

While our sprays shouldn't stain clothing when used as directed, a bottle of repellent spilled on your dashboard might.

The good news is, because essential oils are volatile, the smell of the bug spray will dissipate before long. Mop up any excess spill and wash down area. Leave windows open to air out your car.  Keep windows open while driving too until the oils evaporate - as terrific as our bug sprays smell, no one wants to be steeped in them (especially your kids and pets)! A bowl of coffee grounds will help absorb odors. People, Camp and Dog should be faint the next day and be gone entirely in a couple of days. The tick spray is longer lasting and slower to evaporate but should be gone in a few days too.

I just read that peppermint oil is toxic to Dogs and your repellent for Dogs has peppermint oil in it -- isn't that a concern?

The recent concern about peppermint oil and dogs is because of misuse of essential oils -- people have, in a misguided attempt to provide holistic home remedies, put peppermint essential oil into dogs' food to freshen their breath and also undiluted on their skin (note that undiluted essential oils should never be applied to any person or animal's skin!!!) Many commercially available peppermint products, including topical creams and ointments and dog treats exist which are safe for dogs -- used properly, peppermint oil is recognized as an important ingredient in these products. The key is that peppermint oil must be appropriately diluted and not deliberately put into food (each squirt of our spray applies about .04 mL of peppermint oil.) When used in accordance with the label directions we are confident that our product not pose a hazard to dogs!
(Remember that Essential oils should never be used on cats)