The Problem with Antibacterial Cleaners
We thought long and hard about whether we should include ingredients in our cleaners to make them antibacterial and in the end we decided not to. We want to share our thinking that led to this decision.
The problem with the overuse of antibacterial cleaners has been well documented for over 20 years -- basically using antibacterial cleaners is like overusing antibiotics. These cleaners exert evolutionary pressure on bacteria and viruses that eventually produce dangerous resistant strains.
In addition, the ingredients that give antibacterial cleaners their strength are highly toxic themselves -- triclosan and triclocarban and the components of chlorine bleach are the most common. The effectiveness and safety of these ingredients has long been questioned by both the FDA and the CDC. Most recently it has been found that hand sanitizers, for example are no more effective at cleaning hands than soap and water. Cleaning surfaces with any detergent and a clean cloth (particularly one made of microfiber) has been found to be nearly as effective at removing germs from surfaces as antibacterial detergents.
With COVID, there has been a surge in the use of antibacterial soaps and cleansers. The CDC recommends using these only when someone in a household either has covid or where the space has been directly exposed to someone with covid. The rest of the time, it recommends cleaning with detergent and water rather than with disinfectants.
We decided to go with what we know is safest and better for our health, our homes and environment and to skip the antibacterial frenzy.
Read our article, It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Search for (Truly) Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products, for details on why we chose our ingredients.