In February, American scientists released new research that showed that regular use of cleaning sprays has an impact on lung health comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The chemicals in cleaning products can irritate the fragile mucous membranes that line the lungs leading to damage over time.

There are at least 300 chemicals routinely used in our homes that have little or no regulation. Because humans do not ingest them – and we go to special lengths to keep them out of our children’s way – they are not deemed as harmful, but the truth is that we spread them in our environment. These chemicals end up in our food, our water and in us.

Children who grow up in an over-sanitized world, with little exposure to the outside world and animals, do not build up immunity against common pathogens (the bad bugs) which can result in allergies, eczema and asthma.

Chemicals are also unpleasant for the environment. Making them causes a lot of damage by releasing CO2 and most have hazardous by-products. Researchers looked at levels of synthetic ‘volatile organic compounds’, or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.

And so to microbial cleaners. How do they work? They use bacteria or bacterial enzymes to facilitate the cleaning action. Microbial enzymes break down the organic matter (dust, food, skin, hair) into its primary building blocks. The breakdown of the material is what gives bacteria their cleaning efficiency and makes them so effective at removing dirt. Here are three more reasons why microbial cleaners could work for you.

Long-term effectiveness

Probiotic, or microbial cleaners continue working long after they have been applied. They build up a bio-film of beneficial bacteria in an area that is cleaned so that even after an initial clean the bacteria continue to protect surfaces and fabrics and break down pathogens. And the best news, less frequent cleaning is needed, you’re saving yourself time in the long-run, and time is money.

Keeping you and your family safe from pathogens

A recent study in Italy carried out by the Università di Ferrara, showed that in the medium to long term a microbial cleaner provided better control of harmful bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas species and Candida albicans) compared to disinfectant chemicals in a hospital. We might be a long way from convincing the NHS that they should bin their chemical cleaners, but the evidence is stacking up: the more bleach we use, the more resistant the bugs get.

When you clean a surface with a chemical, bleach-based product all of the bacteria are killed. In the neutral environment that is left typically, the biggest baddest bugs colonise the area and are more likely to mutate in response to being nuked. However, if you clean a surface with a microbial cleaner you are rebalancing the microbes in that surface with good bacteria whose reason to exist, and favourite job, is to naturally support health and fight off and neutralise pathogens.

Doing your bit for the environment

Microbial cleaners are non-toxic. They do not harm the environment. You can even drink them safely. After cleaning the floor, you can throw the old water down your drain without having to worry about any innocent animals being harmed. In fact, this waste could be contributing to building another thriving ecosystem. 

The move towards microbial cleaners requires an attitude shift. We’ve all been educated to kill germs and to view bacteria as harmful and worthy of attack by an army of chemicals. In fact, some adverts would have you believe that this is the only way to be safe. But that view is radically changing. We now know more about bacteria; they promote life, they are the building blocks of our bodies and our world, we each have trillions and trillions of them in, on and around us.

We have overused products that kill the bacteria that we depend upon to survive and in doing so inadvertently harmed our immune systems; we cannot kill the pathogens without harming the good bacteria too.

We would love to hear your experiences of cleaning with a microbial cleaner – and if you haven’t found one, we have just the product for you. At Microbz, we have developed a range of microbial cleaners that are effective and non-toxic and we hand make them in Wiltshire. Check it out.