It’s another headline shocker, that I have been saying for years
‘Anti-bacterial kitchen sprays and wipes are a waste of money’
If you’ve read my columns before you will know I am very ‘anti the anti-bacterials’ and now it seems Dr Michael Mosley has done the experiments and discovered that they don’t leave kitchen surfaces and sinks clean and toxin free, in fact the research found that the poisonous bugs come a crawling back within an hour.
Where you may have thought it would leave the area cleaner for longer too, think again, it seems when they tested twelve hours later there were ‘dramatic’ amounts of bacteria and fungi across the work surfaces, which could cause food poisoning. In addition, continued use of these anti-bacterial products are creating greater resistance and encouraging a whole new colony of superbugs to come attacking.
Good old Dr Mosley suggests cleaning the old-fashioned way… with vinegar and soapy water. Sponges and dishcloths are typically fabulous breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, so it’s suggested we ensure they are washed regularly, it’s a good idea to pop them into the dishwasher, and then leave them as dry as possible. Worktops and sinks harbour germs, as well as chopping boards – an excellent suggestion is to keep a separate chopping board for meat.
We’ve all heard the old adage “a peck of dirt will do you no harm” ..or something like that, and while I’m not suggesting we don’t clean our kitchens properly, studies show that the majority of bugs are harmless and can even be beneficial for us, in terms of populating our good ‘gut bacteria’, so it’s a balance, but one which doesn’t require us to go mad on the high priced chemical laden products.
Another study recently published in Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine annual, 2018, found that generally the danger of breathing in chemicals from household cleaning products is as bad as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway said everyday use could cause substantial damage. Even this study stated that most of the chemical cleaning products aren’t actually necessary and ‘could be replaced by using micro-fibre cloths and plain water’
Yet again it all comes back to going a bit old style, depending on your age, ask yourself, your mum or your grandma what she would have used to clean the kitchen years ago, I’m guessing it would have been vinegar, lemons, bicarbonate of soda, perhaps a splash of bleach…oh and that long forgotten important ingredient…elbow grease! Yep we all love spraying wildly, whisking a brush around and walking away! It’s worth remembering that housework can be a great workout, pop on the rubber gloves and give it some energy!
For most surfaces then, half fill a washing up bowl with warm water, add half a cup of bicarbonate of soda, and use a clean microfibre cloth. White vinegar is brilliant for anything that needs that ‘anti-bacterial’ edge, as is a drop of Tea Tree oil (great for toilets seats).
So, save yourself some cash, and improve your health in the process. It’s also of course much better for the environment to use natural cleaning products than potentially toxic anti-bacterial ones.