As a generation brought up with slogans such as ‘Bang! And the dirt is gone!’ and ‘Kills 99.9% of bacteria!’ it’s no wonder we are all so obsessed with sanitising hand gels and ensuring every inch of our environments are as sterile as possible. But where did this fascination with clean come from, and is it actually doing more harm than good?
Antibacterial products have been all the buzz in recent years; from body soaps to lip balms, household cleaners to toilet paper, if it’s touching your body, throw a big ‘anti-bac’ sticker on it and it will inevitably pull the punters in – and for a long time, it has. However, in more transparent times, the rise between deciphering the true difference between hygienic and antibacterial has become of increasing interest to consumers and researchers alike.
According to many studies, ‘regular soap or cleaning-active and water are enough to wash away dirt, bacteria and viruses. Proper handwashing does not need the added benefit of an antibacterial cleaner to thoroughly clean hands. The same is true for your home. Regular cleaning with soaps and detergents will remove much of the harmful bacteria and viruses.’ ¹
So, if we don’t need antibacterial products to be hygienic then why are we still so set on using them, and could they actually be doing more harm than good?
Like many germaphobes out there, the thought of complete sanitation is a narrative we have been sold for years with each new product within the personal care or household cleaning space promising you to feel ‘cleaner’ than the last. Spoiler alert: you don’t need harsh chemicals to clean. According to the National Environment Trust, ‘these chemicals may make cleaning easier, but they don’t make cleaning any better’.² So with all our traditional household brands filled with enough antibac toxins to sterilise a London rat, could we actually be doing more harm than good, and is there a thing as actually being too clean?
We all know that some dirt is good for us. It helps us build resistance to viruses, a healthy immune system and a balanced microbiome. The problem with these super-cleaners is that they are not only getting rid of the ‘bad’ bacteria (even though most of us don’t follow the correct cleaning steps to be completely antibacterial anyway – do you leave the spray to sit for two minutes before you wipe it away? Us neither) but you are also getting rid of any ‘good’ bacteria there is, too. On top of that, it’s worth noting that those super potent disinfectant products normally contain a bunch of toxic chemicals. Not cool.
Here at Homethings, we promise to never create or sell products that contain toxic chemicals. We won’t put any dirty substances into our products and will have our full ingredients list of each available on the website – so that you can double check for yourself (if you have the time, energy or will-power). The perfect cleaning sesh that is better for you and better for the planet. Over and out.