Now that we are isolating at home and maybe have a little more time, we should reflect on our understanding of why we clean and what products we use to remove bacteria and viruses. We are all more vulnerable as we live closer to our loved ones at this time and home & personal hygiene is the first line of defence against viruses.
So it is important to ask some simple questions:
Why do we clean our homes?
The most important reason to clean our homes and launder our fabrics is to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease. Targeted cleaning with the right products breaks the chain of infections including bacterial illnesses such as food poisoning as well as viral infections such as Covid-19. We need to reduce the number of microbes around us to safe levels. The number of virus particles that are needed to infect people is quite low, so we must make sure that our cleaning regimes are thorough.
Why else do we clean and wash?
There is no doubt that having a sparkling home is good for our mood and creates positive energy. Pathogens suppress the immune system and so an unclean home is likely to mean that your family will get sick more often. Cleaning is a great help to those with allergies, especially vacuuming with a HEPA filter or steam cleaning. Apart from this, the act of cleaning and laundering is very satisfying and soothes the soul. How often do we hear that washing up is a great activity for practicing mindfulness?
How does cleaning remove bacteria and viruses?
There are two main ways we can remove pathogens when we are cleaning. First, we can physically remove the particles using a multi-surface spray and a cloth. Bacteria and viruses can recolonise within 20 minutes so it is best to clean surfaces just before using – for example if you are preparing a meal or starting to work at your laptop.
The second way of removing bacteria and viruses is to kill the pathogens. Anti-bacterial wipes and sprays work along these lines. If used at the right concentration and in the correct situation anti-bacterial products can kill bacteria effectively. But recolonisation rates will be similar to physically removing bacteria at about 20 minutes which is why many people feel that anti- bacterial products are unnecessary. In USA, the FDA have banned the marketing of anti-bacterial products because there is insufficient evidence to show that they are more effective than soap and water and also because using these products regularly is believed to have negative effects on human health.
A third way of removing pathogens is by making them thermally inactive. This is how washing machines work to remove bacteria and viruses. When we rinse our cleaning cloth in hot water and wipe the surface it is possible that some pathogens could become thermally inactive if the cloth remains hot enough!
So how do organic cleaning products work?
Organic cleaning products work using all methods of pathogen removal. The most important is by physically removing bacteria and other pathogens. First, spray the surface you want to clean and wipe with a damp freshly washed cleaning cloth. Then rinse the cloth with hot water to remove the pathogens and wring out. Wipe the surface again. Afterwards make sure you dry the surface with a clean t-towel. This is very similar to the process for washing your hands effectively.
Greenscents fragranced multi-surface sprays all include organic essential oil blends that provide anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal support. This means that if spray droplets get left on the surface the sprays can work to kill any remaining pathogens that remain. Using hot water to rinse our surfaces could also help to kill pathogens by making them thermally inactive.
Organic cleaning products effectively remove pathogens including bacteria and viruses and it is not necessary to resort to conventional products with a toxic chemical load. Protect your home and family with organic cleaning products and support the environment and your own health too!