4 easy facts about germ-killing cleaning products

Do using antibacterial household cleaning products reduce the risk of viruses developing in your house or condo? These tips will give you the information you need for a healthy home.

4 easy facts about germ-killing cleaning products

1. Store-bought versus homemade

Your kitchen countertops, dining room tables and bathroom surfaces all can harbour disease-causing bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, staph and strep. If you clean regularly, you’ll remove dirt. It’s only if you sanitize surfaces that you’ll kill bacteria.

In a head-to-head study comparing disinfectant and antibacterial sprays and cleaning solutions against homemade solutions of baking soda or vinegar, the store-bought products won. They killed 99.9 percent of bugs, including salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, while the homemade natural concoctions killed just 90 percent.

2. Bacterial versus viral infections

In theory, that could mean the difference between staying well and getting sick. This is especially important if your household includes young babies, older people or anyone with weakened immunity. But you need to keep in mind that bugs listed above are bacteria, not viruses. Interestingly, most antibacterial cleaning products aren't designed to kill viruses so.

In a study on nearly 300 families, researchers found that those who used antibacterial cleaning products got just as many colds and other upper respiratory infections as those who didn't use the products.

3. When and what to clean

Germs can survive for 20 minutes to two hours on a hard, dry surface. This is long enough for them to be transferred to the next victim. Make a point of cleaning surfaces where germs could live regularly. A good solution to use is one part bleach to 10 parts water. This effectively kills germs and some viruses. Leave the solution on the surface for 10 to 20 seconds before wiping dry.

4. Antibacterial sponges versus regular kitchen sponges

There’s no point in wiping your kitchen counter with a dirty sponge. All you’re doing is leaving a film of bacteria on every surface. This is why experts call sponges the number one source of germs in the house. Your best defence is an effective cleaning strategy. Clean countertops and tables with paper towels and a disinfectant spray or the bleach solution suggested above. If you prefer sponges, clean them daily. The best way is to put them in the dishwasher. You’ll kill 99.99 per cent of bacteria this way.

Easy germ killing

The more you know about how and where germs breed in your home, the better equipped you are to fight them. These tips will provide you with the knowledge and know-how to rid every part of your home of germs and safeguard your health.

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