In an effort to make surfaces more safe from pathogen contamination, probiotic cleaners are replacing traditional toxic chemical cleaners.
Why probiotics? The old way of cleaning was quite simple – try to kill everything. Unfortunately, that approach has not worked so well. We’ve been trying to establish an unnatural, and unsustainable, sterile environment – a vacuum – and nature abhors a vacuum.
The other problem with the “kill everything philosophy” is that it doesn’t kill everything – and most of what is killed are neutral or beneficial bacteria thereby increasing the percent of pathogens that survive. And in the process we create super-bugs which are resistant to normal cleaning methods and products – and even anti-biotics.
Enter probiotic cleaners. The combination of the pH neutral chemistry and GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) probiotics are effective in cleaning surface soil down to the microbial level where they create a safer, longer-lasting, more hygienic clean – a truly clean surface that will remain clean longer through a process known as Competitive Exclusion, which is defined as the inevitable elimination from a habitat of one of two different species with identical needs for resources
You’ve probably heard of antibiotic resistant bacteria, but there are also microbes can also resist the most caustic and acidic cleansers. They have a special trick, secreting a syrupy substance that protects them from bleach, oxidizers and disinfectants. The surface may look clean, but this microscopic biofilm is harboring bacterial fugitives, which continue to grow.
Cleaning at a Whole New Level
Biofilm protects the usual bacterial suspects: MRSA, salmonella, E.coli, C. difficile, viruses, fungus and others. Even worse, it facilitates reproduction. Dividing pathogens can double as rapidly as every 20 minutes.
Biofilm is often found in bathrooms, kitchens, cafeterias, laundries and even on polished floors. In addition to aiding pathogens, biofilm makes surfaces harder to clean, dulls them, makes them dangerously slippery and can cause odors.
Biofilm can be detected via an ATP (adenosine triphosphate) test of the surface. All living cells contain ATP and testing for ATP on a surface provides an indication of the cleanliness of that surface. ATP can come from bacteria or mold; it can come from food residue, it can come from human skin. It can come from anything that was once living.
An ideal clean surface would have an ATP level of zero – at that level there is no contamination to support pathogen colonization and biofilm growth – this would be a surface that is truly clean. An ATP reading of less than 30 indicates it is unlikely that there is surface contamination on the surface that will support pathogen growth. At 30 or greater, the probability of something harmful being on the surface and the probability increases as the ATP reading increases. In practice, an ATP level of 20 is considered food safe; a level of zero is nearly impossible to obtain.
ATP measurement DOES NOT indicate the presence – or absence – of COVID-19 or any other virus. Viruses are not actually living cells and do not contain ATP. But the absence of ATP has been accepted as a reasonable assurance of the absence of viruses as well because viruses also rely upon biofilms for protection.
When a pathogenic bacteria lands on a surface the first thing it does is begin to excrete a combination of saccharides, lipids, proteins and more; these are called Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). The purpose of the EPS is to anchor the pathogen to the surface so that it can start multiplying and simultaneously create a nearly impervious shelter – then they start to double. A pathogen can normally double in 18 to 24 minutes.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 90% of harmful bacteria live in biofilm that cannot be cleaned away by the strongest disinfectant.
Probiotic cleaners DO NOT kill viruses, bacteria or anything else. Probiotic cleaners consume the biofilm protecting the viruses and bacteria and consume all the food that other viruses and bacteria rely upon. The resultant cleaning level exceeds, by ATP measurements, the cleaning effectiveness of disinfectants.
Furthermore, whereas disinfectants do not kill all pathogens, the remaining pathogens are the strongest and lead to superpathogens that are resistant to disinfectants. In contrast, probiotic cleaners do not lead to these superpathogens because they do not kill them; rather they eliminate their protective barriers and food supply. And because probiotic cleaners are themselves living organisms, they spread to areas not initially treated.
The purpose of using probiotic cleaners, then, is to eliminate pathogens by stripping them of their protective biofilm and by consuming their food. This is accomplished without any of the dangers associated with disinfectants and other cleaning agents. In fact, probiotic cleaners can be used without wearing gloves or other protective equipment.
Probiotic cleaners have a proven track record for providing the highest levels of cleaning and removing the threat of pathogens for over a decade, mostly in Europe where it has been in wide use in hospitals, veterinary facilities and animal husbandry.
The Multi-Task cleaner is diluted in a ratio of 1:64 or 1 tablespoon for 32 ounces of warm water. Be sure to shake the gallon container of concentrate before measuring. Note: the cleaner should be renewed by adding new concentrate in five days.
Shake the spray bottle, spray surfaces and wipe them down with a paper towel. No gloves required. Do not spray directly on electronics; wet a paper towel and wipe the electronics down with the paper towel. No rinsing required.
Household probiotic cleaners are available from P2 Probiotic Power, a subsidiary of the company providing our probiotic cleaners. They provide products in the areas of home cleaning, allergy solutions, body care and pet wellness. It’s even economical – a 12 ounce bottle costs $16 but makes 9 gallons of cleaner.
Fogging with a probiotic mist applies a very light film which does not even moisten the surfaces in the area, it just leaves a very fine layer of probiotics on all the surfaces. Fogging provides the following benefits:
- Reduces foul odors caused by microbial contamination such as mold and mildew
- Consumes organic resources such as dust mite waste, pet dander, pollen and dead skin cells
- Replenishes indoor spaces with beneficial probiotics to restore indoor ecological balance
- Creates a protective shield on surfaces and inside shared objects to protect your personal space from irritants
- Residual anti-microbial properties
All natural and safe
The efficacy of probiotic cleaners with respect to preventing COVID or other infections can be enhanced by using probiotic supplements which improve immune system efficiency, especially when used with a flu vaccine. A study published by the NIH observed that “probiotics and prebiotics are effective in elevating immunogenicity.” Probiotic supplement effectiveness improves over time, just as the use of probiotic cleaners become more effective over time.
Probiotic Cleaning Study by Shriner Hospitals
Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Tampa, Florida conducted a five year study of probiotic cleaners from 2012 to 2016. Their findings are as follows:
- Probiotic cleaners cleaned more effectively and continued cleaning effectively
- Probiotic cleaners reduced the risk of infection
- Probiotic cleaners are green and safe to use directly on skin without gloves or protective gear
- Probiotic cleaners eliminate adverse respiratory and allergic response
- Probiotic cleaners reduce both cleaning material and labor costs by approximately 50%
- Probiotic cleaners reduce our impact on the environment
The study also included references from 27 other studies, such as this one from the University of Ghent, which offered the same conclusions: probiotic cleaners perform significantly better than chemical cleaners in every respect. Specifically, the Ghent study documented reduction in pathogens ranging from 50% to 90%, depending on the pathogen.
The figure above shows that probiotic cleaning significantly decreases the number of S. aureus. The decrease is rapid. After stopping the use of Probiotic cleaning, the number of S. aureus increases again to values within the same range as those prior to probiotic cleaning, however the re-growth is slowed by the ongoing probiotic action that keeps working for an extended period. These observations demonstrate that the reduction in S. aureus is the result of probiotic cleaning.
The image below also illustrates the impact of probiotic cleaners at the University of Ghent.