Partnering with Probiotics in Your Cleaning Products
We share the world with microbes. Rather than remove these beneficial bacteria through over-sanitization, we can join forces with them to keep our environments healthy, safe and clean.
Cleansers with spores of non-pathogenic probiotics. Enzymatic and microbial biosolutions. You want to do what with my cleaners?
For today’s conscientious consumers, these scientific terms break down to this: wiping out harmful bacteria with good bacteria using your everyday, common household cleaning products. What are probiotic cleaners and are they effective in deep cleaning our surfaces?
Our cabinets and cleaning closets are filled with disinfectants meant to clean homes and businesses. However, some of the chemicals in these formulas may be more volatile than we realize. This is where probiotics/microbes swoop in to save the day.
But how do probiotics fit into our cleaning products? Aren’t they better suited for yogurts that combat bloating than our home and industrial surfaces? Actually, the answer is they fit into both! Let’s talk about how allying with microbes is the next step toward more sustainable cleaning.
Over-sanitizing, are we doing more harm than good?
To make room for new worries centered around outbreak disease, our minds have pushed aside other health issues we used to focus on regularly. Even prior to 2020 household disinfectants were a staple – after all, children are germy and killing what they bring in will help keep them healthy, right? Turns out, some of those germs are beneficial to our microbiome (a combination of living microorganisms inside our homes, and even in the human body – read more on healthy gut bacteria here).
By killing 99.9% of bacteria, we are inhibiting other bacteria from settling into our surfaces the way nature has intended and this has only been exacerbated with recent spikes in over-sanitization to curb the spread of infectious diseases. The prevention of good bacteria and microbes coexisting with us harmoniously in our microbiomes can increase the risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart and lung disease.
Reintroducing good bacteria back into our lives.
Probiotics are already being introduced in the food and beverage industry to promote a healthy gut. Brands tout their ability to restore the composition of the human microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to gut microbial communities. Brewing companies launching new kombucha lines, free-from dairy products entering the shelves and plant-based proteins all contribute to the betterment or prevention of gut inflammation and other intestinal or systemic disease phenotypes.
So, what happens when these good bacteria are introduced into our cleaning regimen? When we break it down, microbes can help us go beneath the surface for a deeper, healthier clean. Like probiotics in our food, these biological cleaning aids promote greater surface microbiome diversity. And while chemical agents indeed do what they say on their labels, research shows that surfaces can become contaminated soon after cleaning. Probiotic cleaners can actually extend cleaning applications' effectiveness by making their way between the microscopic cracks and crevices of surfaces, continuously breaking down unseen grime and effectively controlling the unwanted bacteria that produce stains and bad odors long after they’ve been applied.
“Probiotic cleaners can actually extend cleaning applications' effectiveness by making their way between the microscopic cracks and crevices of surfaces, continuously breaking down unseen grime.”
Are probiotic cleaners still as effective, though?
As consumers gain more knowledge around the topic, they start to reject the idea of killing 99.9% of bacteria—searching for a cleaning solution that will improve their home and microbiome, rather than harm it. However, powerful performance is still essential.
Farmers have started using these safer alternatives to reduce the chemicals their animals are exposed to, leading to healthier livestock and less infections. So, if these cleaners can clean an actual pigsty, surely, they can clean our surfaces?
Although perceived as a gentler alternative, using sustainable cleaning products doesn’t mean they are less effective or that our surfaces will stay dirty. In fact, enzymatic cleaners are proven to be powerful performers: A Microbiology and Medical Genetics study1 that tested the use of probiotic cleaners in hospitals determined that they reduce the occurrence of drug-resistant bacteria, and in another study on disinfectant, soap, or probiotic cleaning several surfaces were tested with a conclusion that probiotic cleaners can effectively form stable surface biofilms while excluding pathogens.
Rethinking the notion of clean: not all bacteria are harmful.
So, why clean with microbes? We share the world with microbes and they are effective, sustainable cleaners. Rather than combat them, we can join forces with nature and microbes within our homes and communities without removing these beneficial bacteria through over-sanitization. If you’re looking to create products to meet the growing demands of this consumer trend or improve existing formulations, we provide innovative enzymatic and probiotic solutions. Formulating biosolutions with Novozymes' probiotics lets nature in, with sustainable products that support a more balanced and healthier microbiome.
Contact us to learn more about creating a beneficial and eco-friendly biosolution for naturally derived products for Home and Industrial Cleaning.
- National Institute of Health: Impact of a Probiotic-Based Cleaning Intervention on the Microbiota Ecosystem of the Hospital Surfaces: Focus on the Resistome Remodulation - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757022/