Why We Should Reduce Disinfectant Use

Why We Should Reduce Disinfectant Use

What are disinfectants, and why do most people think they must be used to achieve cleanliness? Many cleaners advertise that kill 99.99% of germs - but is this really a good thing?

Disinfectants are chemicals which destroy bacteria and other microbes. They don't differentiate between good bacteria (probiotics) and bad bacteria (pathogens). They kill all bacteria and leave a surface free of almost all living cells. Most people think of this as "clean."  However, a shift is happening in how we think about cleaning - do we really need to kill bacteria for surfaces to be considered clean? At Cleenr Probiotics, our mission is to provide an\ alternative to disinfectant cleaning protocols, and provide a healthier option.

Here's why we should reconsider the excessive use of disinfectants:

  1. Microbial Resistance and Adaptation:

  2. Environmental Impact:

    • Many disinfectants contain chemicals that can harm the environment. When these chemicals enter water systems, they can disrupt aquatic ecosystems and affect wildlife.
    • Chlorine-based disinfectants, for example, can react with organic matter in water to form harmful by-products. Using less chlorine reduces the environmental impact2.
  3. Health Concerns:

    • Prolonged exposure to disinfectants can have health implications. Some people may experience skin irritation, respiratory issues, or allergic reactions.
    • Antiseptics, which are similar to disinfectants, are used on the skin. While generally safe, prolonged use should be avoided3.
  4. Effective Cleaning vs. Over-Reliance on Disinfectants:

    • Proper cleaning and removal of organic matter (dirt, grease, etc.) are essential before disinfection. Disinfectants work best on clean surfaces.
    • Relying solely on disinfectants without thorough cleaning may lead to inadequate results and increased microbial resistance.
  5. Innate Resistance of Microorganisms:

    • Some microorganisms have natural defense mechanisms against disinfectants. For instance:
    • Using less disinfectant reduces the pressure on these resistant subpopulations.
  6. Balancing Safety and Efficacy:

    • Disinfectants are essential for infection control, but we must strike a balance. Overuse can lead to unintended consequences.
    • Following guidelines and using disinfectants appropriately ensures safety while maintaining efficacy.

In summary, while disinfectants are vital tools, we should use them judiciously, prioritize effective cleaning, and consider the broader impact on health and the environment. Let’s strike the right balance to protect ourselves and our planet.


1: CDC - Efficacy | Disinfection & Sterilization Guidelines 2: CDC - Water Disinfection with Chlorine and Chloramine 3: Healthline - What Is Antiseptic: Antiseptic vs. Disinfectant, Uses, and Safety

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