When I was young I do not remember there being so many different ‘antibacterial’ products on the shelves.

The antibacterial products market has exploded, it is estimated that the cleaning industry contributes over £24 billion to the UK economy.

These days, the majority of brands have an antibacterial option available;

  • Antibacterial gel
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Antibacterial washing up powder
  • Antibacterial sprays
  • Antibacterial soap

The list goes on, but have you ever stopped to think about the issues that may come along with these powerful bacteria killing products?

Do antibacterial products clean ‘better’ than ordinary soap?

There are countless reports that strongly suggest these products do not provide any more additional protection from disease and infection than soap and water.

Resource: FDA Consumer updates

Triclosan and triclocarban are just two chemicals contained in a number of home antibacterial products including cosmetics, soap, deodorants and even toothpaste.  Some short term studies have shown that Triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and raises potential concerns for the effects of use in humans.

Resource: FDA Consumer updates

Not only are these ingredients present in antibacterial products, they are being added to furniture, toys and clothing to prevent bacterial contamination.

Resource: Kemic-Antibacterial treatment of clothes

What effect do antibacterial cleaners have on the human body?

Studies have shown that using a household cleaning spray, even as little as once a week, raises the risk of developing asthma and can make existing asthma conditions worse.

Resource: Reuters - common cleaning products can trigger asthma symptoms

What effect do antibacterial cleaners and soaps have on the environment?

When you clean any surface, there is always an element of waste water that find its way back into the ecosystem. This waste water contains a degree of the original cleaning product itself. This is also true when antibacterials are deposited into the sewage system after washing hands for example.

When returned to the environment, the chemicals found in the cleaners have an adverse effect of plants and animal species.

Resource: Environmental science and Technology

How can I be sure the cleaning products that I buy are safe?

Well that's easy, you would check the back of the packaging right?


Cleaning products only have to list the main ingredient families in the product. This should include how much of each there is in the product in a series of weight ranges e.g.

‘Non-ionic surfactants < 5%’

Manufacturers also have to put a website address on the packaging of where you can get a list of each specific ingredient rather than just the families.

Clear as mud?

There are over 40 different chemicals that could be categorised as a ‘Non-ionic surfactant’ which doesn’t make it easy to determine the products that are safe for you, your family or your business.

Some more responsible cleaning products manufacturers list all their ingredients on their packaging.

Are there any safe alternatives to traditional cleaners?

There are some products on the market today that effectively clean and rid surfaces of harmful bacteria, without the risk to human and animal health or the environment

ESOL Hygiene for safe home and business disinfection

ESOL Hygiene™ is an extremely effective and fast acting disinfectant whilst also being environmentally friendly and completely safe to the handler.

How is ESOL Hygiene safe?

ESOL Hygiene is made with Salt, water and electricity.  That is all; there are no other added ingredients. Over time, it reverts back to its constituent parts so when rinsed down the drain, it has no adverse effects on the environment.

ESOL is safe to handle, store and is completely non corrosive.

How does ESOL Hygiene work?

ESOL is a strongly oxidising solution, due to hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species and other short lived mixed oxidants. These work to break down the cell membranes of bacteria, viruses and fungi whilst having no effect on human cells.

What can ESOL Hygiene be used for?

ESOL Hygiene can be used as multipurpose cleaner around the home and business; one bottle can replace all of these products:

  • Surface disinfectant
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanatisers
  • Toilet wipes
  • Odour Spray

What next?

The next time you are in the supermarket or online, stop and look at the back of the packaging;  do you know if all the ingredients are safe?

Making a conscious choice to choose sustainable cleaning products can have a positive effect on you, your business and the environment.  Not only this, a small switch in your buying habits could eliminate a lot of the issues that can be associate with strong antibacterial cleaners.

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