How do I kill bacteria safely_ 4 readily available, eco-friendly cleaners & sanitisers

Chances are you have stumbled across this article because you are interested in alternative, safe cleaning.  You want to be able to kill bacteria safely without any risks.

Maybe you saw the video showing how much bacteria can be on a keyboard and need to find a safe sanitiser to sort your office out?

Or are you are conscious that the ingredients in some cleaners are harsh on humans, animals and the environment and need an alternative?

With the reported effects your household cleaners can have on you, your family, your pets and the environment around you, it is understandable why you would be looking for different options.

Related content: Antibacterial cleaners; Issues facing our health and the environment

What Eco-friendly hard surface cleaners are available?

In this article we are going to look at 4 environmentally friendly cleaning / sanitising products (including our own) that are readily available online or in most major supermarkets.

We wanted to find out if all these products were:

  • Sustainable
  • Safe
  • Effective at killing bacteria and viruses
  • recylcled already and also recyclable

Method multi surface cleaners - "kills 99.9% of bacteria"

A company that pop up time after time are Method

Link to Method website here

This American company was founded by two former room-mates, Adam and Eric.  They wanted to make green, well designed cleaning products and they certainly hit the mark.

Method multi-surface spray

Method multi-surface spray

They have a range of multi surface disinfectants for you to choose from and their website lists exactly what is in each of those good looking bottles.

The list of ingredients is quite extensive so we have popped the link for you here:

Beyond the bottle; the ingredients in Method

Is Method packaging recyclable?

Yes; the packaging is 100% recyclable and can also be easily recycled again.

Ecover multi-action spray

Initially on the packaging, Ecover doesn’t state how effective their product is at killing bacteria.   After some investigating online we found out that Ecover is not anti-bacterial and here are their reasons behind this:

ECover multi-action spray

ECover multi-action spray

“To keep bacteria at bay we have two options, we either kill all bacteria dead, or we remove the ‘food’ or ‘biofilm’ as it’s known on which bacteria lives. The reason why most anti-bacterial isn’t ideal for a clean healthy home is because it kills everything, even the bacteria which naturally occurs on our hands and skin, bacteria which in turn protect us from pathogenic bugs and the like. Instead, remove the food on which these unwanted bacteria live such as kitchen-surfaces and the toilet-rim and presto! You’ll have a clean and healthy home. What’s more our products are safe to use throughout the kitchen and other food preparation areas”

ECover are a well-established company that produces their environmentally friendly products in-house.

With over 25 different products there is plenty to choose from.  They also have an ECover zero range for customers with allergies and sensitive skin.

Ingredients: >30%: Water, 5-15%: Alcohol, <5%: Non-ionic surfactants, (type: Floral Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside, Candida bombicola/glucose /rapeseed oil ferment, Sodium citrate, Lactic acid, Parfum

Is ECover packaging recyclable?

The bottle and trigger spray are both recyclable and each bottle is made from recycled and plant plastics.

Link to ECover website here

Tescos Eco Active Multi Surface Cleaner

In the larger Tesco’s stores you can find their own range of ‘Eco Active’ products, one of them being a multi surface cleaner.

After looking at the packaging, and online, it is not clear on how powerful this cleaner is at killing bacteria.  We delved a little deeper online but still could not find out any more information on the bacteria killing properties of this cleaner.

Tescos Eco Active Multi Surface Cleaner

Tescos Eco Active Multi Surface Cleaner

So we phoned them; we were told that it ‘might’ be that they [Tesco’s] are not allowed to claim that their product ‘kills 99.9% of bacteria’ because this would infringe on Dettols copyright of that strap line, I have my doubts!

All Tesco’s Eco products are made with plant based materials and non-toxic ingredients.

Ingredients: <5%: Non-ionic surfactants.  Other: Benzisothiazolinone.  Methylisothiazolinone. Perfume.

Is Tesco Eco-active packing recyclable?

The packaging itself is made with 45% recycled plastic with the whole bottle being 100% recyclable after use.

Link to Tesco's online shop here

ESOL for Hygiene multi-surface sanitiser

Our ESOL product is a multi-surface sanitiser made from salt, water and electricity – nothing more.

It is electrolyzed water

Related content: What is electrolyzed water?

ESOL for Hygiene multi-surface sanitiser

ESOL for Hygiene multi-surface sanitiser

Sanitiser gives you a safe, reliable and sustainable approach to killing all manner of bacteria:

  • MRSA
  • E-coli
  • Salmonella
  • Norovirus
  • Legionella
  • Listeria
  • Clostridium difficile

ESOL ™ has the killing power of bleach but it is also safe to drink – seriously

The ‘kill’ list for ESOL™ really is too long to state here but if there is a specific pathogen you are interested in eradicating please feel free to ask!

The ingredients: Electrolysed water

< 0.01% hypochlorus acid which is result of the electrical charge.

Is ESOL™ packaging recyclable?

Yes; the bottles are made from recycled milk cartons and bottle tops and are also recyclable after use.

Related content: Plastic waste - 2 major reasons why packaging needs to be 100% recyclable

ESOL for Hygiene is available online here

Related content: Evo-friendly cleaners for my kitchen - Method vs ECover vs Tescos vs ESOL

What cleaner should I choose?

For the eagle eyed amongst you, you may have noticed that:

  • Method is a multi-surface cleaner
  • ECover is a multi-action spray
  • Tesco’s Eco is a multi-surface cleaner
  • ESOL™ is a sanitiser

The product that you choose is dependent on its intended purpose; for instance to remove grease from an oven you would not use a sanitizer.  Similarly to ensure that there was no bacteria left on a worktop or surface some cleaners may be overkill.

What is greenwashing?

Yes, all these products are ‘green’ however what really constitutes as ‘environmentally friendly’?

At some point in any products lifecycle, there is an impact on the environment; it is about making sure the products you choose have minimal effects.

  • Check the ingredients
  • Investigate their 'environmental' claims
  • Ask the question; if your not sure, give the company a call and ask

Many products claim to be ‘kinder to the environment’ or ‘made from natural products’ however they can be  an element of ‘greenwashing’ going on in some cases.

Greenwashing is likened to whitewashing e.g. to cover up something, to suppress or conceal however the term ‘greenwashing’ is specific to the environmental claims made about a product or service.

As long as the information is out there about the products you intend to use, you can make the right decisions for you.

What can we do to live more sustainably?

There are many online sites that are dedicated to helping you make these choices.

For example; these following sites are ram jam full of tips and information covering all manner of sustainable living topics.

Moral Fibres

Pebble Mag

Going zero waste

Are you looking to implement a change in the products you use to clean? Its a tough choice to make...

Do you pick the all singing all dancing option that removes grease and kills 99.9% bacteria?

Do you go for the cleaner that removes surface dirt but doesn’t guarantee that all bacteria are killed?

Or lastly do you clean with hot soapy water and sanitise areas only when necessary?

We can't make the decision for you, all we can do is try and arm you with the information we have to allow you to make informed choices.

Still not sure?

Do you need more information about ESOL™ - maybe we have covered this already on our FAQ page?

We get it, there can be hesitation surrounding the unknown so here are 12 great facts about electrolysed water; an alternative to chlorine

Prefer to speak to us? No problem - give us a call on +44 (0) 1 383 736621

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