Antibacterial Products: To use or not to use? The pros and cons.

What is an antibacterial product? It is simply a product with an added agent which interferes with bacteria; stopping its growth and reproduction. They are widely used in a selection of products design to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. In every store county wide you can find a selection of soaps, washing detergents, household cleaners and health and skincare products marked as “antibacterial”, but are they any good for us?

I did quite a bit of reading on the subject and the general consensus seems to be: TO USE. There are some studies done at the moment regarding any potential repercussions after long tern use but no conclusive results are in… it seems that we have not actually been using them for long enough to be able to determine if there are any downsides from long term usage.

So far the biggest controversy is caused by antibacterial soap. When some people say: “use it”, others are very strongly against it. Why? Apparently constant use of an antibacterial soap can cause:

  • dry skin, which makes it more susceptible to infections
  • bacteria resistance, which actually makes them harder to neutralise in the long run
  • reduction in personal care; people think that using an antibacterial soap makes them more resilient and they tend to forgo the hand washing process at key times when it would be advisable to complete

So what are the pros of antibacterial products? They kill bacteria! This is a good reason for me to use it and this is enough. I don’t actually need any more benefits for using it.

Lately we’ve been using an antibacterial spray from Zoflora. As you know I am huge Zoflora fan (you can read all about my house full of it here) but until a few weeks ago I actually didn’t know that they make a spray as well. I was thrilled to discover that the spray version actually existed. I love the original Zoflora for all its various uses and possibilities but I must admit the spray is much handier at times.

Do you use a lot of antibacterial products?

Do you think they are good or are they bad?

Are you afraid of any negative effects they might have on you and your family in the long run?

32 Comments

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32 responses to “Antibacterial Products: To use or not to use? The pros and cons.

  1. I only use it for the bathroom, because that’s the room what Easy avoids. I rather use a steam cleaner for the kitchen &the floor from time to time :o)

  2. laurasidestreet

    I think you need to have a balance, some things do need to be disinfected but we don’t need to go overboard and there are some good natural alternatives to the hard chemicals

    Laura x

  3. I watched a great programme recently called The Men Who Made Us Spend. One episode was all about the rise of these kinds of products, basically designed to make us spend our whole lives cleaning. It was eye opening.

  4. I agree that a balance should be found. Some exposure is needed for the body’s own reistance systems to remain in full force and effect. At the same time, particularly when one is ‘run down’, assistance is valuable.

    • Agreed but sometimes it is very hard to find this balance.
      So many people over do it one way or another.
      For example our nan Flo can use up a full bar of soap every day and this is just to wash her hands.
      She thinks she is protecting herself and doesn’t even want to hear about negative sides of her actions.

  5. bavariansojourn

    I think a balance should be found too. I remember a friend of mine in Copenhagen would use it every two minutes, and she probably had more colds, sicknesses than anyone else! 😀

  6. claire griffiths

    I do use a lot of antibacterial products in the house mainly in the kitchen in the bathroom i use bleach . For my floors i alternate between antibacterial floor cleaner and my steam mop, In my opinion they are good as the pros out way the cons. I dont worry to much about negative effects they might have on you and your family in the long run as i know in am protecting them against nasty germs

    • I think some people worry that killing the nasty germs also kills a good bacteria, which is actually needed, but I am not bothered about this as well… at least not at present.

  7. I use antibacterial products in certain room, makes me think things are a little more clean 🙂 x

  8. Melissa Smith

    I do use antibacterial products, but then i use non-antibacterial products too. I like to feel a bit more balanced I guess, LOL.

  9. I prefer the non antibacterial products, i do like the anitibacterial because I feel clean after using it but it just depends

  10. Muslim Mummy

    We mainly use them in the bathroom…agree with the other comments that say a balance needs to be found

  11. Just about al the soaps sold here are antibacterial. I use it and it makes my hands clean but it doesn’t really bother me either way to be honest. We love Zoflora in our house too. I’ll have to look out for their spray.

  12. I use them. I know there are pros and cons to everything in life.

  13. I have always wondered about antibacterial products. Thanks for the post!

  14. bonniegowen

    Yes it has always been in the back of mind the pros and cons, we typically use it to kill germs.

  15. I love Zoflora too and use it all the time.
    Love Vicky
    Around and Upside Down

  16. Thank you for this post! It is important to really understand what we are using.

  17. My kids get into enough dirt outside the home. I clean everything as much as possible to protect myself more than them! Heh heh. They do need to be exposed to some germs to build a resistence, but again, they get enough outside.

  18. Great post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  19. I think there is a fine balance to this. You want to get rid of any harmful bacteria, but at the same time it’s important to expose your children to germs to help their immune systems build resistance.

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