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You don’t use antibacterial wipes do you. Tell me you don’t.

This is a brilliant little video of an experiment done by Harvard Medical School.  It takes under two minutes, and you will never buy any of those household antibacterial wipes or handwash or floor wipes ever again.

The US Food and Drug Administration has recently banned them, both because they just lead to antibiotic resistance, and because several active ingredients are known hormone disrupters.

Bad for you.  Bad for your budget. Bad for people fighting antibiotic resistant infections. Bad for fish and all the other creatures – ones we eat and ones we don’t- trying to maintain some kind of fertility in an increasingly hostile world.  Ordinary soap and water, or for surfaces cleaning vinegar (bottom shelf in the detergent section of the supermarket), with, if you like, lemon skins in it for a dash of nice smelling lemon oil is all you need.  The rest is advertising hype.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Peggy September 12, 2016, 4:31 pm

    Excellent video, I’ll pass this post on to the (very) few people I haven’t had success convincing that indiscriminate sterilisation of their homes is futile.

    For kitchen surfaces that I want especially clean for preserving etc, I wash as normal with soapy water then spray with 50/50 water and isopropyl alcohol and let air dry.

    I do use the alcohol hand gel when entering hospitals.

    Thank you for another thoughtful post.

  • Jane September 12, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Thanks Linda,
    We don’t use any of these in our house and somehow, amazingly, I seem to have made it into my 54th year of being on this planet…;)
    The other point about these wipes is just how physically persistent they are in the environment when they are chucked out. Some manufacturers claim that they are ‘flushable’ but they are causing massive blockages in sewerage systems, not to mention the added volume going to landfill if placed in the normal rubbish. When you see and smell a landfill site or witness the lump of congealed fat and wipes, the size of a bus, being extracted from a sewer it is a shocking and sobering experience.

  • Jane September 12, 2016, 7:19 pm

    Nope. I use hot water, soap, and salt water on deep scratches and vinegar in the loo. Seems to work just fine for me.

  • Mareena September 13, 2016, 1:01 am

    In spite of the new US ban in soaps and such, manufacturers can still use them in other items, so they are still everywhere. Clothes, kitchenware, toys, helmets, coolers, laminate flooring, blankets & towels, mops, earplugs. :-/ Mareena

  • Linda September 13, 2016, 6:10 am

    That’s true Mareena. I’d like to see them banned from all consumer products.

  • Katie September 13, 2016, 7:30 am

    I get so annoyed when i see bottles of anti bacterial gel or whatever it is at supermarket checkouts or in banks, not to mention the ads that imply you are a bad parent if you’re not dousing the house in some version of it. Definitely not a user!

  • Fiona September 13, 2016, 7:38 pm

    Never have never will use them the reality is too scary.

  • Sara September 29, 2016, 3:07 am

    Here’s the original FDA press release. They did not actually ban the wipes, they banned some active ingredients in antibacterial soaps and washes.


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