The antibacterial wipes we use in our homes only eradicate bacteria from kitchen surfaces for 20 minutes and using them to keep bacteria at bay is “an absolutely redundant” exercise, a scientist has said.
Dr Clare Lanyon, a biomedical scientist from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, said consumers may be wasting money on antibacterial wipes and sprays because common germs, which can replicate themselves in just 20 minutes, quickly recolonise to original mass, even if just a single cell is left over.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph after carrying out an experiment for a BBC television programme in the UK, Dr Lanyon said it was always important to clean up thoroughly after handling raw meat to minimise the risk of harmful “foreign organisms” spreading, but that this was most effectively done by scrubbing with soap.
On the programme she found “dramatic growth” of microbes within 12 hours of cleaning a regular kitchen surface with wipes. However she added keeping kitchen work surfaces germ free was impossible because germs are found throughout the home and rapidly repopulate.
“Personally I don’t waste my time purchasing antibacterial products for the home … our research found that a lot of antibacterial cleaning products were not as effective as good old fashioned soap and water,” Dr Lanyon concluded.