Green cleaners – are they clean enough?

The Green Lantern wrote about green cleaners over at Slate today. The question brought up was, “Do they work as well as non-green cleaners at killing bacteria and viruses?” GL’s conclusion was that some home made remedies and commercial green cleaners work on some germs, but there is no one remedy (undiluted vinegar included) that works on all.

His recommendation is to keep the harsher stuff around for the rare cases when they are “necessary”, such as raw meat touching the counter tops. Rags and sponges can be boiled, knives can be cleaned in hot water and soap, and most kitchen messes are cleaned up fine with milder cleansers.

For the most part, I agree with this. However, I do not keep bleach or harsh chemicals in our house at all. I use plastic cutting boards for meat and put them in the dishwasher to disinfect. I don’t find myself setting raw meat on the countertops… ever. Am I missing something crucial here? Didn’t we all get along fine before Clorox told us to disinfect everything?

Just last night, I also read in Time about how “bored” immune systems might be causing higher occurances of allergies in today’s kids. Can exposure to small amounts of germs build up your immunity to bigger badder ones, or is this just a dirty girl’s version of an old wives’ tale?

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2 responses to “Green cleaners – are they clean enough?

  1. nope i dont cut meat on the counters either – but i do pull thawed chicken from plastic bags and sometimes get poisonous chicken juice on the counter šŸ™‚

    so, harsher cleaners it is (for me at least)

  2. Ah yes, clumsy chicken juice accidents, I am familiar.

    You know, I really didn’t set out to be all militant about cleaners. When we moved into our last apartment, we just had nothing, and when I went out to pick some up I just had this “what the hell??” moment staring at the two aisles of brightly colored bottles that all claimed to be the only thing standing between me and my inevitable filth and sickness.

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