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Jason Tetro, a microbiologist and the author of The Germ Files, says it’s hard to say whether these all-natural cleaning ingredients leave your place totally germ-free. “The cleaning products you find in stores tend to have a specific active ingredient, as well as other ingredients that together prove to be effective against microbes in standardized testing,” he says.
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Vinegar is a well-known DIY cleaning ingredient, and it lives up to the hype. “Vinegar of any form is an effective grease-removing acid and can help to reduce the level of dirt and microbes on any surface,” Tetro says.
When you scroll through all the sustainable living content in your Instagram feed, you’re bound to come across eco-friendly cleaning hacks that use natural ingredients you likely already have at home. But are lemons and vinegar as effective as what you’d find bottled up on store shelves?
Speaking of lemon juice, it’s an impressive cleaning ingredient on its own. According to Tetro, it can “help reduce the level of microbes on a surface” due to the citric acid it contains. “But in order to get into dirt and grime, it needs an additional surfactant like soap to work,” he says.
There are plenty of benefits to adding baking soda into your cleaning routine. “It’s a great deodorizer and can help reduce the levels of pesticides on fruit. In addition, it does have some effect on microbes,” says Tetro.
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