I love that we gain regain our health by becoming our own advocates. We are truly pioneers in questioning the conventional modern, fast-paced-eat-in-our-car-world as we attempt to bring balance back into our lives. Our diet has shifted to whole unprocessed foods that are dense with nutrients rather than the newer “food-like substances” that are now standard fare. Renewed attention is given to our circadian cycles as we value the benefits of restorative sleep, physical movement and the appreciation of community and family.
Our world has dramatically changed over the last few generations. And it hasn’t all been beneficial. As the food supply has become more industrialized and toxic, our body, skin and home-care products have also followed this same route.
This is important. What we absorb through our skin (our largest organ) can have a dramatic effect on our mental and physical health. Current research consistently demonstrates the link between our overall health and our gut flora (aka the core of our immune system). Probiotics are key to keeping that system in balance.
Guess what? We have the same problems externally. Much of these undesirable and pathogenic bacteria are also surrounding us on our countertops, in the shower, and on our skin. This layer of gunk is called “Biofilm.”
What is Biofilm?
According to Z-Bioscience:
“Biofilm is the pathogens best friend – it is their fortified castle that is virtually impregnable to most everything on the market – bleaches, quaternary ammonia, oxidizers, very low and high pH cleaners, UV, etc.).”
These typical cleaning products have all sorts of warning labels including “hazardous to your health”, “keep away from pets and children”, “contact a medical professional in case of accidental ingestion” and so on. Lots of scary stuff.
Quoted from P2 Probiotic Power website:
“90% of the harmful disease and odor-causing bacteria live in Biofilm. Biofilm is an invisible biological layer which covers virtually all surfaces and houses and protects harmful bacteria – it’s like layers and layers of plastic wrap that can’t be penetrated.”
Did you know?
- Pathogens like MRSA, Ecoli, Staph, Coliforms, C-Difficile & Salmonella live in biofilm communities.
- The sticky stuff you feel on counters, especially granite (porous), is biofilm.
- The plaque on your teeth is biofilm.
- Traditional cleaners & disinfectants do not remove biofilm. They leave behind a protein layer that feeds these bad guys, Staph, Ecoli, Strep, Salmonella and MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
- Using antibiotics and anti-bacterial products creates more biofilm.
- Biofilm is the cause of 90% of sinus issues that result in surgery according to the NIH (National Institute of Health) & the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
- Biofilm has been linked to pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, endocarditis, catheter infections, sinus infections, orthopedic infections and many other illnesses.
So what’s the solution?
Here’s a novel idea. Let’s try to reestablish a healthy balance of microorganisms into our environment. This is why when I first discovered Probiotic cleaners, I got excited. But than again I am passionate about all things fermented (probiotic).
How the heck do probiotics CLEAN?
Good question! The cleaners I tested were from P2 Probiotics Power. This U.S.-based company uses soil-based probiotics rather than the plant-based ones that many of us are more familiar with. By adding beneficial soil-based bacteria/enzymes to our skin and home surfaces, we are supplying a safe layer of bacteria that can create a healthy microbiome for us. This microbiome acts to competitively exclude harmful bacteria while reducing the risk of infection.
The main goal is NOT to kill pathogenic bacteria. Killing pathogenic bacteria make these bacteria evolve to become stronger. Using a probiotic formulation is a more effective long-term solution.
So how are plant-based different from the P2 Probiotic Power?
Plant-based probiotics are commonly found in yogurt, fermented vegetables and digestive supplements. These are effective in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Plant-based probiotics are not ideal for cleaning products since they are light and temperature sensitive and require carbohydrates or sugar to live.
According to P2, their “probiotics used in P2 Probiotic Power products are hearty and naturally enzymatic and can be stored at room temperature. They can survive in the harshest of conditions against the most formidable opponents (superbugs) and remain effective in the presence of chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and oxygen. All Power in Probiotics products contain combinations of non-GMO, highly proprietary (protected under US “Trade Secrets”) strains of FDA & EPA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) probiotics that are the most effective for cleaning at a microscopic level and for protecting surfaces for several days.”
What about commercial “Natural or Green Cleaning Products”?
Well, I have sad news to share. These cleaners rely on one or all of the following to clean: citric solvents (delaminine), oxidizing agents (peroxide) and/or vinegar (low pH). But these cannot remove biofilm. Bleach can remove harmful bacteria for about an hour but the biofilm returns and the chemicals are left behind along with that terrible odor and stronger pathogenic bacteria.
How do we know that P2 works?
One method of verification is through the use of an ATP Meter. An ATP meter (HygienaUSA) “measure adenosine triphosphate, the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacteria, yeast and mold cells. Residues, particularly food or organic residue, contain large amounts of ATP. When left on a surface, residues can harbor and grow bacteria, cause cross-contamination, develop biofilm and many other problems that can compromise product quality…After cleaning, all sources of ATP should be significantly reduced…The system measures the amount of light generated and provides information on the level of contamination in just seconds. The higher the reading, the more contamination present.” –from the Power in Probiotics website.
There is a correlation between ATP levels and biofilm. Z-Bioscience has a table listing the “Comparison of ATP Readings and the Probability of Pathogenic Biofilm Presence”. According to this table, lower ATP readings show a low probability of pathogenic biofilm presence. When ATP was measured after cleaning with a probiotic-based cleaner versus three other cleaning methods (bleach, hydrogen peroxide and a famous brand bleach wipe) – the probiotic cleaner’s ATP numbers were significantly lower at the time of cleaning and at the 24-hours mark. This is pretty compelling data!
In full disclosure, I am not germ-phobic nor do I advocate sanitizing spray and antibacterial soaps. Ideally, healthy immune systems are able to properly suppress pathogens. But understanding the mechanism of probiotic cleaners has led to some changes in in how I clean our environment.
High-traffic areas such as food preparations surfaces as well as bathroom fixtures tend to be where more pathogens are likely to establish themselves. Especially since I do have a home business where I teach workshops and see coaching clients, it’s essential to keep these areas as clean as possible.
P2 Probiotic Power produces several useful products that are all manufactured in the United States. I’ve been using just three products that basically cover almost all our cleaning needs.
The P2 i Clean Everything is used to clean almost anything. It’s an amazing deal. I got the 8-ounce bottle and have used it a ton over the last month. But my bottle is still almost full (only a volume loss of about an inch from the top of the bottle). It’s easy to use, you add a half-teaspoon of the concentrate to 16 ounces of filtered water (be sure the temp range is between 32F to 120F) and shake the bottle. Shake well and you are ready to go! You can also use this to clean fruits and vegetables. No gloves needed. The shaking and spraying motion activates the probiotics in the spray.
The P2 i Soothe & Protect YOUR SKIN Daily Spray has been really useful for when the kids scrape a knee or get bitten by a mosquito. It also helps to relieve poison oak (don’t remind me how I know this). You can use it on burns, acne, eczema, or any other skin irritation. It leaves a barrier of protection that allows your skin to heal more quickly. It’s eco-friendly, FDA approved laboratory tested, pH-neutral, non-chemical, non-flammable and so on. It’s safe for kids and pets.
The last item we have been using is the P2 i Clean EVERY INCH. We keep some by the sink and some in the shower. It seems to work well.
Are you ready to ditch some or all of the chemical cleaners in your house? Give P2 Probiotic Power a try. This a sole proprietorship owned by Heather Holmes and the customer service is stellar. This company is trying hard to provide a natural product that really works and is good for us.