But now, a growing number of cleaning tools are aimed at taking the idea of green clean one step further, from windows to floors, even the kitchen counter and bathrooms. There are products on the market, many made of microfiber, designed to work with plain old water and without the need for chemical cleaners.
Becky is a fan.
“For just every day wiping down the counters, cleaning surfaces, water and a microfiber cloth is sufficient,” she said.
Experts say Becky isn’t alone. John Owen is a senior household analysts for Mintel. Their research shows 37 percent of adults would be interested in using microfiber and water to clean dirt, grease, and bacteria. 12 percent already using microfiber on a daily basis.
Owen said, “And young adults, those who are sort of in their 20s and 30s say, are more than twice as likely and we think that’s an indication that the market is growing and that there’s a generational shift going on.”
It’s a shift that’s got cleaning companies taking notice. Owen says manufacturers are responding to consumer concerns about ingredients in cleaning products. “People are increasingly equating a clean home with a healthy home and a healthy family. But at the same time there’s also concern about the cleaning product ingredients. So for these consumers, they still want their homes clean, but they’re looking for alternatives,” Owen explained.
So, are alternatives designed to work without chemicals effective? Microbiologist Dr. Michael Schmidt says microfiber, which is smaller than a human hair, is good at trapping dust and even bacteria and viruses.
Dr. Schmidt said, “It’s this frizzy end at the end of this very small fiber that facilitates the pickup of bacteria and viruses from surfaces.”
But for situations when a family member is ill or when it comes to cleaning up the kitchen after handling raw food, Dr. Schmidt has this advice, “Use a disinfectant and good old elbow grease to make certain that material is gone.”
Can you really clean your house using just water and microfiber?
With the flu rapidly spreading this year, a little disinfectant and a microfiber cloth may be an answer to helping to prevent sickness from spreading. However don’t use bleach with a microfiber cloth.
For windows water should work fine as mentioned, but for auto glass particularly the windshield a microfiber cloth auto glass cleaner is the best way to clean.