Probiotic Cleaners: Why and How to Use Them

Last Update: May 24, 2024

Wellness topics often include lots of chatter about the benefits of probiotics for gut health. No doubt you’ve already heard about probiotics, researched them, or even started a daily supplement routine. But are you cleaning your house with probiotics yet? If not, consider this post your primer on wiping out bacteria … with bacteria. If it sounds counterintuitive, stick with us—we’ll dig into the science behind probiotic cleaners, share our top product recommendations, and reveal some of the reasons why you might want to switch up your cleaning game.

Science Behind Probiotic Cleaners

Probiotics are live microorganisms that may offer some health benefits, and can be found in a variety of foods including yogurt and kimchi. If you’re familiar with the process of fermenting kombucha (which involves making a SCOBY—Symbiotic Cultured Organism of Bacteria and Yeast), then you already know more than you think about probiotic cleaners. Instead of relying on chemicals to rid your home of germs, probiotic cleaners are powered by “good” bacteria. Counter Culture (check out the brand’s product picks below!) helps you achieve what it calls “a healthy microbiHOME” by brewing nontoxic ingredients including medical-grade probiotics, compounds produced during fermentation, and water for more than a month before adding a finishing touch of organic essential oils.

As for getting your dirtiest surfaces sparkling clean (and nixing germs in the process), a study examining the impact of probiotic cleaners on dental facilities found them to be an effective strategy for reducing microbial growth. A similar study researching the impact of probiotic cleansers in hospital settings reported that “a cleanser with spores of non-pathogenic probiotic Bacilli was effective in stably counteracting the growth of several pathogens contaminating hospital surfaces.” Our take? If probiotic cleaners get two thumbs up from hospitals and dental offices, then just imagine how well these plant-based formulas can cut through everyday grime in your own home.

What is microbiome?

Glad you asked! Harvard School of Public Health describes human microbiome as consisting of trillions of microorganisms of thousands of different species—think fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria. When you’re healthy, all these “bugs”—predominantly found in the small and large intestines—exist peacefully. In this blog post, we explain more how microbes play a role in digestion, immunity, energy levels, and our bodies’ ability to break down and use nutrients.

Do Probiotic Cleaners Work?

To answer this all-important question, just ask the Thrive Market members who have stocked up on our most popular probiotic household cleaners.

Counter Culture All-Purpose Cleaner, Lemongrass

From kitchens to bathrooms, Counter Culture’s probiotic-powered cleaner helps break down dirt and grease, and refreshes your home with the invigorating scent of lemongrass essential oil.

“Being a bit skeptical—but curious—I tried this. It has a great smell, cleans really well, and I like that it’s leaving probiotics behind.”
—Ruthanne, New Jersey

“This spray works great for countertop wiping and dries streak free.”
—Katrina, Washington

Counter Culture Air + Fabric Refresh, Geranium

This floral home spray is made with good bacteria from 13 probiotic strains. It instantly refreshes sheets, furniture, and more. A simple formula (only four ingredients!) means you can skip chemicals in favor of better-for-you options like purified water, lactic acid, organic essential oil, and, of course, probiotics.

“I’ve always liked air sprays but stopped using them to limit chemicals in the home. I like finding ‘cleaner’ options like this.”
—Laura, Indiana

“I keep it close to my shoe rack for obvious reasons and it works well.”
—Phil, Wisconsin

Aunt Fannie’s Microcosmic Probiotic Power Multi-Surface Cleaner, Fresh Lemon

Aunt Fannie’s probiotic complex works with plant-based ingredients to be tough on dirt but gentle on you—just spray and wipe! This formula is ideal for hard surfaces, including countertops, floors, and appliances. Just test a small area on unsealed wood or stone before using.

“This cleans really well and smells like heaven.”
—Kelli, Tennessee

“Love this product—it smells amazing and gets the job done!”
—Erika, Nebraska

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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