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Would You Clean Your Home with Probiotics?

May. 20, 2019Who knew such little bugs could make such big headlines? We’re talking about probiotics of course, and we’re willing to guess that if one were to take a peek inside nearly anyone’s fridge or medicine cabinet they’d find at least one example of good-for-your-gut probiotics or probiotic-rich food. Yogurt? Check. Kombucha? Check and check. Refrigerated capsules? Got ‘em! We know that probiotics can help support a healthy gut and even stave off sniffles and sneezes by helping to maintain a functioning immune system.

Probiotics prove that not all bacteria are bad, in fact, some bacteria are the good guys. The superheroes defending your body from the bad guys. But have you ever considered that those virtuous little bugs may benefit more than just your gut flora and feeling of wellbeing? Would you wipe them on your cabinets and countertops if it meant a cleaner, safer, more environmentally-friendly kitchen? We know… it sounds wild… but that’s the judgment that the folks behind Counter Culture want you to do. And the concept isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to say that you care about the environment and your health, right? So raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a trip down the cleaning aisle at your local chain store in hopes of finding a safe and effective cleaning agent that won’t threaten the ecosystem in- and out of your home. It’s a pretty impossible task! Yet the status quo of cleaning supplies leaves a lot to be desired. Did you know that most household cleaners aren’t required to list their ingredients? It’s true, and when you ruminate on that fact, it becomes more and more ridiculous. We spend so much time reading food labels to ensure we’re purchasing the best-of-the-best for our families, yet so many have been taught to ignore better judgement and spray or wipe chemical-laden supplies all around the home. It’s a catch-22: you want a clean and safe home for you and your family, but the majority of cleansers available on the market could be doing more harm than good.

What makes conventional cleaning agents so bad?

  • Many household cleansers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can block or mimic certain hormones. According to Organic Consumers Association, “alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners have been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen; one APE, p-nonylphenol, has caused estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to multiply in a test tube study.”
  • The foaming agents in some cleaners could react to one another and form carcinogens.
  • The fragrances used in some detergents – including laundry detergent – could cause respiratory distress, asthma, and exacerbate allergies, and because these fragrances are often considered trademarks of the brands, they’re simply required to list them as “fragrance” with no ingredients.
  • And because these cleansers don’t disappear when they wash down your drain, some may end up in waterways and threaten wildlife.

… And that’s just the short list.

Contending with the damage that these common cleaning agents can cause is scary, frustrating stuff. But beyond making your own cleaning supplies, what can you do?

Meet Counter Culture.

Counter Culture’s ethos is not-so-secretly hidden in their name. Counter Culture wants to change the way you clean, and they want you to get behind the idea of using probiotics to do it (get it? They make cultures for your counter? Very clever.). By using probiotics in their home cleaners, Counter Culture products work similarly to how a probiotic works in your digestive system: the good bacteria repopulate and eradicate the bad bacteria. Kind of like a kombucha or coconut yogurt for your countertop!

Counter Culture was founded by Michelle Perkins, who set out to create a safe cleaner for her home that wouldn’t pose a threat to her young family or the environment. Through her research, Perkins connected with a group of scientists who were testing a probiotic cleaning agent for a farmer who wanted to keep his livestock safe from toxic cleansers, and they rest, they say, is history. Perkins continues to work with these same scientists today and openly rejects the idea that we should be killing off 99% of the bacteria in our homes (the tagline of so many cleaning commercials). As we’ve all learned from supporting our gut health with probiotics – not all bacteria are bad, and supporting the good guys (yes, even in the home) can have beneficial effects. They can even make us healthier.

So how do Counter Culture products work?

These aren’t your traditional cleaning agents. Counter Culture cleansers contain a strategic combination of microbes that work together to create bio-detergents that cleanse, detox, and neutralize odors. These products are non-toxic, contain zero harmful chemicals, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic, no animal testing, vegan, and contain no fake fragrances, just natural essential oils. And because Counter Culture believes in transparency, their ingredients are listed right on the bottle and on the website:

  1. Purified water
  2. 13 probiotics cultures (lactic & bacteria)
  3. Organic brown sugar, mineral powder, sea salt (this creates a fermentation brew – yes, sort of like kombucha – that reacts to create lactic acid and bio-detergents)
  4. Essential oils – no synthetic fragrances

That’s it.

Ingredients you can actually pronounce.

And yes, the ingredients are the same for the different products but in different dilutions to get the job done right each and every time. This means that the All-Purpose Cleaner sports the same ingredients list as the Probiotic Air + Fabric Refresh, but in different amounts to achieve the desired effect (cleaning vs. neutralizing odors).

With glowing reviews on both Thrive Market and Grove Collaborative, Counter Culture is at the forefront of disrupting the industrial cleaning industry, offering alternatives to the status quos we’ve simply learned to live with over the years. Perhaps someday soon, cleaning your home with friendly bacteria won’t be considered counter cultural at all.

Would you clean your home with probiotics? Have you tried Counter Culture? Let us know by connecting with us on social at @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine!

Julie O'Boyle

By Julie O'Boyle

 —  Julie O'Boyle is a freelance writer and content strategist with a background in fashion and DIY and a devotion to the outdoors and functional nutrition. Currently residing in the woods of Maine, when she's not writing you can find her at the beach or on a mountain, or otherwise getting her hands dirty.

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