Clean Smart Daily Surface Cleaner Independent Testing

Does Clean Smart Daily Surface Cleaner kill germs?

Answer: Yes, on a relatively clean surface if you use a lot to fully cover/soak the surface. 



Experiment Details

CleanSmart Daily Surface Cleaner is an exciting and unique product because its active ingredient is .017% hypochlorous acid. (It is different than chlorine bleach which is sodium hypochlorite, although, there is some hypochlorous acid in a chlorine bleach solution.) It claims to kill 99.9% of germs and claims to be safe for your hands and safe for any surface including sealed granite, stainless steel, ceramic tile, linoleum, vinyl, glass, and finished wood. It is supposed to be completely safe for people, although, I do detect a hint of a chlorine smell when I use it. It does say that it only works on pre-cleaned surfaces. So, I did not expect it to do well in this experiment. 


For this experiment, I compared CleanSmart Daily Surface Cleaner, CleanSmart hand cleaner, Clorox Anywhere Spray, and hydrogen peroxide. I did the experiment like I always do using dirt and extra bacteria. 


I put 1mL of germ water onto each square, rubbed it in, and let it dry completely. Then I put .5mL of each product onto its respective square and rubbed it around to completely cover the square. I let the cleaners sit for 5 minutes. Then I swabbed the squares, rubbed the swabs onto agar plates, and incubated the plates for 24 hours. 


Understanding Agar Plates

In case you are new at looking at agar plates, let me explain. Agar is a Jello-like substance that bacteria and fungus like to grow on. The whitish/yellowish dots you see are colonies (or piles) of millions of bacteria. Some types of bacteria are not able to grow on these agar plates. Viruses can not grow on these agar plates. So, just because a plate looks clean, doesn't mean that no microorganisms whatsoever were present. We assume that a clean plate means that most bacteria were killed. However, there is the tiny possibility that the cleaning product just stopped the bacteria from growing as opposed to actually killing it. Also, I can't make any determination as to the time it took the product to kill the bacteria since the product was still with the bacteria on the agar plate. (Both the bacteria and the cleaner would be picked up in the sterile swab.) So, I don't know if it took 1 minute to kill the bacteria or hours. These experiments are still very useful when used to compare cleaning products and cleaning methods. 

Results

As you can see, the CleanSmart Daily Surface Cleaner, the Clorox Anywhere, and the CleanSmart hand cleaner do not compare in bacteria killing power to 3% hydrogen peroxide. However, this was a lot of dirt and germs and CleanSmart does say that it only works on already clean surfaces. So, I tested it in my kitchen sink. 



Does CleanSmart disinfect the kitchen sink? 


Since CleanSmart says that it only works on already clean surfaces and my experiments have a lot of dirt and germs, I wanted to give it a real life test on my kitchen sink. I have a 2-sided stainless steal sink. My kitchen sink had not been sanitized for about 24 hours. I thoroughly rinsed the sink out with water so it looked clean. Then I swabbed the sink and rubbed the swab onto an agar plate to see how much bacteria was there. Then I sprayed one side all around with 20 sprays of CleanSmart. I did not wipe it, but I let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I swabbed that side and rubbed the swab onto an agar plate. Then I sprayed the other side all around with 20 sprays of 3% hydrogen peroxide. I let that sit for 5 minutes and then swabbed. I did this experiment on a few different days. 

As you can see, the Clean Smart did not kill as much as hydrogen peroxide but it did kill a significant amount of bacteria. 





When I used 40 sprays of CleanSmart I got really clean results. That was about 1/4 of the bottle, though. 


To sum up, I actually like CleanSmart because it produces very little smell and is pretty safe for people and surfaces. So, if you have a nice countertop that you don't want to chance hydrogen peroxide ruining, I think CleanSmart is a good choice. Make sure to thoroughly wipe off all surfaces first, then spray with a lot of spray and let it sit. 

Disclaimer: I can't be 100% certain that any product that I test is actually killing bacteria as opposed to somehow preventing the bacteria from growing on the agar plate by some other means. I also can't tell how long it takes a product to kill the germs since the product is picked up in the swab with the germs and stays on the agar plate during incubation. 


If someone in the house comes down with any type of vomiting or diarrhea illness, I break out the Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide spray and wipes. The Clorox Hydrogen peroxide products have been tested and shown to kill the norovirus surrogates and regular 3% hydrogen peroxide has not. So, I clean with 3% hydrogen peroxide every day, but I keep the more expensive Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide products on hand for emergencies (and hope I never need them).



If you would like to suggest an experiment, please post on my facebook page. I also really need to earn money from this website in order to keep doing experiments (agar plates, essential oils, and cleaning products are expensive). If you want to contribute, please use my Amazon affiliate links. Just click on any of my links that go to amazon, and buy whatever you want. You don't have to buy what I recommend or even the product that the link goes to. Here is a link. I'll get a small percentage of the sale and use the money to buy experiment supplies. Thank you.


--Annie Pryor, Ph.D.