Honest Company and Better Life Independent Testing

Do Honest Company Multi-surface cleaner and Better Life Multi-surface cleaner kill germs?

Answer: Not significantly


To test The Honest Company Multi-Surface Cleaner and Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner, I did the same countertop experiments that I usually do. If you would like the details of this experiment, please read the procedure page



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

In these experiments, I'm comparing everything to 3% hydrogen peroxide which always works really well. Most cleaning products do not do well in these experiments because they can't handle so much dirt and germs. It is surprising how many products are supposed to be used on already clean surfaces. Some products that don't do well in these experiments, might still do a good enough job on your only slightly germy countertop. 



As you can see, none of the Better Life products or the Honest Company multipurpose cleaner showed any significant bacteria killing in this experiment. None of those cleaners CLAIM to kill any germs either. However, lots of products that don't do well in my countertop experiments still do okay in a real-life experiment. So, I tested these products on the kitchen sink.  

Better Life Multipurpose in the sink

For these sink experiments, I sprayed 25 sprays of the Better Life multipurpose cleaner in one side of the sink, and 25 sprays of 3% hydrogen peroxide in the other side. The cleaners sat on the sink for 5 minutes and then I swabbed. 


It is possible that the Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner kills a little bit of germs but nothing dramatic like 3% hydrogen peroxide. It is not advertised to kill germs.  I have to say that I love the Better Life Products. The Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner smells wonderful and is great for removing grime off the countertops and stovetop even though it probably doesn't kill many germs. The Better Life Stainless Steel Polish is so fabulous that I will never buy another stainless steel cleaner ever.  It smells wonderful. So, feel free to use it for your cleaning. Just use something else when you want to kill germs. 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. 

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.