Honest Company and Better Life Independent Testing

Honest Company and Better Life

To test these products, I did the same countertop experiments that I usually do. I sectioned off squares on my countertop using masking tape. I made "germ water" using dirt from the backyard and water. I filtered it through a paper towel to remove chunks. Then I scraped colonies of bacteria from a previous days agar plate and mixed that in. The previous days plate was a "dirty sink" plate. So, there was lots of dirt and lots of bacteria in these experiments. I put 1mL of germ water onto each square. 

I used a gloved finger to spread the germ water around the square. Then I let the squares dry completely which took about 2 hours. If you would like to see pictures of every step in this process, please scroll to the top of this mile-long page. I go into greater detail about my experimental procedure up there. 

After the squares were dry, I put .5mL of each product onto its respective square. I spread the product completely around the square using a clean gloved finger. For the dirty positive control, I just put water on the square. For the clean negative control (which didn't have any germ water on it), I just put sterile water onto the square. I set timers and let the product sit on the square for 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, I swabbed the square and rubbed the swab all over a clean agar plate. 

The plates were incubated for 48 hours in my warm incubator (about 90 degrees F). 


In case you are new to looking at agar plates, let me explain. The whitish dots you see are colonies (or piles) of millions of bacteria. Not every kind of bacteria can grow on these agar plates and viruses do not grow on these plates. So, just because a plate looks clean, doesn't necessarily mean that no germs whatsoever were present. I will never say that a product killed all of the germs. All we can do from these experiments is to compare products. 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, I will be testing them for their bacteria killing ability on a normal dirty kitchen sink. So, check back for those results. I have to say that I love the Better Life Products. The multipurpose spray smells wonderful and is great for removing grime off the countertops and stovetop even though it probably doesn't kill many germs. I've used MANY bottles of the floor cleaner already over the last few months. I really like it. The Better Life Stainless Steel Polish is so fabulous that I will never buy another stainless steel cleaner ever. 

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 Multipurpose Cleaner kills a little bit of germs but nothing dramatic like 3% hydrogen peroxide. It is not advertised to kill germs. However, I must say I LOVE using the Better Life Multipurpose cleaner. It does a great job removing grease and grime from my countertops and flat top stove. I've used 2 whole bottles of it cleaning. It smells wonderful. So, feel free to use it for your cleaning. Just use something else when you want to kill germs. 

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.