One key to understanding how probiotics clean is that they clean from multiple attackangles. One of those is by creating postbiotics–biochemicals that allow them to break down organic things like dirt, grime, and odors. Another is through a concept called competitive exclusion.
Let’s say you own a few acres of land outside of town. Most of it is woods, but there are some open patches that are grown over with poison ivy and a few strawberry plants. Then one fine summer’s day, there is a fire on your property. It is contained, but it burns down most of your trees.
Now you have a big open space. Once the rain has washed away the ashes, plants will start growing where the trees were. If you don’t do anything, the new clearing could be filled with any kind of plants, including poison ivy. You don’t want that, so you go and plant a bunch of strawberry seedlings all through the clearing.
In a few weeks, the strawberries have spread everywhere. There’s almost no poison ivy plants at all, even though you never tried to kill them. The strawberry plants outcompeted them. Everywhere there could have been poison ivy there are now strawberries. As long as they thrive, there is no chance of the poison ivy getting a foothold.
All natural environments have microbiomes (communities of microbes) to some degree. Even surfaces like countertops and indoor environments like bathrooms and kitchens. Balance in these microbiomes is essential for our health because we’re interacting with them all the time. Each of these microbial communities contain different populations of beneficial, neutral, and potentially pathogenic microbes.
In a healthy, balanced state, there are more neutral and beneficial microbes–just like the strawberries in our example above. This is because they are able to beat out the “bad” microbes and claim more of the available food and space.
Why You Want to Populate Your Surfaces with Probiotics
When we clean, one of our goals (traditionally) is to drastically reduce the microbial population on a surface. By definition, cleaners remove many of these microbes and disinfectants follow up with a promise to kill 99.9% of them–basically, kill what’s left after cleaning, though commercial disinfectants never get rid of all microbes. Especially because most users do not apply disinfectants and sanitizers according to the directions.
No matter what, disinfected surfaces are normally re-populated with microbes within eight hours of cleaning. Like the clearing in the forest, the new microbes could be anything at all. Often, the microbes that survive and repopulate can be particularly resistant and dangerous. Then there’s also lots of biological debris remaining in the form of dead microbes and biofilm fragments, even after cleaning or disinfecting.
When you spray a probiotic cleaner with live probiotics like ours, the billions of probiotics clean the surface with the postbiotics they’ve made and then they colonize it . They feed off of the bio-debris and quickly spread to take up all the space, sunlight, and food. The probiotic consortium will completely cover the surface. Then they will continue to produce postbiotics–biosurfactants, organic acids and hydrogen peroxide–for up to seven days.* This is the third key to how probiotics clean–called continuous cleaning.