Antibacterial Wipes Ineffective, Germs Repopulate, Scientists Say

Antibacterial Wipes Ineffective, Germs Repopulate, Scientists Say

Antibacterial wipes are pointless because the bugs will just grow back within minutes, a scientist told The Telegraph.

The revelation comes after experts on BBC’s “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” discovered that microbes reappeared within 12 hours of wiping down regular kitchen surfaces with antibacterial wipes, with colonies reforming almost immediately.

“Some bacteria can divide every 20 minutes so it doesn’t take long for one cell to become one million cells — in fact, it would only take around 6.6 hours,” Dr Clare Lanyon, a biomedical scientist from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, told The Telegraph.

She said it was important to ensure that kitchen counters were cleaned thoroughly after the handling of raw meat to ensure that “foreign organisms” do not spread, adding that bar soap was likely to be a more effective cleaning agent as its ingredients could break down cell walls.

The experiment may have shattered misconceptions about antibacterial wipes however, Lanyon noted that the point was to show consumers that it is not necessary to be so fastidious when it comes to cleaning homes because you would not be able to remove all bacteria, and nor would you want to.

“Exposing ourselves to everyday pathogens is good in keeping the immune system healthy and strong,” she told The Telegraph. “The research shows you can quite quickly re-establish bacteria that we have in our homes anyway. You’re never going to get your home sterile and clean — no way — and there are better things to be doing with your time.”

This is not the first time the topic has come to light.

Last year the FDA announced there was not enough scientific evidence to prove that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps were better at preventing illness and that the use of these products over a long time has raised question of their potential negative effects on health.

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