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We all love a nice, fresh home, but many household cleaners are a bit too good at cleaning. Not only do these soaps, detergents, and cleaners eliminate dust, grime and scum, but they also often indiscriminately kill the beneficial bacteria in your home. And just like how your body has its own microbiome, your home has a microbiome that needs to be protected as well.

“There’s a whole world unfolding in your house, and one that you’ll never see: the life of your home’s microbiome,” explains the researchers at Popular Science. “This complicated little universe of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes is on every surface and even in the air you breathe. But unlike your pipes, lights, and appliances, this microscopic ecosystem keeps itself running—as long as we don’t meddle too much with it.”

Unfortunately, we do meddle with our home’s microbiome. For example, bathroom cleaners and kitchen cleaners often contain bleach and other harsh chemicals that destroy all those microbes and bacteria indiscriminately. That can lead to the same problems we’re seeing in hospitals after overzealous use of antibacterial hand soaps.

“All the microbes in your home plus all the cleaners and medications in your home creates the circumstances for microbes to evolve to become more resistant,” warns Popular Science. “Antimicrobial resistance is bad news for many reasons. It affects human health…our food supply…and it affects the natural world. You can help with this issue. In your home, you can fight antibiotic resistance by asking your doctor if antibiotics are really needed for what’s ailing you and avoiding things like antibacterial hand soap and cleaners unless they are absolutely necessary (as they wipe out both good and bad bacteria in one sweep).”

That doesn’t mean you have to let your home get dirty. This household cleaner isn’t just great at cleaning, but it also helps support a healthy home microbiome by using liquid probiotics. The result? A fresh, clean home that’s healthy for you and the billions of beneficial bacteria in your house.

Probiotic Home Cleaner Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water (filtered or distilled)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup liquid soap (natural and unscented)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup liquid probiotic (available at health food stores or online)
  • 10 drops essential oil (optional, for fragrance)

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.

Once the sugar water has cooled, transfer it to a clean glass jar or container.

Add the liquid soap, white vinegar, and liquid probiotic to the jar. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

If desired, add 10 drops of your preferred essential oil to give the cleaner a pleasant fragrance. Popular choices include lavender, lemon, or orange oil.

Close the jar tightly and shake it vigorously to mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours to allow the probiotics to ferment and multiply. During this time, the mixture may develop a slightly sour smell, which is normal.

After the fermentation period, your probiotic home cleaner is ready to use. Shake the jar again before each use to distribute the probiotics evenly.

Pour a small amount of the cleaner onto a damp cloth or sponge and use it to clean various surfaces in your home, such as countertops, sinks, and bathroom fixtures. Rinse well with water after cleaning.

Store the remaining cleaner in a cool, dark place. The probiotics will continue to ferment, so it’s important to periodically release any built-up pressure by opening the jar slightly. You can also refrigerate the cleaner to slow down the fermentation process.

Remember to label the container with the date and contents for future reference. Enjoy your homemade probiotic home cleaner, which can help promote a healthier environment in your living spaces!