In November 2015 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess three products for (a) cleaning effectiveness on ceramic and stainless steel surfaces, and (b) disinfection effectiveness against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The products tested were (1) conventional bleach, (2) environmentally friendly bleach and (3) distilled white vinegar, club soda and tea tree oil, used both in combination and individually. Results showed that for cleaning ceramic surfaces the combination of distilled white vinegar, club soda and tea tree oil was better than either conventional bleach or environmentally friendly bleach although no product was completely effective (effective cleaning was defined as removal of over 85% of Hucker’s soil which is a mixture of evaporated milk, creamy peanut butter, salted butter, stone ground wheat flour, egg yolk, printer ink with boiled linseed oil, saline solution, India ink and water). On stainless steel surfaces the conventional bleach and environmentally friendly bleach were the only products to effectively clean the surface. For disinfection effectiveness, conventional bleach and environmentally friendly bleach achieved ≥5·00 log10 reductions of both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Both the combined and individual components of distilled white vinegar, club soda and tea tree oil were more effective at disinfecting against Escherichia coli than Staphylococcus aureus but it was only the freshly combined components and 50% distilled vinegar that achieved ≥5·00 log10 reductions. Environmentally friendly bleach therefore is an effective alternative to conventional bleach although a combination of distilled white vinegar, club soda and tea tree oil may be an adequate alternative for cleaning ceramic and for household use where complete elimination of micro-organisms is unnecessary. However, the combined product must be freshly prepared each day.
Goodyear N et al. The effectiveness of three home products in cleaning and disinfection of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli on home environmental surfaces. J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Nov;119(5):1245-52.