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Do Green Cleaners, Um … Clean?

Salmonella under the microscope.

Salmonella under the microscope.

Well, that’s not exactly the question that’s discussed in this article from Slate, but close. Disinfecting — killing germs — is different from cleaning. And, according to the article, “At the moment, none of the big green cleaning companies—Seventh Generation, Method, Ecover, or Clorox’s new Green Works line—offers an EPA-registered disinfectant or sanitizer.”

Of course, how much disinfecting you actually need depends on what you’re doing in the kitchen. But if you’re eco-conscious and still inclined to hack up chickens or pursue other types carnivorous cookery, you might want to look into something like Pure Green 23, with an active ingredient composed of silver ions and citric acid, or the botanical disinfectant Benefect, which kills germs with thyme oil. The article notes that homemade cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, used alone or in combination, were fairly ineffective against heavy-hitter pathogens like salmonella, staph, and E. coli. Hot water and soap will do the job on your knives and cutting boards, but for your work surfaces, you’re going to need something that not only feels good, but that actually works, too.

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