Why waste money when “old fashioned” is still the best? 46



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It may work wonderfully in a lab, but in real life, researchers say expensive products containing a popular antibacterial ingredient are a complete waste of time and money – and that the old-fashioned version works just fine.

Triclosan, which is added to all kinds of things from garden hoses to toothpaste, is typically the active ingredient in antibacterial hand soaps, however a recent study has shown that it is no more effective at killing germs than good old soap.

This is good news, considering that triclosan has been linked to antibiotic resistance and hormone problems, and is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to Medical Observer.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that Triclosan only became effective after germs had been steeped in the antibacterial soap for nine hours.

“At times less than six hours there was little difference between the two (soaps),” the researchers wrote.

The team used antibacterial soap containing 0.3 per cent Triclosan, which is the maximum content allowed in most parts of the world, including Europe, Canada, Australia, China and Japan.

The researchers, from Korea University have gone so far as to suggest that Triclosan be banned from soaps so that the effectiveness cannot be exaggerated to consumers.

Do you use antibacterial hand wash or do you prefer a good old-fashioned bar of soap? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Make my own soap just like my nanna did….my grandkids love the concept too and have given home made pressies to their teachers at Xmas…we also do a ‘pray n swipe’ glass cleaner…..better job than bought…same smell tho so companies have watered down ingredients ……

  2. Good old sunlight soap worked wonder when young we used it for everything bathing shampoo washing washing dogs cleaning washing dishes

  3. From an infection control point of view it’s, wash hands with soap & water for at least 20 seconds ( not forgetting nails & between fingers) rinse under running water & pat dry, for every day hand washing that’s all we need to do, these antibacterial hand washes are just a rip off.

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  4. We Aussies like the rest of the world have fallen for following the Yanks down the path of being driven by the market led economy, i.e. fast foods, high fat, low fat, etc. etc. instead of sticking to the old and proven ways. Latest projections are the ones about to be born will be the first one who will not learn to write as they will be either using speech recognition or typing on some form of tablet.

    We will have to turn up so that we can ensure all of the knowledge of the past five plus generations does not disappear. Teach them “new is not always best” or “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. Encourage them to do it the way granny did.

    One of the best books on my shelves is “The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition” by Bill Mollison. It is 280+ pages of info on old recipes and methods of food preparation. 😉

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    • Well written Bruce, thank you. I’ve heard of Bill Mollison’s book – must get it from our Library. Our parents always knew best & taught us the good basic ways. I try to pass these on to my adult children who are passing them onto theirs. Just hope these values are not lost forever.

    • I have my mother’s old cookbook from the 30ties! Lots of advise on how to keep food nutritious and good tasting! Without preservatives and chemicals!

  5. these so called anti-bacterial products are just making certain people paranoid get over it, we need good bacteria as well, and if we kill all we will end up with NO immunity whatsoever, good sensible hygiene is perfectly adequate

  6. I don’t like antibacterial gels. I prefer the ones without, for showering & washing hands. Makes for easy cleaning of the showers & bath, as they don’t leave any scum. I will not buy the ones labelled antibacterial, and as for antibacterial cleaners. They will not work if the surfaces are not scrupulously clean.

  7. Dont you wish people would realise it is just marketing, anything goes so long as it gets you to spend money.

  8. I have never wasted my money on these hyped up antibacterial products – nothing but another way to grab money from gullible people

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