Household Cleaners vs’ Bacteria

Well, this girl is on cloud 9 and so is her mama! Third grade is a fun grade and Mia was excited for the opportunity to play with science stuff. We decided to try an experiment using a natural approach. We have essential oils all around the house, in every room and we use them for literally everything, so why not put them to the test.WE believe they work, but what would science say?

Mia’s hypothesis. “The Thieves essential oil cleaner would work best because she believed that regular household cleaners with chemicals would cause bacteria to grow more.”

Materials used:

  • (4) Prepared petri dishes with agar
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Blotter paper
  • Tweezers
  • Thieves oil cleaner (Young Living)
  • Clorox cleaner
  • Lysol disinfectant

Mia was the lucky one who collected the bacteria from the bathroom. Woohoo! Each petri dish was swabbed with a sample of bacteria. Three of the blotter square papers were dipped in each cleaner and placed in the petri dishes. One petri dish had no cleaner at all. This was the ‘controlled dish.’ We wanted to see how much bacteria would actually grow with no cleaner at all. The dishes were labeled and sealed. We put them on a dark closet shelf and waited for the bacteria to grow. Muuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaah!

Here is her data during the 6 days of growth.

The bacteria didn’t grow as disgusting as we thought it would….lol. Guess this means our toilets are clean enough to eat out of…..just kidding. Depends on the bacteria and also how the agar is prepared in the dishes. We ordered our dishes from a science store on Amazon. Still, you can see the bacteria and it was gross enough for me. Score. Got my money’s worth.

Well, the results speak for themselves right here in the pictures. We are not making any claims, but it is clear to see that there is no bacteria growth in the Thieves petri dish.(the agar is an orange tint from the thieves oil spreading the color from the blotter paper) Clorox blotter paper turned white obviously.

Mia was surprised to see that the “controlled” dish with NO cleaner had less bacteria growth than the Clorox and Lysol. Mia seems to think that more bacteria grew in the Clorox and Lysol dish because the bacteria has a resistance to chemicals. Yes, she said this to me. She also added that the bacteria must need to grow bigger and stronger to fight against the chemicals. I’m not going to argue with a nine year old, science fair third pace winner!

As a family, we have slowly ditched the toxic chemical cleaners/personal care items and can certainly tell a huge difference in our overall health. Seeing the results in a scientific sense is pretty amazing and assures me that we have made the right choice for us.

Hope you enjoyed the experiment. When in doubt, ask questions and FIND the answers!


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