Mrs. Meyer’s Has a New Line of Probiotic Cleaners — Here’s How They Work

published Jul 8, 2022
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I’m a Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day fangirl. Scratch that — I am the Mrs. Meyer’s fangirl. The simple formulas, all-natural scents, and “it really works!” efficiency of the brand won me over years ago, and the soaps, cleaners, and concentrates have been a staple in my home ever since. (I’ve even been known to hoard the rhubarb scent every spring.)

So, when I heard that Mrs. Meyer’s was launching a brand-new product line made with probiotics, I was curious. Would they work any better than the standard line of products? Here’s what I found out.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow
The new line of probiotic cleaners from Mrs. Meyer's.

I ordered a handful of cleaners from the new product line: the multi-surface spray cleaner, daily shower spray, multi-surface concentrate, and drain refresher. As I waited for them to arrive in the mail, I studied up on probiotic cleaners. Namely, what are they and how do they work?

Turns out, probiotic-based cleaners have been “a thing” for a few years, although they’re not yet mainstream. And they work just like you’d expect them to. As with probiotic-rich foods, they prioritize the growth of good or healthy bacteria. Unlike traditional or chemical-based cleaning products, they don’t work by killing every living thing on a surface.

So why focus on boosting specific bacterias as opposed to annihilating them all, as most regular cleaners do? I checked in with Pam Helms, the executive director of R&D at SC Johnson (Mrs. Meyer’s’ parent company), who explained that Mrs. Meyer’s prefers to approach cleaning with a gentler ethos.

Here’s how probiotics work. There’s bacteria on everything, including “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. By increasing the use of helpful bacteria in your home, you’re decreasing the amount of area occupied for bad bacteria. Kombucha and yogurt work similarly when you eat them regularly: You’re essentially creating a “no bad vibes” rave of good bacteria in your body.

Sounds great. But do probiotics work the same on countertops? Yes, according to the people at Mrs. Meyer’s! You want to kill the bad stuff (read: E. coli and Listeria), but leave the good stuff. That’s where probiotic cleaners come in. I decided to give it a try. I was particularly interested in how the multi-surface spray cleaner would perform, because the traditional Mrs. Meyer’s multi-purpose cleaner has been a workhorse in my kitchen. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

First, I sprayed my stainless steel sink and let the probiotic product sit for a few minutes. I scrubbed it down with a clean sponge, putting in a fair amount of elbow grease to tackle the stains. Then, I rinsed with the faucet’s spray nozzle and wiped everything down. I’m not a scientist, but it certainly looked cleaner. Then, I misted my kitchen’s granite countertops and wiped them down with a paper towel. I’ll let the photo do the talking here. (Yikes.) 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow
A wipe of the counter reveals dirt and grime.

I also poured half the bottle of drain refresher down the drain before bed that night, and a smaller amount for the next two, and noticed a difference in how the sink area smelled. While this product won’t unclog slow drains, it does de-stink them. Helms confirmed that my technique was right: The drain cleaner does require a large amount for the first dose — think of it as kick-starting the party — and afterwards, a small splash will work as maintenance.

I did have one question about the product’s efficacy on food-contact surfaces. The instructions on the multi-purpose cleaner say to spray, then wipe down — no need to rinse except in the case of food-contact surfaces. I asked Helms if rinsing would dissolve those probiotic micro-helpers, and she assured me they were so small, they couldn’t be disturbed by water. Once they’re on your countertops, they’re hard at work for up to seven days!

See, probiotic cleaners are a good choice for people who clean often because increased use will encourage the production of good bacterial growth. As the company explains, “Probiotic cleaners are powered by tiny micro-helpers that keep breaking down household messes long after you’ve thrown in the towel.” Plus, probiotics are more than just bacteria. Mrs. Meyer’s calls them “microscopic enzyme factories that fight against stubborn buildup,” such as mold stains, food grease, and even mildew.

Like all of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, the probiotic line — which comes in the brand’s two most popular scents — is made with plant-derived ingredients. (That means it doesn’t contain bleach, ammonium compounds, parabens, solvents, or artificial colors.) So, you can feel good about what you’re using and how clean it’s getting, too!

Would you use a probiotic cleaner in your home? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.