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Antibacterial Cleaner:

spray bottle of anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner

What is it?

Cleaners are used to remove dirt. Antibacterial cleaners remove dirt and kill bacteria. Bacteria are organisms too small to see with just your eyes. Some bacteria cause diseases or make you sick. Others do not.

Antibacterial cleaners come in a spray can or pump bottle container. They are commonly used in the kitchen to clean things that come in contact with food, like cutting boards and counter tops. Keeping these areas clean will help prevent harmful bacteria from contaminating your food. It is especially important to clean areas that come in contact with raw meats. Raw meats can also carry bacteria. Use an antibacterial kitchen cleaner or wash the area with hot soapy water.

If helping to clean the kitchen is one of your chores or jobs around the house, you may be using  antibacterial cleaners to do the job. If so, you need to be sure to always "Read the Label First" to know how to properly use these products and for safety information. Also, be sure your parents know what household products you are using. They can make sure you use them safely.

What's in it?

Antibacterial cleaners usually contain water, a fragrance, a surfactant, and a pesticide. The surfactant breaks up the dirt, the pesticide kills the bacteria, the fragrance makes it smell good and the water holds the cleaner together. In antibacterial cleaners the pesticides are commonly quaternary ammonium or phenolic chemicals. They are known as antimicrobial pesticides.

What health and safety things do you need to think about with antibacterial cleaners?

Antibacterial cleaners are very irritating to your eyes and skin and will burn your throat. It's a good idea to wear latex dishwashing gloves to help protect your skin when using these cleaners. If you get some on the cleaner on your skin or in your eyes, wash it off immediately. Because antibacterial cleaners can be harmful, your exposure to them is important to know.

What do you do if you or someone you're with has an accident with household products?

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