Confessions of an anti-microbial Mum

I’m going to be straight up with you guys. This is a review. My first ever proper sponsored review in fact.

I was approached a couple of weeks back asked to review an online postal cake company, and after almost leaping off my chair to say yes, I mulled it over then thought, you know what, I don’t really like shop bought cakes? So it would feel kind of wrong? (PS I do LOVE a home baked choccy amaze balls cake, lemon drizzle etc etc before you switch off in horror).

So, I thought I’d wait for something that felt true to me. And here it is. A disinfectant. A what?  Yes, a flipping disinfectant. Ok, so it’s no Vivienne Westwood  shoe review, Honest Mum stylee, or a Caribbean cruise, but it’s a start right?

Let me explain. I don’t have obsessive compulsive disorder, or any other cleaning related obsession. I have however spent many years working in laboratory set ups, including managing the environmental monitoring of a manufacturing facility. That means we checked the building for the little dudes…bacteria, fungi, hiding in all the nooks and crannies. I’ve been an 18 year old junior technician in the microbiology lab, bored, swabbing my shoes, fingers, phone receivers for fun to see what we could find and the results weren’t pleasant.

So, this kind of background knowledge kind of gets under your skin. Transitioning to being a stay at home mum, I have been known to segregate my milk bottles into clean, sterile and  dirty, and pondered if it’s been validated how long a sterile bottle remains sterile for. I think I was missing work that day.

I don’t follow my kids around with a bottle of bleach by any stretch of the imagination. But, if you’ve ever had a child with a poorly belly, been through potty training, or attempted baby led weaning, then you have hopefully used a disinfectant product.

The reason being, cleaning is very different from disinfecting. The two need to go hand in hand to keep your home safe from levels of bacteria that could make you a bit, well icky. Cleaning will remove visible grime and layers of dirt, but it won’t get rid of bugs that will hang around crumbs of rotting food, stagnant water or traces of wee & poo. That means your high chair is going to need more than a wipe over with a wet wipe. Equally disinfectant will remove the top layer of microbials, but will not cut through grease and dirt.

Germs love anywhere warm and damp. Nothing saddens me more than when I see a dishcloth being reused over and over, spreading the bacteria-love all over the places you think you’re cleaning. Minimise this by regularly disinfecting dishcloths and sponges, hanging them in a way they dry out, or (as I do) buy a mega cheap pack and bin them using a new one regularly.

So, when I was offered a sample of a new UK disinfectant, Zoflora, in return for an honest review, it kind of stirred me in a way I’m slightly ashamed to admit. My mind wandered back to cleaning validation projects, swab microbial recovery studies, and disinfectant trials. As a nod to the old me, the professional me, the one who had a respectable career in the science industry, and worked bloody hard whilst working full time to achieve a first class degree in Biology, I said yes.

But, I’m not going to just gush inanely about how great this disinfectant is. You deserve better than that. What I want to do is compare it to some of the products I currently use and see how I felt it stood up.

So here are my usual trusted products

1. Dettol spray

This household name is a ready to use, clear odour and taint free solution. In all honesty I wouldn’t trust many products to clean the surface of the high chair tray, so for that reason I’ll always have a bottle of is in my cupboard under the sink. It’s a little pricy though if you use it for every disinfectanting job.

2. Anti-bacterial wipes, Sainsburys own.

I love the ready to go, ease of use of a disinfectant wipe. The leading brands can be a bit expensive so I usually opt for an own brand. Again, the packaging clearly states can be used on high chairs, and that is just so handy for a quick wipe up of the seat, tray, floor like you do with a wet wipe, only knowing its doing a bit more than just getting it wet.

3. Dettol in laundry disinfectant

Now I don’t use this in every wash, but this product was launched when we were mid potty training and I felt like my prayers were answered. Pooey pants in the wash with the rest of the laundry just felt so wrong before this product entered my life. Also, perfect for post-vom washing of sheets, teddies, mattress protectors. As we demonstrated perfectly this very weekend.

4. Zoflora concentrated disinfectant

So this is the newbie. I have used concentrated disinfectants in Labs for many years but never in the home. It can be used neat in the loo or drain, or diluted 1:40 then in the same way as that bottle of Dettol point #1. This product will kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Another advantage is that this little bottle will last you 20 or 40x longer, and it’s a fraction of the price. So frugal mums, this is a swap for you. Once made up in a spray bottle (we had one kicking around under the sink) it can be used exactly the same way, but it comes in a variety of scents. Places you might want to use Zoflora include

  • Potty
  • Changing mat
  • Cot Mattress
  • Kitchen sink
  • Nappy bin
  • Bath
  • Tiled surfaces, bathroom
  • Worktops

We used the Springtime scent neat in the loo this week, and it smelt fresh all day long. Well, as long as a loo stays smelling fresh in a family home!

We also made up a capful in 400 ml water of the summer breeze into a spray bottle. It was used EVERYWHERE over the course of a couple of days, and I really liked the fact it left a nice clean scent. Knowing it was only a capful meant we used it a lot more liberally than I think I would have if I thought I was using a ready to use product. The only place I held off using it, was the high chair tray as I couldn’t see a clear OK to use it there on the website or packaging. Our house never felt cleaner! We were preparing to host a Barbeque so used it on kitchen, surfaces, bathrooms, toilets, taps, sinks, patio furniture, hob top and floors.

Zoflora is pet safe, so perfect for cleaning the cats food area, and her paw prints from places they shouldn’t be.

I’d love to see some more products added to this range. Zoflora can be purchased in Asda or 99p stores. I’ll be buying it again, although I suspect my two bottles are going to last ages.

You can find out more at

As with any cleaning product, keep all of the above products out of the reach of children. Concentrated disinfectant may irritate your skin, so wear gloves whilst making up. Be safe, read the small print guys.

Vivienne,  I am available for the next review.

x MMT (no longer wearing a lab coat)

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