Antibacterial wipes are not the most effective way to destroy germs. Picture: iStock.

IF YOU thought using antibacterial wipes were keeping your home germ free, we’ve got some bad news.

A scientist from Northumbria University in the UK has told The Telegraph that people are wasting their money buying antibacterial wipes and sprays, as common germs can grow back in next to no time.

Dr Clare Lanyon, a biomedical scientist, said bacteria can multiply in as little as 20 minutes.

Some bacteria can divide every 20 minutes so it doesn’t take long for one cell to become one million cells – in fact it would only take around 6.6 hours,” Dr Lanyon told the newspaper.

Are your cleaning methods really killing bacteria? Picture: iStock
Are your cleaning methods really killing bacteria? Picture: iStock

She said soap is a more effective option when it comes to cleaning as it often contains ingredients that can break down bacteria’s cell walls.

“Our research found that a lot of antibacterial cleaning products were not as effective as good old fashioned soap and water,” she said.

A recent experiment conducted by Lanyon found that there was a “dramatic growth” of bacteria just 12 hours after cleaning a kitchen using the wipes.

However, Dr Lanyon said while we should be thorough when cleaning our kitchens after cooking with “at-risk” foods, such as chicken, raw eggs and seafood, we shouldn’t be too worried about a little bacteria in our homes.

“The point … is you don’t need to be so fastidious in cleaning your house from top to bottom because you can’t actually remove all bacteria and nor would we want to,” she told The Telegraph.

“Exposing ourselves to everyday pathogens is good in keeping the immune system healthy and strong.”

Dr Lanyon said it’s impossible to make your home sterile anyway, so recommends people don’t waste their time and money on antibacterial products. Using them, she says, is “a redundant exercise”.

“The minute you walk around the kitchen you’re shedding bacteria and fungi into the area again and it’s just recolonising.”