Probiotic Cleaning Blog 2: Competitive Exclusion

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happy strawberry

In part 2 of “How do Probiotics Clean?” we are going to talk about competitive exclusion. That is a fancy term for something that is easy to grasp with a metaphor.

Let’s say you own a few acres of land outside of town. Most of it is woods, but there are some open patches that are grown over with poison ivy and a few strawberry plants. Then one fine summer’s day, there is a fire on your property. It is contained, but it burns down most of your trees.

Now you have a big open space, and once the rain has washed away the ashes, plants will start growing where the trees were. If you don’t do anything, the new clearing could be filled with any kind of plants, including poison ivy. You don’t want that, so you go and plant a bunch of strawberry seedlings all through the clearing.

In just a few weeks, the strawberries have spread everywhere. There’s almost no poison ivy at all, even though you never tried to exterminate it. The strawberry plants simply outcompeted them. Everywhere there could have been poison ivy there are now strawberries, and as long as they thrive, there is no chance of the poison ivy getting a foothold.

And that is how probiotics eliminate microbes that we don’t want. Our cleaners don’t have a “99% Kill” claim, because we don’t control unwanted bacteria by killing them, we control them by outcompeting them. The biosurfactants and physical action of wiping does get rid of a lot of the microbes on a surface, but not all of them, and neither does any commercial grade disinfectant. Almost all disinfected surfaces are re-populated with microbes within eight hours of cleaning, and just like the clearing in the forest, the new microbes could be anything at all.

Probiotic cleaners have another plan. Spraying, wiping and scrubbing a surface, plus the action of the biosurfactants, will drastically reduce the microbial population. At the same time, lots of biological debris in the form of dead microbes and biofilm fragments are left behind. The billions of probiotics in our spray then colonize the cleaned surface, feeding off of the bio-debris and quickly spreading to take up all the space, sunlight and food. For the next seven days, the probiotic consortium will completely cover the surface and produce biosurfactants, organic acids, and hydrogen peroxide for continuous cleaning. And that will be the topic of our next blog—Continuous Cleaning.

You, too, can participate in the probiotic cleaning revolution! Check out our line of probiotic cleaning products here. Viva la Evolution!

Strawberry 1

Here we have a forest. Trees and poison ivy, a few strawberry plants, and some space to grow.

Strawberry 2

There is a forest fire, and a lot of trees and poison ivy die. A large area of sun and soil is now open for new plant life.

Strawberry 3

If we were cleaning with probiotics, we would use a product containing millions of beneficial bacteria. In the forest, we go in and sow lots of strawberry plants.

Strawberry 4

The strawberries quickly grow and spread, stopping the poison ivy from filling the space left by the fire.