The best temperatures to keep our friendly microbes happy

best temperatures

Most of our products contain spores of indigenous bacilli microbes

What are the best temperatures to keep them happy? 

Adding synthetic enzymes to soap is so yesterday. Enzymes are harsh chemicals and can cause all sorts of allergic reactions. Mrs Martin’s products do not use enzymes, or any harsh chemicals. Instead, our products include intelligent microbes that make microscopic amounts of the correct enzymes on demand. Our friendly microbes help with cleaning, and with rehabilitating the waste water. This technology is the result of 20 years’ research by the CSIR, initially to address problems caused by superbugs.

We recently sat down with our chief scientist to chat about temperatures. He explained that due to proprietary technology our spores are tolerant of temperatures up to 90°C. If you wash your linen at temperatures higher than 90°C, the spores will die. If you pour the detergent into boiling water, the spores will die.

The spores can hatch at a range of temperatures but the optimum growth temperature is 35°C. That also means that people who prefer to clean with lukewarm water, can do so.

Once the spores have hatched, the microbes can tolerate temperatures up to 60°C. 

Microbes are actually not too delicate

Microbes are masters of adapting to their environment – that is why they are the largest population of living creatures on earth! Also keep in mind that each millilitre of soap holds more than 10 million spores so as long as boiling water is not used, there will be plenty hatching at any stage of the cleaning process.

So feel free to wash your towels on the hottest cycle. While any microbes that hatched before the water got really hot, will die, millions of spores will survive and hatch afterwards. They will be working in your washing machine drum and pipes and in your towels until it is completely dry.

In summary:

  • Spores are tolerant up to 90°C. At boiling point, they die.
  • Optimum growth temperature is 35°C.
  • Once hatched, the microbes can tolerate up to 60°C.

Hoe werk mikrobes vir skoonmaak?

So onlangs as 150 jaar gelede het Joseph Lister eendag voorgestel dat dokters hulle hande moet was en instrumente moet steriliseer voor operasies. Die skoner teatertoestande het daartoe gelei dat prosedures oneindig suksesvoller was as voorheen. Skielik het mense verstaan hoe belangrik higiëne is. Vandag nog word gereelde was van hande ’n baie belangrike aspek van gesondbly gereken.

Alle bakterieë skadelik?

Maar êrens het ons alle bakterieë as ‘skadelik’ begin aanskou. Oormatige gebruik van anti-bakteriële middels uitwendig, en antibiotika inwendig, het wel aansteeklike siektes laat minder word, maar nou sit ons met allergieë en outo-immuunsiektes en wonder hoekom. Nuwe navorsing dui al hoe meer op hoe voordelig meeste bakterieë regtig is, en hoe kompleks jou verhouding met jou eie mikrobioom is.

Wat is bakterieë eintlik?

Bakterieë is eintlik mos eensellige fabrieke. Hulle gebruik die boustowwe wat hulle in hulle omgewing vind, om allerhande nuttige samestellings te vervaardig. Ons gebruik reeds bakterieë om goed soos antibiotika, vitamines, proteïene, inentings en ensieme vir ons te vervaardig.

Afval word ook baie doeltreffend deur bakterieë afgebreek. Wanneer ’n besoedelde area deur mikrobes herstel word, word dit bioremediëring genoem. Miskien het jy al gelees van groot olie-stortings soos die Exxon Valdez (wat 380 miljoen liter olie in die see gestort het), of die Deepwater Horizon boor (wat 800 miljoen liter olie gelek het). Omdat ru-olie ín die natuur voorkom en soms in die see inlek deur die seebodem, is daar reeds bakterieë in die see wat die koolwaterstowwe in ru-olie, kan verteer. Wat opruimwerkers moes doen, was om hierdie bakterieë se getalle groter te maak deur nog daarvan in die see te spuit. Dit word biologiese aanvulling genoem.

Inheemse bacillusbakterieë

Hier in Suid-Afrika is daar al meer as ’n dekade gelede besef dat bakterieë wat behoort tot die bacillus genus, baie nuttig aangewend kan word. Bacillus bakterieë is staafvormige, aerobiese bakterieë wat spore vorm. Die spore is bestand teen hitte, koue, bestraling en uitdroging asook ontsmettingsmiddels. Dit beteken hulle is nuttig as aktiewe agente in skoonmaakmiddels.

Beide die beginsels van bioremediëring en biologiese aanvulling word ingespan. Kom ons dink aan ’n stortvloer. Die goeie bacillusbakterieë is klaar teenwoordig op jou stortvloer. Jy kan dit nie help nie en dit beteken nie jy is vuil nie. Hulle is daar omdat bakterieë oral is en omdat daar vir hulle kos is. In plaas daarvan om daarteen te stry en jou stort steriel te probeer kry (onmoontlik, want die lug is ook vol bakterieë; onnodig, want dis nie skadelik vir jou nie!), kan jy die beginsel van biologiese aanvulling toepas. Gebruik ’n skoonmaakmiddel wat die populasie aanvul!

As jy jou stortvloer met SURFACE skoonmaak, is jy besig om die goeie bakteriee aan te vul.

Laat die bakterieë skoonmaak

Só werk dit: ’n Hele paar miljoen bacillusspore is in die skoonmaakmiddel wat jy op die stortvloer spuit. Binne minute kan die spoor begin ontkiem. As die toestande gunstig is, leef die bakterieë en begin vermeerder. Die eerste ding wat die bakterieë doen, is om reuke te bestry. Omdat hulle dadelik begin vermeerder, kompeteer hulle vir spasie en woel en wemel letterlik die skadelike bakterieë uit die pad. Die bakterieë begin ook dadelik ensieme produseer wat die afval wat op die stortvloer is, afbreek sodat hulle dit kan eet. Wanneer die stort weer gebruik word, spoel die bakterieë in die septiese tenk in, waar dit vaste stowwe begin verteer. Dit beteken die tenk word stadiger vol en daar is minder blokkasies.

Die bakteriee hou jou lappie en spons reukvry.

Gestel jy gebruik nie ’n septiese tenk nie, maar spoel die water weg. Die bakterieë gaan al die pad tot by die watersuiweringswerke voort om nitriete en nitrate uit die water te haal. So vind bioremediëring van die stortvloer en die water plaas. Alles word algaande al hoe skoner, en sodra die bakterieë se kos op is, sterf hulle.

Hou in gedagte

’n Paar dinge moet ingedagte gehou word as jy oorskakel na hierdie manier van skoonmaak. Natuurlik moet daar sekergemaak word die bakterieë in die seep is inderdaad vriendelik en nie patogenies nie. Dit kan nie in ’n komposgat gekweek word nie – dit moet in ’n laboratorium gekweek word en noukeurig nagegaan word vir siekte. Dit maak ook sin om inheemse bakterieë te gebruik eerder as ingevoerde bakterieë. Verder kan niks wat homself anti-septies noem, saam met sulke skoonmaakmiddels gebruik word nie. Dink aan JIK. As jy biologies wil skoonmaak, is JIK nie meer deel van jou arsenaal nie, want dit maak al die bakterieë in jou seep dood en die doeltreffendheid is daarmee heen. Bleikmiddels is bowendien sleg vir die omgewing so dis nie regtig skade om dit opsy te sit nie. En soos met alle natuurlike oplossings, vat dit langer om te werk. Die bakterieë het tyd nodig. Hoe meer jy die populasie aanvul, hoe vinniger raak die proses, maar aanvanklik gebeur dinge nie oornag nie.

Dis natuurlik en intelligent

Die voordele van hierdie manier van skoonmaak is maklik om raak te sien. Dit boots die natuur na; span die lewe wat daar reeds is, in om vir ons te werk. Minder chemikalieë is nodig. ’n Bietjie surfaktant om die water natter te maak is amper al wat nodig is – die bakterieë doen die res. Dis ’n intelligente manier van skoonmaak – die bakterieë ontleed die omgewing en produseer die regte hoeveelheid van die regte ensieme om alles te verteer.

Verantwoordelik. Intelligent. Veilig.

Ons  reeks skoonmaakmiddels word in top laboratoriums hier in Pretoria vervaardig. Alle bakterieë is inheems, spesifiek uitgekies vir die toepassing, en silwerskoon. Dis hoekom ons onsself graag verantwoordelik, intelligent en veilig noem.

Het jy al ooit biologies skoongemaak? Wat was jou ondervinding?

Of smells and scents and sightlessness

south African guide-dogs association

My mother-in-law is blind. She was born blind, inherited from her grandmother. She keeps her home: irons, washes, cooks and cleans magnificently. But in her own way.

Martin grew up in a house for example, where cooking was done from memory, on smell and sound. Mom knew all the recipes off by heart. She taught him to smell when the food was not cooked; nearly there; and ready. He learned to listen for the tick-tick-tick before milk boils on the stove.  She smells eggs at the store to know if they are fresh or stale. She predictably refuses a drink from a glass that comes from the dishwasher ‘smelling like spit’. Wash day at Mom-in-law’s house is a rosy affair. You smell the Stasoft throughout the whole house. The washing has to smell positively floral.

My mom again was allergic to laundry softener. Quite literally. Our clothes were not smelling like anything when it came from the line, stiff and hard. And that satisfied her: no smell meant the clothes were clean! So in my house we are trying to find the happy medium. I haven’t been using fabric softener in more than ten years. So my laundry smells faintly of soap when I pack it in the cupboard, and we are all fine with that. On rainy days when it lay in the washing machine a tad too long, and that distinctive ‘wet dog’ smell creeps in, I simply wash the load again. I hate masking a smell. I want to know it smells clean because it is clean.

 

Except in the loo. I understand very well why we settle for masking smells there! It does not feel wrong. The cause of the smell is already washing down a pipe somewhere and I am dealing with the fleeting leftover wafts for my own comfort and that of my housemates. So yes, we do use toilet spray!

I sometimes marvel at the potency of smell in bringing back memories. I have three arch smells. The strong smell of Jeyes Fluid reminds me of the nervous giddiness in my tummy I used to feel when Mom dropped me at nursery school.  The most unpleasant smell of my childhood? In 1982 the five-year-old me went through a ‘spookhuis’ with Mom and brother Cori. I am positive that this was at Funworld on the Durban Beachfront but I might be wrong. After those horrific two minutes I could not stand the smell of vinca flowers! Somehow to me it smelled the same as that ‘spookhuis’.

Orange flavoured Lip Ice takes me back to being five too. We never got Lip Ice except for when Tannie Dalene bought us some. But that orange flavour has to be my happy spot… even today it makes me feel at home and in heaven at once. I guess that is subconsciously why I named our citrus ODOUR fragrance Happy! Also because I absolutely love Clinique Happy perfume. But let’s not get started on perfume!

I understand why smell is so important to Mom-in-law. It is her gauge of the state of things. Even more so than for us. How wonderful that we can control odours to a large extent! What is your happy smell? I’d love to hear!