Does Branch Basics Kill Germs?

Creating a healthy home starts with safe cleaning. With all of the products, buzzwords and claims out there it can be hard to know where to start, especially now when harsh chemicals seem like the only answer. We hope this article sheds light on how you can use Branch Basics to remove germs and keep your household healthy. 

SOAP AND WATER VS. SANITIZER/DISINFECTANT

First a little science! There are two main categories of cleaning products: soap and water and sanitizers/disinfectants. These two product categories handle germs (eg. coronavirus, influenza, etc.) in different ways. Soap and water like Branch Basics REMOVES germs. Sanitizers/disinfectants KILL germs while leaving them in place. As you can imagine, removing germs with soap and water is the best option. We don’t recommend the use of sanitizers/disinfectants under normal circumstances because they can:

  • Contain toxic chemicals
  • Kill good bacteria1
  • Create resistant superbugs (when some germs don’t die)

With that said, here’s how to stay healthy using Branch Basics.

HAND WASHING 

You’ve heard it from doctors, on the news and more than likely from your mom: “wash your hands!” It is well documented that washing your hands with soap and water like Branch Basics Foaming Wash for at least 20 seconds is the best way to remove germs.2 In the case of viruses, including coronavirus, soap dissolves the fatty membrane that holds the virus together. As the virus falls apart, it is rendered harmless and can easily be washed off under running water.3

If soap and water are not readily available and your only option is hand sanitizer, we recommend reaching for a non-toxic one that contains at least 60% alcohol. Here are two safer options: 

CLEANING SURFACES

Routine house cleaning with Branch Basics is sufficient for removing germs and maintaining a healthy home. We recommend spraying your surfaces with All-Purpose Spray or Bathroom Spray and wiping them clean with a microfiber cloth. For frequently used surfaces you can add a teaspoon of The Concentrate to a bowl of warm water, and use a microfiber cloth to scrub the surfaces clean.4 If someone in your home is sick or vulnerable, you can disinfect frequently touched surfaces with the CDC’s two-step disinfecting procedure:

  1. Clean: Spray surfaces with All-Purpose Spray or Bathroom Spray. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. This is an important step as dirt and grease interfere with the germ-killing abilities of sanitizers/disinfectants.
  2. Disinfect: Spray surfaces with a disinfectant. Make sure to account for dwell time by letting it dry on the surface. As mentioned above, disinfectants can be harmful to your health so here are some safer options:
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Straight 3% hydrogen peroxide5
  • Alcohol: Solution with at least 70% alcohol (eg. 140 proof vodka)
  • Dry Steam Cleaners: High heat steam cleaners are an EPA-approved, chemical-free option for disinfecting surfaces. The jet stream of vapor kills viruses, bacteria, dust mites, mold and mildew in 2-7 seconds.

Whether you’re washing your hands or cleaning your surfaces, our advice remains the same: clean first! If you have any questions about using Branch Basics in your home, please reach out to us at info@branchbasics.com or comment below.

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/could-household-disinfectants-be-making-our-children-fat-2018100314949
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html
  4. https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2020/04/17/dr-sanjay-gupta-demo-how-to-clean-with-soap-and-water-coronavirus-town-hall-vpx.cnn
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/203115

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39 Comments

  1. Thanks for the helpful info! Any tips on cleaning carpets? With foot traffic, especially with the virus going around, I am concerned with germs living on the rug. Of course, taking off shoes is the first step. Thanks!

    1. Hi Christina, if you have a carpet cleaner, you could put about 2 tablespoons into it and vacuum clean. Otherwise spraying the areas, scrub and wipe clean also works!

  2. so are you alluding to the fact that Branch basic only cleans, but does not disinfect? I think it’s important to be as clear as possible for those purchasing your product. I have been purchasing and using this product for over a year and concerned now that I was not provided accurate information on what this product actually does.

    1. Hi Lehman, Branch Basics is not a disinfectant. Branch Basics safely and effectively REMOVES germs. Our product does not kill bacteria, germs, etc. like disinfectants, sanitizers, antibacterial products – most have EPA registered pesticides which we refused to do. The CDC has done testing and cleaning with soap and water is the most effective way to remove germs without leaving behind resistant bacteria. With the coronavirus, the CDC is saying to clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces. In order to properly disinfect, you need to make sure that you are cleaning before disinfecting. BB will help with the cleaning part. As for disinfecting, you could use an inexpensive alcohol with 140 proof/ 70% alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Here is what else the CDC is recommending.. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fhome%2Fcleaning-disinfection.html

  3. Do you have recipes to make hand sanitizers if you cannot wash with water and wipes to have made with Branch Basics?

    1. Hi Lisa, we recommend checking out Primally Pure and Luminance’s hand sanitizers if you do not have access to water. gt

  4. I will need to buy a concentrate soon but I don’t need all the refill bottles.
    How much will just the bottle of concentrate be ?
    How much is the extra strength laundry boost?
    What is the minimum for free shipping?

    Are the dryer balls in stock?

    1. Hi Irene, we do sell the concentrate and the oxygen boost all separately. They are also still available. A bottle of the concentrate is $49 and the Oxygen Boost is $10. Orders over $39 have free shipping.

  5. Hello, you are advising to use 140 proof vodka to disinfect. Can you please put out a separate post with more specifics about this. There is a lot of controversy over this right now and a lot of misinformation about how to use it…the numbers are also confusing…60%, 90%…140 proof….what does all this mean?
    Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Amy, 140 Proof= 70% alcohol. The CDC is recommending at least 70% for disinfecting. To figure out the %, you take the proof of the alcohol and divide it in half. Hope this helps!

  6. I was wondering about the combination used for glass & mirrors with the concentrate and water. I’ve combined in my bottle from you, but when using it there seems to be a lot of streaking and smearing. What should I do? Thanks

    1. Hi Sylvia, for the Streak- Free bottle we recommend using distilled water. This will help with the streaking and smearing. Wiping with a microfiber cloth, paper towel, or even a coffee filter also work great to help prevent the streaking and smearing as well.

  7. Is your product safe to use near parrots or on surfaces they will walk on or perhaps eat from, such as their cages?

    1. Hi Amy. Thanks for your question! We have never tested our products around parrots, so we cannot give you a definitive answer. If you do use it, just be sure to rinse the area well.

  8. Is it possible to clean your washing machine tub with it and, if so, how would I go about it? Thank you.

  9. Alcohol and hand sanitizers are out of stock every time I shop. Besides Vodka, do you know any other spirits that can be possibly helpful in fighting against germs?

  10. I have just read through these comments. I am pleased with the information provided in general by Branch Basics and especially with your Customer Service when I have had a question. Thanks Branch Basics for your product, support and integrity.

    1. Hi Kim, you can use BB to clean your floors! Here is our blog post on this- https://branchbasics.com/blog/branch-basics-ultimate-guide-to-nontoxic-floor-cleaning/

      As for disinfecting your floors, vinegar can be used as a disinfectant. Currently, the CDC is not recommending vinegar for disinfecting for the coronavirus. You could use an inexpensive alcohol with 140 proof/ 70% alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. I would be extremely careful using these are hardwood flooring. The CDC is saying to disinfect areas that are highly touched. Cleaning the floors alone may be sufficient enough. Here is what else the CDC is recommending.. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fhome%2Fcleaning-disinfection.html

    1. Hi Barbara, yes BB can remove pencil marks! I would recommend spraying All Purpose onto a cloth and wiping the mark clean. If you need a more concentrated solution, you could also use the Bathroom Bottle.

  11. The first of March I started using denatured alcohol in a spray bottle on my gloves, then items in my cart before off loading purchases into my vehicle or bags.
    I like it because there is no after oder [it does wipe out the writing on recipes and some packages].
    My question–“Will denatured alcohol work?”

    1. Hi Bob. Denatured alcohol contains ethanol and is engineered to discourage recreational human consumption by including additives that are poisonous, bad tasting, bad smelling or nauseating. Yes, it will work, but we recommend using Hydrogen Peroxide or an ethanol (drinkable alcohol) that is 140 proof or more (70% alcohol) as a safer option.

  12. I am new to Brach Basics, but I am very interested. I assume your products are safe to use on soapstone and marble countertops, in terms of their finished surfaces. Is that true?

    1. Jill, we recommend testing BB in a hidden spot on the soapstone first to make sure that it is okay. As for marble, yes it is okay!

  13. Can you use BB as a dish detergent and a toilet bowl cleaner? If so how would you mix it?
    Thanks!

  14. Aloha,
    I have been using BB for a few months now and we have no complaints. It’s the only thing we use in our home for cleaning, dishes and our laundry. Thank you!

    When you say you would use Hydrogen Peroxide to disinfect; you would just spray directly on the surface and allow to dry? Or spray surface, let it sit for 10 minutes and wipe? I want to make sure I understand this part correctly.

    I’ve been doing this after cutting raw meats/chicken. I would rinse and wash with BB and spray everything down with hydrogen peroxide, let sit for 15 minutes and rinse or wipe. Would this be considered safe? I just want to make sure I am cleaning and disinfecting correctly.

    Stay Safe!
    Blessings!

  15. I purchased BB a long time ago, but it arrived in the midst of an unexpected family crisis. My purchase, including a bottle of concentrate, was stored and forgotten until recently when I rediscovered it. The concentrate may be darker than it was originally and I’m wondering if it is still effective. There is a number stamped on the bottom – 5127G7 – in case it helps to identify its age. I want to use it if it will still work as intended!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi! It is a completely normal variation of a natural product. Absolutely every bit as safe and effective! Because it’s a super natural product the color of the chamomile specifically varies in two ways: different crop yields have different colors and it gets darker with time.

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