Household cleaners that kill staph aureus

Written by tony oldhand
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Household cleaners that kill staph aureus
Proper handwashing with soap gets rid of bacteria. (hygiene image by JASON WINTER from

Staphylococcus aureus is a common household bacteria found predominately in foods. It produces toxins which, if ingested, lead to a variety of ailments. According to the Ohio State University, the symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and cramping. A new strain, called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is resistant to antibiotics. Luckily, chemicals and treatments are available that kill the staph bacterias.

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Hand Washing

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that hands are a common area for bacteria accumulation. The FDA further stated that to prevent bacterial transference from one surface to the next, proper hand washing is essential. Proper hand washing, according to the Conway Regional Health System, includes using soap and warm water and thoroughly scrubbing the hands for 10 to 15 seconds or longer, including scrubbing under the fingernails.


In 2001 Dr. Mark Schneegurt, the Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Wichita State University, stated that bleach kills many forms of bacteria and viruses. The solution should be strong enough to kill the germs but not so strong as to cause you discomfort when cleaning. The recommended ratio is 1 tbsp per gallon of water for food contact surfaces, letting the solution air dry for two minutes.

Spray Disinfectant Cleaners

Many spray disinfectant cleaners are effective to kill Staphylococcus aureus. You have to read the labels closely. By law, cleaners cannot state that they do something when in fact they do not. If the label states the cleaner kills Staphylococcus aureus, follow the application method and times closely.

Goals and Understandings

The goal is to kill the Staphylococcus aureus and its cousin, MRSA. Dr. Schneegurt, however, states that disinfecting is not the same as sterilising. Disinfecting kills the surface bacteria, but sterilising is a more in-depth process. Chemicals alone cannot sterilise a surface completely since bacteria may be deep within the pores. For most household applications, however, contact cleaning of surfaces by chemicals prevents the spread of various bacterias and viruses, including Staph and MRSA.

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