Cleaning just got a little gentler.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated: April 01, 2019
Courtesy of Aunt Fannie's

Most conventional cleaning supplies contain large quantities of harsh chemicals, many of which are dangerous to the touch, that strip surfaces of any and all bacteria. Nowadays, many of the best places to buy cleaning supplies stock natural, less harsh cleaners that are gentler on cleaners’ skin and bodies while they strip bacteria off surfaces. But these cleaners still get rid of the majority of bacteria, even the good ones.

If the rise of probiotic drinks, yogurts, and foods (kimchi!) have taught us anything, it’s that not all bacteria is bad bacteria. Anyone who has sworn off hand sanitizer that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria knows that killing all that bacteria—good and bad—probably isn’t the best idea, and stripping every last bacterium off every possible surface isn’t always necessary. In these cases, there’s now a new collection of cleaning supplies on the market to offer a gentler, less absolute cleaning option: the Microcosmic line by Aunt Fannie’s.

Aunt Fannie’s is known for its natural, organic cleaning and pest-control solutions (we’re partial to the Aunt Fannie’s fly trap), and now the company is releasing a new line of probiotic-powered cleaning supplies for those surfaces that can handle a little friendly bacteria. Microcosmic includes hand soap and a multi-surface cleaner, both available in four essential oil scents (including a delectable Fresh Lemon scent). Both contain only probiotic and plant ingredients, are hypoallergenic, and have been formulated to match the pH of human skin, so hands can stay a little softer and less dry, even after multiple washings. Aunt Fannie’s Microcosmic cleaners and hand soaps are available on the company website as of April 1 for $9 per product, with more retailers to come.

When I tested the products, I quickly (and happily) realized that the soap smells amazing. It suds up nicely, giving my hands a well-scrubbed feeling without drying them out, even in winter. The multi-surface cleaner is good for hard surfaces, including sealed stone and wood, and did an excellent job of cleaning my stainless steel sink. Knowing that this cleaner is free of harsh chemicals, I’m not afraid to use it on surfaces that may come into contact with food or utensils, including kitchen countertops, tables, and the stovetop.

Many bathroom cleaning supplies and other cleaning tools oversanitize; sometimes, cleaning the bathroom thoroughly means scrubbing with gloves on and then leaving the room to air out for a while to avoid the strong chemical and bleach smells. With the new Microcosmic line, clean also feels healthy and safe to be around—talk about refreshing.