A Game Changer in Modern Cleaning
Probiotic cleaning, using bacteria to clean, has been a proven method used by the professional cleaning industry for decades. The turn has now finally come to the consumer market where a Swedish entrepreneur and environmentalist, Linda Rosendahl Nordin, has introduced biotech-based cleaning brand Pure Effect.
Pure Effect is the result of her own realization that cleaning products as we know them consist of nothing but water and several harmful chemicals. In effect, they often do nothing more than covering up dirt, germs and filth with intrusive scents. Probiotic cleaning products use nature’s own and essential bacteria to break down dirt, grime, grease and eliminate foul smells in the process. And as probiotics are live matter, they keep at it long after you finish cleaning.
Photography portraits: Mikael Lundblad
What is your professional background?
I’m not a biochemist as one might think, the knowledge I have of the microbiological world we live in has been gathered over the past six years working with Pure Effect. After university, I spent 12 years in the world of executive education at Stockholm School of Economics, where I last held a position as Communications and Marketing Director.
What drove you to found Pure Effect, and when did you start your journey with biotech-based cleaning?
In 2013 I had a personal health and environmental crisis, realizing the number of chemicals we push into our ecosystem have consequences for human health. I arranged a seminar with professor Åke Bergman at Stockholm University to spread the word on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. And this is where I started the Pure Effect journey.
What are some of the most obvious pros of your products?
It does the job more efficiently than traditional cleaning products and removes odour in a way that chemistry can’t. We use the power of microbes, nature’s own cleaners, to remove the source of the odour rather than covering the smell with perfume. In addition, biotechnology changes how we use land since we can ferment the active ingredients instead of using fossil or plant-based chemicals. A resource-efficient game changer.
”A huge misconception today is that bacteria only are carriers of disease. It is important to know that your whole immune system consists of bacteria, and benefits from them to stay strong and healthy.”
What are some of the misconceptions of probiotic cleaning among the public?
That our products are anti-bacterial. That comment always makes me smile since it’s just the opposite – they are highly bacterial and that’s the point! A huge misconception today is that bacteria only are carriers of disease. It is important to know that your whole immune system consists of bacteria, and benefits from them to stay strong and healthy.
Why, in your opinion, are we still picking uploads of different chemical products with more or less intrusive smells to clean our homes?
There are many reasons for that I think. The fear of bacteria and lack of knowledge when it comes to the invisible microbial world is one of them. A question I often get is “If this is so good, how come everyone isn’t using it already?” A fair question and the short answer is that we’re all, more or less, stuck in an establishment and an attitude that “this old way works, I’ll wait until everyone else is doing it”. When it comes to smell and fragrance, it’s a cultural thing. In some parts of the world, it’s really important that “clean” smells of chlorine or heavy perfume. Even though perfume often just covers up the dirt still left in the material. ”Clean” actually doesn’t smell at all.
Do you have a theory as to why it has taken so long for this method of cleaning to break into the consumer market?
Like all new technologies, change takes time. You can compare it to the Tesla breakthrough when it comes to electric vehicles and today every brand is doing it. We see some competitors on the consumer market today and look forward to some help spreading the word. It’s not just a walk in the park to be a pathfinder. Biotechnological products have been used for professional cleaning for more than 20 years but the lack of criteria for consumer products makes communicating with that market a lot more challenging.