Babies and bacteria, don't exactly go together. Most mums prefer to try to keep the two apart. I know I developed a particular fussiness about it when I became a new mum. Now that my little tiny newborn is a hulking great five year old, there are times when it still is an issue. Eating at the local playground, bedtime accidents, and generally getting as much muck on his clothes throughout the day as possible.
So I was very interested in what our PlayPennies mum Melanie, mother of three aged 6 to 6 months, was going to say about the antibacterial products we received for review from Milton.
Initially she was skeptical and unsure about what use she'd put them to. "I don't believe in this whole anti-bacterial trend" she said. "So was a bit worried I was the wrong person to try these out!".
Melanie tried the Milton Antibacterial Hand Gel, Surface Wipes, Surface Spray and Fabric Solution.
"I might have got more use out of the fabric solution if I used washable nappies" says Melanie. "But for various reasons I use disposables. It was actually my nearly four year old who got the most use out of this, as he still occasionally wets the bed. Normally I would wash his sheets at 90 degrees, but using the fabric solution I washed them at a much lower 30 degrees."
According to Milton, the Fabric Solution (£5.61 for 1000ml) can be used even in cold washes, and it will kill bacteria and fungi. You use it along with your normal washing powder. "Well, his sheets and pyjamas certainly smell fresh, which I wasn't expecting after a cooler wash. But, does it kill the bacteria? How can I know that?" comments Melanie.
"I just have to trust that it has done its job!"
The Surface Spray (£2.24 for 500 ml) is, according to Milton, ideal for kitchen surfaces, baby baths, highchairs, changing mats and toys. On the label, it says that you just need to wipe the spray, there's no need to rinse unless used on an area where it will come into contact with food. This latter bit annoyed Melanie.
"Well, what's the point of that? I can't see myself replacing my vinegar and lemon spray for giving the high chair tray a quick wipe. But the spray did come into its own when I had a hellish mishap at the end of term. Dog poo on our garden path! Someone let their dog poo right on the path to our front door. My six year old and I walked right through it without even realising on the way home from school! God it was awful, I'd walked all the way into the house, through the hall, the living room and into the kitchen before the stench reached me. Yelling at the kids to stay where they were and DO NOT MOVE, I grabbed the spray bottle and kitchen towels, and retraced my steps spraying and wiping as I went."
Melanie didn't think that it smelled particularly fruity, as it says on the website. "It has a distinct chemical odour, but really I don't care. When you're wiping up dog poo while trying not to gag, chemical is good!"
The Surface Wipes had a much stronger chemical-ish smell. Melanie feels like I do about toilet wipes - that they're frankly a waste of money not to mention a burden on the environment. And a major cause of toilet blockages. If I need to freshen the toilet then a spray and a wipe with loo roll does the job. The toilet wipes cost £2.24 per pack.
"When I go out, I normally tuck a few disinfectant wipes into a plastic self-sealing bag for use in public toilets or to wipe down baby change areas. I didn't take the entire pack of Miltons with me, even though they're conveniently smaller than the usual ones I get. I just tucked a few in a plastic bag as per usual. They're nicely moist, and clean up surfaces quite well. I didn't really notice that the surfaces dried faster than my normal wipes - I don't really pay that much attention to public loos!" says Melanie.
Finally, there was the moisturising Hand Gel (£2.14 for 100 ml). "I loved the smell of this, it was nice on the hands, and I guess it was probably better than using baby wipes, as I would normally do. Although with my son I had to anyway, he's such a dirt magnet."
And Finally ...
What was Melanie's verdict? Overall she thought she'd buy the fabric solution and the surface spray again. "There seemed to be good reasons for me to at least keep these about, although I probably wouldn't use them as often as the manufacturer would like! I'm certainly not about to dose every clothes wash." she said.
"I've got nothing against the hand gel, it felt lovely on my hands. But I have enough to carry out with me when I go out the house and my baby wipes have done the job till now. I don't see the point of it, for me at least. I only use the surface wipes when I'm out, so I've hardly touched the pack so far!"