Girl Wins Science Fair With Cleaning Discovery

When a particularly rough bug hit fourth-grader Lily Smith's school in Cleveland, Ohio, she decided to do something about it, according to an article on the Good Housekeeping website. Smith did an experiment for her school's science fair to determine which cleaning product would do the best job killing germs.

According to a custodian at Smith's school, Smith's findings suggested they weren't using the right products. Smith swabbed her toilet, sink and bathtub, then cleaned the swabs with bleach, disinfecting spray and essential oil to see which one grew the most bacteria over the course of seven days (and, as a result, doing the worst job zapping germs).

The oil produced the least amount of bacteria — and Smith took home the first place prize for her work.

Carolyn Forte, Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute said the institute found that both bleach and disinfecting spray are very effective at killing germs.

"What's important to remember is that not all products are equally effective on the same types of bacteria and different chemistries work differently. It's always best to check the labels to see what germs they will kill and how best to use them,” Forte said in the article.

As for the oil, Forte says essential oils can kill germs, so it makes sense that they would perform well in this experiment.

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