Why do they fail
Similar to the concerns over using antibiotics, the worry is that overuse of these antibacterial products will kill most of the bacteria, good and bad. This leaves only the most resistant of bacteria which may then have a free field and thus cause more damage. Overuse will also make these bacteria develop resistance to the products thus making all these products useless.
A case in this point is the incidence of various infections that the patients contact in the hospital. Invariably these are the infections which are much more difficult to treat. These bacteria are resistant to most of the common antibiotics.
The affect on immunity
The notion is erroneous that all germs should be destroyed, and that ideally children should be raised in a sterile home. If we over-clean and sterilize, children's immune systems will not mature. If we continue using antibacterial products, we won't see problems until children get older. You are basically postponing the onset of disease . The person would be exposed to the disease in later part of life and due to lack of immunity would manifest the disease then. A case in this point is the onset of measles in the adolescent groups in the USA. These were the same people who were given measles vaccination when they were children and as the affect of the vaccine wore out they manifested the disease.
Most bacteria are harmless, and we need to be exposed to numerous different microbes as we grow to develop the antibodies that make up a strong immune system. If a baby's environment is too clean, the immune system may not develop properly.
Where to sterilize your environment
Some doctors are of the opinion that a sterile environment is a requirement in certain environments only. These include operation theatres, ICU, and places where people with compromised immunity are being treated. This may not be needed in other places. New research is showing that we are, through our reckless use of antibacterial products, actually breeding new strains of highly resistant bacteria.
Frequent Hand washing still the most important measure
Although the doctors recommend the use of antibacterial soap and proper hygiene, the most prominent recommendation of them all is frequent hand washing. This has been found to be the single most important factor in prevention of spread of infectious diseases.
Cleaning one's home and environment is considered to be next to godliness; but there can be too much of a good thing. Sterilizing our environment is trying to take on nature in a way that could seriously jeopardize our health.
Why do they fail