Keeping Your Home Clean and Safe from the Virus
Cleaning Products That Destroy Coronavirus
Soap and Water
Just the friction from scrubbing with soap (any kind of soap) and water can break the coronavirus’s protective envelope. Discard the towel or leave it in a bowl of soapy water for a while to destroy any virus particles that may have survived. Using antibacterial soap won’t give you added protection against the coronavirus because it kills bacteria, not viruses. You can still use it as long as you scrub.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a diluted bleach solution (⅓ cup bleach per 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per 1 quart of water) for virus disinfection. Wear gloves while using bleach, and never mix it with ammonia—or anything, in fact—except water. (The only exception is when doing laundry with detergent.) Once mixed, don’t keep the solution for longer than a day because the bleach will lose potency and can degrade certain plastic containers.
Always clean the surface with water and detergent first, since many materials can react with bleach and deactivate it. Dry the surface, then apply the bleach solution and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before wiping it off.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against the coronavirus on hard surfaces. First, clean the surface with water and detergent. Apply the alcohol solution (do not dilute it) and let it sit on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Alcohol is generally safe for all surfaces but can discolor some plastics.
According to the CDC, household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in deactivating rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down the coronavirus in less time. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be cleaned, but let it sit on the surface for at least 1 minute.
Hydrogen peroxide is not corrosive, so it’s okay to use it on metal surfaces. But similar to bleach, it can discolor fabrics if you accidentally get it on your clothes. It’s great for getting into hard-to-reach crevices. You can pour it on the area, and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.
The EPA has established certain guidelines as to how certain cleaning products should be used to protect against the COVID-19 Virus.
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes
Remove excess dirt.
Wipe down surface.
Let surface dry (needs to maintain surface contact for 4 minutes for disinfection).
Clorox® Clean-Up (Spray)
Remove excess dirt.
Spray product 4-6 inches from surface until thoroughly wet.
Let stand for 30 seconds.
Rinse or wipe clean.
Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes - Lemon and Lime Blossom®
Use enough fresh wipes to thoroughly wet surface
Allow to remain wet for 4 minutes.
Allow surface to air dry. Toss dirty wipe away.
Lysol® All-Purpose Cleaner - Lemon Breeze
Preclean surface. Spray surface until thoroughly wet.
To Disinfect:Leave for 2 minutes before wiping.
Rinse all food contact surfaces with water after use..
Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach2
Mop or wipe with bleach solution. Refer to your product label for dosing instructions.
Allow solution to contact surface for at least 5 minutes. Rinse well and air dry.
Lysol® Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner - Clean & Fresh Lemon
Apply to surface until thoroughly wet
Leave for 10 minutes before wiping
Rinse all food contact surfaces with water after using the product
What Not to Use Against Coronavirus
Homemade Hand Sanitizer
You’re probably seeing all sorts of hand sanitizer recipes floating around your social media and the internet, but Thomas at Upstate Medical University advises against making your own. “People don’t know the right ratios to use, and the internet won’t give you the right answer,” he says. “Not only can you hurt yourself, but it could give you a false sense of security.”
There are widely circulated recipes on the internet using vodka to combat the coronavirus. A couple of vodka makers, including Tito’s, have already come out with statements telling their customers that their 80-proof product does not contain enough ethyl alcohol (40 percent compared with the 70 percent required) to kill the coronavirus.
Distilled White Vinegar
Disinfection recommendations using vinegar are popular online, but there is no evidence that they are effective against the coronavirus.
Tea Tree Oil
While there is preliminary research that suggests tea tree oil may have an effect against the herpes simplex virus, there is no evidence that it can kill coronaviruses.