Your kitchen cabinet may be stocked with adequate cleaning supplies to kill Coronaviruses, but you need to be careful as not all chemicals will work.
Each disinfecting chemical product has its own specific instructions. An important rule is that you should not immediately wipe a cleaning solution off as soon as you have sprayed it on a surface. It needs to sit for a specified period of time to kill viruses first. You do not need to spend a lot of money on supplies – you can buy bleach and make a simple bleach solution at home.
GENERAL DISINFECTING GUIDELINES
- It is important to use detergent or soap and water on unclean surfaces before you disinfect them. There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Disinfecting is what kills the viruses.
- The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you do daily disinfecting for frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, phones, toilets, sinks etc. Coronavirus can last up to 16 hours on surfaces so daily disinfecting is important
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of household disinfectants that should be effective against Coronaviruses. A full list is at epa.gov.
- These products will be labeled that they kill bacteria and viruses (for example Lysol and Clorox products).
- The ONLY household product capable of killing Coronavirus is a diluted household bleach solution.
- Check to be sure the Bleach is not past its expiration date.
- NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or any other household cleaner. This can release dangerous fumes.
- To prepare a bleach solution: Add 4 teaspoons Bleach per Quart of water. Let the solution sit on surfaces at least 1 minute and then give the surface a wipe. Use the solution within 24 hours (after that it loses its disinfecting effectiveness).
- If you have Asthma or other breathing problems- be careful not breathing in this solution as it can give off fumes.
- Alcohol in any form, including rubbing alcohol, can be used to kill Coronavirus. You should dilute alcohol with water, but you need to keep an alcohol concentration of around 70% alcohol to kill coronavirus. 100 % alcohol is actually less effective and it dries off from surfaces too fast.
- Hard liquor, like Vodka is NOT effective. Vodka is 80 proof which means it is only 40% alcohol, that is not high enough to effectively kill Coronaviruses
- Hand sanitizers (check the label) should have an alcohol concentration of at least 60% alcohol to kill Coronaviruses. Not all hand sanitizers will kill viruses.
NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS
- Vinegar (any kind), Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil or any other Oils are NOT effective in killing Coronaviruses. Do NOT use these to disinfect your home
These tips can help you clean and disinfect your home to protect yourself and your loved ones. Paying attention to those products that are effective in killing Coronaviruses will protect your home. Cleaning and disinfecting every day on surfaces at home will kill these viruses.
Article by Sharon Gray
Updated May 1, 2020