9 EPA-Registered Coronavirus Cleaning Products
Disinfect your home safely and effectively during Covid-19 with these EPA-registered cleaning products that kill coronavirus.
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EPA-registered coronavirus cleaning products
Like most people, you’ve probably been more mindful of your personal hygiene habits at home as Covid-19 cases continue to rise worldwide. A good way to help prevent the spread of the virus is to wash your hands and use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectants for everyday surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To make sure cleaning products actually kill the germs they say they do, the EPA requires that products meet a certain set of criteria. At this time, they do have a searchable list of disinfectants that should be effective against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
This virus is known as an emerging pathogen, which is any germ that has newly appeared in a population or one that may have existed, but is now rapidly increasing, according to Sean Parry, cleaning expert and founder of London-based house cleaning company Neat Services.
While SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, is too new for products to make specific claims about, research published in The Journal of Hospital Infection suggests that many common household disinfectants are effective for fighting SARS-CoV-2. (The study looked at disinfectants that killed SARS-CoV, the related virus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003.)
In addition to purchasing items on this list, consumers should read product labels, which will state what type of germs the product kills, explains Donna Smallin Kuper, certified home cleaning technician and author of Cleaning Plain & Simple. (In this case, the label should say it kills viruses.) She also recommends following directions for use, especially for dwell time. This refers to how long you should let the product sit to do its job before wiping and/or rinsing.
To help point you in the right direction, here are just some of EPA-registered coronavirus cleaning products. At the time of publication, there were 287 products on the EPA’s list; we’ve chosen nine, opting for products that had the best ratings on Amazon. (Keep in mind that some of these products may be sold out or unavailable. We’ve done our best to provide links to sites where these products were not sold out at the time of publication. You can take a greener route by buying from this list of eco-friendly cleaners that kill coronavirus.)
Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach
Clorox is one of the most trusted cleaning brands, and makes the cut for the EPA’s registered coronavirus cleaning products. This product is an all-purpose cleaner that contains bleach, an ingredient that’s a safe bet for most bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus, notes Niket Sonpal, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. He recommends it for use on everything from kitchen countertops to end tables. (Here are some coronavirus myths you should stop believing.)
Clorox Disinfecting Bleach
While bleach-containing products are certainly beneficial when it comes to killing off most bacteria and viruses lurking on surfaces, good old bleach in its simplest form is also a safe bet. “You can’t beat bleach at this time because it literally breaks apart the virus at its core,” says Dr. Sonpal. Its key ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, which is known to kill common germs including salmonella, influenza, and should provide protection against coronavirus. “You can prepare a bleach solution using 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water,” adds Dr. Sonpal.
Lysol Lemon Breeze Scented All Purpose Cleaner & Disinfectant Spray
Lysol is another cleaner that on the EPA’s list for use against the new coronavirus. Their multi-purpose spray works on various surfaces throughout your home or office. “The key ingredient in this product is quaternary ammonium which does a great job killing off bacteria and viruses,” says Dr. Sonpal. “It’s my all-time favorite because of its lemon-fresh scent.” (Read this nurse’s story on getting sick in Wuhan, China.)
Super Sani-Cloth Surface Disinfectant Germicidal Wipes
These diamond-embossed wipes are protective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which is one of the reasons they’re widely used among hospitals. They can also be effective for use at home. Unlike regular surface wipes, these are super strong and thick. They kill a myriad of germs in a matter of minutes and the canister seals efficiently to ensure that the wipes don’t dry out, notes Dr. Sonpal.
CleanSmart CPAP Disinfectant Spray
You can use this acid-based cleaner as an all-purpose disinfectant spray according to Dr. Sonpal. It promises to kill 99 percent of germs, bacteria, and viruses, as well as mold and fungus, so you can feel confident that it’s deep cleaning all sorts of grime around your home. The best part? There’s no wiping needed—just spray and let the surface air dry. (Here’s what this woman packed for the Covid-19 outbreak.)
Ecolab Virasept Disinfectant Spray Cleaner
This hospital-grade surface disinfectant is meant for professional use, so you know it means business. Although it’s recommended use is for bathrooms, it can disinfect just about anything, including porous surfaces such as tables, countertops, bed rails, sinks, shelving units, carts, fridge exteriors, and more. (Here are some coronavirus myths you should stop believing. )
Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Yes, even your toilet requires cleaning during quarantine because the coronavirus can cause diarrhea (among other symptoms) and the virus can be shed in stool. If you’re going to use one you might as well choose one that’s EPA-registered for killing off coronavirus. “Lysol is a very popular and trusted brand in disinfection for a good reason—their stuff works!” says Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer at MaidPro, a home cleaning franchise. It’s easy to use, simply squeeze the sides of the cap and twist to the right.
Isopropyl alcohol has many household purposes, including cleaning surfaces, eliminating odors, and sanitizing hands. Because it contains ethanol, it has antimicrobial properties that fight harmful bacteria and viruses. “It can be used on most sensitive surfaces like marble, granite, and travertine,” says cleaning expert, Mary Cherry, who owns Evie’s Cleaning Company. She recommends not diluting it when using as a disinfectant and using at least a 70 percent strength. (Here’s more information on the safety of DIY hand sanitizers.)
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes
From one of the most trusted hand-sanitizer brands comes all-purpose disinfectant wipes that are equally powerful. “Having wipes will allow you to wrap the wipe around the surface and let it remain wet for the contact time without compromising sensitive surrounding surfaces like stone,” says Cherry. The only catch is that you need to allow them to sit on a surface for at least 10 minutes without touching in order for them to work to their maximum capacity. (Here’s the reason you really need to wash your hands.)
Important Cleaning Reminder
It doesn’t matter how much you clean if your personal hygiene is not in check, notes Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers, a cleaning company. “Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after coming into contact with high-touch areas like door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, etc.” she adds. (Here are other steps you can take to help prevent coronavirus.)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Clean & Disinfect”
- Sean Parry, cleaning expert and founder of London-based house cleaning company Neat Services
- The Journal of Hospital Infection: “Efficacy of various disinfectants against SARS coronavirus”
- Environmental Protection Agency: List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
- Donna Smallin Kuper, certified home cleaning technician and author of Cleaning Plain & Simple
- Niket Sonpal, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City
- Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer at MaidPro
- Mary Cherry, cleaning expert, owner of Evie’s Cleaning Company
- Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers