“Not many scientific studies have asked which are the most effective disinfecting agents to use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, because it was discovered so recently,” says Siobain Duffy, Associate Professor of Ecology at Rutgers University with expertise in emerging viruses and microbial evolution. “So scientists are assuming that what works against other coronaviruses can work against this one.”
- Cleaning products containing bleach, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide are the best at disinfecting surfaces and killing off germs.
- SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to survive on some surfaces for up to 16 hours, making it important to disinfect your home on a regular
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends daily sanitation to sterilize frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Use antiseptic products such as disinfectant spray or wipes.
- Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended.
- “Each disinfecting chemical has its own specific instructions,” says Donald Schaffner, professor and extension specialist in food science with expertise in microbial risk assessment. “But an important general rule is that you shouldn’t immediately wipe a cleaning solution off as soon as you’ve applied it to a surface. Let it sit there long enough to kill viruses first.”
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I clean and disinfect for Covid-19?
- How do I clean with bleach?
- What about alcohol?
- Can I use hydrogen peroxide?
- Will vinegar kill off coronavirus?
Check out the World Economic Forum’s guide here for answers!
- Australian Dept. of Health: Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19
- South Australia Dept. of Health: COVID-19 Cleaning and disinfection in the workplace
- Western Australia Dept. of Health: Environmental cleaning for workplaces
- Coronavirus: These products work best to kill the virus