The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a list of the best coronavirus cleaning products, to help you ensure your home and work environment is as germ-free as possible. These are the cleaning products you should be arming yourself with to try and ward off the virus. Check out the full list from the EPA here.
Update: A further list had been released by the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries. This list is more extensive, and has been broken up into three categories: ready to use, dilutable and wipes.
While it's a smart move to bump up your cleaning supplies, you're not going to be able to disinfect every surface you're going to come into contact with, which is why it's so important to make sure you're washing your hands frequently. See our guide to where to buy hand sanitizer, and our run-through of the correct hand washing steps for more on this.
Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner | $2.97 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
This Multi-Surface Cleaner promises to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, and is an approved coronavirus cleaning product. This pourable cleaner can be used neat for spot cleaning, or diluted to clean large surfaces like floors. Suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms as well as the rest of the home.
UK shoppers: Browse the Dettol (Lysol) range at Waitrose & Partners (opens in new tab)
The EPA list is focused on US products. Lysol products feature repeatedly on the EPA list of Coronavirus cleaning products – in the UK, Lysol is known as Dettol. Browse the range at Waitrose for equivalent products, from sprays to wipes.
Lysol Power Plus Toilet Bowl cleaner | $2.49 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
This approved Coronavirus cleaning product has a thick formula and an angled nozzle that helps you reach tricky areas. It should ensure your whole entire toilet bowl is clean, deodorised and sanitised. There's also a lavender-scented version (opens in new tab), if you prefer.
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes | $41.99 for 700 at Quill (opens in new tab)
This 700-pack of disinfectant wipes might be slightly bigger than you were hoping for, but it'll certainly last you a while – which might be a good move right now.
Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner Spray (6 bottles) | $95.99 at Staples (opens in new tab)
This fast-acting bleach disinfectant has broad-spectrum efficacy. Pick up a multi-pack of the spray version of this cleaner at Staples.
Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner | $43.09 at Office Depot (opens in new tab)
A non-spray version of this bleach cleaner is available at Office Depot. This bumper pack contains 128oz of cleaner.
Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach (12 pack) | $23.64 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Disinfect your toilet bowl with this gel cleaner. It promises to kill 99.9% of germs as well as removing stains. If a 12-pack is too many, there's also a variety pack of 4 for $11.30 (opens in new tab) – this contains both the Toilet Bowl Cleaner and a Clinging Bleach Gel.
The CDC recommends routinely cleaning any surfaces that are used a lot – e.g. tables, light switches, handles and doorknobs, desks, toilets and sinks – using household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants.
While these are the products and brands that have been officially named, there are some general rules about the types of coronavirus cleaning products you should be looking out for.
Soap and water
There's plenty of chat about hand sanitizer, but all the main medical sources say soap and water is just as good. It's key to make sure you're using the correct hand washing steps in order to create friction to lift the dirt, grime and germs from your hands. Bar soap or liquid soap is fine, and if you opt for a moisturising formula it can stop your hands from drying out from the increased washing.
- Buy soap at Amazon UK (opens in new tab) or Amazon US (opens in new tab)
- Hand soap at Waitrose (opens in new tab)
- Hand soap at Boots (opens in new tab)
- Buy soap at Walmart (opens in new tab)
Alcohol gel / Isopropyl alcohol
In the absence of soap and water, alcohol gel is a good idea. You want to be looking for solutions that contain at least 70 per cent alcohol. However, hand sanitizer is pretty much sold out everywhere right now, so good luck finding any. While is it possible to make your own hand sanitizer using Isopropyl alcohol (known as rubbing alcohol), it's more difficult to make sure you're including an effective proportion of alcohol in your solution this way, so it's not really recommended.
For household surfaces, the CDC recommends using a diluted bleach solution. A rough ratio to follow is one tablespoon (1.8 ml) of bleach per gallon (3.8 L) of water. Remember: bleach is a harsh substance, so treat it with care. Wear gloves when handling bleach, and don't mix it with anything other than water. It's not recommended for stainless steel surfaces as it can corrode metal over time, and if you're regularly using it on other surfaces, consider also wiping down with water afterwards to avoid discolouring or damaging the surface.