One of the most reiterated tips that can help slow the spread of coronavirus is to wash hands frequently, and so it makes sense that you’d also want to disinfect your home and all its high-touch surfaces (think door handles, remotes, and countertops). But what's the best way to make sure you're really removing those nasty germs, instead of just rearranging them? Not all cleaning supplies are created equally, but the EPA released an official list of disinfectant products that can effectively kill the virus — and the good news is that you’ll recognize some of the names on this list. While hand sanitizer, soap, and cleaning products are tough to find in stores and online right now, you may already have some of these disinfectants at home.
The not-as-good news is that you need to make sure you’re using a disinfectant instead of an all-purpose cleaner, which will not kill germs. That means that while my Mrs. Meyer's all-purpose spray smells amazing (a big shoutout to the geranium scent that makes my kitchen smell like a fancy hotel), it will not stand up to the virus.
Don’t freak out, though. “Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product,” the EPA said in a press release. “Consumers using these disinfectants ... should follow the directions for use on the product’s master label, paying close attention to the contact time for the product on the treated surface (i.e., how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface).” So as long as you're using the disinfectant the way it's designed to be used and for a long enough time, you should have no problem killing the germs at home.
Read on for five EPA-approved disinfectants that will help keep your house free of coronavirus. Just make sure that, as with all cleaning supplies, your disinfectants are stored safely out of reach from little ones. And one more word of caution before you shop: Cleaning supplies (especially the following products) are selling out super fast right now, and some sellers are marking them up way, way beyond their retail value. There are plenty of options out there, so don't blow your budget on a container of disinfecting wipes!