The COVID-19 outbreak, caused by a novel coronavirus, has stores scrambling to try to keep cleaning and sanitizing products on the shelves. Items such as hand sanitizer and face masks are hard to come by as people are stockpiling them out of fear of getting sick from the virus.
So, what do you do if you can’t find those convenient products in your favorite store? Fortunately, you may already have cleaning products that can help combat this virus right in your home. In a recent article, Consumer Reports highlighted a number of common household products anyone can use to help destroy this coronavirus virus.
Despite all the fear about the virus, this coronavirus strain (like other coronaviruses) is actually easy to kill out in the open, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product,” said the EPA on its webpage for disinfecting for this coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
Certain cleaning products can break that protective envelope surrounding the virus and shut it down, reducing your chances of catching the respiratory illness from your environment. Many people are surprised at the potential effectiveness of simple household products against the coronavirus, though it should be noted that transmission from contaminated surfaces has not yet been documented with the coronavirus.
Consumer Reports recommended four specific products to use to fight against this coronavirus strain:
Soap and Water
Plain old soap and water truly is one of the most effective combos against this virus. Simply using soap and water with friction will break through the virus’s outer protective envelope to kill it.
Palli Thordarson, a professor of chemistry at the University of South Wales, explains why soap is so effective, including some handy diagrams to show soap’s powerful effect on breaking down the coronavirus’ defense.
1/25 Part 1 – Why does soap work so well on the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus and indeed most viruses? Because it is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. A two part thread about soap, viruses and supramolecular chemistry #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/OCwqPjO5Ht
— Palli Thordarson (@PalliThordarson) March 8, 2020
The bottle of bleach you probably have under your sink is a powerhouse against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control recommends preparing a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
Make sure the bleach is not past its expiration date, and that you mix the solution in a well-ventilated area. Also, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household chemicals, as the combination can result in toxic fumes. Wear disposable gloves.
In this case, we are not talking about the kind of alcohol you drink. Dr. Siouxsie Wiles, associate professor in charge of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, said that ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are both effective at fighting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Many people already have isopropyl alcohol at home (rubbing alcohol). You do not need to dilute this solution. Simply use it straight out of the bottle as a cleanser, but be careful with plastics. Also, it is flammable, so be cautious when using it as an overall cleaner.
We all know hydrogen peroxide does a fantastic job cleaning out minor cuts and scrapes. However, its cleansing ability also works against this coronavirus strain. The Environmental Protection Agency includes a variety of commercial cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide on its official list of effective chemicals against COVID-19. If you cannot find these specific cleaners in your local store, then Consumer Reports suggested putting undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and then spraying the surfaces you want to clean. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for a few minutes to allow it to fight against the virus’s outer protective layer before wiping it up.
You can easily keep your home clean and disinfected with these items and help combat the coronavirus based on what we currently know!