Personal Finance

How to Clean Your Home During COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 can live for hours or even days on some surfaces. To help prevent the spread of coronaviruses in your household, here are our top cleaning tips.

Which UK Cleaning Products Kill COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an enveloped RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus. We can inactivate the virus by dissolving the lipids that surround its structure using hot, soapy water (which is why hand washing is so important). Alcohol works in a similar way to dissolve the lipid coating—so long as the mixture is 60% to 70% alcohol. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide can also be effective.

While it is not yet possible for disinfectant manufacturers to test against the exact 2019-nCoV strain, independent third-party tests have confirmed the efficacy of Clinell Universal and Clinell Sporicidal Wipes (and now Clinell Antimicrobial Hand Wipes - edit: 06/04/20) against MERS-CoV (a related strain of virulent human coronavirus) using international standard test methods.

  • Hot, soapy water (scrub really well!)
  • Alcohol (minimum 60%-70%)
  • Undiluted household hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Bleach solution
  • Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray
  • Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes
  • Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray
  • Dettol Disinfectant Liquid
  • Clinell Universal range
  • Clinell Sporicidal range

The Clinell Sporicidal wipes are supplied inert and contain Sodium Percarbonate as a precursor. Once mixed with water the wipes generate Peracetic Acid for high level disinfection.

To make a bleach solution, the CDC recommends mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of bleach per gallon of water or, for a smaller volume, 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. For reference, 1 US liquid quart equals 946 ml. Bleach can be hard on some surfaces (e.g., metal, some worktops, etc.) and should never be mixed with ammonia or ammonia-containing products.

Cheapest COVID-19 Cleaning Products

We've scoured the web to find where coronavirus cleaning products are still in stock. As of the time of writing, here is where to buy cleaning products that may be effective against COVID-19 and how much they cost.

Cost of UK cleaning products for COVID-19
COVID-19 Cleaning Products UKActive IngredientIn stock atPrice
Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser SprayPer 100g contains 0.07g Benzalkonium ChlorideTesco£1.75
Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant SprayPer 100g contains 57.81g ethanol, 0.09g Alkyl Dimethyl BenzylIceland£2
BleachTesco£2.50
Cif Power & Shine Multipurpose Anti-Bac Spray 700mlBenzalkonium chloride (0.75%)Asda£2.50
Dettol Disinfectant Liquid4.8% ChloroxylenolSuperDrug£3.50 for 750ml
Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes100 g of product contains 0.37g Benzalkonium Chloridecurrently out of stock across the UK£4
Isopropyl alcoholebay£8.50+
Hydrogen peroxideAmazon£8.99
CIF Professional All Purpose CleanerBenzalkonium chloride (0.75%) Viking Direct£9.29
Clinell green universal wipes2% chlorhexidine and 70% ethanol-based alcohol[email protected]minimum 3 packs of 200 for £6 each (£18 total)
Clinell Sporicidal wipes (pack of 25)Peracetic acidAmazon£16.95

Laundry

To help kill germs, wash dirty laundry at 60C or 40C with a bleach-based laundry product. Be sure to remove wet laundry from the washing machine promptly, because any germs that weren't killed in the wash can multiply rapidly in a moist environment. In addition to washing your clothing regularly, remember to was your bed linens (especially pillowcases) and dish drying clothes more frequently than usual.

  • Wash dish drying cloths and bed linens more frequently
  • Wash at 60C minimum
  • Include a laundry disinfectant
  • Dry promptly

How Often Should I Clean?

Germ hotspots like the remote control should be cleaned regularly after use or at least once a day. If a member of your household is displaying symptoms or has been in touch with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, then it's a good idea to clean hotspots throughout the day. Consumer reports recommends cleaning 3 times a day in high traffic areas. Remember that someone can be contagious even if they aren't displaying any symptoms, so err on the safe side.

Germ Hotspots

  • tables
  • light switches
  • counters
  • door handles
  • kitchen cabinet handles
  • desks
  • phones
  • keyboards
  • computer mouses
  • toilets
  • toilet flushes
  • taps
  • sinks
  • remote controls

Cleaning Cloth Tips for Coronavirus

Since coronavirus can live for days on surfaces, your cleaning cloths can harbour the virus and actually spread the virus around your home. To help prevent this, either use disposable cloths or, if you use reusable cloths, be sure to wash them at 60C or hotter and dry promptly. You can also use a laundry disinfectant in the wash. Finally, regularly change your cleaning cloths as you work so that you don't spread germs around your home, for instance moving the virus from the remote control to the bathroom tap or vice versa.

  • Don't be stingy—swap out cleaning cloths frequently as you clean
  • Use disposable cloths or kitchen roll
  • If using reusable cloths be sure to was at 60C after use and dry promptly

FAQs

Four Dettol products have been shown to be 99.9% effective against coronavirus strains from the same family as COVID-19: Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray, Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes, Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray, and Dettol Disinfectant Liquid.
The green Clinell universal range and red Clinell sporicidal range are reportedly effective at killing COVID-19, but the yellow detergent range is not.
Spirits like vodka, whisky and gin are usually 80 proof, which means they are 40% alcohol. The recommended minimum alcohol requirement to kill coronavirus is 60%, making spirits ineffective at killing COVID-19.
Antibacterial soap won’t give you additional protection against COVID-19 because it kills bacteria, not viruses. However, scrubbing with soap (antibacterial or not) and hot water can be effective at dissolving the lipid structure and inactivating coronavirus.
No, vinegar does not kill COVID-19.

Sources

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.

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