3 alternatives for the killing viruses on common surfaces

3 alternatives for the killing viruses on common surfaces

So what happens when you or someone in the household exhibits signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, or if you live in an area with known cases of COVID-19? What happens when you can't get your hands on some good anti-viral disinfectants?

The good news is that coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate product, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So even if you can't get your hands on hand sanitiser or antibacterial wipes, below are a number of cleaning products you probably have around the house already, and that stores such as Bunnings, that are effective in killing viruses such as Coronavirus.

Cleaning Products That Destroy Coronavirus

Soap and Water
Just the friction from scrubbing with soap and water can break the coronavirus’s protective envelope. “Scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and you really need to get it off,” says Richard Sachleben, an organic chemist and member of the American Chemical Society. Discard the towel or leave it in a bowl of soapy water for a while to destroy any virus particles that may have survived. 

Bleach
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a diluted bleach solution (⅓ cup bleach per 3L of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per 1L of water) for virus disinfection. Wear gloves while using bleach, and never mix it with ammonia or anything, in fact, except water. Once mixed, don't keep the solution for longer than a day because bleach will degrade certain plastic containers.

First break down the dirt and oil particles with a soap and water solution first, then dry, then apply the bleach solution for the virus to be effectively removed from the surface. 

Alcohol
Alcohol solutions such as Metholated spirits, Isopropyl, and white spirits, all have at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus on hard surfaces. First, clean the surface with water and detergent. Apply the alcohol solution (do not dilute it) and let it sit on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. 

Hydrogen Peroxide
According to the CDC, household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in deactivating rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. The common cold is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be cleaned, but let it sit on the surface for at least 1 minute. You can buy hydrogen peroxide from most chemists or from the medicinal section of your local supermarket.

Unlike bleach which can corrode metal over time, Hydrogen peroxide is perfectly safe to use on metal without damaging the surface. If you do use bleach, remember to rinse metal surfaces afterwards with water. 

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