Usually when cleaning, the goal is to remove germs and dirt. But disinfection is now a top priority as well. Chemicals aren’t always necessary to get your home bacteria and virus-free. You can disinfect quickly and in a more environmentally-friendly way with disinfectants that are easy to find and use.
1. Soap and water
Everyone has heard this on repeat, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again! Use soap and water! Soap and water can break the coronavirus’s protective envelope just from the friction of scrubbing with soap (for at least 20 seconds). Scrub hard - like something sticky is on the surface, then discard the sponge or towel or leave it in a bowl of soapy water if needed to destroy the remaining virus particles. Soap and water won’t disinfect, but it will remove most surface germs - which is often adequate for what is needed. In other cases (like high-touch surfaces) you may want to completely disinfect, in which case read on!
2. Isopropyl Alcohol
Look for rubbing alcohol with at least 70% alcohol, which will be effective on hard surfaces. The alcohol will need at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Alcohol is generally safe for most surfaces, but can discolor some plastics. Also it is very flammable, so make sure to keep it away from heat or flames. And of course keep it away from children as it is also dangerous if swallowed.
3. Steam Cleaning
To disinfect the steam cleaner has to heat the water to a minimum of 200 degrees. The hotter the steam, the drier it is, which will give it a lower probability of damaging surfaces. To kill most germs you will have to keep the steam in contact with the surface for at least 3 minutes, but always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific cleaner. When using steam to mop, don’t forget to disinfect the pads after use as well.
4. UV Light
UV light has been used to disinfect surfaces and water for a long time. The UVC light is strong enough to destroy the DNA or RNA of both viruses and bacteria leaving surfaces disinfected. It can be used on virtually every surface except UVC light should never be used on the skin or the eyes, our Clear-Raze™ UVC Wand has an automatic shut off when turned upwards to avoid contact with the eyes and can also be purchased with a shield for additional protection. Read more on how UV light disinfects here. Visit our Clear-Raze™ page to learn more about our UVC wand.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can be sprayed on surfaces, but should sit for at least a minute to disinfect. The good thing is that you don’t have to wipe it away because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water. It is not corrosive, but can discolor fabrics, similar to bleach. Although some “recipes” will tell you to combine hydrogen peroxide with vinegar, NEVER combine the two as it will create a chemical called peracetic acid which is dangerous to breathe and burns the skin.
For some natural cleaners, the older they get the less effective they will be so make sure to use before expiration or according to the manufacturer’s direction.