4 Household Products That Kill Coronavirus, According to Consumer Reports

Is your store out of cleaning products? Don't worry, you might already have everything you need at home.

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The Coronavirus May Live on Certain Surfaces for Days

There’s so much we still don’t know about COVID-19, and what we don’t know can make us sick. One preliminary study shows the virus can remain viable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Another study comparing it to SARS and MERS found it may be able to live on glass, metal, and plastic for up to nine days. Bottom line: It’s best to disinfect. Some of these products have become a bit difficult to find, so if you’ve run out and you need to head to the store, getting there early will help you find what you need.

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bleach corona virus
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Head to your laundry room and grab that bottle of bleach, according to Consumer Reports. A proven cleaning staple in and out of the laundry room, bleach is a great defense against viruses. Don’t use it straight from the bottle; that would be way too strong. Instead, mix a solution of ½ cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Use this to disinfect everything in your kitchen from the sink to the floor. You can even soak your child’s toys in a bleach mixture of two teaspoons bleach to one gallon of water. Soak for two minutes, then rinse. Make sure you wear gloves, as bleach can be irritating and drying for your hands. Lastly, don’t keep the bleach solution for more than a few days, because bleach degrades some plastic containers. Find out these 5 mistakes you keep making when cleaning with bleach.

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Hydrogen peroxide corona virus
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Hydrogen Peroxide

Head to the medicine cabinet this time. Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common hydrogen peroxide (it should say three percent on it) will deactivate the rhinovirus, which is what causes the common cold. Technically it “produces destructive hydroxyl free radicals that can attack membrane lipids, DNA and essential cell components.” Since the rhinovirus is thought to be more difficult to kill than the coronavirus, it’s believed that hydrogen peroxide will work for this as well. Simply pop it into a spray bottle and spray it onto a surface. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away. Here’s how to clean the 22 dirtiest items in your home.

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Isopropyl alcohol corona virus
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Isopropyl Alcohol

Not to be confused with the alcohol in your bar closet, this kind packs a punch with at least 70 percent alcohol, or 10 percent more than the CDC recommends to kill COVID-19. No need to dilute it, according to Consumer Reports. It’s safe for cleaning every surface but beware of plastics, as it may cause discoloration. Try this bottle, which has more than 99 percent pure isopropyl alcohol. Here’s how to make your household cleaners (and other household items) last longer.

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hand soap
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Soap and Water

You’ve likely been hearing so much about this one already, hopefully you still have some good ol’ fashioned soap remaining. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds. Soap works better than disinfectants if you’re attempting to destroy viruses, according to Marketwatch. It does this by dissolving the fat membrane so the virus becomes inactive. Yup, just your regular soap. Make sure you’re using a clean towel to dry them. Wash your hands immediately after touching these 10 things.

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vodka class

Skip: Vodka

Pass on the vodka (for cleaning purposes, at least). While alcohol in the percentage range of Isopropyl will do the job nicely, vodka is no match for the coronavirus. Tito’s Vodka even tweeted advice: “Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol (make sure not to use one of these potentially toxic ones, though). Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40 percent alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC.” Next, find out the reason Clorox is so good at killing germs.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Danielle Braff
Danielle Braff is a full-time freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and others. She is a graduate of Oxford University in England, and she lives with her two daughters, two cats, dog and husband in Chicago.