These common household cleaning products can destroy viruses

Let us show you what you should be using to kill viruses, and what to avoid.

household cleaning products

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One easy way to keep viruses and bacteria away is to practise good hygiene and keep the area around you clean. However, it’s important to know that not all cleaning products are equally effective for all types of germs. There are many different types of viruses and bacteria out there and we need to know what’s effective on what.

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We’ve come up with a list of products that work effectively on killing viruses and a list of items that are not as effective.

Cleaning products that destroy virus

1. Soap and Water

washing hand with soap and water

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Time to go back to basics and wash your hand with soap and water. It sounds bizarre, but both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) say that the most effective way to get rid of the Coronavirus is to wash your hand with soap. Period.

2. Isopropyl Alcohol

hand sanitiser

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Not all alcohol solutions work, you need something with at least 70 percent alcohol to be effective against the virus. If you find yourself in a situation where soap and water are not available, sanitise and disinfect your hands or belongings with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. If you want to clean a household item, spray the alcohol solution on the surface and let it sit for 30 seconds to disinfect. You can also use this to clean and disinfect your phone.

3. Bleach


© olegdudko | 123rf

Unsurprisingly, bleach works too! You don’t need a strong bleach to kill the virus, a diluted bleach solution is good enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Mix four teaspoons of bleach with one litre of water for the solution. Remember to always wear a pair of gloves when handling bleach and never mix it with anything except water.

Clean the surface with soap and water before applying the bleach solution. Let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it off or rinsing the surface with water again.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxide

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Household hydrogen peroxide (3%) is effective in killing the virus that causes the common cold. All you need to do is pour it in a spray bottle (undiluted) and spritz it on the surface for about one to two minutes. You don’t have to wipe it off as it will eventually decompose into oxygen and water. Now you’ve got yourself a virus-free surface. Be careful though as hydrogen peroxide may discolour certain fabrics.

Cleaning products that don’t have an effect on virus


You may think that like any alcohol-based hand sanitiser, vodka would work wonders on virus as well, but unfortunately, no. Most vodka does not contain enough ethyl alcohol to kill germs. The percentage of ethyl alcohol in vodka is only 40 per cent as compared to the recommended 70 per cent.

White Vinegar

You’ve probably received forwarded messages about how distilled white vinegar is effective in killing viruses, but this claim is not backed by any scientific evidence and you should take this information with a grain of salt.