The Best Disinfectants for Fighting the Coronavirus, According to the EPA
Washing your hands with soap and water—especially before food prep—is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. But with more than 500 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States (and 100,000 around the world), it’s understandable that we’re looking for even stronger defenses for our kitchens.
Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a six-page list of disinfectants to protect against the spread of COVID-19 last week, which includes several products from Lysol, Clorox, and Purell.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 primarily spreads from person-to-person through either close contact or through tiny droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, the virus can also spread via contaminated surfaces, which makes disinfectant wipes, sprays, and solutions critical.
"Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as hand washing," EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler wrote in an accompanying statement. “[The] EPA is providing this important information in a public and transparent manner on disinfectant products to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
The products were all tested through the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program, which requires manufacturers to prove the disinfectants are effective against “harder-to-kill viruses.” The EPA also wrote that because COVID-19 is an “enveloped virus,” it is easy to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. Nevertheless, the agency also reiterated that it’s necessary to read and follow the instructions on the disinfectant's label, paying special attention to how long the product should be on the surface you're cleaning.
If you’re curious about which products to buy to protect your kitchen, we’ve rounded up a couple from the EPA’s list that are still in stock. It includes some familiar brands—like Lysol and Clorox—but the agency also wrote that some products may be marketed and sold under a variety of names. To confirm a disinfectant can kill COVID-19, cross-reference the EPA Registration Number with the complete list here.
Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Mist
To buy: $6; walmart.com
Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
To buy: $3; walmart.com
Microban 24 Hour Disinfectant Sanitizing Spray
To buy: $6; walmart.com
Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner
To buy: $18 (originally $21); amazon.com