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Which Disinfectants and Cleaners are Effective Against the Coronavirus?

SARS-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, is the newest virus to cause a global health crisis. As of date, a vaccine to protect people against the novel coronavirus is not yet developed, making it critical to defeat the virus with regular cleanings and disinfecting of surfaces.

How is the Coronavirus Transmitted?

Airborne Infections

The coronavirus disease, familiarly known as Covid-19, is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). The respiratory disease is primarily transmitted from person to person via human respiratory droplets emitted when people sneeze, cough, and even talk.

Transmission by Contaminated Surfaces

The novel coronavirus is also known to spread via contaminated surfaces. The virus can remain viable on:

  • Cardboard for up to 24 hours
  • Plastic for two to three days
  • Stainless steel for two to three days
  • Copper for four hours
  • And aerosols (infectious viral particles) remain in the air for three hours.

Coronavirus can be transmitted when we touch contaminated surfaces and then touch our eyes, nose, or mouth.

Covid-19 can be transmitted when people touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Such actions introduce the novel coronavirus into the individual’s respiratory system. After exposure to the virus, Covid-19 symptoms could appear within 3 to 13 days.

Since disease transmission can occur simply by touching infected surfaces, it is critical that business owners clean and disinfect their commercial spaces frequently. High-touch objects should be cleaned and disinfected as often as multiple times every day to prevent coronavirus illnesses.

Examples of high-touch surfaces in commercial buildings are countertops, tables in break rooms, desks in the office, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures and toilets. High-touch objects that should be cleaned and disinfected regularly include phones, computer keyboards, remote controls, light switches and tablets.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

It is important to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. While both are instrumental in counteracting germs, each has a unique purpose. Cleaning simply removes dirt and germs from surfaces without killing them. Cleaning helps to lower the risk of infection by decreasing the number of germs.

Disinfecting, on the other hand, works to effectively kill germs. The disinfecting process makes use of powerful chemicals designed to target and eliminate specific germs. Cleaning may be done without disinfecting; however, proper disinfecting cannot be accomplished without prior cleaning.

As a general rule, surfaces must be cleaned with soap and water before a disinfectant is applied. Once the cleaning is complete, follow with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as disposable gloves, and ensure adequate ventilation.

Types of Effective Cleaners and Disinfectants

It is equally important is to use the right cleaners and disinfectants to kill the novel coronavirus. Products, including soap, bleach, and alcohol, should be used in accordance with the directions on the product labels in order to be effective against SARS-CoV-2.

  • Soaps kill the coronavirus by breaking up the virus’ protein coating; without the protective coating, the coronavirus falls apart and dies.
  • Bleach also kills the coronavirus, as well as every other known germ.
  • Alcohol eliminates the coronavirus, but without the powerful odors produced by bleach.

In addition to using the right cleaning and disinfecting products, cleaning personnel must follow the recommended contact time, whether it is one minute or ten. Contact time means a disinfecting solution remains visibly wet on a surface for a specific duration, allowing it to be effective.

What are specific cleaners and disinfectants?

The EPA-registered disinfectants that successfully disable the coronavirus are numerous. When using any of these products, follow the directions on the label to ensure safety and efficacy. The majority of these disinfectants kill a range of other viruses, while also having claims against SARS-CoV-2.

Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant Bathroom Grime Fighter

Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant BGF works against both SARS-CoV-2 and the Rotavirus. Its active ingredient is quaternary ammonium. When disinfecting using this solution, be sure to follow the recommended contact time of five minutes. The product is available at retail stores.


The Clorox Company produces a range of disinfectant products that work effectively against the novel coronavirus. Available solutions include Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner + Bleach and CloroxPro Clorox Total 360 Disinfecting Cleaner. Sodium hypochlorite is an active ingredient in Clorox products.


Lysol products are also effective against SARS-CoV-2. Lysol Bathroom Cleaner lists a contact time of five minutes and citric acid as the active ingredient. Lysol Brand All Purpose Cleaner, with quaternary ammonium as the active ingredient, requires only two minutes of contact time.

Disinfectant Wipes

Cleaning on the go may be accomplished with disinfectant wipes, such as the Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes. The active ingredient is Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol). Be sure to allow five minutes of contact time when wiping down door handles, sink faucets or tables with the wipes.


Purell also manufactures disinfectant solutions that work against the novel coronavirus in specific professional environments. Purell Healthcare Surface Disinfectant is practical in various healthcare settings, while Purell Foodservice Surface Sanitizer is ideal for use in restaurants, cafés and grocery stores.

Off-Brand Disinfectants

While the abovementioned disinfectants are popular and established brands, a wide range of other effective disinfectants are on the market. CVS Pharmacy offers Total Home All Purpose Cleaner with Bleach; Maintex Inc produces Turbo Kill; and Pariser Industries manufactures Steri-Clean.

Contact Us 24/7 for Commercial Effective Disinfectant Cleaning

Cleaning and disinfecting your commercial property amidst the coronavirus pandemic are likely to require more time and effort than an average cleaning crew can accommodate. When your business requires deep coronavirus cleaning, trust a reputable company, like ServiceMaster Disaster Associates, Inc.

Skilled cleaning and disinfecting teams from ServiceMaster Disaster Associates, Inc, abide by protocols established by the CDC and OSHA, as well as local, state and federal guidelines. Our cleaning and disinfecting technicians are also IICRC certified, qualified and experienced in the field.

Area businesses continue to have full confidence in our highly regulated cleaning and disinfecting processes. Cleaning crews start with a physical wipe down of all high touch surfaces and objects. Large areas are misted. We successfully reduce coronavirus contamination inside commercial spaces.

In addition to coronavirus cleaning and disinfection services, we continue to offer our comprehensive services, such as water and fire damage restoration. Businesses located in Stoneham, Massachusetts, are urged to call ServiceMaster Disaster Associates. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Which Disinfectants and Cleaners are Effective Against the Coronavirus? was last modified: October 1st, 2020 by ServiceMaster Disaster Associates, Inc.