The arrival of the coronavirus has led to extreme panic buying. If you visited a store lately, you probably noticed the empty shelf spaces where toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, hand soap, and various cleaning products used to be. There’s no reason to fret, though, because there are plenty of DIY alternatives that are just as effective and less harmful to your health that commercial products.
Perhaps you are loyal to brands like Clorox, Lysol, or other leading names in the world of cleaning products. Catherine Roberts, associate health editor at Consumer Reports, said that commercial disinfecting products contain harmful chemicals that are EPA registered pesticides. These chemicals can actually trigger asthma attacks in young children, so it is best to avoid them and opt for other DIY alternatives. As it turns out, the coronavirus is not very hardy, meaning that it can easily be destroyed by a variety of disinfectants, according to Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Don’t Use Vodka Or Distilled White Vinegar
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that people should use alcohol that is 70% alcohol to properly disinfect surfaces. Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, is an effective disinfectant, so long as you purchase the type with 70% alcohol. Sorry to burst your bubble, but vodka should not be used to clean surfaces. The alcohol concentration is only 40%, meaning that it is not high enough to kill viruses. That being said, 140 proof or higher grain-free alcohols, including Everclear (190 proof) or Spirytus vodka (192 proof), are available in certain states. If you use alcohol, it must be 140 proof or higher! As for the people who use distilled white vinegar as a cleaning product, reports say that there is no evidence that it is effective against coronavirus.
Rubbing alcohol products that are at least 70% alcohol will kill the coronavirus. It is important that you do not dilute the alcohol when cleaning. Keep in mind that it is safe for all surfaces, but it can discolor certain plastics. The following DIY disinfectant uses 70% isopropyl alcohol.
DIY Disinfectant Spray
- 14 ounces 70% isopropyl alcohol
- ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
- 30 drops tea tree oil
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Fill a 16-ounce spray bottle with 14 ounces of 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bottle, screw the top on, and shake well to combine.
How To Use:
- Pre-clean a surface.
- Shake up the disinfectant spray bottle each time before you use it.
- Spray directly on doorknobs, countertops, faucets, or desks and wipe with a cloth.
- If you are using on electrical items like remote controls or light switches, spray on a cloth first and then wipe the surface.
- Allow surfaces to air dry.
In case you don’t trust the cleaning solution in this article, the Environmental Protection Agency’s website has a list of items that can fight the novel coronavirus. The CDC’s website also has recommendations for products that can clean contaminated surfaces effectively.