These are the best household cleaners for limiting the spread of germs

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No matter the time of year β€” but especially now during a global pandemic β€” it’s important to take care of yourself. And part of that is keeping your home, hands and belongings clean.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.” Instead, it is mostly spread through close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets (hence why it recommends wearing a mask).

However, the CDC also says that “it may be possible that a person can get Covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.” While it’s not believed to be the main way people contract the virus, there is still more research to be done about how the virus spreads.

While washing your hands and disinfecting your most-used items (like your phone) might seem obvious, there are a few other best cleaning practices you can use to help limit the spread of illness.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning simply means removing dirt and other impurities from a surface, which in turn, can help remove germs. On the other hand, disinfecting doesn’t remove germs, it kills them. So, you should first clean a surface, then disinfect it; remove the germs, then kill whatever is left.

The CDC recommends wearing gloves to clean and disinfect, especially if the area you’re sanitizing was potentially exposed to someone with the illness. “Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks),” they wrote in a report on cleaning and disinfecting.

You can use natural remedies like mixing water with cleaning vinegar or white vinegar, use diluted bleach on appropriate surfaces or use traditional cleaning supplies to give you peace of mind during these difficult times. The EPA has even created a list of approved cleaners.

Unfortunately, several stores have been selling out of these products. But we did some digging and found everything you need that’s still available. You can shop for household cleaners that will clean and disinfect your home below.

Disinfectants for killing germs

Credit: Getty Images

Talking to the Today Show, Joseph Fair, a virologist, epidemiologist and NBC News Science contributor, said that common cleaners with bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia as their active ingredient can help kill off germs from infectious viruses.

“With the sprays, you can get more penetration. With the wipes, they’re more convenient. The big thing is you want to put them on the surface and you want to let them dry on the surface. Don’t wipe them in, let them dry,” Fair said.

“Just spray as much as you can, let it dry. If it’s been there longer than 10 minutes, they say 10 minutes is kind of the maximum, you can go ahead and dry it off,” he added.


Credit: Getty Images

You can use bleach to clean your home, as long as you properly dilute it. To do so, the CDC recommends mixing five tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

Multi-surface cleaners for removing germs

Credit: Getty Images

Remove everyday germs safely with organic, all-natural products or go for the classic stuff, it’s your call. Multi-cleaning products remove dirt, grime and other germs and should be used before disinfecting or can be used on their own.

Paper towels

Credit: Getty Images

While it’s important to be environmentally-friendly, using paper towels to clean is helpful for reducing the amount of germs. Once you’re done cleaning and disinfecting, throw out the paper towel and throw out the germs.

If you enjoyed this article, In The Know also covered where to find all your household essentials online.

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