The Best Disinfectants Approved by the EPA to Kill the Coronavirus
From viruses to bacteria, our lives are filled with exposure to germs. While some of these germs are relatively harmless to people, others, like the novel coronavirus (and COVID-19, the disease it causes that’s currently spreading across the globe), can put certain demographics at serious risk. Luckily, there’s an easy way to completely kill germs in your home: by using the best disinfectants.
Disinfectants differentiate themselves from other cleaning products by killing germs with chemicals rather than removing them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), disinfectants should be used on surfaces that have already been cleaned of dirt and grime—especially high-touch surfaces in common household areas—to prevent the spread of diseases.
However, not every disinfectant is made the same. To account for discrepancies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues registered lists of antimicrobial products effective against common pathogens, including one released on March 5 with 300 cleaning products that can kill the coronavirus. The products received the EPA’s stamp of approval based on the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program, which requires manufacturers to prove their products are effective against viruses that are even harder to kill than SARS-CoV-2.
Unfortunately, many cleaning products are in high demand right now between flu season, allergies, and the coronavirus outbreak. To save you time hunting down your own supply, we’ve collected the best disinfectants that are still available to shop online and EPA-registered to kill the coronavirus.
- Best Multipurpose: Honest Company Disinfecting Spray
- Best Kitchen Cleaner: Seventh Generation Professional Disinfecting Kitchen Cleaner
- Best Best Cleaning System: O3 Waterworks Sanitizing Spray System
- Best for Pets: Clorox Pet Solutions Stain & Odor Remover
- Best Bleach: Clorox Disinfecting Bleach
1. Best Multipurpose: Honest Disinfecting Spray
This all-purpose spray can be used around your home to disinfect high-traffic surfaces, like floors and doorknobs, to remove 99.9% of bacteria. Unlike other products, the antibacterial formula also leaves surfaces visibly cleaner because it contains surfactants that break down grease and grime. Despite its ability to tackle germs, the fragrance-free formula doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or chlorine bleach.
2. Best Kitchen Cleaner: Seventh Generation Professional Disinfecting Kitchen Cleaner
You’ll fall in love with this sanitizing spray from the first citrus-scented spritz. Its EPA-registered formula kills up to 99.9% of bacteria to cleanse, sanitize, and disinfect non-porous surfaces. The best part? No rinsing or or wiping is required after your spray—even on surfaces that come into contact with food.
Available at amazon.com, $39
3. Best Cleaning System: O3 Waterworks Sanitizing Spray System
Instead of spending hours hunting down disinfectants, try investing in this home cleaning system. It creates a sanitizing solution from tap water by adding an electron through an electrolytic cell. This turns the solution into an aqueous ozone that kills pathogens in just 30 seconds. We know: It sounds like a stretch. But ozone has been used for hundreds of years to sanitize and purify water, and it’s also FDA-cleared to kill 99.9% of harmful germs. Better yet, the oxidizing agent turns back into water once it’s used, so you won’t have to worry about leftover contaminants.
Available at o3waterworks.com, $199
4. Best for Pets: Clorox Pet Solutions Stain & Odor Remover
You’ll have better luck getting your hands on this pet-marketed stain remover than traditional disinfectant. Its ready-to-use formula can be directly sprayed on carpets, floors, furniture, and more to eliminate odors, stains, and germs. And because it’s safe for your furry four-legged friends, you’ll feel good about using it around your home, too. Plus, its “smart tube” technology guarantees you’ll get to use every last drop on both hard and soft surfaces.
Available at petco.com, $7 (was $13)
5. Best Bleach: Clorox Disinfecting Bleach
You can’t go wrong with this household name. The phosphate-free bleach kills 99.9% of household germs and bacteria to keep your house free of viruses. Just add half a cup of bleach to a gallon of water to create a disinfecting solution for hard surfaces. Once you’ve brewed up the perfect mix, be sure to leave it on for at least 5 minutes for total clean.
Available at target.com, $7
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.
Sign up for our Health Shopping newsletter to get your daily dose of retail therapy with great deals handpicked by our editors — straight to your inbox.