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The Best Surface Cleaners, Wipes, and Disinfectants

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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This guide covers hard-surface household cleaners that are effective for general cleaning and also approved by the EPA to rapidly eliminate the virus that causes COVID-19. However, as of April 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s position has been that contaminated surfaces are not a major source of coronavirus infection. The CDC now says that plain soap or detergent will remove most viruses from surfaces, and it recommends the use of disinfectant cleaners only if someone living in a home has COVID-19, or if someone with the illness has been in the home in the previous 24 hours.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, kill it with wipes

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Kill it with wipes
Effective, EPA-approved, and (usually) easy to find, these presoaked wipes need only four minutes of contact time to neutralize the coronavirus.
We recommend
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, a killer, but slower

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes

A killer, but slower
Another widely sold wipe, these are EPA-approved too, but they take 10 minutes to disinfect.
We recommend
Lysol Disinfectant Spray, a smothering aerosol

Lysol Disinfectant Spray

A smothering aerosol
This non-bleach aerosol spray works in 10 minutes. It’s fabric-safe but guaranteed to eliminate the virus only on hard surfaces.
We recommend
Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist, another non-bleach aerosol

Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist

Another non-bleach aerosol
This aerosol also works in 10 minutes and is fabric-safe, but again, it’s guaranteed to eliminate the virus only on hard surfaces.
We recommend
Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach, spray it to death

Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach

Spray it to death
This bleach-based cleaner works in one minute but will damage fabrics, and the fumes are harsh.
We recommend
Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach, death spray version 2

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach

Death spray version 2
Another bleach-based cleaner from Clorox, this one works in five minutes, and its fumes are also strong.
We recommend
Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner, a non-bleach spray

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner

A non-bleach spray
This spray is based on a non-bleach disinfectant, so it’s safe on fabrics but guaranteed to eliminate the coronavirus only on hard surfaces.
We recommend
Clorox Bleach (121 ounces), good ol’ diy bleach solution

Clorox Bleach (121 ounces)

Good ol’ DIY bleach solution
Diluted in water, bleach is the key ingredient to a homemade disinfectant that’s as effective as it is noxious. Research how to safely handle and work with bleach if you’re new to this.
We recommend

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