The four best cleaners you should have in your home (and they're cheap!)

Young woman holding a spray bottle

COVID 19 is a nasty bug other members of the coronavirus family, it’s no match for good disinfecting products, health experts say.

Experts at Consumer Reports, theCenters for Disease Control and Preventionand other organizations have weighed in with advice on the products that can help protect us — and our homes — against the coronavirus. Here are the four products they say you should have at home.

Soap and water

It’s not fancy, but soap and water work. The soap removes the viral particles that have attached themselves to surfaces — whether it’s your hands, face or countertops — and suspends them in the water, so they can be washed away.

Bleach solution

“Bleach is very effective at killing the coronavirus, as well as virtually every other germ on the face of the planet,” said Dr. Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at theUniversity of Washington Medical Center. It does smell but it's effective. And remember this: don’t mix the bleach with anything but water. Here’s the CDC formula for making a diluted bleach solution: Use 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach in one gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach in one quart of water. Do a little spot test first to make sure it doesn't damage the surface or material. And buy generic bleach. It's cheaper.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is not as strong as bleach, so it’s less likely to cause damage, but it can discolor some fabrics.Don’t dilute it, use it straight. Hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen.


Rubbing alcohol products that are at least 70 percent alcohol will kill the coronavirus with less potential for damage than bleach. When using rubbing alcohol, don’t dilute it. Consumer Reports says rubbing alcohol is safe for all surfaces, but can discolor some plastics.

Keeping some Lysol cleaner, spray or wipes in the house may also be a good idea, if you can find them.

Photo: Getty images

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