How Long Does My Disinfectant Wipe Work?
Note: Here at LAist we've been answering your question for weeks (more than 700 of them personally). Our friends at NPR are also fielding inquiries weekly as the new coronavirus continues its spread in nearly every nation, bringing illness or death to many thousands of people.
Q: I like to use wipes to disinfect surfaces in my home — especially surfaces that are frequently touched. But how much surface area can one wipe be used on before it loses its ability to kill the coronavirus?
A: The first step is to check the label on the wipes you're using. For instance, the label on a container of Clorox wipes instructs: "Use enough wipes for treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. To kill viruses, let stand 15 seconds."
That time and that visible wetness is important, says Erica Hartman, an expert in environmental microbiology at the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering.
Regardless of the particular ingredients in the wipes you're using, "they're all chemicals that have to react," she says. "And those chemical reactions aren't instantaneous — they take a certain amount of time. So what you're doing when you're keeping the surface wet is you're basically allowing time, allowing the chemical reactions to take place."
So if that Clorox wipe isn't making the surface visibly wet for 4 minutes, you're trying to cover too much ground with one wipe.
There's no exact figure for how much surface area a wipe can handle. But a 2018 study that found one wipe is generally more effective over 1 to 2 square feet than 8 square feet.
And you don't need a pre-made wipe to clean surfaces: You can also use a liquid product on a cloth or paper towel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises using products that that contain bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or alcohol (at least 70%), and following the manufacturer's directions. You can make your own cleaning solution by mixing 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water, according to the CDC.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a list of approved products to disinfect against the coronavirus.
MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:
- Your No-Panic Guide To Coronavirus In LA So Far
- Where To Get Financial Assistance, Food And Other Help
- Tracking The Spread Of COVID-19
- Have A Question? We Will Answer It
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Cruise off the highway and hit locally-known spots for some tasty bites.
Fentanyl and other drugs fuel record deaths among people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County. From 2019 to 2021, deaths jumped 70% to more than 2,200 in a single year.
This fungi isn’t a “fun guy.” Here’s what to do if you spot or suspect mold in your home.
Donald Trump was a fading TV presence when the WGA strike put a dent in network schedules.
Edward Bronstein died in March 2020 while officers were forcibly taking a blood sample after his detention.
A hike can be a beautiful backdrop as you build your connection with someone.