Cleaning products, soaps, antiseptics, and disinfectants are in high demand now as people all over the world do their best to prevent coming into contact with the virus that causes COVID-19.
During this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you regularly disinfect your phone and other high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and faucets, regardless of whether someone in your home is sick. You might also want to clean your groceries.
But what should you do if the stores are all sold out of disinfectant wipes, or if you’re worried about going out and risking your health by looking for them?
Turns out, you can make your own effective disinfectant wipes at home with some common household items.
These wipes are fast to make and portable, so they’re handy if you have to go out for some reason. The key ingredient is bleach. According to experts, diluted bleach is capable of killing the coronavirus on surfaces.
However, bleach can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. So be sure to read these instructions carefully before getting started.
It’s very easy to make disinfectant wipes with just a few common household items.
There are several types of bleach on the market. One well-known brand is Clorox. This may be the brand of bleach you have at home.
Clorox’s various bleach products have different strengths, which means you need to check the label to know how much bleach you should use. You’ll have to look at your bleach’s UPC (or barcode) to determine the kind.
Don’t use Clorox Splash-Less Bleach, because it doesn’t disinfect like Clorox’s other products.
For these Clorox products, use 1/3 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water:
|Product||UPC (barcode) numbers|
|Clorox Disinfecting Bleach2 (concentrated)||4460032416
|Clorox Performance2 Bleach (concentrated)||4460032428|
|Clorox Germicidal Bleach4 (concentrated)||4460032429
For the following Clorox products, use 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water:
|Product||UPC (barcode) numbers|
|Clorox Disinfecting Bleach2
Clorox Regular Bleach2
|Clorox Performance Bleach1 with CLOROMAX||4460031859|
|Clorox Germicidal Bleach3||4460030790|
Before you get started, check that your bleach hasn’t passed its expiration date, as this may make it ineffective.
Bleach is an excellent disinfectant that can kill viruses, including the new coronavirus. However, you need to be careful when using bleach. It’s a powerful product that could hurt you if it’s used incorrectly. Bleach can irritate your skin, eyes, and nose. It can also discolor your clothing.
To protect yourself when making your own disinfectant wipes, be sure to wear disposable or reusable rubber gloves and avoid splashing the bleach on yourself or others.
Don’t touch your face or eyes after handling bleach unless you’ve washed your hands first with soap and water, even if you’ve been wearing gloves.
Wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind ruining if you accidentally splashed bleach on them. Be sure to keep bleach away from children and pets. In case of accidental bleach ingestion, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222.
Don’t mix bleach with any other cleaning solutions, especially not ammonia. This can cause a dangerous chemical reaction, which may cause serious injury.
Once you’ve gathered the materials you need to make your own disinfectant wipes, here’s what you should do:
After using these wipes on a surface, don’t touch the surface for 5 minutes. That’s how long it takes for the solution to kill any possible viruses.
If you’ve used the wipes to clean an item that will come into close contact with a person, such as a food utensil or child’s toy, wait 5 minutes and then rinse the object in warm water and allow it to air dry.
If you’ve made reusable, washable wipes, be sure to wash them after each use.
How to store your DIY disinfectant wipes
Your homemade disinfectant wipes will remain effective at killing the coronavirus (and other viruses) for 24 hours. You can store them in an airtight container or plastic zip-top bag if you want to take them with you on the go.