The findings also revealed the minimum concentration of a diluted cleaning product that is still effective at killing SARS-CoV-2.
“To make an effective cleaning solution, it’s as simple as adding a similar amount of detergent to water as you would for your dishes (2mL in 1 litre), then wiping over the potential SARS-CoV-2 contaminated surface and allowing it to dry,” Dr McAuley said.
“For bleach, our results show that as little as 5mL can be added to 1 litre of water and could be ideal to disinfect bathroom surfaces. Alcohol containing handwashes, or solutions used for cleaning surfaces, must contain more than 40 percent alcohol to be effective.”
The study also tested whether combining household products would increase their effectiveness. However, the research found there was no benefit.
“Surprisingly, when we combined bleach and detergent, we did not see increased virucidal potential for inactivating SARS-CoV-2 compared to using each component on their own,” Dr McAuley said.
“We must also warn against combining chemicals in an attempt to increase their virucidal activity, as some household disinfectants contain buffering agents that we found may counteract the effective virucidal concentration of the other chemical it was mixed with.”
All dilutions, products and combinations tested by the researchers have been published in the study and are available for the public to use to inform their COVID-19 cleaning plans.
“We wanted to provide all the information required to assist people to safely clean potentially contaminated surfaces, reducing the potential for transmission in their homes and workplaces.”