Coronavirus warning: Bleach does not clean experts warn – what should you use?

Coronavirus means most Britons will be upping their hygiene practises and trying to ensure they are not exposed to COVID-19. This is important for personal health, but also for the health of vulnerable loved ones.


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The Domestic Cleaning Business Network (DCBN), provides cleaning guidelines to professional cleaners and homeowners alike.

They have released their Domestic Cleaning Guide to COVID-18, which details bleach does not clean, contrary to popular belief.

Bleach only disinfects, and so it is essential to clean surfaces before disinfecting them.

The guidance states: “Remember that bleach does not clean it only bleaches colour and disinfects so cleaning must be completed first before disinfecting.”

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The recipe for an effective cleaning solution has been outlined by the organisation.

It recommends:

1:50 household bleach solution for intermediate to high level disinfection:

  • For spray bottles – 20ml household bleach to 1000ml water
  • For buckets – 100ml household bleach to 5000ml water

Additionally, it added: “A 750ml bottle of bleach will make you 37.5 ltr bottles so no need to panic buy!”

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The solution should be mixed new everyday, to make sure it stays strong – so don’t use the same solution overnight.

What is more, the solution needs to be left on surfaces for at least a minute to be effective.

The document added: “Disinfectants, viricidal cleaners and even sterilising tablets have a proven track record of killing enveloped viruses and corona viruses but none have been proven on this strain.”

COVID-19 can live on surfaces for between two and three days, so disinfecting regularly is essential.


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On cardboard the virus can live for up to 24 hours.

Cleaning experts have warned that certain products will not work to fight COVID-19.

Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide can be used as an effective cleaner. However – using vinegar, tee tree oil or other natural cleaners are not affective.

Soap should be used on surfaces prior to disinfection.

The NHS has recommended Britons focus their cleaning efforts on the kitchen and the toilet, as these are the areas of the house were germs are most likely to spread.

It said: “To stop the spread of germs, focus your efforts on cleaning areas in the house where germs are more likely to spread, such as the kitchen and toilet.

“Use either soap and hot water to rinse the germs away, or a disinfectant to kill them.”

How exactly should self-isolation work? 

According to the PHE, If you have been symptomatic, then you may end your self-isolation after seven days. It is important to wash hands frequently, dispose of tissues, was surfaces with bleach and do not have visitors in your home.

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