Does Lysol kill coronavirus? Does disinfectant kill viruses? How long do I need to leave disinfectant on my counter before wiping it off, in order to kill coronavirus? And where can I find disinfectants in stock?

These were the questions I was asking myself the other week after staring at the cleaners under my kitchen sink. Then, I googled and found the EPA’s “List N” — the official guide to disinfectants that can be used against COVID-19. But the EPA’s site left me with as many questions as answers.

And since I figured you all might be in the same boat, I wanted to share with you what I found.

View my download of all EPA-approved cleaners in this Google Sheet.

 

Many major household cleaners have not been proven to kill coronavirus.

Any product that does not contain the word “disinfectant” is likely not proven to kill coronavirus. Many “green” or natural cleaners are not on the EPA’s certified list.

If staying natural is important to you, an article in the Washington Post lists rubbing alcohol as the most effective natural disinfectant. Just make sure it’s at least 70% alcohol, as per CDC recommendation.

Brands that are NOT yet certified by EPA to kill viruses:

  • Ajax*
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Comet*
  • Ecos
  • Febreze
  • Greenworks
  • Honest Co
  • Method*
  • Mrs Meyer’s
  • Pine-Sol
  • Pledge
  • Simple Green*

*few select cleaners within this brand’s product line are certified disinfectants.

 

Claims like “Antibacterial” and “Kills 99.9% of germs” mean almost nothing.

When a marketing claim like “kills 99.9% of germs” is used, the product may or may not kill the specific variety of bacteria or pathogen you need killed. Sometimes it’s only rated to kill germs in as few as 3-4 pathogens, according to cleaning chemical manufacturer Nyco.

Look for cleaners that say “kills viruses and bacteria” for the best likelihood of being effective against coronavirus.

 

Check the EPA number against “List N: Disinfectants for use against COVID-19.”

Products tested by the EPA have a registration number on the packaging. Check the number against the EPA’s List N (or search our Google Sheet download from the EPA).

Disinfectants proven to kill viruses are in high demand this year. Inventory, especially online, is sparse. But if you’re open to trying any brand, you’ll absolutely be able to find a cleaner in your area (and maybe even online) certified to kill viruses.

 

“Contact time” is the key to properly disinfecting a surface.

Every disinfectant certified by the EPA has a listed “contact time,” usually between 30 seconds and several minutes. That’s the length of time the solution must remain on the surface in order to effectively kill a germ or virus.

First, remove visible dirt and grime, apply the disinfectant solution, leave it on for the proper contact time, wipe it off and by the time the surface dries, it will be disinfected, according to infectious disease experts quoted by the Washington Post.

 

 

Only two disinfectants have been tested against actual COVID-19.

In early July, the EPA released a statement confirming the first two products tested against and proven effective against SARS-CoV-2.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray officially kills coronavirus. The most common 19 oz can of Lysol disinfectant spray sells for $5.48 at Walmart, ($5.69 at Target).

The only better price you’ll find is for a four-pack of 19 oz cans at Costco or Sam’s Club. Costco sells the four-pack in stores only for $15.99 ($4.00 per can). Sam’s Club sells the same four-pack for $16.98 ($4.25 per can).

Lysol Disinfectant Spray
Contact time: 2 minutes

Active ingredients: Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol)

Lysol Max Cover also kills coronavirus. Lysol Max Cover in 15 oz costs $5.48 at Walmart, ($5.79 at Target). As far as we can tell, it’s the same formula as the regular disinfectant spray, but with a special spray nozzle that’s supposed to spray a wider and more even stream.

The Walmart price is $0.37/oz, versus $0.29/oz for the regular stuff. I guess I’m just saying, I hope you like the nozzle.

Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Mist
Contact time: 2 minutes

Active ingredients: Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol)

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

Over 400 products have been tested against viruses SIMILAR to Coronavirus.

While only two cleaners have been tested against COVID-19, hundreds more have been tested by the EPA against other coronaviruses.

The EPA’s testing is ongoing and “List N” is updated weekly. If the cleaner is on the EPA List -N, it actually kills an organism that is harder to kill than SARS-COVID. I exported the EPA’s list on Aug 30. See the full list as of 8/30/2020 in a Google Sheet.

 


 

Here are the disinfectants, by brand, certified to kill viruses — plus contact time, where to buy, and what you should pay.

The list below includes 27 of the most popular mainstream brands sold in major grocery and big-box stores across the country.

For the full list of tested cleaners (which includes lots of minor or commercial brands), see “List N” or view our Google Sheet download of all EPA approved cleaners.

 

Additional Lysol Coronavirus Cleaners

Lysol Neutra Air disinfectant spray in 10 oz costs $3.97 at Walmart. Target does not carry the product. CVS and Meijer do. Its contact time is incredibly only 30 seconds.

Lysol Neutra Air Disinfectant Spray
Contact time: 30 seconds

Active ingredient: Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol)

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

The most popular canister size for Lysol wipes is an 80 ct, which costs $3.88 at Walmart, or 4.9 cents per wipe.

Expect to find the best price on 3-4 canister multipacks. Walmart sells four 80 ct canisters for $11.52. That’s $2.88 per canister, or 3.6 cents per wipe.

Target sells the same four-pack for $13.49, or $3.37 per canister, 4.2 cents per wipe.

Disinfecting wipes are one of the most in-demand items, still out of stock at my stores. During COVID, if you find any inventory selling at less than 5 cents per wipe, I’d recommend buying.

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
Contact time: 2 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner in 22 oz retails for $2.72 at Walmart, ($3.19 at Target). Walmart stores in my area have had fantastic inventory of this new product, launched in early 2020.

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner
Contact time: 2 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Spray, 32 oz retails for $2.32 at Walmart ($2.49 at Target).

Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Spray
Contact time: 2 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-surface Cleaner, 48 oz retails for $2.54 at Walmart.

Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
Contact time: 3 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

Normally, you’d have to use very hot water to kill bacteria, but Lysol Laundry Sanitizer can kill viruses even on a cold cycle, though the EPA tested this as 99.9% effective when used in a hot water wash. It goes in the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine.

A 90 oz bottle retails for $9.97 at Walmart, ($9.99 at Target). It’s also sold at places like CVS and Home Depot, if you’re having trouble finding it.

Lysol Laundry Sanitizer
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Lysol coupons and deals.

 

 


 

Clorox Coronavirus Cleaners

 

Clorox wipes kill viruses in 30 seconds, compared to Lysol wipes at 2 minutes. And while our stock-up price is usually under $0.04 per wipe, you’ll be lucky if you find Clorox wipes in stock anywhere. If they’re under 6 cents, I suggest buying them.

A four-pack of 75 ct canisters retails for $12.98 at Walmart. That’s 4.3 cents per wipe. And the five-pack of 85 ct canisters retails for $22.99 at Costco. That’s 5.5 cents per wipe.

Clorox wipes are sold just about everywhere for right around that 5.5 cents per wipe. Even drugstores and home improvement stores carry them. The Lowe’s price of $9.98 for three 75 ct canisters is nearly as good as Walmart’s.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Contact time: 30 seconds
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Clorox coupons and deals

 

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach is one of the fastest virus killers on the list, with a contact time of only one minute. A 32 oz bottle costs $3.38 at Walmart, ($3.49 at Target).
This is a widely carried product that you can find at many retailers, including Home Depot where cost is $4.50 per 32 oz bottle.

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach
Contact time: 1 minutes
Active ingredient: Sodium hypochlorite

See KCL’s current Clorox coupons and deals

 

Clorox Disinfecting Bleach, regular 121 oz bottle costs $4.23 at Walmart. Bleach is one of the products that’s fairly well stocked again, after the initial buying panic. Its contact time is typically 10 minutes but it’s proven effective on viruses and extremely affordable.

Clorox Bleach
Contact time: 6-10 minutes, depending on variety
Active ingredient: Sodium hypochlorite

See KCL’s current Clorox coupons and deals

 

Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner Spray Bottle, 30 oz costs $3.18 at Walmart, ($3.29 at Target).

Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
Contact time: 10 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Clorox coupons and deals

 

Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner with Bleach, 32 oz retails for $3.82 at Walmart.

Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner + Bleach

Contact time: 1 minute
Active ingredient: Sodium hypochlorite

See KCL’s current Clorox coupons and deals


 

Microban Coronavirus Cleaners

These Microban products aren’t listed as Microban on the EPA list — they’re shown as being W.M. Barr & Company Inc. products — but they are the familiar Procter & Gamble cleaners.

Microban FAQ clears up the naming confusion, but make no mistake, the following three products ARE included on the EPA’s list.

 

Microban 24 Hour Multi-Purpose and Disinfectant Cleaner, 32 fl oz costs $3.94 at Walmart ($3.99 at Target).

Microban 24 Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

 

Microban 24 Hour Bathroom and Sanitizing Cleaner, 32 fl oz costs $3.94 at Walmart ($3.99 at Target).

Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium


Microban 24 Hour Disinfectant Sanitizing Spray, 15 fl oz costs $5.94 at Walmart, ($5.99 at Target).

Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium


 

Fantastik & Scrubbing Bubbles Coronavirus Cleaners

 

Fantastik all-purpose cleaner in 32 oz retails for $2.38 at Walmart, ($2.59 at Target).

Fantastik® All-Purpose Cleaner
Contact time: 3 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Scrubbing Bubbles coupons and deals.

 

Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant Bathroom Grime Fighter 32 oz costs $3.12 at Walmart, (32 oz $3.29 at Target).

Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant Bathroom Grime Fighter
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

See KCL’s current Scrubbing Bubbles coupons and deals.

 

Windex Coronavirus Cleaners

Like Fantastik, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Pledge, Windex is manufactured by S.C. Johnson. The typical glass cleaner is not rated to kill viruses; however, there is a disinfectant cleaner from Windex that is. A 32 oz bottle of Windex Disinfectant costs $3.48 at Walmart, ($3.29 at Target).

Windex Disinfectant Cleaner
Contact time: 5 minutes
Active ingredient: L-Lactic acid

See KCL’s current Windex coupons and deals.

 

 

Seventh Generation Coronavirus Cleaners

Seventh Generation cleaners are made by Cleanwell, LLC, the same company that makes other natural cleaners, including Method brand.

For that reason, Seventh Generation products aren’t specifically listed by the EPA, but their products are included under the umbrella of the certifications for Cleanwell in the EPA list — the same sort of name-game as Microban. Read more in the Seventh Generation FAQ.

Seventh Generation Lemongrass Citrus Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, 26 oz costs $3.77 at Walmart ($3.79 at Target).

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

 

Seventh Generation Lemongrass Citrus Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, 26 oz costs $3.99 at Target (currently price gouging going on at Walmart.com, where these are selling for $14.66 per bottle).

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes, 70 ct, cost $6.87 at Walmart ($6.99 at Target).

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray Fresh Citrus & Thyme 13.9 oz costs $5.92 at Walmart.

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes
Contact time: 10 minutes
Active ingredient: Thymol

 

Method Coronavirus Cleaners

While many Method cleaners are not certified, there are three antibacterial cleaners that are. Each of these is manufactured by Cleanwell, LLC, the same company that makes Seventh Generation. Read more in the Method FAQ.

Method Cleaning Products Antibacterial Cleaner Bamboo Spray Bottle, 28 fl oz $3.49 at Target, ($11.33 price gouge at Walmart).

Method Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

See KCL’s current Method coupons and deals.

 

Method Cleaning Products Antibacterial Cleaner Bamboo Spray Bottle, 28 fl oz $3.49 at Target, ($18.99 price gouge at Walmart)

Method Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

See KCL’s current Method coupons and deals.

Method All-Purpose cleaning and disinfecting wipes, 70-count canister $5.99 at Target.

Method All-Purpose Cleaning & Disinfecting Wipes
Contact time: 10 minutes

Active ingredient: Thymol

See KCL’s current Method coupons and deals.

 

Simple Green Coronavirus Cleaners

Most Simple Green cleaners are not certified to kill viruses, but according to Simple Green, there is a disinfectant product called Clean Finish that is certified by the EPA list under the name SC-RTU Disinfectant Cleaner.

 

Simple Green Clean Finish Disinfectant Cleaner, 32 oz bottle costs $6.11 at Walmart.

Simple Green Clean Finish Disinfectant Cleaner
Contact time: 5 minutes

Active ingredient: Quaternary ammonium

 

Overall, Walmart has the best inventory. Amazon has the worst.

Walmart has the best prices and inventory, except for Method brand, which is better priced at Target. My recommendations for best bets in stock are:

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach $3.38 at Walmart.

Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-surface Cleaner $2.54 at Walmart.

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner $2.72 at Walmart.

Microban 24 Hour Multi-Purpose and Disinfectant Cleaner at Walmart.

 

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