While cleaners and Clorox wipes are selling out, you should still be able to clean your house. Here's how.

Jaime Milan; Nutrition review by Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.
March 11, 2020
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If you've watched or read the news lately, you know there's a shortage of supplies like disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer at many stores due to coronavirus. While it can be tempting to make your own natural cleaning solutions at home, there are certain things you need to include to make sure they're able to properly disinfect surfaces. (Sorry, but this isn't a time for essential oil-based cleaning products.)

According to the CDC, the only way to truly kill viruses is to use a bleach dilution solution or a 70%-or-higher alcohol-based solution. Disinfecting and cleaning are not one and the same. Cleaning helps remove germs and dirt from a surface, but disinfecting actually kills germs.

Related: Hand Sanitizer Is Selling Out in Many Places—Here's How to DIY Your Own

Getty / Peter Dazeley

While you could certainly pick up some cleaning products approved by the EPA to prevent coronavirus, they aren't as available at stores right now. If your store is out, here's how to make your own disinfecting solution at home.

Here is the recipe for a DIY cleaning solution that could help prevent coronavirus:

DIY Bleach Solution

The CDC recommends mixing up a 5-6% unscented household bleach solution with water for a DIY disinfectant.

  • ⅓ cup bleach per gallon of water or
  • 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water

A few things: make sure your bleach isn't past its expiration date, and never mix bleach with ammonia. You can use this solution for the cleaning and disinfecting of most hard surfaces in your home (think counters, floors and appliances).

To make it, simply stock up on a jug of bleach ($6, Target), a few chemical-resistant spray bottles for storing your cleaning solution ($10, Amazon) and some reusable, washable rags to make cleaning a breeze (these ones from Amazon are $16 for a pack of 12).

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