The Grapevine

Can Lysol Sprays, Clorox Wipes Help Combat Coronavirus Outbreak?

The number of people infected by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) across the world has increased to more than 40,700, with the majority of patients coming from mainland China. Deaths also climbed up to 910 worldwide. 

To address the rising cases of deaths and infections, governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to speed up efforts to contain the virus and find an effective treatment. But the public has also been trying to find a faster way to stop the outbreak. 

People previously talked about reports on social media that claimed commonly used disinfectant sprays and wipes, particularly those from Lysol and Clorox, could help combat the 2019-nCoV outbreak. The claim comes after some netizens realized that such products are made to help slow the spread of viruses, USA TODAY reported

One post on Facebook stated that a bottle of Clorox “claimed it could kill” coronavirus “before it was developed.” The Clorox Company said in a statement that some of their products can work “against viruses similar” to the 2019-nCoV. 

Those products that may fight coronaviruses include disinfecting wipes and an all-purpose cleaner with bleach. However, a representative from Clorox noted the disinfectants work only on hard, nonporous surfaces.

Another brand gaining popularity amid the coronavirus outbreak is Lysol. The manufacturer said in a statement that some of its products, like disinfectant and multi-purpose sprays and wipes, are effective against the virus but also only on hard, nonporous surfaces. 

“Get yourself some Lysol and you’re good,” one post on Twitter states. “This (expletive) kills [coronavirus] in 30 seconds.”

However, it is important to know that both brands did not directly state that their products can kill the new strain of coronavirus. The 2019-nCoV is just one of the many forms of coronavirus, which include SARS, MERS and one virus that causes common cold.

The 2019-nCoV that first appeared in Wuhan, China, is the seventh strain of coronavirus. But Clorox and Lysol products may only be effective against already-known forms of coronavirus.

To reduce the risk of contracting the virus, federal health officials recommend washing hands regularly with soap and water. People should avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and reduce or avoid close contact with sick people.

Lysol Lysol antibacterial spray cleaner. Mike Mozart/flickr