How to Best Clean and Protect During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Over the past two months, there has been a spike in global demand of disinfectants and sanitizers due to the spread of the Coronavirus. Here are some facts on the virus itself, and how you can best clean your workplace and protect your employees and customers with products that are readily available like soap, detergent, general cleaners and degreasers.

  • The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid/fat, which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code (mutation) and converts them into aggressor and multiplier cells. It competes against our good bacteria, and in some cases beats it by duplication and overwhelming it.
  • Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The breakdown time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
  • The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. Because foam emulsifies the fat, any soap or detergent is the best remedy. This is also why you need to rub your hands for at least 15-20 seconds while washing your hands to create foam with soap.
  • By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own. General Cleaners and Degreasers do this better than disinfectants and drastically better then sanitizers, alcohol and bleach.
  • Higher water temperature begins the emulsification process with fats. Therefore, it is critical to use water above 77 degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, and hot water with laundry and food processing. An added benefit, warm water creates more foam with your soap and detergent.
  • Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% dissolves any fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus. However, 65% alcohol is flammable and detrimental to many surfaces. A general-purpose cleaner would be very effective and safe for the user and the surface.
  • Bleach is a very effective oxidizer and burns the layer of fat around the cell in proper concentrations. A 5.25%  Hypochlorite (Bleach) dilution would be 2.67 oz of bleach per gallon and 12.5% would be 1.12 oz per gallon. Please note, bleach alone doesn’t kill the virus, first clean with a general-purpose cleaner.
  • BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC does not kill the Coronavirus. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive. Hand Sanitizers don’t kill the Coronavirus!  Wash your hands with hand soap and warm water. Hand sanitizers are a good option when hand washing is not available.

How long does the Coronavirus live on a surface?

Time Surface
Up to 3 hours Fabric and Porous Surfaces
Up to 4 Hours Copper and Wood
Up to 24 hours Cardboard
Up to 42 Hours Metal
Up to 72 Hours Plastic


For more information on preparing your facility for post – Coronavirus, please visit these websites:



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