Pine-Sol Is A Surprising Weapon Against COVID-19

Were you able to stock up on Clorox wipes before the great shortage hit? Well, there's about to be a run on yet another popular household cleaner, so you'd better get your hands on some ASAP. According to a press release from the Clorox company (via PR Newswire), the latest popular household cleaning product to be proven effective at killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus on contact is Pine-Sol. Yes, that fragrant stuff you use to mop your floors, wipe your counters, and clean your toilet. It may be kind of strong-smelling, but it could just keep you from getting sick.

People have been using household cleaners to combat the virus ever since the pandemic hit, but it wasn't until July that the EPA approved two surface disinfectant products (both Lysol sprays) that had specifically been tested against coronavirus. While the EPA website now lists 490 different "Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2," Good Housekeeping notes that most of these products have not actually been tested and proven effective at fighting this type of infection. They also point out that Pine-Sol can easily be purchased online as well as in-store without "steep markups," but all that may well change now that the news is out regarding its effectiveness.

How to kill COVID-19 with Pine-Sol

Pine-Sol has been proven to kill coronavirus only on hard, non-porous surfaces, and a quick spritz and wipe aren't going to cut it. Instead, you'll need to follow a more detailed procedure in order to virus-proof your home. As per an EPA infographic, you should begin by pre-cleaning the surface with soap and water. You'll then apply Pine-Sol using a clean dish towel or a sponge, spreading it evenly so the entire area appears wet. Be sure to allow the surface to remain wet for the entire manufacturer-specified contact time, which Good Housekeeping says is 10 minutes for this product. After the 10 minutes is up, rinse the surface with water. If the surface you're trying to clean is the inside of a toilet, pour at least half a cup of Pine-Sol into the bowl and use the brush to scrub the interior before letting it sit for 10 minutes.

One additional precaution recommended by the EPA is that you should always wear gloves while cleaning. If you use disposable gloves, discard them after each use. If you've got reusable gloves, have one pair that is dedicated to COVID-19 cleansing procedures alone. And of course, make sure to wash your hands after the gloves come off! Always wash your hands. As Sgt. Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues (and your mom) would say, "Let's be careful out there!"