Now more than ever, you need reliable, maximum-strength cleaning products. If your disinfectant spray isn't going to completely purify your surfaces, be gone with it, or at least swap it out for something that really packs a punch. Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved 392 products worldwide to help you shop for the best defense against the novel coronavirus. And if you're looking for products that will go hard when it comes to cleaning but are soft on the environment, we may have your fix. The EPA's extensive list includes a few all-natural products containing the ingredient thymol.
Thymol is a component found in thyme oil, which is a naturally occurring mixture of compounds from, yup, the thyme plant, according to the EPA. It is typically used in pesticide products such as animal repellents, fungicidal products, medical disinfectants, tuberculocides, and virucides. It also can be used in perfumes, food flavorings, mouthwashes, pharmaceutical preparations, and cosmetics. However, this plant-based ingredient also reaps many antimicrobial properties, allowing folks to clean their homes without the harsh smells of chemicals or bleach.
Four cleaning products that contain thymol make the EPA's list. Two of these products come from eco-friendly brand CleanWell. While CleanWell’s entire line uses thymol, only the Benefect Botanical Daily Cleaner Disinfectant Spray and the Benefect Botanical Daily Cleaner Disinfectant Towelette made the EPA's cut. According to the brand's website, "each of CleanWell's thymol cleaning products contains a 0.05% concentration of thymol and is designed to kill 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and viruses.." Not only that, but these products are alcohol-free, non-toxic, and safe for food surfaces.
Also making the EPA’s list is Ready to Use Thymol from Wexford Labs Inc (you can purchase a generic version here) and Thymox Disinfectant Spray from Laboratorie M2, which does not seem to be for sale at the moment. As the EPA continues to expand its list, we may see other thymol-based cleaners make the list, but as for now, we recommend sticking to the products that already got the thumbs up. You can access the full list of EPA approved cleaning products deemed effective to kill SARS-CoV-2 here.
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