- Pine-Sol’s Original Multi-Surface Cleaner has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of disinfectants that have been proven to target coronavirus specifically.
- Unlike other disinfectants, you can easily find Pine-Sol online without steep markups.
- The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab shares how you can use this disinfectant to clean surfaces at home.
Amid mass shortages of cleaning products across the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added another disinfectant to its list of approved cleaning products that can specifically kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
According to a news release from the Clorox Company, Pine-Sol’s parent manufacturer, third-party laboratory tests confirmed that Pine-Sol’s Original Multi-Surface Cleaner can neutralize SARS virus on surfaces in your home, whereas most of the other 450-plus products recommended by the EPA haven’t been specifically tested against COVID-19 just yet. A brand representative tells Good Housekeeping it’s listed as under the code 5813-101 when you search the EPA’s website.
Like most other cleaning agents on this list, the newly approved Pine-Sol disinfectant needs to be applied directly onto hard, non-porous surfaces to kill all germs—and these surfaces need to stay wet with the cleaner for at least 10 minutes. Carolyn Forté, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, explains that Pine-Sol makes use of different disinfecting ingredients compared to Clorox and Lysol, which is why it differs from products that may take 5 minutes or less to completely disinfect.
“[Pine-Sol] is perfect for tackling tough, greasy, soiled areas in the house, whether that’s on the floors, on a greasy stove top; it’s really more of a tough cleaner,” Forté explains, adding that it can also be used in the laundry for hard-to-remove stains. Since it’s designed to disinfect non-porous surfaces, Forté adds that you shouldn’t use it on soft surfaces—it’s best used on areas that are often touched and used throughout the day, like kitchen and bathroom surfaces, including countertops, handles, bathtubs, toilets, and tables.
According to the manufacturer’s directions, in order to effectively kill COVID-19 germs on surfaces throughout your home, you should:
- Clean off any visible crud, dirt, or grime first.
- Using a clean sponge or a dish towel, apply the disinfectant directly onto a hard, non-porous surface.
- Spread the disinfectant evenly across the surface, and be sure that it’s visibly wet.
- Allow the disinfectant to remain visibly wet on the surface for at least 10 minutes, and reapply the product if you need to.
- Afterwards, be sure to rinse the surface with water.
- For toilet bowls, be sure to pour at least half a cup of Pine-Sol into the water directly, and brush thoroughly inside the interior. You should treat the toilet’s exterior using the directions above.
Where to buy Pine-Sol disinfectant:
Disinfectants sold by brands like Clorox and Lysol, in wipe and aerosols forms, have been experiencing shortages both in stores and online, with reports claiming the scarcity of these products is expected to extend into 2021. But the Clorox Company says this isn’t the case for Pine-Sol disinfectant, sharing in its press release that its Original Multi-Surface Cleaner is “readily available” both online and in stores.
Retailers online have plenty of stock, but many are offering bulk ordering options for multiple bottles of the disinfectant, perfect to help you stock up for the next few months. You’re most likely to find single retail bottles of Pine-Sol Original Multi-Surface Cleaner in physical stores, and you can use retailers’ online locator tool to find them. Try locating products at the following stores:
And if you’re looking for an immediate solution, simple bleach can work against COVID-19, too—you’ll find Forté’s directions for creating a DIY bleach-based disinfectant here.
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