To understand how to clean and keep our families safe we must first understand what we are dealing with. COVID-19 is a virus which is referred to as an envelope virus, it’s developed in a lipid layer (that’s a layer of fat). With all the science floating around I am getting emails and DM’s on social media with honest confusion so I will keep the terms simple so EVERYONE can understand.
So here is what we know, there is a list of effective and approved “cleaners” however just because something is on a list doesn’t mean it isn’t overkill. I could take a chopper to the grocery store down the street, yes it’s going to get me there super quick but realistically so will my car and with a whole lot less overkill.
This virus is fragile, we know Dawn soap cuts grease, we also know soap in general destroys this outer lipid (fat) layer – just like how Dawn cuts grease. So all this scrubbing for 20 seconds is destroying that outer protective layer leaving this virus open, exposed and vulnerable. Boom, done! Great article here
The reason I have previously recommended alcohol content of 70% or more is because this will destroy this virus pretty quickly, 60% is shown to do it in 10 seconds so you need to put a little more effort, anything less than this is only going to stun it (bacteriostatic) and spread it around more rather than being bactericidal.
As many of us race out to grab a bottle of Lysol or Spray 9 I advise caution. Yes this is great when out, even in your home if you want – as someone chemically sensitive which induces asthma we use it sparingly. When it comes to bleach, while it may be on the list of approved and effective products I strongly advise against it as do other experts. Firstly it is overkill, you don’t need it. I’ve even seen some adding it to their laundry, washing with it will just degrade your clothes faster when HOT soapy water will work just as well.
Bleach releases VOC’s (volatile organic compounds, which contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches – this comes straight from the American Lung Association
Secondly bleach could be dangerous for many, not just those of us with respiratory issues. Bleach can be very dangerous for children, when we clean surfaces with this it remains on surfaces and continues to emit fumes. Kids are lower to the ground and more sensitive in the lung department. We have seen in studies over the years that children exposed to bleach had a higher risk of respiratory illness later on in life, this includes asthma and allergies. I was raised in a home where my grandmother bleached EVERYTHING. The smell of bleach to me meant clean, it smelled like home – I now have allergy induced asthma and chemical sensitivities… do the math.
Did I mention bleach is also not great for your pets? If it’s strong enough smelling to be giving you a coughing fit or headache think of your poor small family pet. We worry about the wrong essential oils in our diffuser for our pets health yet we bleach the house from top to bottom… speaking of which, wash your pets paws when you come back into the house from outdoors, soap and water is just fine.
Since this virus aggressively attacks our lungs it makes sense we don’t want to add any extra outside damage in case we do end up contracting it. Bleach or chlorine based cleaners in general are shown to damage our lungs and other organs. It’s corrosive, read those warning labels… not just to metal but when we inhale something that gives us a head rush, light headed and “headachey” feeling that is never a good thing. If inhaling something makes you couch or burn do you think that is helping our lungs or hurting them? Do we want to be using something that can increase our risk of complications from this virus when we have other safer yet just as effective options?
I have also seen people mixing their cleaning products, bleach doesn’t mix with many of the common household cleaners, read the labels and use caution – or just don’t use it at all is my recommendation. Not for this.
So yes, bleach works – but it isn’t needed and carries a very real risk for us during a time when we need to be protecting our lungs not overburdening them.
Hope this helps clear up some of the misinformation and memes floating around the internet.