Pine-Sol can kill COVID-19, according to the EPA — here’s where to buy it

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If you weren’t already invested in proper sanitization before the pandemic, you probably are now — with good reason. But it can be tricky to find which disinfectants will work best in your home. Luckily, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved another product for killing COVID-19: Pine-Sol Original Multi-Surface Cleaner.

Pine-Sol’s original cleaner was tested by a third-party laboratory, which proved the disinfectant can kill the virus within 10 minutes of contact on hard, nonporous surfaces, according to a press release by The Clorox Company. It’s important to note the 10-minute contact time though, as there is a right way and a wrong way to disinfect.

How to use Pine-Sol to disinfect properly

Disinfectants only work when used according to their instructions. To use Pine-Sol Original Mutli-Surface Cleaner correctly, you should apply the cleaner full-strength (not diluted) with a clean sponge or cloth on the hard surface. Once wet, let the disinfectant stand 10 minutes, then rinse with water.

Keep in mind, there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning simply removes germs, while disinfecting kills them. If you need to, you can pre-clean a surface to remove dirt and grime, then cover it with a disinfectant.

Which areas should you disinfect often during the COVID-19 pandemic?

You should clean any high-touch areas in your home like doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, countertops, bathroom handles, TV remotes and keyboards. Your best bet is to disinfect anything you use daily, especially if you’re not the only one using it.

Here’s where you can buy Pine-Sol online:

Pine-Sol’s original cleaner is sold at most stores carrying household cleaners. Many online retailers, however, offer the product in packs of two or more. It’s not a terrible idea to grab an extra bottle though, as The Clorox Company reported it will likely have a shortage of Clorox products like wipes until 2021.

Shop: Pine-Sol Original Cleaner (100 fl oz), $28.54

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Which other products have the EPA approved for disinfecting COVID-19?

The EPA previously released a list of over 400 approved cleaning products called List N that met its list of criteria for use against COVID-19. To find products specifically tested and approved to fight COVID-19 on List N, you can toggle “Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)” under “Why is this product on List N?”

Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max were the first two products the agency tested directly against the virus in early July. Since then, the EPA has also approved Lysol All Purpose Cleaner, Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner, Lysol Laundry Sanitizer and Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (all scents), amongst other products by a company called Lonza LLC.

“While these products were already on List N, they now carry additional weight against the virus that causes COVID-19 based on testing performed by the manufacturer and confirmed by EPA,” the EPA said in a news release from July.

Lysol can be hard to find online and in-stores, but Pine-Sol seems to still be available at most retailers. Compared to Lysol, Pine-Sol has a longer contact time (Lysol’s ranges from 2 minutes to 5 minutes) but will still effectively help you to limit your contact with the virus.

Nonetheless, if you can’t find either, you’re not totally out of luck. Bill Wuest, a Georgia Research Alliance distinguished investigator and associate professor of chemistry at Emory University, previously told In The Know most other antibacterial and antiseptic wipes should be just as effective. Many disinfectants contain the same mix of active ingredients, so check their labels for “ammonium” or “alkonium.” Other words to look for under the active ingredients list are “L-lactic acid, citric acid, or isopropanol (>60%),” as they also appear on the EPA’s List N. You can shop those containing the effective chemicals below.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read about the viral cleaning product called The Pink Stuff.

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