At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, we all know the importance of disinfecting surfaces in our homes and cars, and the high-touch items we carry with us when we're out (hello, cell phones). But if you kept an all-natural cleaning routine pre-quarantine, you may be feeling hesitant to start dousing your home in some of the potent chemicals that make the best disinfecants. At the same time, as much as we love cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, the duo won't cut it when it comes to killing Covid-19.
The good news? There's a happy medium.
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that monitors the safety of consumer products, screened hundreds of coronavirus disinfectants approvedv by either the EPA or American Chemistry Council to find the safest ones.
Here are 16 of the products the EWG deemed effective, but safe, in the sense that the products had the fewest ingredient concerns. We've linked to the best place to find each right now, but if the product is sold out online, scroll to the bottom of the list for tips on finding hard to get your hands on cleaning products.
For more cleaning and disinfecting tips, check out our cleaning hub.
The safest coronavirus disinfectants - Best:
These hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners were deemed the safest of the bunch. Note that hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners are most effective if you let them sit for 10 minutes before wiping.
- Clorox Commercial Solutions Disinfecting Bio Stain & Odor Remover
- Clorox Pet Solutions Advanced Disinfecting Stain & Odor Remover
Clorox Pet Solutions Stain & Odor Remover Refill Bottle, 128 fl. oz | $19.99 at Petco.
We've been tracking in-stock disinfectants for weeks, and this top-ranked cleaner has been one of the most readily available. View Deal
Safest coronavirus disinfectants - Better:
These cleaners are also hydrogen peroxide based.
- Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Action Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Oxygen Splash
- Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Bathroom Cleaner, Cool Spring Breeze
- Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Citrus Sparkle Zest
- Lysol Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaning Wipes, Oxygen Splash
- Lysol Power Bathroom Cleaner, Island Breeze
Safest coronavirus disinfectants - Good:
These cleaners primarily get their disinfectant power from alcohol, lactic acid, or thymol, a disinfectant derived from thyme oil.
- Purell Multi Surface Disinfectant Fragrance Free
- Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray Eucalyptus, Spearmint & Thyme
- Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray Fresh Citrus & Thyme
- Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray, Lavender Vanilla & Thyme
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, Lemongrass Citrus Scent
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, Lemongrass Citrus Scent
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes, Lemongrass Citrus Scent
- Windex Multi Surface Disinfectant Cleaner
- Windex Multi Surface Disinfectant Cleaner, Glade Rainshower
Where to find these safer coronavirus cleaners
All disinfectants have been hard to come by in the last few months. But, we've been keeping an eye on where to buy disinfectants for weeks now, and here's where we've found the best luck.
If you prefer to have your purchases delivered, your best bet is a grocery delivery service like Instacart. While it may take some digging to find what you want in stock (in that you may have to check a few different retailers) we've found that this is the most consistent method for getting what we want without going to a store.
On a rare day, we've found Lysol or Seventh Generation products available for shipping from Target also, so check often.
If you're able to get to a store you'll have better luck finding these specific products. We've found many in-demand cleaning products by checking the Target website or app for stock in our local store first thing in the morning. The same goes for CVS, Walgreen's, and Walmart.
Each of these sites have the option to set your store, which will show you the availability, and in some cases, the aisle it's in.
What cleaners you can use instead
If you can't find any of the cleaners above, here are active ingredients to look for in other products that are both safe and effective.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
- Citric acid
- L-lactic acid
- Caprylic acid (octanoic acid)