Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resistance of SARS-CoV-2 to various chemical disinfectants has been evaluated. Laboratory studies consistently show that the virus is susceptible to standard disinfectants such as chlorine, ethanol or Virkon (Study 1, Study 2, Study 3) A systematic review of studies using viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 also finds that 70% ethanol, 0.1-0.5% chlorine (sodium hypochlorite), and 2.0% glutardialdehyde can inactivate 99.9% of these viruses on stainless steel within 1 minute.  

This is consistent with the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was not detected on surfaces in two isolation rooms in Singapore after routine disinfection, which consisted of using 0.5% chlorine (sodium dichlorosisocyanurate, NaDCC) twice daily on high-touch surfaces and 0.1% chlorine once daily on floors. The use of 0.1% chlorine every 4 to 8 hours also kept surfaces and objects free from detectable SARS-CoV-2 in a hospital isolation wards in China.

Physical disinfection such as UV radiation can also inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces: three laboratory studies identified in a systematic review reported at least 99.9% reduction following relatively brief exposures to different sources of UV light.

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Editor's Note

Author: Karin Gallandat
Review: Karen Levy, Jacqueline Knee, Sian White, Robert Dreibelbis
Last Update: 29.07.2021

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