© Brett Hondow/Dreamstime.com

Can Generic Bleach Kill the Coronavirus?

Keep this in mind the next time you buy cleaning supplies during the coronavirus pandemic

© Brett Hondow/Dreamstime.com

Due to the coronavirus, which has spread rapidly through multiple countries around the world including the United States, people not considered essential workers have been self-quarantining and social distancing. Fears over the virus spreading have caused many to rush to grocery stores in an attempt to stockpile cleaning supplies. But when it comes to killing the novel coronavirus, is generic bleach as effective as its brand-name competitor?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting your home. Cleaning means you are removing germs and dirt from surfaces — it doesn’t kill germs, but rather lowers the risk of them spreading infection. Disinfection refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. If you’re hoping to deep-clean your home, disinfectants should be used to kill germs on a surface after it has been cleaned.

Most common household disinfectants that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency should be effective against the coronavirus. The main ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is registered with the EPA, meaning it can be used to kill the virus whether it's generic or name-brand.

If you’re trying to cut costs on cleaning supplies, then consider purchasing generic bleach, which is just as effective as buying the brand-name product. For example, Walmart’s  generic brand, Great Value, is an EPA-registered cleaning bleach that retails for less than half the price compared to brand-name competitors like Clorox online. 


Next time you venture out to your favorite grocery store, ditch the name brand and consider buying bleach, disinfectant wipes and these 32 other products generically.