Disinfection coronavirus. Stop 2019-nCoV. Man with gloves spray kills a virus bacterium. Disinfectant solution. Vector illustration cartoon design. Isolated on white background. Prevention epidemic.

The Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) released the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to protect against COVID-19.

“As we know, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is spread primarily through exposure to respiratory droplets and the risk of becoming infected through contact with a contaminated surface is low,” said Dr. Steve Bennett, executive vice president, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, HCPA. “However, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces and public areas should remain a priority if there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to help mitigate the potential transmission of the virus – in addition to other protections, such as vaccination, masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene.

Cleaning products are effective at removing dirt, soil, and stains, but have not been proven to kill viruses on surfaces – only disinfectants registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can make those claims. In fact, only the disinfectants on the EPA’s List N have demonstrated efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.

While cleaning is an important part of the COVID-19 response and can lower the risk of infection, cleaning alone will not eliminate the threat. If a consumer wants to be confident that they’ve killed the coronavirus on a surface, they need to use a disinfectant product.”