Cleaning to prevent Covid-19

Cleaning surfaces that could have been contaminated by Coronavirus is an important in preventing its spread. Unfortunately not every chemical and disinfectant will destroy Coronavirus. Public Health England has issued guidance on how to clean surfaces that could have been contaminated by Coronavirus.

The guidance states that a solution should be used that contains 1000ppm available chlorine. Fortunately household bleach can be diluted to contain 1000ppm available chlorine. Confusingly though, all bleach products do not necessarily contain the same amount of available chlorine – that means a single rate of dilution will not work for every type of bleach available. Fortunately I’ve created a quick and easy calculator to give you an idea of how much you need to dilute the bleach you use. This means you can quickly work out how much bleach you need to add to an amount of water to achieve the desired 1000ppm available chlorine.

All you will need to know is the amount of Sodium Hypochlorite in the bleach you are using. This is usually displayed as X grams per 100 grams of bleach. You’ll find this information on the back of the bottle. You can see on the image below what you will be looking for (photo taken of Domestos found under my kitchen sink)

Domestos bottle with 4.5 grams of Sodium Hypochlorite per 100 grams

In addition to knowing the amount of Sodium Hypochlorite in the bleach you will also need to know how much water you will use to dliute the bleach. It is important to note that you shouldn’t dilute the bleach in advance as it will lose its effectiveness over time, so avoid making large batches for use in the future.

Once you have entered the required information the calculator will let you know how much bleach to add to the water. Be careful when mixing the two – it is safer to add the bleach to the water rather than the other way round. This will minimise the risk of bleach being splashed when adding one to the other.

You can access our bleach dilution calculator here.

Other guidance and precautions

It is important to follow the other guidance and precautions detailed by Public Health England in their guidance. In addition it is advisable to wear gloves while using the solution. If cleaning is being carried out and there is a risk the solution could splash in your face wear some goggles or other appropriate eye protection. Although you might not wear this normally – it is important to ensure you take appropriate precautions, failing to do so could result in an accident that might put additional preventable strain on the NHS.

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