I partly disagree. There is nothing mysterious about what needs to be done. Wash your hands regularly and properly. Detergents denature viruses. No mystery in this physicochemical process. Other behavioral modifications need not be addressed in this site.
And, yes, medical questions are usually inappropriate. However, this is an opportunity for the site to perform a potentially valuable service to the general public. Regarding DIY sanitizers, I would shut down requests for recipes or instruction that might place the OP or others in danger, a reaction similar to any other post. Label questions as dupes and link to an appropriate existing post. Otherwise I suggest having a standard response with links to appropriate and more official sites.
This website does not exist to spread public health information. However, in the best interests of the public under what can clearly be considered a global crisis, it is worth reconsidering how to handle certain questions.
I quote the comments under a recent post:
No significant difference, both will disrupt the lipid bilayer of virus particles – Waylander 6 hours ago
@Waylander are you saying the alcohol component in sanitizers is not
needed? That common detergent 'soaps' will kill virus? –MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars 4 hours ago
Alcohol based sanitisers and soaps are two different things. With a sanitiser you need an alcohol concentration of at least 60% and a long contact time. Common detergents (e.g. hand soap) do 2 things, they break up the lipid bilayer of virus particles and they facilitiate the mechanical removal of the virus from a surface (provided you rinse it off well). A soap
is not a sanitiser and a sanitiser is not a soap, you use them under
different circumstances. – Waylander 4 hours ago
@MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Since you ask, yes soap does kill viruses vox.com/science-and-health/2020/3/11/21173187/… – Waylander 3 hours ago
@Waylander Awesome. Thanks. Makes good sense. Wonder why this is not being stressed in news reports, etc.. The mechanical action I knew about. Strange this is not more common knowledge.
The guidelines are pretty clear, from the CDC (including this link):
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Alcohol solutions.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
Make sure the alcohol is intended for topical application, for instance rubbing alcohol. Do not use just any denatured alcohol
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
Complete disinfection guidance