Experts reveal the only two cleaning products you actually need for a spotless home

Are you overcomplicating your cleaning routine?

When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your home, you can put down the Dettol wipes and Zoflora. Cleaning with soap is enough to keep your home safe from COVID-19.

Related: These are the cleaning products you should NEVER mix together when sprucing up your home

On the Channel 4 Coronavirus special of 'How clean is your house', A&E doctor, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim and virologist, Dr Lisa Cross revealed that a bottle of fairy liquid is all you need to disinfect your home.

cleaning bleach solution with flower vase and brush

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

'When it comes to inactivating the coronavirus we really only need two products in our arsenal. A correctly diluted bleach solution or soap and water' explains Dr Javid. 'Both methods are equally effective, they just work in different ways.'

Cleaning with soap

'Liquid hand soap, a bar of soap or washing up liquid all have the same effect, destroying the virus' protective outer layer and inactivating the virus,' explains Dr Javid.

'Soap and water are hugely versatile and particularly suitable for destroying the virus on items that come into contact with a spoon, and for cleaning children's toys,' he adds.

Bleach is equally as effective as soap for killing the virus. However, as it is more toxic you have to be extremely careful about which surface you use it on.

cleaning accessories in bucked and brush

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Cleaning with bleach

'Biologically speaking the coronavirus is very simple,' explains Dr Javid. 'It is a bit of genetic code surrounded by a fatty membrane with protein spikes. Bleach works by destroying these proteins on the outer layer and disrupting its genetic material.'

'Bleach is good for high traffic spots with hard surfaces, like light switches, most floors and worktops,' he adds. 'Always use gloves and make sure you follow instructions on how to dilute the bleach and how long to leave it in contact with the surface you are treating. And remember to rinse off after use.'

cleaning worktop with detergent liquid and bucket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Holly Joliffe)

'Always dilute bleach in a well-ventilated area, so always open the windows,' Dr Lisa adds.

Speaking about how to use soap and bleach to successfully disinfect a home, Dr Javid explains: 'Disinfecting is a two-stage process, first remove the dirt with a wet cloth. Then you wipe again with either soap and water or diluted bleach.'

'The first clean is getting rid of any organic matter. The second time you go over it is disinfection. We need to remove debris, so the soap or bleach can make good contact with the virus.'

Related: 43 easy cleaning jobs to do while in lockdown – for every room of the house

Will you be ditching your fancying disinfecting products for a simple bottle of washing up liquid?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.