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According to information from the health authorities currently available, the chemicals that show the greatest effectiveness in combating covid-19 are soap, hypochlorite sodium, peroxidehydrogen and alcohol.

Bear in mind that, according to the health authorities, these viruses are destroyed after exposure to certain times with these products. They do not do so immediately.


The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has an outer layer formed by fat molecules that surrounds its genetic material. It is on this fat layer that we can act to eliminate the virus.

  • Soap is the main product for the destruction of these viruses because it is formed by molecules that on the one hand dissolve fat and on the other are soluble in water. When the soap molecules come into contact with the virus, they dissolve the outer layer of the virus and destroy it.
  • Alcohol-basedsolutions or gels (in concentrations above 70% alcohol) are also very effective. They dissolve the layer of fat that surrounds the virus by deteriorating the structure of the virus protein and eventually destroying it.
  • Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is only recommended for the disinfection of areas that are in contact with people. This substance reacts and destroys the proteins of the virus and its genetic material. Solutions containing 2% bleach (0.1% sodium hypochlorite) are recommended. It is important to spray the surface to be disinfected and leave it to act for about 10 minutes(*) to obtain the maximum effect. It is very important to use gloves when using bleach because of its strong oxidizing power. Never mix with other cleaning products (especially ammonia) because toxic gases can be generated.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is effective against the virus in concentrations of 0.5%. It also reacts with and destroys viral proteins and genetic material. Similarly, it should be allowed to act for up to 10 minutes(*). It should also not be mixed with other cleaners, especially those containing vinegar.
  • It has not been proven that the use of ammonia or vinegar are useful products for the disinfection of surfaces against coronaviruses and they also present the aggravating factor of being able to generate toxic vapours when combined with other substances commonly used as cleaning products.

(*) There is evidence that coronaviruses are inactivated by contact with a solution of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide in one minute. Source: Municipal Institute of Public Health of Zaragoza.

From the INDUSTRIAS QUÍMICAS IRIS SA laboratory, chemical resistance tests have been carried out on varnished surfaces with our products using the above-mentioned reagents in concentrations much higher than those recommended by the health authorities (with the exception of alcohol).

We prepared a chemical resistance sweep (16 hour exposure) with IRIS products, with the solutions mentioned for disinfection giving exceptional results on varnished materials.

General conclusions*:

  • We recommend the use of soap solutions for the disinfection of surfaces as a first option because of their zero attack on varnish and their greater safety in the handling of these products by personnel.
  • The use of sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide are also suitable disinfectants but require some special protection when handling them.
  • We discard the use of vinegar because of its doubtful disinfectant effectiveness.
  • The use of ammonia has been ruled out due to its toxicity and doubtful disinfectant effectiveness.
  • We do not recommend the use of alcohols because of their high volatility when spread over large surfaces (loss of effectiveness)
  • It is advisable to use disposable materials for cleaning.

* However for any specific product you can contact us for its specifications.

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