This Is Upsetting: Your Cleaning Spray Only Works Against Viruses If You Do THIS Step

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If these times have taught us anything, it's that pre-pandemic, none of us had been properly cleaning our homes. Hopefully, you hit the grocery stores before the shelves were wiped of all antibacterial cleaning products and you've been dutifully using them to wipe down countertops, door handles, surfaces — anything you're touching regularly.

But are you sure you've been using your products correctly? This is important: You MUST read the instructions of your antibacterial cleaning products. For example, Method's Antibac All Purpose Cleaner requires that you spray the surface, then let the solution sit for 10 MINUTES before wiping:

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It's easy to make mistakes with other surface products like antibacterial wipes, which tend to leave a lot of dampness behind. A) Do not follow up with paper towels to wipe up the remaining moisture. Let it sit. And B) Most products need to sit for 15 seconds. See instructions, for example, of Target's Up & Up Disinfecting Wipes:

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Times will likely differ from product to product. Clorox's Anywhere® Hard Surface Daily Sanitizing Spray advises letting the solution stand for two minutes. When using Lysol's Disinfecting Wipes, surfaces must remain wet for four minutes to disinfect. According to Lysol's Disinfectant Spray: "To Disinfect: Surfaces must remain wet for three minutes, then allow to air dry. For Norovirus, surfaces must remain wet for 10 minutes, then allow to air dry."

The lesson here is you must read your antibacterial product's instructions and follow them exactly if you want to actually kill germs and viruses in your home.

Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at

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