The rules and issues around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve and information changes consistently. Please take note of when our content was written and always go to the sources we’ve provided for the most current guidance.

If you’re using disinfectants in your home, it’s important to ensure that you’re choosing products that are safe and effective against the coronavirus. Here’s what you need to know from the Government of Canada about disinfectants and COVID-19.  

 But first, a reminder on physical distancing:  

According to the Government of Canada, physical distancing is still the most effective way to minimize the spread of COVID-19.   

Here’s a refresher on what the Government of Canada recommends to support physical distancing: 

  • Stay home as much as you can. 
    • Avoid non-essential trips in your community. 
    • Talk to your employer about working from home, if possible. 
    • At this time, you can still go for walks, but stay close to home and maintain physical distance. 
  • Keep a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from others.
    • Avoid common greetings like handshakes. 
    • Avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings.  
  • Limit contact with people at higher risk (i.e. older adults and those with underlying health conditions). 

As always, you should also practice proper hand hygiene, cough and sneeze into an elbow or tissue and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. 

How effective are disinfectants against coronavirus? 

The good news is that coronavirus is easily killed by disinfectants so long as you both: 

  • use appropriate disinfectants.
  • use them according to the labeled directions.   

To check if a disinfectant is appropriate to use against COVID-19: 

  1. Locate the drug identification number (DIN) on the disinfectant product label. 
  2. Look for that number on the Government of Canada’s Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19 list.  

Where to start: 

Surfaces that frequently come into contact with hands are most likely to be contaminated. Some suggested household candidates for disinfection are: 

  • Toys, 
  • Toilets, 
  • Phones, 
  • Electronics, 
  • Door handles, 
  • Bedside tables, 
  • Remotes, 
  • Light switches, 
  • Railings, 
  • Faucet handles, 
  • Etc. 

What to do if you can’t find disinfectant: 

While a disinfectant (so long as it’s on the list above) will kill the virus, there are other effective methods for controlling the virus.  

The Government of Canada suggests using regular household cleaners or a properly prepared bleach solution to help protect against COVID-19. Although these products do not claim to kill the virus, they can help limit the transfer of microorganisms. 

Their website suggests a diluted bleach prepared according to the instructions on the label or in a ratio of: 

  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) per cup (250 mL) or 
  •  4 teaspoons (20 mL) per litre (1000 mL) 
  • assuming bleach is 5 % sodium hypochlorite, to give a 0.1 % sodium hypochlorite solution 

Please check the package directions or research the appropriate bleach solution from a reliable source so that you don’t harm yourself.  

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Look through all of our COVID-19 related information on our website.   

Where do we fit in? 

Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation. 

About Consumer Protection BC 

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at