The only two cleaning products you will ever need for a spotless, germ-free home

Cleaning doesn't have to be complex - simply strip back the items you are using for maximum effect

two cleaning products, Girl preparing to spring clean kitchen
(Image credit: Peter Dazeley / Getty)

Cleaning is a chore that we've suddenly embraced thanks to the likes of UK queen of clean Mrs. Hinch or Japanese consultant Marie Kondo's cleaning concept to get rid of things that no longer spark joy. 

And as you look under your sink to pull out the stash of cleaning products ahead of a cleaning frenzy, you might feel a little confused by what product cleans what. But aside from the handy cleaning hacks, when it comes to creating a clean, germ-free home, there are just two products you will ever need.

While the best air purifiers will clean the air you breathe, they won't stop you from catching germs hidden on surfaces in the home but according to Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim and virologist, Dr Lisa Cross, who appeared on the Channel 4 Coronavirus special of How Clean is Your House, the A&E doctor, revealed that a bottle of Fairy Liquid is all you need to disinfect. 

Dr Javid explained, "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. Both methods are equally effective, they just work in different ways."

two cleaning products, Soap, foam and brush on bathroom sink

(Image credit: Westend61 Getty)

The first of the two cleaning products: Why is soap used for cleaning?

Dr. Javid advised that a simple soap can kill viruses just as well as any other cleaning product. He explained, "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."

He continued, "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."

Meanwhile, some people prefer to use bleach, which is equally as effective as soap for killing the virus. But be warned, as bleach is more toxic so you have to take greater care when deciding which surface you use it on.

The second of two cleaning products: Is it OK to clean with bleach?


(Image credit: Peter Dazeley Getty)

When it comes to achieving germ-free surfaces, cleaning with bleach, as one of two cleaning products, is a great product to use to combat deadly viruses such as Coronavirus. Dr. Javid explained, "Bleach works by destroying these proteins on the outer layer and disrupting its genetic material."

He also said the household chemical is "good for high traffic spots with hard surfaces, like light switches, most floors and worktops."

But he warned that when using the liquid to take extra care. He added, "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."

‘Always dilute bleach in a well-ventilated area, so always open the windows,’ Dr. Lisa added.

While there are specific ways to clean your dishwasher and to clean your oven quickly and effectively, other cleaning processes don't have to be tricky.

For the ultimate cleaning process, there's a simple two-step approach to successfully disinfect a home. Dr. Javid explained, "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."

Giving you more time to put your feet up and more money to spend on pampering yourself.

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.