Do Clorox Wipes Kill Norovirus?

Norovirus, often called the “stomach bug”, is infamous for its ability to spread like wildfire. If someone in your household gets sick, a big question looms: Can Clorox wipes save the day, or do you need something stronger? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, so let’s break down what you should know about disinfecting norovirus.

Norovirus: A Stubborn Foe

Norovirus is highly contagious and can survive on surfaces for days or even weeks. This makes quick and effective disinfection absolutely crucial for preventing it from spreading through your home. It’s also notoriously tough – regular cleaning products that work on other germs might not be enough to tackle norovirus.

Clorox Wipes: It Depends

Here’s the deal: some types of Clorox wipes CAN kill norovirus, but not all. To be sure, you need to check the label closely:

  • Disinfecting Wipes: Look for Clorox wipes that are specifically labeled as “disinfecting” and list norovirus on the label of approved germs they kill. These wipes contain stronger chemicals that are EPA-registered to eliminate this tough virus.
  • Non-Disinfecting Wipes: Some Clorox wipes are intended for general cleaning and might not be strong enough to tackle norovirus. Always read the product description carefully.

The Importance of Cleaning First

Even if your Clorox wipes are the disinfecting type, there’s a crucial step you can’t skip: pre-cleaning. Norovirus can hide within vomit, stool, or food particles. If you simply wipe over a visibly dirty surface, the disinfectant might not be able to penetrate and truly eliminate the virus.

Here’s the right approach:

  1. Gear Up: Put on disposable gloves and consider a mask, as norovirus can become airborne when disturbed.
  2. Remove Visible Mess: Carefully clean up any visible vomit or stool. Paper towels are a good choice for containing them.
  3. Now, Disinfect: Thoroughly disinfect the contaminated area and surrounding surfaces with your Clorox disinfecting wipes, following the instructions on the label. Typically, this involves leaving the surface visibly wet for a certain amount of time.

When Clorox Wipes Might Not Be Enough

There are instances when a bleach solution is a safer bet to truly nuke the norovirus:

Heavily Soiled Areas: If the initial contamination was significant, like a large area of vomit or diarrhea, a bleach solution offers more potent disinfection. Norovirus can become trapped within these messes, and a bleach solution provides a stronger chance of eradicating the virus throughout the entire contaminated area. Clorox wipes, while effective on smaller spills or less soiled surfaces, might not be able to fully penetrate a thicker layer of organic matter.

Uncertainty: If you’re unsure about the type of Clorox wipes you have, or if the contaminated area is porous (like unfinished wood, rugs, or carpeted areas), opting for a bleach solution ensures maximum effectiveness. Clorox disinfecting wipes are typically designed for non-porous surfaces. Bleach, when diluted properly, can be a safe and effective disinfectant on various surfaces, as long as you follow proper ventilation and safety precautions.

How to Make a Bleach Solution:

Refer to the CDC guidelines or your local health authority for the specific dilution ratio. Generally, it involves mixing a small amount of regular household bleach with water. [Direct link to official instructions].

Safety First: Bleach can irritate the skin and lungs. Wear gloves, ensure proper ventilation, and never mix bleach with other cleaning products.

Beyond Clorox: Other Norovirus Killers

While Clorox is a well-known option, other EPA-registered disinfectants effective against norovirus exist. Check the EPA’s website for a comprehensive list. Always follow label instructions for safety and effectiveness.

Prevention is Key

Even the best disinfectant is no substitute for good hygiene practices:

  • Handwashing: Vigorous handwashing with soap and water is your first line of defense. Especially after bathroom use, changing diapers, and before preparing food.
  • Isolate the Sick: Keep infected individuals at home as much as possible, with their own designated bathroom if feasible.
  • Launder Thoroughly: Wash contaminated clothing or bedding on the hottest setting suitable for the fabric and dry completely.


Clorox disinfecting wipes CAN be an effective tool in fighting norovirus, but knowing which type to use and understanding their limitations is key. By combining proper product choice, cleaning procedures, and preventative actions, you can significantly reduce the risk of this pesky bug running rampant in your home.

Nyla Rose

Say hello to Nyla Rose, a special person who helps people make their homes pretty and comfortable. Mary went to the University of Creativity to learn all about making spaces beautiful.

For more than 10 years, she’s been sharing her smart and fun ideas about home decorating with people all around the world. Mary loves to talk about cool DIY projects, how to decorate on a budget, and choosing the perfect items for your home. Her friendly tips and stories are loved by many because she makes home decorating easy and joyful!

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