Will Lysol remove 99.9% of all viruses like the manufacturer promises?

“We have some trash cans we would like to use for clothes and other uses. Will Lysol remove 99.9% of all viruses and completely disinfect the container like the manufacturer promises? I have a bet with my wife and you are going to be the tie-breaker. Thanks.”


The Harvard MBA says:

This is an unusual question for me, but since you and your wife agreed that I’d be the tie-breaker, I can hardly refuse!

The good news (for the health of your family at least) is that Lysol is extremely effective.  In this 2000 study available on the NIH web site, researchers at the University of North Carolina Department of Hospital Epidemiology found that Lysol was extremely effective against a broad array of viruses and bacteria:

The following compounds demonstrated excellent antimicrobial activity (>5.6-8.2 log10 reduction) at both exposure times: TBQ, Vesphene, Clorox, ethanol, and Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner. Mr. Clean eliminated 4 to >6 logs10 and Lysol Disinfectant approximately 4 logs10 of pathogenic microorganisms at both exposure times. Vinegar eliminated <3 logs10 of S. aureus and E. coli, and baking soda <3 logs10 of all test pathogens. All tested chemical disinfectants completely inactivated both antibiotic-resistant and -susceptible bacteria at both exposure times. Only two disinfectants, Clorox and Lysol, demonstrated excellent activity (>3 log10 reduction) against poliovirus.

Since 99.9% effectiveness is the equivalent of a 3 log10 reduction, Lysol met or exceeded its claimed efficacy for all the pathogens tested, which included Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella choleraesuis, Escherichia coli O157:H7,  Pseudomonas aeruginosa, poliovirus, vancomycin-susceptible and -resistant Enterococcus species, and methicillin-susceptible and -resistant S. aureus.

Let me know who won the bet!

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