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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Hepatitis A

By Dr. Laundry December 19, 2011

Q:  Will using a Clorox ® Regular-Bleach solution destroy the hepatitis A virus on toilet seats?

A: Yes, you can disinfect hard non-porous surfaces (like a plastic toilet seat) with a Clorox Regular-Bleach disinfecting solution as follows:


  • Add 3/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water.

  • Wipe the surface clean, and then apply the disinfecting solution.

  • Allow it to contact the surface for 5 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse.

  • Air dry.


Something else to be aware of is that when bleach is stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight, it maintains label strength of the active for up to 6 months before starting to slowly break down into salt and water.  It will still provide good performance for laundry and home cleaning uses, but after a year the break-down speeds up, so at that point it should be replaced.  For your purpose of wanting to kill Hep A, I would make sure your bottle is less than 6 months old.  Also, the bleach solution needs to be made fresh daily, or at least on the day you plan to use it.  The ability for bleach to break down into salt and water is a big part of what makes it so environmentally friendly.