Whether it’s recalled beef, spinach, romaine, or flour, for the past 30 years the US has maintained a rather ‘steady pace’ when it comes to E. coli breakouts. Throwing out the recalled food is easy. But what about the refrigerator shelf? Or the countertop or table we used while unbagging our contaminated groceries?
And what about all the people who actually get sick from E. coli and recover in their homes….how does one go about disinfecting the home or workplace while getting through an E coli infection or outbreak.
Today’s topic should answer all of those questions because it’s all about killing E. coli bacteria that may be lurking on surfaces throughout your home or place of business. For information about the most recent E coli outbreaks (if present), please refer to the CDC E coli outbreak page.
E. coli – What Kills It?
What Kills E coli bacteria on surfaces? To ensure you are killing the tough E coli bacteria and not just spreading it around, you’ll need to use products with a proven ability to kill E coli bacteria. And, unless you know exactly which E. coli strain you’re trying to kill, you should opt for a product that is capable of killing multiple E coli strains.
Luckily there are several good options readily available and you can choose sprays, wipes or both.
Let’s get to the products. If any products are available online through amazon, walmart, or target, we provide an affiliate link so you can check pricing and availability.
We have broken our top picks into 2 sections:
- Household and
- High Traffic Public spaces and Animal settings.
Products That Kill E coli Bacteria O157:H7 (High Traffic Public spaces & Animal Setting)
Many of our visitors are small business owners in the animal industry or public health/fitness sector.
So for our farmers, kennel operators, groomers, day cares, gym owners, clinic operators, doggie day care operators, vet offices, and the like, we try to suggest “Broad Spectrum” solutions without horrible fumes, while also killing E coli and the E coli O157:H7 strain you’re looking to kill.
Top Picks for Disinfecting E Coli in Animal Setting
- RESCUE RTU Liquid (link to product) by Virox: EPA Reg. No. 74559-9
- Oxivir TB Liquid (link to product) by Diversey EPA Reg. No. 70627-56
- RESCUE RTU Liquid (link to product) by Virox: EPA Reg #. 74559-10
- Oxivir TB Liquid (link to product) by Diversey EPA Reg #. 70627-60
Both Kill Multiple E coli strains in 1 minute!
When disinfecting public spaces or near animals, it doesn’t get much better than “chlorine free” or “bleach-free”. Rescue RTU (Ready to use) and Oxivir TB are both powered by a hydrogen peroxide technology which will save you the harsh fumes of bleach.
On top of that,whether you choose liquid or wipes, they both kill SEVERAL E coli strains with 1 minute of contact time (listed below). You can click the pictures to be taken to pricing and availability.
Rescue RTU Kills these E coli
- Escherichia coli
- Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Escherichia coli (Extended Spectrum Beta-lactamase (ESBL)
- Escherichia coli (New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)
Disinfection only happens when you follow directions precisely as written. Make sure you take the time to read each package and use as directed.
While the above products can be used in the home, you might find other products more cost effective for regular household use. However, expect a “fragrance” even in those that are called unscented.
What to Use Around the Home for Killing E coli Bacteria
Sprays for the home
If you’re a fan of “real Lysol” then you can definitely use the metal can (aerosol) to kill E coli. But it has to real disinfecting Spray; NOT Neutra Air or or deodorizing spray.
When used as directed, “Lysol Disinfecting Spray” (link to product) kills several strains of E coli, including O157:H7 and it kills it with 2 minutes of wet contact time. EPA Reg. No.: 777-99
Take note that in order to really disinfect a hard surface, you have to achieve “wet contact time.” Simply spraying Lysol into the air is not going to disinfect hard surfaces. Spray the surface until visibly wet, and keep it visibly wet for the time stated on the product label.
Wipes for the home
As for using wipes around the house to kill E Coli, the Lysol wipes are rated for being able to kill E coli but it requires 10 minutes of contact time. We have conducted many trials and have never been able to keep a surface wet for 10 minutes, using a wipe and so we suggest wipes that kill E coli in less time.
1 Minute Wipes
If you want a wipe to use around the home, Rescue RTU wipes (link to product) will kill E coli on hard surfaces with 1 minute of contact time.
4 Minute Wipes
Or, if you prefer, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (link to product) will kill E coli on hard surfaces with 4 minutes of wet contact time.
Always rinse toys or food related items after disinfecting.
What Kills E coli Naturally? Is there any Home Remedy?
We support home remedies when it comes to treating thinks like: the common cold, tiny ants, house flies, grubs etc.., We cannot find one natural remedy that works for killing deadly Shigra-toxin producing E coli bacteria. We highly recommend EPA approved products only.
What Kills E Coli on Surfaces Summary
There is good bacteria and there is bad bacteria and when E coli bacteria is bad, it causes misery to healthy individuals, and can cause less healthy individuals to become seriously ill. Most E coli strains are harmless and alive in our bodies right now. But the other strains produce toxins and that’s when things get really serious.
The most commonly found toxin producing strain in the United States is E. coli O157:H7, but there are others, and the the list continues to expand.
Disinfecting E coli
So when faced with the task of killing E. coli bacteria on hard surfaces remember to choose EPA registered products that have the ability to kill MANY E coli strains….not just “E coli.”
Then, follow directions exactly as written. If instructions are unclear, call the number listed on the package and ask. If there is no phone number and you have questions, contact the National Pesticide Information Center