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BREAKING: Laboratory testing proves Domestos kills Coronavirus lingering on surfaces

Unilever has received test results from a leading US laboratory that prove Domestos thick bleach kills the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus in one minute.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the South African Department of Health have suggested that disinfecting high-touch surfaces in the home with bleach could be key in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.

While these health bodies were mainly relying on past use of bleach solutions to clear bacterial and viral colonies when making these recommendations, Unilever can now say definitively that Domestos thick bleach has been proven to kill the Coronavirus in 60 seconds.

Research and Development Homecare Manager at Unilever South Africa, Lynn Cowie, explained: “The global team at Unilever was keen to reassure people that Domestos thick bleach is effective against SARS-COV-2 and sent samples to a leading United States laboratory for immediate testing”.

The results, she said, were greatly reassuring. Using Domestos at a ratio of 1:8 (1-part bleach, 8-parts water) and applying it to an infected surface showed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus - better known as COVID-19 - would be destroyed in one minute.

Lethepu Matshaba, Vice President Home Care at Unilever, said she is proud that South Africans can use such an easily accessible product to help in the fight against the pandemic. “Not only are bleach products proven to be effective against the Coronavirus, they are easily accessible and affordable, ready to protect households across the country,” said Matshaba.

When the pandemic first began, the key focus of most public education programmes was on social distancing, self-isolation and regular handwashing. However, in recent weeks, particularly with the easing of the South African lockdown, viruses are more likely to be spread through indirect contact as more people venture out of their homes to return to work. So, as recommended by the WHO, it has become equally important to clean high-touch surfaces in the home with bleach containing sodium hypochlorite, such as Domestos thick bleach.

Surfaces which could be considered viral hotspots in the home include light switches, door, cupboard and appliance handles, the toilet and its flusher, general bathroom surfaces and kitchen counters – particularly before and after preparing food. “The number of homes with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases every day, so it is paramount to break the chain of infection in homes by disinfecting these frequently touched surfaces with bleach,” Matshaba said. To arrange interviews with our experts, contact Zandile Kgame: Zandile.Kgame@edelman.com.

About Domestos:

  • Domestos has helped protect families from germs for more than 80 years.
  • Today, Domestos is sold in 65 countries around the world. It is sold across Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and much of Asia. It is the market leader for toilet cleaners in countries including South Africa, UK, Poland, Russia, and Turkey.
  • Domestos is Unilever’s leading toilet hygiene brand and has been committed to helping protect families from germs for more than 80 years. As such, the brand is uniquely positioned to address the sanitation crisis.
  • Domestos’ commitment to deliver more social value is just one action Unilever is taking to meet its goal of helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and in turn, create a sustainable future.
  • Domestos now has a new, improved formula, with extended germ- and stain-fighting power, making it unstoppable in its fight for clean, safe toilets for all "

About Unilever:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €53.3 billion in 2015. Over half (58%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.