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5 Neat Things5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “Ask a Clean Person.” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.

Okay, for serious: Don’t panic about hand sanitizer being sold out. Panicking isn’t going to help you or anyone else survive coronavirus. You know what will help? Knowledge! Because knowledge is power. So let’s power up and talk about some antibacterial products that will help to keep you as healthy as possible during these trying times.

Rubbing Alcohol

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If you’ve been with me for any substantial amount of time, you’ll know this refrain: Hand sanitizer is an excellent stain remover because it has a big concentration of rubbing alcohol in it. GIVEN THAT, we can correctly surmise that rubbing alcohol on its own can stand in place of hand sanitizer. But the kind in the spray bottle and use it to spritz your hands and to clean frequently touched surfaces like cell phone, light switches, and door knobs.


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Truly—TRULY!—the best thing you can do for your heath is to wash your hands regularly. After using the bathroom? Always! Post-gym? God please! After you’ve been on public transportation? Obviously. On your way out of the grocery store/Walmart/Michaels craft store? Mmhm, then too. So, I present to you, soap. Buy it. Use it. Love it.

Alcohol Wipes


These are sometimes called “prep pads” and they’re amazing lil things. They’re impregnated (YES!) with isopropyl alcohol (that’s the rubbing stuff) and are great for wiping tablet, phone, and monitors clean of germs. They can also be used to wipe off hands and, crucially, airplane seats and tray tables.

Tech or Lens Wipes

Graphic: Gabe Carey

Okay this is kind of cheating because tech wipes are basically alcohol wipes with more niche branding. But the good thing about many tech wipes is that they often use a more concentrated isopropyl alcohol than most other wipes—for example, these wipes are impregnated (YES!) with 99% IPA as opposed to the 70% stuff most wipes use.


Photo: Mike Mozart (Unsplash)

Good old Lysol! I feel like people forget about good old Lysol, and you really ought not forget about good old Lysol because it’s great stuff … especially when it comes to cleaning high-touch and oft-overlooked things like door-knobs and -handles, light switches, and refrigerator and microwave doors.

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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