Does Star San kill corona virus?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
star san acid sanitizer

You're not probably going to catch the coronavirus from brewing beer alone in your back yard - except maybe if you brew with a friend.

But we did start to wonder - does a sanitizer like Star San kill the Covid 19 virus?

And if so, does this mean you can use Star San to sanitize household surfaces and the like?

Well, for starters, Star San is not on the EPA's official list of disinfectants for destroying the Covid 19 virus however just because it's not on the EPA's guidance, doesn't mean it won't kill a few bugs it probably means it just hasn't been formally tested yet under scientific / lab conditions.

Take for example household product vinegar.  It is not on the list either but with a dilution of 10%  or more in water, it effectively leaves the virus inactive.

Vinegar works because it has a very low pH level and it will slam dunk the virus because it essentially breaks down the 'cell's envelope'. 

This is exactly how Star San would work too. While it's probably a smarted idea to use a tested product from the EPA's list at a pinch, Star San will act as a handy backup solution.

Two very common ways of inactivating envelope viruses (coronavirus being in that class) is by disrupting the viral envelope with a detergent or by incubation at low pH environments.

In reality, most viruses are inactivated within the first few moments of coming into contact with low pH conditions but giving the product time to act on the virus sells is a fine idea.

Which brings me to the point, we don't necessarily know how long it will take for Starsan to break down the virus.

So yes, you can quite reasonably use Starsan to sanitize your home or work station to protect against coronavirus - and even a strong vinegar solution will too! We do of course recommend you sanitize with product that is designed for killing a plague level type virus, rather than one used to kill bugs that hide on brewing equipment. 

Finally, if you are just focussed on cleaning and sanitizing your gear, we totally recommend using sodium percarbonate - which is another household product that can be found in laundry soak powder!


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