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Undergraduate Research Showcase

Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

Investigating the Efficacy of Household Cleaners and Disinfectants: What to Use on Your Surfaces to Slow the Spread of COVID-19


Nathalia Cordero RodriguezMy name is Nathalia Cordero, I’m majoring in Biomedical Sciences and will pursue a Neuroscience track at UCF. Research is a great opportunity to strengthen my leadership and communication skills while expanding and discovering new knowledge that can contribute to something bigger than myself.

Esther PercevalMy name is Esther Perceval, and I am 19 years old and I am a Sophomore at Valencia College. My intended major is Chemical Engineering and I am currently the East Campus SGA President, an LSAMP, VECTOR, and Honors Scholar.


ABSTRACT:  The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for cleaning products and disinfectants. In this study, we tested the efficacy of common household disinfectants. We examined the following conditions: water on a cotton swab (control), water on the surface, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, disinfectant wipes, and decyl glucoside. We hypothesize that the disinfectant that is more chemically reactive and a better oxidizing agent, will be more efficient. We prepared trypticase soy agar (TSA) plates to foster and grow microbes and conducted our experiment on the tops of two refrigerators. We defined the tops into six areas then cleaned each area with its respective condition, and swabbed it with a sterile cotton swab a total of three times per condition. Then, we swabbed the TSA plates and incubated them at 25 °C for a 24 hour period. After analyzing the morphology and number of colonies with a magnifying microscope, we observed that the results varied between the two refrigerators examined.  The first refrigerator showed microbial growth with all conditions with the exception of water on the surface making it the most efficient. The second refrigerator showed microbial growth when using  all conditions with the exception of bleach making it the most efficient.


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Faculty Mentor

Daeri Tenery

Professor of Chemistry

East Campus

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