The following information is based on the CDC guidelines and the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). VEX Robotics reviewed the chemical interactions of our product materials and the approved disinfectants to create these recommendations.


Disinfecting Products to Use and Avoid

Common cleaners to use for VEX items

  • Clorox or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
  • Lysol or Clorox Disinfectant Spray

See Appendix A and Appendix B for more products approved by the EPA.

Look for cleaners that list these items:

  1. Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16) Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Saccharinate (also called Quaternary ammonium)
  2. (optional) Ethanol or Ethyl alcohol

Cleaner ingredients to avoid for VEX items

  • Do Not use liquids of any type on electronics.
  • Do Not use isopropyl alcohol on plastic.
  • Do Not use bleach on plastic.

VEX Products Disinfecting Method

VEX 123

  1. Wipe the Robot, Coder, Charger and Cables
  2. Spray or Wipe all other items

VEX GO

  1. Wipe the Brain, Battery, Motors, Sensors and Charger
  2. Spray or Wipe all other items

VEX IQ

  1. Wipe the Brain, Battery, Motors, Sensors, Cables and Chargers. 
  2. Spray or Wipe all other items

Cautions for VEX IQ

  1. Avoid wiping the metal battery contacts on the Battery, Brain and Charger.
  2. Avoid pushing on the screen on the Ultrasonic Rangefinder Sensor.

VEX V5

  1. Wipe the Brain, Battery, Motors, Sensors, Cables and Chargers.
  2. Spray or Wipe all other items

VEX Cortex

  1. Wipe the Brain, Battery, Motors, Sensors, Cables and Chargers.
  2. Spray or Wipe all other items

Disinfecting Wipe Procedure

  1. Wear gloves.
  2. Wipe the entire outside of the VEX item.
  3. Do not manually dry the item.
  4. Let the disinfectant dry on its own.
  5. Replace the wipe when it no longer leaves disinfectant behind.

Avoid getting moisture in any opening of electronic items.


Disinfecting Spray Procedure

  1. Wear gloves.
  2. Spread the parts out so they can be sprayed with good coverage.
  3. Spread parts out on the VEX storage lid, sheet tray or box.
  4. Spray all the items.
  5. Do not manually dry the item.
  6. Let the disinfectant dry on its own.

Do not spray electronic items.


Disinfecting with Time

  1. Wait for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to decay naturally.
  2. Leave the products untouched for the time period recommended below.

Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.[1]

SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces.[2]


References and Notes

CDC and EPA guidance related to VEX products:

The CDC advised to “Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect.[1]

VEX note: the highly touched VEX items are easy to disinfect.

The CDC advised to “Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies, equipment) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.[3]

VEX note: One option is to assign one robot kit to one student at a time. Disinfect or wait between students. Students not assigned a VEX kit can use VEXcode VR as an alternative.

The EPA provided a product list that “meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.[4]

VEX note: The appropriate disinfectant to be used on VEX items is commonly available wipes such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (all scents) with Quaternary ammonium compounds as the active ingredient.[2]

References:

  1. CDC guideline CS316485C dated April 28, 2020 1:36 PM
  2. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
  3. Considerations for Schools Updated May 19, 2020
  4. EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) July 16, 2020

Links to related information


Appendix A - Wipes approved by the EPA

EPA Registration Number Active Ingredients Product Name Company Required Surface Contact Time (minutes)
9480-9 Quaternary ammonium AF3 Germicidal Disposable Wipe Professional Disposables International Inc 3
67619-31 Quaternary ammonium

Clorox Commercial Solutions®

Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes

Clorox Professional Products Company 4
5813-79 Quaternary ammonium Clorox Disinfecting Wipes The Clorox Company 4
67619-37 Quaternary ammonium Clorox Healthcare® VersaSure® Wipes Clorox Professional Products Company 5
6836-313 Quaternary ammonium Lonza Disinfectant Wipes Lonza LLC 10
6836-336 Quaternary ammonium Lonza Disinfectant Wipes Plus Lonza LLC 10
6836-340 Quaternary ammonium Lonza Disinfectant Wipes Plus 2 Lonza LLC 10
777-114 Quaternary ammonium Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes (All Scents) Reckitt Benckiser LLC 2
6836-372 Quaternary ammonium Nugen 2m Disinfectant Wipes Lonza LLC 2
6836-382 Quaternary ammonium Nugen Low Streak Disinfectant Wipes Lonza LLC 4
6836-379 Quaternary ammonium Nugen NR Disinfectant Wipes Lonza LLC 5
70144-4 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Opti-cide Max Wipes Micro-Scientific LLC 1
88494-4 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Peak Disinfectant Wipes North American Infection Control Ltd 1
1839-223 Quaternary ammonium SCTB Wipe Stepan Company 5
1839-190 Quaternary ammonium Stepan Disinfectant Wipe Stepan Company 10
88494-2 Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol); Quaternary ammonium Wedge Disinfectant Wipes North American Infection Control Ltd 1

Appendix B - Sprays approved by the EPA

EPA Registration Number Active Ingredients Product Name Company Required Surface Contact Time (minutes)
9480-11 Quaternary ammonium BackSpray RTU Professional Disposables International Inc 5
498-179 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Champion Sprayon Spray Disinfectant Formula 3 Chase Products Co 10
706-111 Quaternary ammonium Claire Disinfectant Spray Q Claire Manufacturing Company 5
67619-21 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol)

Clorox Commercial Solutions®

Clorox® Disinfecting Spray

Clorox Professional Products Company 10
1839-83 Quaternary ammonium Detergent Disinfectant Pump Spray Stepan Company 10
11525-30 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Disinfectant Spray "G" Aerosols Danville Inc 10
777-99 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Lysol® Disinfectant Spray Reckitt Benckiser LLC 2
67603-4 Quaternary ammonium; Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol) Spray Disinfectant Sherwin Williams Diversified Brands 10
6659-3 Quaternary ammonium Spray Nine ITW Permatex Inc 0.5 (30 seconds)
1839-248 Quaternary ammonium Stepan Spray Disinfectant Concentrate Stepan Company 5


VEX Robotics does not make any representation or warranties that the above steps will kill COVID-19 (any other viruses) and/or prevent the spread of any disease. Please use this guide as a supplement to any recommended guidelines from the CDC, medical professionals, or school district / local / state officials.