Fomites may play a role in the transmission of rotavirus infections, and in view of this, 27 disinfectants were evaluated for their ability to inactivate human rotavirus (HRV) on contaminated non-porous inanimate surfaces. Disks of stainless steel, glass and two types of plastics were contaminated with about 107 plaque-forming units of HRV suspended in faecal matter. The inoculum was allowed todry and an equal volume of the product under test was applied to the contaminated surface. After contact for 1 min, the action of the disinfectant was stopped by dilution. Surviving infectious virus on the disks was determined by plaque assay in MA-104 cells. A product was considered to be effective if itcould reduce the virus titre by at least 3 log10. Only 33·3% (9/27) of the formulations tested proved to be effective. Further testing of the effective products, which included antiseptics, instrument soaks and hard-surface disinfectants, showed that all of them could, in fact, reduce the virus titre on contaminated surfaces by at least 6 log10. These findings show the relative resistance of HRV to a widerange of chemical disinfectants in common use, and also emphasize the need for a more thorough evaluation of the virucidal potential of formulations regularly employed in attempts to prevent and control outbreaks of rotaviral diarrhoea.