Sample nucleic acid purification can often be rate-limiting for conventional quantitative PCR (qPCR) workflows. We recently developed high-throughput virus microneutralization assays using an endpoint assessment approach based on reverse transcription qPCR (RT-qPCR). The need for cumbersome RNA purification is circumvented in our assays by making use of a commercial reagent that can easily generate crude cell lysates amenable to direct analysis by one-step RT-qPCR. In the present study, we demonstrate that a simple buffer containing a non-ionic detergent can serve as an inexpensive alternative to commercially available reagents for the purpose of generating RT-qPCR-ready cell lysates from MDCK cells infected with influenza virus. We have found that addition of exogenous RNase inhibitor as a buffer component is not essential in order to maintain RNA integrity, even following stress at 37 °C incubation for 1-2 hours, in cell-lysate samples either freshly prepared or previously stored frozen at -80 °C.