Probably one of the most disturbing details to recently emerge about COVID-19 is just how long the virus can live on surfaces.
This is all particularly unsettling considering that highly trafficked places like grocery stores are teeming with germs, and now you run the danger of bringing it all home with you.
How long the virus can survive on various household surfaces, and how to stop it from spreading throughout your home. The latest information is that it can last 24 hours on cardboard, 48 to 72 hours on plastic, and 48 to 72 hours on stainless steel. The duration also depends on a few other factors, like temperature and whether a surface is prone to holding moisture. Wooden handles, for example, are more likely to be damp than metal under normal conditions-and damp conditions can enable many infectious agents to thrive. Furthermore, a warm room is more favorable for many pathogens than a cold one.
Regardless of what kinds of temperatures and surfaces you have in your home, there are things you can do to keep these dangerous pathogens at bay.
- Ditch germs at the door. Unwanted germs are getting into your home the same way you are: through the front door. By taking a few precautions in your entryway, you can prevent them from spreading farther.
- Disinfect things immediately after they come into the home.
- Remove dirty clothes immediately.
- Focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces, for example doorknobs, light switches, faucets, remote controls, and even tabletops.
Disinfect things the right way
- After using a disinfectant spray or a disinfecting wipe on a surface, you will need to wait anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes for the product to effectively kill a germ or virus. The key is to check the product label, because the wait times can vary.
- If you’re cleaning something that belongs to young children or comes in direct contact with food, rinse with water after the product dries.