Odds are, you’re feeling increasingly mindful of viruses these days due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To dodge them, you may cover your hand with your sleeve as you grip on a train pole. To keep them from spreading, you may hack into your elbow rather than your hand.
Be that as it may, what happens to the virus once it clings onto train poles, your garments, or door handles? How long can they survive on various surfaces, exactly? Find out as you read on and discover how to disinfect these exteriors properly.
The lifespan of the virus depends on the surface.
According to research conducted by scientists from a federal laboratory, SARS-CoV-2—the virus responsible for today’s coronavirus pandemic—can survive on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for about 72 hours. It can also live on cardboard for at least 24 hours and on copper surfaces for 4 hours. The researches have concluded that this was the amount of time the virus could persist in high enough amounts to be transmittable.
As for fabrics, it’s uncertain how long precisely the virus can last. But according to Mayo Clinic, they typically tend to persist for a shorter period compared to hard surfaces. The fabric’s material may also affect the virus’s ability to endure on the textile.
How do you disinfect hard surfaces?
So, how do we clean various surfaces? For hard ones like glass, tables, doorknobs, counters, and washbasins, the CDC suggests using alcohol-based disinfectants, with at least 70% alcohol. They also recommend diluted bleach solutions and other disinfecting products under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If you’re working with Chlorox Disinfecting Wipes, the surface being cleaned should be left visibly wet for around four minutes as you let it air-dry. If it isn’t in that state for that amount of time, it could mean that you’ve been cleaning too much surface area with just that one wipe that needs changing.
What about fabrics?
To further reduce your virus exposure, regularly wash your clothing and other fabrics using water-diluted bleach or color-safe bleach. Inspect your garment’s care directions first to make sure you’re washing it correctly, though.
Another key to killing germs is running clothing over a drying cycle that’s set on high-heat. But once again, review the fabric’s instructions to avoid ruining it. Hanging clothes to air-dry under direct sunlight is also a good idea because the sun’s ultraviolet rays have disinfecting qualities that can kill certain types of bacteria.
The coronavirus’s lifespan, when exposed under heat or cold, hasn’t been studied yet. However, the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which determined it’s longevity on various surfaces, was done at 21-23 degrees Celsius or about room temperature.