How long does the coronavirus stay on any surface ?
How long does it take for the virus to go away from fabric, clothing, cardboard, Paper, Plastic,Metal, Furniture, Glass & Ceramics ?
The problem that most people are currently experiencing is the coronavirus. Everyone stays clean and makes sure they stay inside. But what about our material and the surfaces around us?
We know that coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person through close contact in droplets containing the virus. COVID-19 can be spread by physical contact, such as shaking hands and cuddling, and it can also be spread these respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
There is still a lot we do not know about the disease, but if we learn more, we know that we can get the infection by touching surfaces contaminated with COVID-19.
Clothes and Fabrics
The virus can easily get onto clothes if we cough into our elbow or sleeve, or if someone else around us cough, sneeze, and talk. The highly infectious nature of the disease is why social distancing rules are in place worldwide. Clothes, towels, and other fabric materials can harness germs and spread infections.
However, the good news is recent research suggests COVID-19 may not last that long on our clothes. Clothes are porous surfaces which means they trap the virus, making it harder to transmit. Studies have shown that viruses survive longer on non-porous surfaces which means clothes are relatively safe. So the disease is more likely to survive on a hard surface than a soft & porous surface like cloth.
Cardboard, Paper and Plastic
Preliminary research has reflected the virus can survive longer on harder surfaces like plastic and metal, this could be from a few hours to several days. There have been numerous studies in the short while that the outbreak has gone on for – with scientists and students testing the virus’s lifespan on cardboard, paper, and plastic among other things. A study tells plastic is a surface the virus remains viable for the longest, which is up to 72 hours & up to 24 hrs on cardboard & Paper products.
Metal, Wooden surfaces, Glass & Ceramics
The study shows the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on metal up to three days – which is in large part due to the surface of these materials being non-porous. Survival time is approx. 72 hrs on Metal Surface. Similarly, it stays on the wooden surface for 2 to 3 days. However, on stainless steel, the virus was detected up to 48 hours after application. Few metals like Copper & aluminum surface duration is little less, it stays up to 4 – 8 hours on them. Glass & Ceramics also being nonporous surface, so the virus can stay up to 3 – 4 days.
Food & Water
Coronavirus doesn’t seem to spread through exposure to food. Still, it’s a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables under running water before you eat them. Scrub them with a brush or your hands to remove any germs that might be on their surface. Wash your hands after you visit the supermarket. If you have a weakened immune system, you might want to buy frozen or canned produce.
Coronavirus hasn’t been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.
Conclusion & Precautions
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the lifetime of the disease is between a few hours and a few days, but this is still subject to research to come in the coming weeks and months.
As of yet, there is no clear research on how long coronavirus can live on fabrics like clothing, towels, and bedding. It is okay to wash your clothes with the clothes of an infected person, as the detergent and heat from the washing machine will kill the pathogen.
All indoor areas should be mopped with a chemical disinfectant or phenolic disinfectants. For metallic surfaces like door handles, locks, keys, switches etc. alcohol-based disinfectant can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach/chemical is not suitable.