For how long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?
Which surface disinfectants can you use, and how?
- Diluted Bleach Solution
It is one of the easiest surface disinfectants. These are readily available at home. For disinfecting surfaces with the help of bleach solution, follow these simple steps;
- Wear gloves. Discard these gloves after cleaning and disinfecting.
- Clean the surfaces with soap water.
- Ensure proper ventilation when using bleach for disinfection. Ensure that the bleach is not expired.
- Prepare the bleach solution. Mix five tablespoons of bleach for each gallon of water.
- Use the solution within 24 hours. After this time, the solution is useless for disinfection.
- You can immerse non-porous items such as plastic for approximately 30 seconds.
- Other household items should get exposure of about 10 minutes.
- 70% Alcohol
- Follow the same procedure as the bleach solution.
- Do not dilute 70% alcohol in water and use it directly.
- Leave 70% alcohol solution for about half a minute before wiping it.
- Seal your container of alcohol after using it as it can evaporate quickly.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- It is usually available in 3% concentrations.
- You can use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution directly.
- Leave this solution for about one minute before drying or wiping it away.
- Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Approved disinfectants
EPA has a list of disinfectants that are very useful for surfaces. These disinfectants are very effective against the COVID-19 as well. Business owners, hospitals, and the public can gain access to these disinfectants easily.
Each country also has its list that contains the brand names of the disinfectant and how to use them. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottles. These disinfectants usually have a contact time written on them. The contact time is the duration for which the disinfectant remains wet on the surface.
- Steam Cleaning
In addition to surface disinfectants for COVID-19. Steam and heat treatment is the most effective way against coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new virus, so, there is no scientific publication available to explain the effectiveness of steam and heat treatment against COVID-19.
However, according to a non-peer-reviewed scientific study published in March 2020 reveals that virus can survive from 24-72 hours on plastic and cardboards. Therefore, steam cleaning is the ultimate option to help prevent the virus from spreading. According to a microbiologist, Jason Tetro temperatures over 77 °C is the best to kill bacteria and viruses. Therefore, steam cleaners are the ideal choice to tackle various household surfaces.
What about other surfaces?
Many companies offer disinfection of such material. However, the CDC recommends that you dispose of all contaminated bed linens, clothes, and other fibrous material. It is essential to contact your local health department regarding the proper disposal of such materials.
General Recommendation for Disinfecting and cleaning:
For the home and places used by the infected person.
- The most important recommendation is to get awareness about the symptoms of Covid-19. So, proper steps can be taken on time.
- Disinfect all the frequently used surfaces like knobs, phones, remotes, switches, chairs, tables, etc.
- The suspected/infected person should stay in one room, and they should not roam around.
- Provide all the cleaning supplies to the patient by the caregiver. Be careful if a child uses the room.
- Make sure the patient uses a separate bathroom. If a separate bathroom is not available, then the used bathroom should be cleaned every time the patient uses it. Especially, disinfect the touched surfaces by the patient.
Always look for registered disinfectants when buying. Also, Look for EPA registration number written on containers. Follow the written instructions before using the disinfectants. Remember that disinfection is only one way of protection against the virus. Do not touch surfaces when you are outdoors. Keep a hand sanitizer so that you can at least disinfect your hands regularly.
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