How Long Does COVID-19 Last On Different Surfaces?

Posted On: July 27th, 2020 Author: Stephen Matthews

Since the pandemic began, a lot of studies had shown that CoronaVirus could be transmitted through air or aerosol. With this, the virus remains in the air and can be inhaled by someone who is near an infected host. Wearing a mask and social distancing had become the norm because of this reason. We are aware that CoronaVirus can travel through the air. Many businesses and homes are in search of commercial cleaners in Australia that can provide COVID 19 cleaning.

Duration on How Long Does Corona Virus Live on Surfaces

For you to contract the Corona Virus, it has to be transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. One way of spreading the infection is through touching an infected surface. Once a person touches a contaminated surface, the virus can get in contact with the mucous membrane through the eyes, insides of the nose, and mouth.


  • Respiratory droplets cannot travel more than six feet.
  • The Corona Virus remains in the air for up to three hours.
  • In copper, the virus remains for up to four hours.
  • The virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
  • Stainless steel and plastic for three to four days.

This is why the virus is spreading rapidly, apart from its ability to stay on surfaces. Some people also spread the virus asymptomatically. Always remember that CoronaVirus symptoms need to incubate for fourteen days before an infected host starts to show signs. The virus spread silently and quickly during the incubation period. The same reason applies to why it is so challenging to get rid of this virus.

The virus that causes COVID 19 primarily spread from person to person. Did you know that this virus can also spread through indirect contact with contaminated surfaces?

Surfaces that are touched more frequently increase the chance that germs can be spread to other people. While surfaces may look clean, unseen pathogens may still be lurking.

Environmental and equipment surfaces create an opportunity for viruses and bacteria to survive. These germs can survive in this period:

  • Clostridioides Difficile (spores) – 5 months
  • Escherichia Coli – 1.5 hours to 16 months
  • Enterococcus – 5 days to 4 months
  • Hepatitis B virus – less than one week
  • Norovirus – 8 hours to 7 days
  • Staphylococcus Aureus – 7 days to 7 months
  • Corona Virus or COVID 19 – several hours to days

These types of viruses are commonly found on surfaces like doorknobs, bed rails, and nursing carts.

Know When and How to Clean Surfaces

The first way to start is by creating a process for cleaning equipment and rooms. You have to follow the same pattern every time to ensure consistent cleaning. Move from clean to dirty areas and from top to bottom to prevent contamination.

Part of COVID prevention is increasing the frequency of cleaning, especially for the high touch surfaces. That will mean increasing the cleaning to at least once during your shift if not more. Be sure to build in time to wipe down and clean all equipment that could be shared inside the premises.

One of the conventional approaches of commercial cleaners for COVID 19 cleaning is determining who is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting specific areas. If this is unclear, you are increasing the chances of the virus because your team will end up missing spots and areas. To prevent that from happening, commercial cleaners work together to assign this to each respective employee.

Commercial cleaners know their responsibilities, and they are very familiar with each cleaning product that is suitable for almost all kinds of surfaces. They know how to apply and use the cleaning chemicals properly.

Cleaning the surface is the first step before the disinfection begins. Most disinfectants have to sit on the surface for several minutes to kill the virus entirely. COVID 19 cleaning should be part of commercial cleaners workflow in times like this to minimize the risk of infection.

Common Surfaces and Touchpoints for COVID19 Cleaning

CoronaVirus is a vicious virus that spreads quickly. The CDC continues to recommend the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects every day, including:

  • Countertops
  • Tabletops
  • Doorknobs
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Toilets
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Tablets

If the surfaces are dirty, clean them first with detergent and water, then disinfect them. The CDC said that most household cleaners and disinfectants registered with the environmental protection agency should be effective too.

Disinfecting is a critical aspect of an infection control program. Commercial cleaners have a direct impact on how clean and healthy the facility is. Cleaning and frequent disinfecting touch points are essential. When using microfibre cloths to disinfect, fold, and use a new section for each touchpoint. Always allow disinfected surfaces to air dry.

Here are some ways on how commercial cleaners do COVID 19 cleaning and disinfection:

1. Phones – spray disinfectant into a dedicated microfibre cloth and wipe the outside of the phone, keys, and handle.

2. Water Fountains – spray disinfectant directly into the microfibre cloth and clean all inside and outside surfaces. Do not rub the water spout of the fountain.

3. Door frames, handles, and railings – wipe surfaces with a microfibre cloth damp with disinfectant. Remember to use a clean microfibre cloth for each area.

4. After cleaning tabletops, outside of garbage cans, and recycle bins, wipe it with a microfibre cloth damp with disinfectant

5. For elevators, spray the hard surface with the disinfectant and wipe the doors in the direction of the stainless steel grain.

6. To disinfect elevator buttons, spray disinfectant into the cloth and wipe the buttons and panel on the inside and outside of the elevator.

7. In disinfecting benches or sitting areas, wipe down seating and touchpoint areas with a cloth damp with disinfectant.

8. For wall spot cleaning, spray degreaser into the cloth and wipe marks or smudges. Test a small area first on painted surfaces to ensure there is no discoloration. No rinsing is required

9. Windows – spray glass cleaner directly into the cloth. Wipe glass from the top down and side to side motion. Use the squeegee from side to side to remove any residue.

Always remember that leaving the surfaces clean and disinfected protects everyone. Cleaning can keep preventing COVID 19 from spreading in your home or business. It is everyone’s responsibility to support one another to ensure the environment where you provide care is safe for you, your colleagues, your customer, and your family. This is the time for you to show you care, please share this article to your social media account if you agree with what we had talked about. Leave us a comment down below if you have other tips that you find helpful and let us join hands in creating a safer environment. You may also put your suggestion on what topic you want to talk about next time.

Category: Cleaning Guide

About the Author

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This is Stephen from Clean Group. I work as a full-time commercial cleaning manager and part-time writer with Clean Group - a commercial cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia. I have over 10 years of experience in working with different cleaning companies around Sydney, providing as well as managing office cleaning, carpet cleaning and other commercial cleaning jobs for both households and individuals in Australia. I also share cleaning tips and write about my experience on this website.

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