How Long Does the Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

February 09, 2021

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We're still in the process of learning how COVID-19 works, and so far, it seems as if the pandemic is still here to stay well into 2021. Since the start of the pandemic, and as we move forward into the new year, we have heard a lot of conflicting information regarding the virus. That's why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is still the best source to provide you with up-to-date information regarding COVID. The CDC's FAQ page is also a great place to start.

An Image of a boy wearing a mask looking through the window
Recently, a BBC news report highlighted a new strain of coronavirus that is 70% more transmissible, and the new strain has also been found in the United States, placing more importance than ever on sanitizing and disinfecting our spaces. This goes to show that we're still not beyond the pandemic. Although there are vaccines available, we're still wearing masks in many places across the country and being cautious about how we interact with people in our surroundings.

How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces? That question is on a lot of peoples' minds. Different surfaces let germs, viruses, and bacteria live longer than others. Coronaviruses typically die anywhere from hours to days when they are left on a surface. We've learned that coronaviruses cannot thrive well in warmer temperatures or be exposed to sunlight.

Generally speaking, viruses will stay active longer on non-porous surfaces than on porous surfaces, although studies have shown this is not always the case. The CDC indicates that COVID-19 does indeed stay viable when it is on non-porous surfaces.

An Image of a Metal and a Wood surface
Current studies suggest the coronavirus can live on metal surfaces for up to five days under optimal conditions. Anything metal is at risk, including doorknobs, silverware, countertops made of any type of metal, and even jewelry or other metallic surfaces. Most wooden surfaces, such as furniture, decks, wall paneling, etc., can hold the virus for up to four days. Some woods are more porous than others, which can result in a shorter life expectancy for the virus.

Cardboard, newspaper, and other types of fibrous or paper material are less friendly to the virus. Studies show that the coronavirus can only last about 24 hours on these types of materials. It's important to note that there is a range here. Coronavirus might last as little as a few minutes on some paper materials and can last more on other types.

Ceramics and pottery, which are typically porous, can hold the virus for up to five days. That includes coffee mugs, vases, and even tiles that are made of this material. Plastics, on the other hand, typically hold the virus for two or three days.

Coronavirus can stay viable on glass for up to five days, including mirrors, drinking glasses, measuring cups, and other glass surfaces.

An image of plastic and glass surfaces
Fabrics, clothes, shoes, food, and water have little to no research behind how long the coronavirus can live on them. Research does indicate that coronavirus has not been found in water and has not shown signs of being transmitted through food.

While you can transfer the coronavirus through contact, there isn't any solid data on how long it lives on skin and hair. A good rule of thumb is to think of it like Rhinovirus, which is responsible for colds. Its likely coronaviruses can last for at least several hours on skin and hair. This is why medical professionals and the CDC put such an emphasis on frequent and proper hygiene, especially when it comes to cleaning your hands.

We can reduce the threat of germs, viruses, and bacteria by keeping our surroundings clean and disinfected. This includes paying special attention to walls, tables, countertops, phones, light switches, bathrooms, shared office equipment, and any other high-touch areas that are regularly cross-contaminated.

Germinator is the ideal way to keep the places you live, work, and play better protected from germs, viruses, and bacteria. That's why we've developed a patent-pending process to provide a new generation of microbial protection to help keep your spaces protected. Learn about how our process not only kills the virus that causes COVID on surfaces and objects, but also a broad-spectrum of pathogens too!

Germinator's Patent-Pending Process

ATP Test SwabStep 1 – Test Surfaces:

We first test your surfaces for ATP using a luminometer to detect light that can come from cellular activity. This measurement immediately tells us the level of clean on your surfaces.

GenesisStep 2 – Application of Genesis Surface Treatment:
Genesis is a one-step cleaner and broad-spectrum sanitizer and disinfectant treatment that harnesses the power of HOCl (hypochlorous acid) solution. With our disinfecting service, we use our solution at full strength of 500 PPM (parts per million) which is hospital-grade disinfection. However, if a residential or commercial location prefers only sanitizing levels instead of disinfecting levels, then we will dilute our solution to 200 PPM for a proper sanitizing service. Derived from naturally occurring minerals, Genesis not only eliminates odors at their source but kills a wide range of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and viruses including norovirus, rotavirus and adenovirus on hard, non-porous, environmental surfaces. It meets the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) germicidal spray standards for Hospital-Grade Disinfection and is on the EPA N List of products determined to meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result, this treatment will eliminate bacteria and viruses that may reside in your environment without the use of harsh chemicals or fumes.

ShieldStep 3 – Application of Bacteriostatic Finish:

The Shield is a water-based quaternary ammonium compound that imparts a durable bacteriostatic finish to a wide range of non-food contact surfaces. It is EPA-registered as effective against the growth of mold, mildew, algae, and odor-causing bacteria. This application creates an invisible barrier that combats deterioration and discoloration and promotes freshness for up to three months.

The Genesis and Shield products are applied via an electrostatic sprayer, which is the most efficient and effective means of delivering the products to the intended application sites.

ATP Test PassStep 4 – Retest Surfaces:

After our surface treatment and protectant services, we retest to ensure the surfaces have achieved the intended results.







Germinator is your best choice for your sanitizing and disinfecting needs for many reasons:

  • Knowledge and Experience. This is our specialty. Since 2015, we have been 100% focused on just sanitization and disinfection services. We have conducted extensive studies based on experiments with other methods like ozone, UV light, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, and other quats. These studies were reviewed by our Scientific Board comprised of top medical professionals, including a former United States Assistant Surgeon General for five administrations.

  • Product Efficacy. Based on this review, Germinator acquired the products that would provide the most effective combination for sanitizing and disinfecting and protection services available for commercial applications on the market. Our products are EPA registered as effective for their intended uses and further validated by our own Scientific Board.

  • Patent-Pending. The methodology developed by Germinator is patent-pending and is the most unique and cost-effective means of providing enhanced antimicrobial protection for your environment.

  • Professionalism. Germinator's goal is to exceed your expectations. We achieve this by a commitment to excellence in our products and services. Our highly trained staff will treat you with respect and professionalism in all interactions.

  • Cost-Effectiveness. Germinator uses state-of-the-art services at the most competitive and cost-effective prices available. Germinator's program improves upon routine janitorial services that use more harsh chemicals and have limited application capabilities.

  • Verification. Germinator is so confident in the efficacy of its program that it includes a verification component. For each application, we verify that the surface treatment and protectant services have achieved the intended results. We stand by our program.
We are proud to be able to bring you a service that's cost-effective, convenient, and capable of helping you reduce the threat of germs, viruses, and bacteria in your environment. If you'd like to learn more about how you can use Germinator in your home or business, call us at (404) 574-5682 or fill out the form here on our website.

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