Some of the best ways to be proactive about COVID-19 and reducing transmission involve wearing your mask and social distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and making sure that surfaces are kept clean throughout your home, facility, or place of business. As cities begin to open again, more people are venturing outside and into their favorite stores. While the vaccination rates are strong, they’re not yet high enough to eradicate the risk of transmission. To continue fighting this pandemic, it’s important to know how to properly disinfect different surfaces during COVID-19.
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
One thing that should be said is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that while in the past, these words were seemingly used interchangeably, doing so in a pandemic is dangerous. Cleaning simply uses a soap of some sorts and water to remove surface germs and dirt. Cleaning doesn’t necessarily kill the germs; it just wipes them away from a surface. Disinfecting, on the other hand, is aimed at completely killing any germs present. This is what’s needed to reduce transmission from one person to another. Sanitizing is the description for the results of combined acts of cleaning and disinfecting—kills the germs and/or removes them from a surface. While sanitization lowers the number of germs on a given surface, you still need to understand how to properly disinfect the surfaces around your home or business.
How Long Does Coronavirus Last on Different Surfaces?
The lifespan of COVID-19 varies depending on the surface material. In March 2020, a study was done that found that coronavirus could live on different surfaces for anywhere from hours to days. Below are the average lengths of time that COVID-19 can last on varying surfaces:
- Copper: Up to 4 Hours
- Aluminum: Up to 4 Hours
- Cardboard: 24 Hours
- Wood: Up to 2 Days
- Paper: Up to 4 Days
- Glass: Up to 4 Days
- Ceramics: Up to 5 Days
- Plastic: 3 – 7 Days
- Stainless Steel: 3 – 7 Days
To understand the implication of this, consider how many objects we use or come in contact with each day that are made out of plastic, glass, and wood alone. While certain temperatures and humidity levels can affect the viability of the virus, it’s not worth risking. Instead, the best thing to do is properly disinfect different surfaces.
In terms of clothing, floors, and shoes, the results were inconclusive. Some of the testing showed a presence of COVID-19 while others didn’t, even immediately after being around the virus. However, if you were in a crowded area and someone may have coughed or sneezed on you, washing your clothes when you get home is important. Such as the case for nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals. If you’re worried, we recommend taking off your shoes at the front door, disinfecting the soles, washing your clothes, and including the floor or carpet when disinfecting a room.
If someone in your household or your business contracts COVID-19, taking swift action is essential in reducing the spread of transmission. The best course of action is to pause your business and avoid any new visitors while you completely disinfect the area and provide employee testing. Make sure you contact those who were nearby the person infected and prepare for disinfection. Always read the instructions, wear the proper personal protective equipment, and allow for adequate ventilation during cleaning and disinfecting. If you find that anyone else has contracted COVID-19 from the original case, continue to test until you’re able to be 100% sure that transmission is contained. One of the best ways to make sure that both you and your staff or family feel comfortable in a space that’s been exposed to COVID-19 is to hire a professional coronavirus disinfection company like Bee Line.
Things to Consider When Properly Disinfecting Different Surfaces
Due to the varying length of time that COVID-19 can live on different surfaces, properly disinfecting areas and objects throughout your home and business is essential. Focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces more frequently throughout the day, as they are more likely to accumulate germs from multiple people. High-touch surfaces include things like doorknobs, handles, light switches, faucets or sinks, tables, desks, toilets, countertops, railings, keyboards, phones, computer accessories, tablets, controllers, and more. Different facilities will have different high-touch areas, so try to pay attention to what you touch every day and use those as your areas of focus.
Aside from high-touch areas, you’ll still want to regularly clean and disinfect other surfaces and objects, especially if you think they’ve been contaminated. To help reduce any cross-contamination, wear gloves during cleaning and use clean rags or towels throughout the day.
Finding an EPA-approved cleaning product is essential in eradicating germs from the surface. Some of the approved disinfectants that can be used to fight coronavirus include:
- Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner + Bleach
- Clorox Disinfecting Spray
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
- Clorox Commercial Solutions
- Lysol Heavy-Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate
- Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
- Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
- Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes
- Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray
Never mix products during cleaning as it can lead to toxic chemical reactions. Regardless of the product you’re using, always read the label to make sure that you’re using it safely and efficiently. Some disinfectants have a waiting period for the chemicals to work, so wiping them away prematurely can reduce effectiveness.
The Ultimate Guide to Disinfecting Different Surfaces
While taking intermittent steps to disinfect your home or business throughout the day is a great way to help keep transmission at bay, the best way to disinfect different surfaces is by working with a medical-grade cleaning company who specializes in coronavirus disinfection. Bee Line is a certified medical-grade cleaning company that utilizes surgical-grade misting technology to disinfect every square inch of your space harmlessly and efficiently. This helps you keep your people safe and your customers raving. Using EPA registered, hypo-allergenic, PH balanced, bleach-free cleaner, our specially trained teams mist all the high-touch points in your space in addition to open areas. Any hard surface that is visibly soiled will be pre-wiped to increase the efficacy of the misting technology. The chemicals we use are not only effective in killing 99.9% of fungus, mold, mildew, and pathogens, but they’re also odor free and in the lowest toxicity category. This equates to gentle, yet powerful disinfecting.
For the most comprehensive services, Bee Line is currently offering a full year of coronavirus disinfection services with monthly medical-grade cleaning and disinfecting. Bee Line also offers upholstery-cleaning services, industrial carpet cleaning services, vacuuming, garbage removal, and comprehensive corporate janitorial services. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your employees, family, and community safe, Bee Line uses quality control, routine management inspections, and continual onsite training for our employees.
If you’re interested in staying up to date with Bee Line’s latest cleaning tips, advice and COVID updates, sign up for our newsletter. If you need to schedule a service call us at 312-BEE-LINE or message us today to get started on the path to cleanliness!