Common household disinfectants will kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.
Examples: doorknobs, jewellery, silverware
Examples: furniture, decking
Examples: milk containers and detergent bottles, subway and bus seats, backpacks, elevator buttons
2 to 3 days
Examples: refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, some water bottles
2 to 3 days
Examples: shipping boxes
Examples: pennies, teakettles, cookware
Examples: soda cans, tinfoil, water bottles
2 to 8 hours
Examples: drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, windows
Up to 5 days
Examples: dishes, pottery, mugs
Examples: mail, newspaper
The length of time varies. Some strains of coronavirus live for only a few minutes on paper, while others live for up to 5 days.
Examples: takeout, produce
Coronavirus does not seem to spread through food.
Coronavirus has not 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.
Examples: clothes, linens
There is not much research about how long the virus lives on fabric, but it is probably not as long as on hard surfaces.
One study tested the shoe soles of medical staff in a Chinese hospital intensive care unit (ICU) and found that half were positive for nucleic acids from the virus. But it is not clear whether these pieces of the virus cause infection. The hospital’s general ward, which had people with milder cases, was less contaminated than the ICU.
Skin and hair
There is no research yet on exactly how long the virus can live on your skin or hair. Rhinoviruses, which cause colds, survive for hours. That is why it is important to wash or disinfect your hands, which are most likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces.