With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, proper surface disinfection has become one of the most important aspects of preventing the spread of the virus. By disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, we can break the chain of infection and help curb the cases. This article discusses the need for regular surface disinfection and recommends some effective disinfectants.
Why Disinfect Surfaces?
According to studies, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. This prolonged survival facilitates the transmission of the virus from contaminated surfaces to human cells. Research shows that COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. However, fomites or contaminated surfaces also play an important secondary role in the transmission. When someone touches a contaminated surface or object, they can transfer the virus from the surface to their eyes, nose or mouth and get infected. Hence, disinfecting frequently used surfaces regularly is critical in preventing the spread of infection through the fomite route.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a list of disinfectants that are approved to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from surfaces. Some of the commonly recommended disinfectants are:
Alcohol solutions: Alcohol based disinfecting wipes containing at least 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol are effective against the virus. These should be used to wipe down surfaces daily.
Bleach solutions: Mixing 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of regular, unscented bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water can eliminate coronaviruses. The solution should be prepared fresh daily and used within 24 hours.
Hydrogen peroxide: Multi-surface cleaners containing 0.5% hydrogen peroxide are effective non-bleach disinfectants. Look for EPA approved products with a hydrogen peroxide claim.
Qucert hydrogen dioxide: This hospital grade disinfectant brand uses accelerated hydrogen peroxide to destroy pathogens and spores within minutes of contact. It does not require rinsing and is safe for use around children and pets.
Lysol products: Lysol Disinfectant Sprays and Wipes containing quaternary ammonium are EPA approved to sanitize against COVID-19 in 2 minutes. The brand also offers spray and multi-surface cleaner variations.
Areas to Frequently Disinfect
While practicing regular hand hygiene is a must, Surface Disinfectant high-touch surfaces listed below can further help reduce infection risk:
Doorknobs, faucet handles and light switches: These surfaces near entrances and exits are touched by many and should be wiped down multiple times daily.
Commonly used devices: Disinfect phones, laptops, tablets, remote controls and other electronic devices that are used often. Pay special attention to phone screens which people touch and then their faces.
Furniture: Don’t forget to sanitize armrests of sofa, chairs, car seats etc. which people sit on for long durations.
Kitchen surfaces: Regularly clean and disinfect countertops, refrigerator handles, sink fixtures, microwave interiors, pantry items etc. used during meal preparation.
Bathroom fixtures: Toilet seats, flush handles, sink knobs, shower handles/walls must be disinfected multiple times a day.
Exercise equipment: Gym equipment like weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals etc. require thorough cleaning post every use
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it