How Long Do Germs and Viruses Survive on Surfaces?

Published August 16th, 2021 by Frenka, LLC

Knowing how long germs and viruses last on surfaces is key to avoiding them. By simply touching another person or opening a door with a doorknob, you can pick up viruses like influenza. However, practicing good hygiene is a proven way of protecting yourself and others.

Washing your hands regularly and keeping clothing and surfaces clean will help you to avoid carrying any germs or viruses. Take a look at how long germs survive on surfaces and how to avoid them.

1. Hard Surfaces

Many germs and viruses live longest on hard surfaces. The influenza virus can live up to three days on surfaces like stainless steel. That means you’re more likely to pick up germs from subway poles or other hard surfaces where many people frequent.

That’s why many railway lines are choosing to change the materials they use to avoid prolonged contamination. To protect yourself, try to avoid hard surfaces that many people use, like light switches, elevator buttons, or faucets. Sanitize your hands when you come into contact with these surfaces.

2. Fabric

Influenza can last up to twelve hours on fabrics. Although this advice on germs and viruses has been researched many times, it’s unclear why germs don’t last as long on fabrics as they do on hard surfaces. It’s often difficult to kill germs on fabrics but you can try by adding some bleach to your clothes washer or using a high heat temperature wash.

To sanitize other fabrics, like furniture, it’s possible to use a sanitizing spray. Most sanitizing sprays don’t contain bleach, but it’s important to check the ingredients so you don’t risk discoloring your fabric.

3. Skin

Fortunately, germs and viruses don’t tend to live on the skin for long. Influenza germs can only survive on the skin for up to five minutes. This is because the skin produces anti-microbial substances meant to protect us from infection. However, a sneeze containing the germs may last longer because the germs are encased in mucus.

You can combat germs on your hands by washing your hands thoroughly or using hand sanitizing gel when you don’t have access to a bathroom. 

Avoiding Germs While Commuting

The daily commute to work is one of the most likely places to pick up germs. However, there are many things you can do to keep yourself safe while traveling. At Frenka, we have created a travel gadget that ensures you don’t have to share germs with any of your fellow travelers.

Protect Yourself From Germs and Viruses

Germs and viruses are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to protect yourself. Using travel gadgets like ours will decrease the likelihood of you having to touch surfaces that are frequently touched by others. 

As flu season approaches, why not take a browse through our website and preorder our products for your commute?

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