As we make hand sanitization an everyday task, most of us often end up overlooking the importance of surface disinfectants.
Understanding the basics of surface disinfecting
The one and only purpose of disinfecting any inanimate surface is to either eliminate any germs, viruses, pathogens, bacteria, and other microorganisms present on it or to ensure an irreversible inactivation which can facilitate us to touch it without the risk of transmission.
For how long can harmful microorganisms last on surfaces?
Microorganisms can easily last on inanimate surfaces for days to weeks from the time of exposure. This is why surface disinfection becomes critical to ensure safe use. The COVID-19 virus, for example, has the following life on different surfaces
- Plastic 3-7 days
- Stainless steel 3-7 days
- Copper Up to 4 hours
- Paper Up to 4 days
- Glass Up to 4 days
- Cardboard 24 hours
- Wood Up to 2 days
Situations that demand disinfection
In addition to disinfecting items of daily use as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic, there are specific scenarios that demand immediate surface disinfection like:
- Items frequently touched by patients
- Visible contamination situations (for example, the presence of blood)
- Outbreak scenarios
- Rooms where patients are treated
There is plenty of evidence to suggest the dangers of microorganism cultures that are formed on inanimate surfaces. However, the best approach to infection prevention lies in regularly disinfecting surfaces that you are doubtful about, and using nothing but the best, alcohol-based disinfectants to do the job.