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How to Clean and Disinfect Countertops to Prevent the Risk of Covid-19

These are precarious times with Covid-19 affecting the world over. Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a respiratory disease that spreads through the air and contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. While it’s possible to maintain a social distance with people, we also need to be wary of surfaces we touch. For instance, when you come home from grocery shopping, you bring home germs with you. When you touch surfaces like countertops, you definitely need to clean and disinfect it properly. 

We all are aware that cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in our home is our weapon against the novel coronavirus. However, you also don’t want to be using harsh chemicals that can damage the countertop surfaces. At the same time, you got to remember that simple cleaning is not going to help you to get rid of the germs. You need to disinfect all the surfaces besides cleaning to get the results.

After studying the various reports and data on Covid-19, we have chalked out a few essential strategies to help you in your fight against the coronavirus. We know that you will already be on the way to protect your home from the infection, but sometimes the details are crucial.


Why You Need to Clean Surfaces so Thoroughly During Covid-19 Outbreak?

As per the intensive studies done by the scientists on Covid-19, the coronavirus shares its stability quotient with the SARS virus. To put it simply, it can survive on different surfaces for varying periods. For instance, it can live on cardboard surfaces like shipping boxes for 24 hours. On plastic containers like detergent bottles, bus seats, backpacks, and even elevator buttons — it can last for 3 days. Besides, it can live up to 5 days on metal surfaces like doorknobs, jewelry, and silverware.

It’s also known to survive a good 4 days on wooden surfaces like the furniture and decking. On stainless steel surfaces like refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, and water bottles — it lasts about 2-3 days. It can also live for 4 hours on copper items like cooking utensils, tea kettles, and pennies; 2 to 8 hours on aluminum surfaces like soda cans, water bottles, and tinfoil. It can last up to 5 days on drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, and windows too. For ceramics like mugs, pottery and dishes too, it lasts for up to 5 days. It even lasts on paper for quite some time.

For all of us, this property of the virus is an urgent wake-up call. What I mean is that we need to change our lifestyle to fit in with the existing problem. We all are used to living in a particular manner, and that includes our cleaning habits as well. So, essentially what we have to do is follow a few essential guidelines, even if it means spending a little more time working with the surfaces. 

Now that you know how the virus works by clinging to different surfaces, it’s time to incorporate a few essential cleaning tips in your home to guard you against the infection.


Cleaning Different Surfaces During Covid-19

We all are used to cleaning our homes. The only difference here is that we need to combine the cleaning with disinfecting. 

To start with, you need to focus on the frequently used surfaces like the doorknobs, handles, cabinet doors, regularly used appliances, and the counter area. Clean up these surfaces with soap and water for at least twenty seconds to get rid of the dust and grime. Follow it up with disinfecting the surfaces. Take care that they contain either bleach or hydrogen peroxide or solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol.

Pay special attention to the crevices between the tiles as those tend to hide a lot of infection. Remember that most disinfectants need to be left for a while for them to work. Check the instructions given on the box to get the right results.


Disinfecting Countertop During Covid-19

The strategies above are generic and applicable to most surfaces. However, certain surfaces need special treatment. Take, for instance, marble countertops. A simple cleaning of the surface with plain soap and water works well to eliminate the grime. But when it comes to disinfecting the surface, nothing less than an alcohol-based disinfectant is going to work here. I know we talked about bleach based-sanitizers that can do the job. But bleach may end up etching the surface with its acidic content if used for a long time.

What about granite and quartz? These are pretty easy to handle. You can get away with basic household cleaners to disinfect these surfaces. For butcher block countertops, a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner is a must to kill the virus. The soap won’t damage your counter surface either. The method involves leaving the cleaner on the wooden surface for a good 10 minutes and following it up by wiping it off with a wet cloth. A dry cloth will dry the surface, completing the process.

If you have sealed your concrete countertops too, you are in luck. They respond well to both alcohol-based cleaners as well as diluted bleach solutions. If you’re scared that bleach may wear down your counter’s finish, go for alcohol-based disinfectants. Whatever you choose, just keep doing it. It’s the best you can do in the situation.

Lastly, Stainless steel also adapts easily to any household disinfectant. Having said that, you need to go extra careful with steel counters because the virus can survive the longest on this particular material. Other than this, countertops with thick finishes and resin also respond well to any given disinfectant.  


The Conclusion

It’s a tough situation. But at the same time, there’s no need to give up. It’s not as if it’s going to last forever. In any case, we are more resilient than the coronavirus.

However, following the basic guidelines in the situation is the least we can do. If cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces of our living spaces can work to protect us from Covid-19, it’s well worth the effort. Remember, in the end, it’s all about riding out this crisis together.



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