COVID-19 has changed how we're maintaining our homes and workspaces. Most of us are taking extra precaution to sanitize and clean our households in an effort to keep sickness at bay and we want to help shed some light on best practices to keep your surfaces clean and safe.
Can I Contract COVID-19 From My Stone Countertops?
According to the CDC, it's much more likely that people will contract the virus through particles in the air than from a household surface. Though it is now understood that making contact with the virus through contaminated surfaces is possible, the chances for infection are far lower than airborne transfer.
It is, however, worth noting that the virus can live on stone counters like granite, quartz, and marble, as well as other household surfaces. So no matter how low the infection rate, steps should be taken to properly disinfect and sanitize your countertops.
How Long Does COVID-19 Live on Stone Surfaces?
The current understanding of novel coronavirus is limited and consensus among the scientific community as to the lifespan of COVID-19 on surface material has yet to be established. However, past research and data from other strains of human coronaviruses have allowed scientists to estimate the lifespan of COVID-19 and create guidelines for prevention.
Early research done by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that COVID-19 may have similar lifespan to SARS. That means the lifespan can change quite a bit depending on the type of surface it has settled on. Specifically in the case of solid surface and stone countertops, it's safe to assume that coronavirus can remain for anywhere between 2-5 days.
How to Properly Sanitize Stone Countertops
It is first important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting:
CDC guidelines define cleaning as the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
As many of you have likely experienced, there is a shortage in the availability of dedicated disinfecting surface cleaners such as Lysol. However, any solution with alcohol content greater than 70% will act as a disinfectant. In the absence of a dedicated disinfectant, studies have shown that common household cleaners can neutralize coronavirus if the cleaning solution is allowed to sit for 4 or 5 minutes before wiping it off. The longer the surface cleaner is allowed to sit, the more effective it will become in eradicating the virus.
We hope you feel more informed about how to disinfect countertops and that you feel confident in the safety of your countertop surfaces!