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Now More Than Ever, It's Time to Deep Clean Your Countertops

Nearly a year ago, we shared a blog post with our customers titled, “The Art of Cleaning a Countertop,” which detailed the various ways to keep your counter surfaces clean for sanitary and cosmetic reasons. But in this era of COVID-19, it has become more important now more than ever before to properly clean and disinfect your countertops on a frequent basis.

Here are some cleaning countertops coronavirus tips to help you keep your home and family safe from COVID-19.

How Long Does Coronavirus Last on Countertops?

Although there is still much to be learned and understood about coronavirus, studies suggest that the virus can last on surfaces for a few hours up to several days depending on the type of material, humidity, and temperature. Hard surfaces, like stainless steel and plastic, may harbor the virus for up to three days, while it can last on cardboard for 24 hours.

Although not enough specific research has yet been done on the topic, stone countertops may be able to sustain coronavirus for several days if not properly cleaned. However, if your countertop gets a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day, the virus may not last as long on it because ultraviolet light is a powerful disinfectant.

General Cleaning for Countertop Materials

Countertops, like the ones we offer at Central Plumbing Specialties, are made from various materials that require different general cleaning methods to keep them safe. For example, granite countertops can be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, while quartz countertops are best washed with simple dish soap and water. Clean marble countertops can be washed with a paste of baking soda and water, wood countertops with vinegar and lemon, and laminate countertops with all-purpose cleaner and a microfiber cloth.

Countertop Disinfecting Guidelines

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, plain soap and water is the CDC-recommended solution for frequently touched surfaces, such as countertops. But for an even more thorough cleaning after soap and water, the EPA has published a list of disinfectant products that meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is recommended to keep the countertop wet after cleaning rather than drying it off right away, to wear disposable gloves, and have good ventilation while using these products. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after removing gloves and follow the manufacturer instructions for all cleaning products.

Alcohol-based disinfectant wipes are also useful for cleaning countertops made from various materials. However, do not use the same wipe on multiple surfaces or dry the surface after using the wipe to make these products most effective. After your disinfectant dries naturally, rinse off any surfaces that will come in contact with food with pure water.

When to Disinfect Countertops

Another big concern is when to disinfect countertops and how often to do it. Countertops are among the most frequently touched surfaces in a home, so it’s important to clean them as soon as possible after you get back home from being outdoors or set items on them that you’ve brought in from outside. If you don’t leave your house all day, plan to clean your countertops once per day just to be on the safe side.

But if you are bringing in bags of groceries or have outside contractors come into your home to work on an essential construction project, you may want to clean your countertops in high-traffic areas an extra time or two per day. Do your best to clean countertops that may have come in contact with germs before using your hands to eat, touch your face, or handle other items throughout your home.

Other Household Surfaces to Pay Attention To

Although it is important not to panic-clean or use harsh chemicals that will destroy the beautiful features of your home, smart and frequent surface cleaning with soap, water, and disinfectants can really make a big difference in your health and safety.

In addition to cleaning countertops during coronavirus, here are some of the other surfaces in your home that you should pay close attention to and clean more frequently than you might otherwise in a non-pandemic situation:

  • Faucets
  • Toilets
  • Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Utility Sinks
  • Light Switches
  • Clothing and Linens
  • Door Knobs
  • Your smartphone and other electronics