Steel feels clean. After all, hospitals and labs use plenty of stainless steel surfaces in operating rooms and other sterile areas.
However, when it comes to coronavirus, it may not be as safe as you think.
A new study finds that COVID-19 viruses can live on steel for up to a day.
How they measured it
Scientists measured this by laying down a few drops of fluid containing COVID-19 viral particles.
They then collected samples at regular time points to measure how many viruses were still present on the stainless steel surface.
They compared this to other surfaces including plastic and cardboard.
By doing so, they were able to generate the model below:
As you can see on the curve above, most COVID-19 viruses die pretty quickly on a steel surface.
However, some viral particles can remain for hours on the surface.
Since stainless steel is often found on frequently touched surfaces, it's essential to keep steel surfaces clean.
Be sure to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. As you can see in the data above, COVID-19 coronaviruses can live quite a long time on a stainless steel surface.
While most coronaviruses die quickly, some can live on, and potentially remain infectious, for over a day.
Protect yourself by frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Source: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1