Norovirus on Hard Surfaces

One reason norovirus is spread around so easily is because the virus can live on hard surfaces for weeks. Our mothers weren’t kidding when they used to tell us as children, “Don’t touch the railing (counter, table, door knob, etc.) or you’ll pick up nasty germs!” They were right. Viruses tend to thrive on hard surfaces and norovirus is no exception.

What type of hard surfaces does norovirus live on?

Norovirus germs can live on most surfaces, but the most common hard surfaces you should be concerned about are countertops of any kind, tables, floors (ceramic, tile, carpet, etc.), door handles, toilets, toilet handles, faucets, railings, windows,

How long does norovirus live on hard surfaces?

Norovirus can live on hard surfaces for at least 7 days, but it will not grow or multiply on its own. Norovirus is a resistant little bugger, surviving freezing cold and hot temperatures below 150 degrees. Interestingly, a study was done regarding norovirus in 2010 at a hospital. One countertop was tested to see if norovirus was present and 21 strands of norovirus were found. [1] This was a random testing, as no one had complained of being ill with norovirus, which goes to show that norovirus can be lurking on hard surfaces just about anywhere. (But especially in hospitals)

Many people will use a commercial disinfectant to try to keep germs at bay, but about 40 percent of them are ineffective at eliminating norovirus. Therefore, norovirus is spread easily from surface to hands and then once a person touches his nose, mouth, eyes, or ingests food, he will most likely get norovirus himself.

Treating norovirus on hard surfaces.

It’s very helpful to have your disinfectant solution in a spray bottle. Whether you use an EPA approved norovirus disinfectant or you create your own bleach/water solution, being able to spray hard surfaces down with the solution is advantageous over just running a cloth over them. Spray the hard surface liberally and let it stay on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows for the mixture to really get in there and kill norovirus particles. Then, use a clean cloth to wipe up the solution.

Keep in mind that bleach may not be the best solution to use on some hard surfaces, (like wood floors) as it could discolor the surface. You can test the solution on a small area to see. Note that you should never pour pure bleach on any surface, as it must always be diluted.