How Long Can Pinkeye Live on Hard Surfaces?

By Cheyenne Gardner

The type of pink eye you have, bacterial or viral, determines how long a surface remains contaminated and how often you should clean commonly touched surfaces. The type of hard surface the contamination is on, such as a hard wood or ceramic, also determines how long the contamination remains contagious.

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The type of pink eye you have, bacterial or viral, determines how long a surface remains contaminated and how often you should clean commonly touched surfaces. The type of hard surface the contamination is on, such as a hard wood or ceramic, also determines how long the contamination remains contagious.

Contamination

Pink eye.

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, can be spread through coughing and sneezing, which spread droplets of mucus in the air. Contamination can also be spread by shared towels and commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, computers, faucet handles, handrails and counter surfaces.

Hard Surfaces

Stainless steel will spread the disease more than a porous surface.

Laminates and stainless steel transfer bacteria and spread the disease more than wooden and other porous surfaces. Temperature and exposure to sunlight also contribute to how long bacteria remain alive on these surfaces, with the time varying between 30 minutes to more than six hours. Bacteria on surfaces left untouched and missed by disinfectant will die within two days to a week.

Sunlight kills viruses, so it is highly recommend you open window treatments to catch all the sunlight you can in your home to help kill the virus on surfaces.

Precaution

Continuously disinfect.

The best thing to do is to try not to itch your eyes and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, consistently throughout the day.

References

About the Author

Cheyenne Gardner has been writing since 2003 and has worked at the writing center for the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. She writes articles for various websites, specializing in the arts and pet care. Gardner is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Eastern Washington.

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