How Long Can Coronavirus Live on Clothes’ After a Plane Ride

Months after the coronavirus outbreak, airways are open once again and people can now travel by flight, depending on the rules of the welcoming country. That does not mean that the coronavirus is gone, there is still a risk of returning home with the virus. There are still threats of the virus in most countries, experts still persist on tight precautions on sanitary measures during the relaxations of the lockdown rules.

Due to the closeness of passengers during flight and the steady movement of passengers to the bathroom or to check their overhead cabinets, the virus can quickly spread during a flight. Worst still when a flight attendant is carrying the virus, he/she might transmit it to passengers as refreshments are passed around during a flight

With all these precautionary measures which include the use of nose masks and washing of hands, there has still been a spike of cases since the opening of airports. Experts have found that the virus can live for some time in non-living objects, this includes clothing, plastics, and steel. So even when sanitary measures are followed, you might still end up dragging it home with you in your clothing.

How Long Can Coronavirus Live on Clothes after a Plane Ride;

The virus has been observed to live on surfaces (steel and plastics) for hours up to9 days, depending on how moist the surface is. Although during research, the CDC noticed that the RNA of coronavirus found on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship was found living 17 days after the passengers have departed the cruise ship.

Though there has not been much study on how long the virus can survive on clothes and the likelihood of contracting the virus through such a medium. Evidence gathered sofar, explains that the virus does not survive long on soft surfaces, this includes clothing materials. According to Ann R. Falsey, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, the virus can probably survive on fabrics and other porous materials not more than 24 hours. This is due to the fact that most items of clothing suck moisture from the surroundings, including the virus leaving it to dry up.

Worthy to note, is that clothing is not only made up of fabrics, some clothing has metal or plastic parts in it eg metal or plastic buttons or buckles. The virus might survive longer in these parts.

Health care providers who are constantly in the frontline with those infected with the virus are always mandated to leave their work clothes behind before leaving the facility for them to be sanitized and are advised to disinfect the clothes they wear home using fresh laundry detergents.

How to disinfect your clothes after getting off a flight;

Due to the high risks of contracting the virus during flights, passengers are always advised to disinfect themselves after flights and also disinfect their clothes once they get home using fresh laundry detergent.


Even though the possibilities of transmitting the virus through clothing is low as they don’t survive long there, disinfection is advised to remove every form of doubt. Always use laundry detergents to disinfect your clothes after every form of contact with the outside world.